Interoperability

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Definition Interoperability describes the extent to which systems and devices can work together, exchange data, and interpret that shared data. For two systems to be interoperable, they must be able to exchange data and subsequently present that data such that it can be understood by a user.

Interoperability generally means the ability to exchange data routinely/freely between systems, because each system would have at least knowledge of other systems formats in which data is exchanged. A stronger type of data exchange can include knowledge of the meaning of some of the data content.

Explanation At the system level Interoperability is the ability of a system to accept and send services and to use the services so exchanged to enable them to operate useful. We sometimes speak of a data quality of interoperability, which means that the data an function with other data as part of some system operations such as analysis or querying.

To be interoperable FAIR principles propose that (meta)data use a formal, accessible, shared, and broadly applicable language for knowledge representation.

And (meta)data use vocabularies that follow FAIR principles

And that (meta)data include qualified references to other (meta)data.

Examples http://www.himss.org/library/interoperability-standards/what-is?navItemNumber=17333

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interoperability

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, IEEE Standard Computer Dictionary: A Compilation of IEEE Standard Computer Glossaries, New York, NY: 1990.

National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS) Report on Uniform Data Standards for Patient Medical Record Information, July 6, 2000, pp. 21-22.

References ISO TC204, document N271

The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship http://www.nature.com/articles/sdata201618

Scope RDA Data Fabric Interest Group
Status In discussion

If two or more systems are capable of communicating and exchanging data, they are exhibiting syntactic interoperability. Specified data formats, communication protocols and the like are fundamental. XML or SQL standards are among the tools of syntactic interoperability. Interoperability - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Interoperability has several different interpretations. See discussion page for a 3 level approach. Interoperability can also means commonality in user interaction, as system designers build interfaces that can be customized to a look and feel familiar to the user so it can be "understood" but the user.