Technical Reference Architecture

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Technical Reference Architecture
Technical Standard

The TRA is available for the general audience at

  • This version has been edited to redact CMS internally restricted content. If you require access to the restricted content, please contact your CMS project manager/project lead or Contracting Officer's Representative (COR).

The complete TRA is available online for CMS users at This is an internal CMS website that is not available to the public.

If you have any feedback regarding TRA content or website, please contact us at the following link: TRA Feedback Survey

What is the TRA?

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) develops and implements information technology guidance known as the CMS Technical Reference Architecture (TRA), which is critical to the effective implementation and operations of all agency processing environments (hereafter simply “CMS Processing Environments”).

The CMS Technical Reference Architecture provides CMS’s authoritative technical architecture approach and technical reference standards to assure the secure and high-quality delivery of healthcare services to beneficiaries, providers, and business partners. It is intended for all agency business partners in developing, transitioning to, and maintaining CMS Processing Environments.

The CMS TRA spans five sections which provide engineering detail that adheres to the approved CMS architecture and other CMS standards. As technology and standards evolve, so does the TRA guidance.

  • The Foundation section articulates the foundation technical architecture and guiding principles for CMS Processing Environments. Other sections build on the foundation section. 
  • The Network Services section presents topics such as network considerations, security, Cyber Security Integration Center (CCIC), wide area network services, access control and identity management and domain name system (DNS) services.
  • The Infrastructure Service section provides guidance on virtualization, cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS), IT performance management, file transfer, data storage services, Software as a Service (SaaS), keys and secrets management, mobile devices, Internet of Things (IoT) and disaster recovery.
  • The Application Development section contains information about application development concepts, web services and web APIs, web-based UI services, open-source software, portals and portlets, business intelligence, containers and microservices, blockchain, fast data, input validation and configuration management.   
  • The Data Management section covers a data enterprise environment overview and guidance on enterprise data lakes.