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Berkeley Center for Document Engineering (CDE)

Center for Document Engineering Established at UC Berkeley

Focal Point for Initiatives in XML and Model-Based Approaches for Automatable, Standards-Based Business Computing

Berkeley, CA, USA. September 15, 2003.

UC Berkeley's School of Information Management and Systems (SIMS) and the e-Berkeley Program have established the Center for Document Engineering (CDE). The CDE's mission is "to invent, evaluate, and promote model-driven technologies and methods" that allow business semantics to drive IT systems.

The CDE's origins date to Spring 2002 when SIMS became the first academic institution in the world to teach courses on Document Engineering, emphasizing analysis and design methods that yield XML-encodable models of business processes and business documents. A collaboration with the e-Berkeley Program began soon afterwards because of the natural fit with e-Berkeley's goal of using the Web to transform the University's information-intensive operations.

Dr. Robert Glushko, an Adjunct Professor at SIMS and an XML industry veteran, is the Director of the CDE. Glushko said, "The complex legacy computing environment of the University is a perfect test bed for XML, information architecture, and web services and the E-Berkeley program is a perfect partner for an academic research team." Jon Conhaim, who heads the E-Berkeley program, will serve as Associate Director of the CDE.

An advisory board whose members come from academic units, campus computing organizations, and industry will help set priorities and define project goals. Board member Hal Varian, formerly the Dean of SIMS and a professor of economics and business, said "the new Center for Document Engineering will provide a valuable research facility for our faculty and training ground for our students. The technology that has been developed at CDE will be a major contribution to information management in organizations."

Board member Shel Waggoner, UC Berkeley's Director of Central Computing Services, suggested that "the Center for Document Engineering offers a unique opportunity for research, academic, administrative groups to work collectively on real world challenges faced by decentralized enterprises. The models developed by the CDE will dramatically reduce the time and cost of building new applications and help enterprises minimize the duplication of systems so prevalent in today's distributed environments."

The CDE will create, collect, and disseminate XML schemas, software, best practices, and other content for building web services and applications that allow business semantics to drive IT systems and automate business processes.

"I'm delighted to see Berkeley take the lead in the emerging discipline of document engineering, which will be critical to the development of the data standards on which the next generation of electronic commerce systems will be constructed," said Jon Bosak of Sun Microsystems, leader of the working groups that created the XML and the Universal Business Language (UBL). "An enlightened public policy requires the existence of unbiased centers for the development and vendor-neutral evaluation of technologies for business data modeling. The establishment of the Center for Document Engineering represents a milestone in the development of our future business infrastructure and a model for the creation of similar programs in other colleges and universities."

The first initiative of the CDE is the Berkeley Academic Business Language (BABL), an evolving set of models and associated XML schemas for the domain of University education and operations. A second major CDE initiative is an XML application platform that uses models like those in BABL to implement enterprise-class applications whose core data-models are encoded in XML. This platform allows developers to represent data models, business rules, workflow specifications, and user interfaces as externalized XML documents, rather than mixing and scattering them throughout application code. This will make it easier for nonprogrammers to design, develop, and maintain forms and workflow-based Internet applications.

About CDE

The Center for Document Engineering is located at Organizations or individuals interested in becoming sponsors or research affiliates of the CDE are invited to contact Dr. Robert Glushko, (510-643-2754) or Jon Conhaim, (510-643-2255).


Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See also: (1) "Universal Business Language (UBL)"; (2) the news story from 2003-09-15: "Berkeley Center for Document Engineering (CDE) Promotes XML-Encodable Business Models."

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