In response to:
Arnon Rosenthal, Len Seligman & Scott Renner. (2004) “From semantic integration to semantics management: case studies and a way forward.” ACM SIGMOD Record 33(4): 44-50.
Philip A. Bernstein & Laura M. Haas. (2008 ) “Information integration in the enterprise.” Communications of the ACM 51(9): 72-79.
Philip A. Bernstein & Sergey Melnik. (2007) “Model management 2.0: manipulating richer mappings.” In Proceedings of the 2007 ACM SIGMOD international conference on Management of data, p. 1-12.”
Data standards, like the metric standard, have to be flexible enough that they can describe anything thrown at them (ergo, the organization projects we are working on, from kitchen knives to computer programs). The metric system began as a French project to derive a unit of measure from the arc of the earth, and now tells time by the jiggle of an atom. Of course, historians for the meter have discovered that the measure of the meter was fudged from the beginning and scientists know that there is no material from which we can derive a unit of measure. All that can be done is to get very, very close.
This is to say that from the outset, I was, for the first sentence of the case study, skeptical of the DoD Data Administration Program’s (or any very large organization’s) ability to create a standard that will meet all information needs. The pre-implementation system described rather resembles the measurement standards of pre-meter Europe, but information is not quantifiable in the same way that a measure of length or weight or time is. Unified systems, like the DoD program, thus seem impractical. I might be thinking to narrowly about this, but the case studies cited by Rosenthal appear to support me on this.
Sticking to the analogy, the communities of interest (COI) strategy might be like acknowledging that while oats are best sold in kilograms, a horse can still be measured in hands.