Interoperability means the capability of different information systems to communicate some of their contents. In particular, it may mean that
1. two systems can exchange information, and/or
2. multiple systems can be accessed with a single method.
Generally, syntactic interoperability is distinguished from semantic interoperability. Syntactic interoperability means that the information encoding of the involved systems and the access protocols are compatible, so that information can be processed as described above without error. However, this does not mean that each system processes the data in a manner consistent with the intended meaning. For example, one system may use a table called “Actor” and another one called “Agent”. With syntactic interoperability, data from both tables may only be retrieved as distinct, even though they may have exactly the same meaning. To overcome this situation, semantic interoperability has to be added. The CRM relies on existing syntactic interoperability and is concerned only with adding semantic interoperability.