Last edited 11 Aug 2020

Interoperability

Interoperability refers to; ‘A characteristic of a product or system, whose interfaces are completely understood, to work with other products or systems, at present or in the future.’ Ref The Gemini Principles. Centre for Digital Built Britain. December 2018.

It can also be defined as; ‘The ability of computer systems or software to exchange and make use of information.’ Ref ICE, Interoperability: The ability of computer systems or software to exchange and make use of information.

The report of the BIM Interoperability Expert Group (BIEG), published in March 2020 offered a range of altenrative definitions of interoperability.

Definition Source
ability of systems to provide services to and accept services from other systems and to use the services so exchanged to enable them to operate effectively together

ISO 37100:2016

Sustainable cities and communities — Vocabulary

the capability of devices of different types and from different manufacturers to exchange information and commands via the communications network

ISO 16484-2:2004

Building automation and control systems (BACS) — Part 2: Hardware

a characteristic of a product or system, whose interfaces are completely understood, to work with other products or systems, at present or in the future, in either implementation or access, without any restrictions AFUL.org Interoperability Working Group
the ability of computer systems or programs to exchange information Oxford Dictionary
the capability of two or more functional units to process data cooperatively

ISO/IEC 2382-18:1999

Information technology — Vocabulary — Part 18: Distributed data processing

BIEG itself adopted the following definition in terms of systems that are employed to implement the UK BIM Framework: 'the ability of two or more systems to exchange information and to use the information that has been exchanged.’

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