Reference Architecture

Let’s Get Real:  The IDS Reference Architecture Model  

Data is rapidly becoming business’s most valuable asset — but it can only deliver on its full value when you put it into use and share it in ways that you, as the data provider, determine and control. International data spaces (IDS) are where this kind of trustworthy, self-determined exchange can happen, and our Reference Architecture Model (IDS-RAM) sets the standard for building data-driven ecosystems, products and services. Here’s where you’ll find everything you need to know to get started.

Data is your most valuable asset

Data will increasingly be a key source of competitive advantage for the future of global business — but only if you can share it securely while confidently self-determining how it can be used. Data spaces are where this kind of secure exchange can happen, and IDS-RAM sets the standard for building IDS ecosystems, products and services. 

The IDS-RAM is the beating heart of the IDS — it comprises the standards for secure and sovereign data exchange, certification and governance for across Europe and around the world.


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What is the IDS-RAM?

To build the IDS Reference Architecture Model, companies collaborated with scientists, technologists and policymakers. The result is a conceptual framework for designing and implementing IDS-compliant data spaces. It defines the key components, their interactions, and the principles that govern the architecture of an IDS data space.


    Role model

    Role model: IDS-RAM serves as a practical blueprint, but also as an exemplar of the ethical and design principles that well ensure trustworthiness in data exchange and true data sovereignty in the data economy of the future.

    Data sovereignty

    Data sovereignty: in the open, federated data marketplace we envision, the IDS-RAM enables self-determination and control over data usage to remain in the hands of those who collect, store and provide it, rather than passing to large data exchange platforms and others, as is often the case today.

    Information model

    The IDS-RAM’s information model is open, agnostic with regard to technologies and domains. This approach enables data exchange within a trusted ecosystem while preserving data sovereignty. The information model enables the comprehensive description of data assets and interoperability required for this kind of exchange.

    Usage policy enforcement

    The IDS-RAM provides a framework for technically enforced agreements for data sharing in addition to existing, legally binding contracts. This serves to underwrite trust in the system.

    IDS-RAM 4.0 repository on GitHub

    The working version of the IDS-RAM 4.0 is available on GitHub. Whether you have a question, want to request a change, or contribute to the text: Just join IDSA on GitHub.

    Next version of the IDS Reference Architecture Model: RAM 5

    We have started working on the next version of the IDS-RAM, which will be more modular and flexible, providing architectural guidance and support for building a dataspace, participating in one, or providing vale added data space services. RAM 5 will be aligned with the latest developments in IDSA and Data Spaces.


    RAM 5 is aligned with the latest developments in the Dataspace protocol, IDSA Rulebook, DSSC blueprint and more.


    RAM 5 includes all variants of data space authorities: centralized, federated/distributed, decentralized, e.g. in the trust framework.


    RAM 5 provides architectural guidance for all roles in data spaces: Data space authorities, participants, service providers.


    RAM 5 will have a modular approach instead of a linear approach for structuring the five layers and three perspectives.

    Would you like to co-create RAM 5 with us? Please register your interest using this form or contact the IDSA team.

    Any questions? Contact us!

    Sebastian Steinbuss

    Your contact person:
    Ilknur Chulani
    Senior Program Manager

    Get IDS certified now!

    The IDS certification is of fundamental importance for a trustworthy and sovereign data exchange.