Technical Reference Model (TRM)

The TRM is a hierarchical foundation used to describe how technology is supporting the delivery of application capabilities. The TRM outlines the technology elements that collectively support the adoption and implementation of component-based architectures, as well as the identification of proven products and toolsets that are embraced by government-wide initiatives such as FirstGov, Pay.Gov, and the 24 Presidential Priority E-Government Initiatives.[1]

A Technical Reference Model (TRM) is a framework or blueprint that describes the relationship among different technical components of an information system, usually within an enterprise. It serves as a guide for understanding and using the standards that define the system architecture.

The TRM provides a common vocabulary, a baseline for developing new systems, and a framework for integrating existing and planned systems. It defines the standards, specifications, and technologies that support and enable the delivery of service components and capabilities.

The TRM consists of several key elements:

  1. Standards: These are the specific technologies and protocols that have been adopted for use in the system. They ensure consistency and interoperability across different parts of the system.
  2. Service Areas: These are the broad categories of functionality that the system supports. For example, a TRM might include service areas like "user interface," "data interchange," or "security."
  3. Service Categories: These are the specific types of services that fall within each service area. For example, within the "security" service area, there might be service categories like "authentication" and "authorization."
  4. Service Standards: These are the specific standards and protocols that apply to each service category. For example, the "authentication" service category might include service standards like "LDAP" or "OAuth."

Example: One well-known example of a TRM is the Technical Reference Model of The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF). This TRM provides a structural model, emphasizing the application software space, and the relationships, dependencies, and interactions between application software and the underlying technology platform.

See Also

  1. Enterprise Architecture (EA): EA is the process of defining the structure and operation of an organization. TRM is a component of the EA, providing a foundation for the interoperability of various technologies within the enterprise.
  2. Interoperability: This is the ability of different systems or components to communicate and work together. TRM plays a key role in ensuring interoperability by defining the standards and protocols that should be used.
  3. Integration: This refers to the process of bringing together different subsystems into one system and ensuring that they function together. TRM is crucial for successful integration, as it provides a blueprint for how different components should interact.
  4. Standardization: This is the process of implementing technical standards that apply to a specific process or product to ensure consistency. Standardization is a key element of the TRM.
  5. Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA): SOA is a style of software design where services are provided to the other components via a communication protocol over a network. A TRM can be used in a SOA environment to define the services and their interactions.


  1. What is Technical Reference Model (TRM) XML