Interoperability of heterogeneous distributed systems
To achieve knowledge superiority in today's operations interoperability is the key. Budget restrictions as well as the complexity and multiplicity of threats combined with the fact that not single nations but whole areas are subject to attacks force nations to collaborate and share information as appropriate. Multiple data and information sources produce different kinds of data, real time and non-real time, in different formats that are disseminated to the respective command and control level for further distribution. The data is most of the time highly sensitive and restricted in terms of sharing. The question is how to make this data available to the right people at the right time with the right granularity. The Coalition Shared Data concept aims to provide a solution to these questions. It has been developed within several multinational projects and evolved over time. A continuous improvement process was established and resulted in the adaptation of the architecture as well as the technical solution and the processes it supports. Coming from the idea of making use of existing standards and basing the concept on sharing of data through standardized interfaces and formats and enabling metadata based query the concept merged with a more sophisticated service based approach. The paper addresses concepts for information sharing to facilitate interoperability between heterogeneous distributed systems. It introduces the methods that were used and the challenges that had to be overcome. Furthermore, the paper gives a perspective how the concept could be used in the future and what measures have to be taken to successfully bring it into operations.