The Common Object Interoperability Layer (COIL) represents the ASMG approach to the requirements outlined in OMG two OMG Initiatives:

   1. Shared Operational Picture Exchange Services (SOPES), which arose from the 9-11

       and Katrina calls for increased interoperability within and between public and private sector

       agencies responding to an Emergency, Crisis on Major Events.  SOPES focussed primarily

       on interoperability (information sharing)  in the areas of situational awareness (SA),

      Consultation, Collaboration and Planning for the Response and Recovery Phases

       of an event.

   2. Information Exchange Framework (IEF), which evolves out of the SOPES effort 

      as multiple domains(operational verticals(e.g., C4I, Healthcare, Finance,

      E-Government, ...)) identified similar operational requirements to share information

      in a secure and trusted manner.  Balancing the need to share  information

      with the need to protect or safeguard sensitive (private, confidential

      and classified) data.  The technical requirements were so similar that a horizontal (e.g.,

      middleware based approach seemed appropriate - so elements of the SOPES approach

      (conceptual architecture diagram) were moved to the MARS Platform Taskforce (PTF).

The primary differences between the domain included:

     - Data Structures and Schemas

     - Exchange Semantics

     - business rules (Data Aggregation, Release-ability, Virtualization, Privacy, Security, ...)

Mechanically the the challenges appeared to be the same.  The C4I and MARS Information Exchange Framework (IEF) Working Group set out to investigate the possibility of managing the Business Policy and Business Rules separate and apart from the applications that execute (/enforce) them.  If, this could be demonstrated, OMG could develop a set of architecture, modeling, transformation and technical standards to deliver "Policy Driven Semantic Interoperability".  COIL represents one implementation of this capability.

IN the Fall of 2010, MARS intends to release the Requests for Proposals (RFP) for three elements of the IEF:

     1. Information Exchange Policy Language

     2. Information Exchange Policy Enforcement Service; and

     3. Information Exchange Policy Management Service.

Draft RFPs are currently under review within the IEF Working Group.

Common Object Interoperability Layer (COIL)

COIL provides the results of more than a decade of experimentations, development and demonstration.  Platform Independent Models (PIM) COIL capability design will be submitted to the OMG MARS IEF RFPS to assure that several vendors have similar if not identical capability (mitigating risk for the user community). 

COIL is divided into four capability areas:

     1. Policy Artefacts (UML Class Diagrams; not currently part of the IEM initiative)

         that specify the information exchange policies that are aligned to many commonly

        used architecture frameworks (e.g., DODAF, MODAF, NAF, DNDAF,  Zachman,

        TOGAF, et al).   The modeling profile  was used and is documented as part of the  

        SOPES Information Exchange Data Model Specification (see Annex A - Modeling Profile)

        The modeling profile is now integrated in to  the UPDM  version 2 Domain Meta

        so  it will be available in a variety of UPDM Compliant tools.  However, in reality,

        the models can already be supported by many of the commercially available UML

        modeling tools  (e.g., Sparx Systems, Artisan, et al).  Though not part of the current

         IEF effort, linking policy to other architecture based artefacts is critical to the certification

         and sustainability of interoperability solutions; processes that require high levels of

         institutional knowledge  and memory to be effectively executed and completed. 

       2. Policy Transformation Service  (MDA Process) that validates and transforms the

          UML models and metadata into a binary form that is executable by the COIL runtime. 

          The IEF is planning to specify an intermediate policy language (likely XML based). 

          ASMG plans to generate the OMG specified policy language during the transformation. 

          ASMG also plans the development of separate transformation to convert the XML

          into COIL's Executable Binary form.

     3. Policy Based Data Service (COIL Runtime) is a set of runtime services that ingest

          an executable form of the information exchange policies (rules) and uses internal logic

          to interpret the rules and aggregates (outbound) and marshals (inbound) data

          in accordance with the specified exchange in accordance with specified policies. 

          The COIL runtime provides an application programme interface (API) to allow integration

          with user applications and information distribution services and infrastructures

          (e.g., CORBA, DDS, SOA, Web Services).

     4. Policy Management Services (runtime services) that provide operator control of 

          the policy(rules) during runtime.  These services can be integrated into User specified

         applications to ensure that security protocols for the management of policy can

          be enforced.  

COIL FEATURES

  - Aligned to popular Architecture frameworks.

   - Provides Model (UML) driven architecture (MDA) transformation from specification to

      executable policies for semantic interoperability.

   - Provides direct traceability to legislation, policy and operating procedures - supporting

      governance practices, certification procedures and and regulatory reporting.

   - Delivers an open architecture that promotes portability across heterogeneous

      operating environment, user applications, information distribution environment (e.g., CORBA,

      DDS, SOA, Web Services, et al), security infrastructure and data environments.

   - (Re)programmable data services that deliver:

          - Dynamic adaptation of operational characteristic to me changing operational

            requirements

          - Adaptive community of interest (CoI) stand-up and tear-down

          - Event Driven Global Update of Information;

          - Semantic Validation;

          - Data Validation;

          - Data Transformation; and

          - Data and information Guards and Data Filters.

          - Event driven global update to all participants in an contract (CoI).

   - Integrated information protection features that promotes enhanced security, caveat

      separation and privacy.

   - (Re)programmable API facilitate integration with applications, services and data stores.

OPERATIONAL CAPABILITY

   - Event driven global update of Community of Interest (CoIs) promotes improved situational

      awareness an decision making.

   - Executable UML specification promotes rapid discovery, testing and deployment of IS/IA

      capability

   - Executable UML specification promotes rapid deployment of communities of interest (CoI);

   - Semantic filters enhance quality of service (QoS) and bandwidth management;

   - Semantic and data validation on inbound and outbound information promotes data quality;

   - Policy based services enable adaptation to dynamic real world events and operational

     capability;

   - Integrated information assurance features promote increase trust by users and stakeholders.

   - Auto-generated XML XSD interface descriptions based on UML policy models promotes SoA

      integration; and

   - Flexible information exchange based on XML, Protocol Data Units (PDU), data objects and

     messaging promotes integration of heterogeneous IS environments.

   - Flexible API facilitates integration with client applications and middleware solutions.

BENEFITS

   - Delivers semantic interoperability with added security and privacy features

   - Promotes/Delivers flexible and agile information sharing (IS) and information assurance (IA)

     solutions

   - Delivers policy-based (metadata) operation

   - Delivers runtime control over information sharing Agreements.

   - Delivers integration with Architecture Frameworks

   - Promotes participation users and stakeholders in the discovery and delivery of IS/IA

     solutions

   - Promotes increased retention of Institutional knowledge

   - Delivers enhanced documentation

   - Delivers improved productivity

   - Delivers a fully auditable Information Assurance life-cycle; enabling enhanced IA and

     Regulatory 

     Compliance reporting

   - Places users in control of the business rules governing the release of institutional

     information and maintenance of institutional knowledge and memory (Figure)

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