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.