SCC and information interoperability terms and their definitions. See below for additional terminology resources.

Termsort ascending Definition
Standards Development Organization (SDO)

A domestic or international organization that plans, develops, establishes, or coordinates voluntary consensus standards using procedures that incorporate the attributes of openness, balance of interests, due process, an appeals process, and consensus in a manner consistent with the Office of Management and Budget Circular Number A-119, as revised February 10, 1998.

Service Provider

A service provider is an entity (person or organization) that offers the use of capabilities by means of a service. 

Service Interface

A service interface is the means for interacting with a service. It includes the specific protocols, commands, and information exchange by which actions are initiated [on the service. A service interface is what a system designer or implementer (programmer) uses to design or build executable software that interacts with the service. That is, the service interface represents the how of interaction. 

Service Consumer

A service consumer is an entity that seeks to satisfy a particular need through the use of capabilities offered by means of a service. 

Service Broker

A service broker or intermediary is any capability that receives messages from a consumer and subsequently, as a service consumer itself, interacts with another service. The term intermediary indicates that these capabilities sit between other services and mediate the interaction by managing, controlling, brokering, or facilitating the transmission of messages between them. 


A service is the way in which one entity gains access to a capability offered by another entity. 


A pattern, within the context of this document, is a general, repeatable set of tasks that help accomplish the commonly occurring need for exchange of data or information between two or more exchanging partners. 


National Information Exchange Model (NIEM)-Unified Modeling Language (UML) is a UML profile for modeling NIEM at a logical and XML-specific level. NIEM-UML is available in many standard modeling tools. 


A message is defined as the entire package of information sent between service consumer and service (or vice versa), even if there is a logical partitioning of the message into segments or sections. For instance, if an interface expresses actions as operations or functions that take arguments, and a particular operation has two arguments, both arguments would be considered part of the same message, even though they may be logically separated within the message structure. A message also includes the concept of an attachment, in which there are several additional sections (attachments) that relate to a distinct, primary section.


The ability of systems, units or forces to provide data, information, material, and services to and accept the same from other systems, units or forces and to use the data, information, materiel and services so exchanged to enable them to operate effectively together. Information technology and national security systems interoperability includes both the technical exchange of information and the operational effectiveness of that exchanged information as required for mission accomplishment. Interoperability is more than just information exchange. It includes systems, processes, procedures, organizations, and missions over the lifecycle and must be balanced with information assurance. (CJCSI)

The ability to transfer and use information in a uniform and efficient manner across multiple organizations and information technology systems. It is the ability of two or more systems or components to exchange information and to use the information that has been exchanged. (I2F)