CDR: Reference Architecture

CDR: Reference Architecture

Chief Information Officer

IC Technical Specifications

CDR: Reference Architecture


This IC/DoD enterprise Content Discovery and Retrieval Reference Architecture (CDR RA) provide conceptual and contextual guidance to architects, engineers, and developers tasked to implement CDR specifications. The CDR Reference Architecture (RA) is the keystone artifact for the overall set of guidance artifacts. The primary content of the CDR RA is the definition of an extensible set of capabilities and components that are realized via service specifications. It also describes various architecture interaction patterns and the specific technical framework to enable robust, scalable, and repeatable implementations across varying business and mission boundaries.


The CDR RA defines two primary capabilities - content discovery and content retrieval and is comprised of six core CDR components: Search, Brokered Search, Retrieve, Describe, Deliver, and Query Management that provide these capabilities. The CDR RA describes an architecturally driven approach for guiding the IC/DoD Enterprise towards enabling content discovery and retrieval.


This specification supports Intelligence Community Directive 501(ICD 501), Discovery, Dissemination or Retrieval of Information within the Intelligence Community, which establishes policies for (1) discovery, and (2) dissemination or retrieval of intelligence and intelligence-related information collected, or analysis produced by the Intelligence Community.


This reference architecture is maintained by the IC Chief Information Officer via the Services Coordination Activity (SCA) and Content Discovery and Retrieval Integrated Product Team (CDR IPT).


Technical Specification Downloads


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Value Proposition


This CDR reference architecture defines two distinct, but inter-related capabilities: Content Discovery, and Retrieval.

  • Content Discovery provides consumers with the ability to discover the existence of potentially relevant content resources and content collections from across the IC/DoD Enterprise. Content Discovery also enables consumers to discover valuable metadata about content resources to support making them visible, accessible, understandable, and trusted.
  • Retrieval provides consumers the ability to retrieve and route specific content resources. To do so, content providers are to ensure their content is accessible to the Enterprise.