Early last week, I attended the first annual “Canonical Model Management Forum” here in the DC area. A number of government agencies as well as several of the major banks, insurance companies, credit-card operators, and other private-sector firms attended the meeting. There was one vendor sponsor (DigitalML, the vendor of IgniteXML), and the meeting was hosted at a CSC facility. There were a number of presentations by the attendees about their environments, what had motivated them to establish a canonical model, how that work had turned out, and the important lessons learned.
But What Is A Canonical Information Model?
In the first day of sessions, I heard a number of definitions of canonical modeling, but most were similar to Forrester’s:
A canonical information model is a model of the semantics and structure of information that adheres to a set of rules agreed upon within a defined context for communicating among a set of applications or parties.
We don't normally draw attention to things like this (changing our underlying platform technology), but in this case, there are some key differences in capabilities, that you need to know about so you can benefit from them. As you already know if you've been following the Application Development & Program Management blog, we have a team of analysts who are already active bloggers. But in the past, it may have been challenging, if you were particularly interested in following the posts of one analyst, to do that in amongst the posts from the rest of the team.
So I'm thrilled that we now have individual blogs for all the analysts on the team, too. Everything blogged by the team also rolls up into the team-level blog, which is a good place to hang out if you're following several analysts on the team, have more eclectic interests around application development and delivery, or just want to be tuned in to what's going on across the team.
Another great innovation (for you) of our new platform is that blog pots are now presented with only summary information showing in the initial view. Only after you choose to drill down on a post do you see the whole thing. This makes it easier to look through several posts, whether on an analyst or team blog, and find just the stuff you care about.
And now for a few words from Cliff Condon, the Forrester exec who leads our social computing initiative of which this new platform is a part, on Forrester blogs and what it means for you:
Everyone’s welcome here. Forrester analysts use blogs as an input into the research they produce, so having an open, ongoing dialogue with the marketplace is critical. Clients and non-clients can participate – so I encourage you to be part of the conversations on Forrester blogs.