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CFP: OASIS Search Web Services Technical Committee

Call for Participation: OASIS Search Web Services Technical Committee

Date:      Thu, 14 Jun 2007 21:18:50 -0400
From:      Mary McRae <>
Subject:   OASIS Call for Participation: Search Web Services TC

To: OASIS members and interested parties

A new OASIS technical committee is being formed. The OASIS Search Web Services Technical Committee has been proposed by the members of OASIS listed below. The proposal, below, meets the requirements of the OASIS TC Process [a]. The TC name, statement of purpose, scope, list of deliverables, audience, and language specified in the proposal will constitute the TC's official charter. Submissions of technology for consideration by the TC, and the beginning of technical discussions, may occur no sooner than the TC's first meeting.

This TC will operate under our 2005 IPR Policy [b]. The eligibility requirements for becoming a participant in the TC at the first meeting (see details below) are that:

  1. you must be an employee of an OASIS member organization or an individual member of OASIS
  2. the OASIS member must sign the OASIS membership agreement [c]
  3. you must notify the TC chair of your intent to participate at least seven days prior to the first meeting, which members may do by using the "Join this TC" button on the TC's public page at [d]
  4. you must attend the first meeting of the TC, at the time and date fixed below

Of course, participants also may join the TC at a later time. OASIS and the TC welcomes all interested parties.

Non-OASIS members who wish to participate may contact us about joining OASIS [c]. In addition, the public may access the information resources maintained for each TC: a mail list archive, document repository and public comments facility, which will be linked from the TC's public home page at [d].

Please feel free to forward this announcement to any other appropriate lists. OASIS is an open standards organization; we encourage your feedback.



Mary P McRae
Manager of TC Administration, OASIS

[c] See

Call For Participation: OASIS Search Web Services TC


Name of the Technical Committee

OASIS Search Web Services Technical Committee ("Search WS TC")


To define Search and Retrieval Web Services, combining various current and ongoing web service activities.

Within recent years there has been a growth in activity in the development of web service definitions for search and retrieval applications. These include SRU, a web service based in part on the NISO/ISO Search and Retrieval standards; the Amazon OpenSearch, which defines a means of describing and automating search web forms; as well as many proprietary definitions (e.g., the Google and MSN Search APIs). There are also a number of activities for defining abstract search APIs that can be mapped onto multiple implementations either within native code or onto remote procedural calls and web services, such as ZOOM (Z39.50 Object Oriented Model); SQI (Simple Query Interface), an IEEE standard developed for searching and retrieval in the IMS (Instructional Management Systems) space; and OSIDs (Open Service Interface Definitions from the Open Knowledge Initiative. While abstract APIs would be out of scope, these would inform the work to increase interoperability and compatibility.

Scope of the Work

The development of a web service interface specification including:

  • Search/Retrieve
  • Query
  • Sorting
  • Record Retrieval
  • Index Browsing

This will include the development or identification of an abstract query language incorporating an extensible framework. One or more application profiles will be developed, either as part of this work, or by another group either within OASIS or another standards body or applicable community. Profiles development within another group will be coordinated with the work of this TC. Profiles might be developed by/for the following communities/applications:

  • Bibliographic
  • E-government
  • Geospatial
  • ebXML

The work will also involve semantic description of search services but will build upon existing work (e.g., NISO Z39.92) rather than define new descriptions.

The work will seek input from abstract API initiatives such as:

Out of Scope: Although as mentioned the work will seek input from abstract API initiatives, the development or standardisation of Abstract APIs is out ofscope.

Specific Contribution of Existing Work as a Starting Point: The following works are available to the technical committee for further development:

Additional contributions from other TC members also are welcome.

How it is to be Determined when the Work of the TC has been Completed: The work will be considered completed when:

  1. An OASIS standard is approved that embodies the functionality provided by the two specifications listed above plus any additional contributions, plus additional functions agreed upon by the TC, minus any functions that the TC decides to exclude.
  2. Any errata, extension or further versioning of the specification that this TC then wishes to create has been completed.
  3. At least one community profile has been developed (whether within OASIS or by an outside group).


  • Service definition(s)
  • XML Schemas
  • Web Service interface specifications including HTTP POST, HTTP GET, and a SOAP binding
  • Query language definition
  • User best practice documentation
  • Implementer best practice documentation (including ZOOM, OSID, SQI mappings)

Completion Dates: The target completion date is July 2008. An itemized list of dates for each of the above items will be developed by the TC.

IPR Mode

Royalty Free on Limited Terms

Anticipated Audience/Users

Those involved in the design, development, implementation, or use of elements listed above in "Scope of the Work". This includes search service providers, prospective users of search services exposed as XML, information architects and bibliographic, metadata, and content providers.

The Language in Which the TC Shall Conduct Business


Additional Information

Additional non-normative material relating to the TC's start-up

Similar or Applicable Work (OASIS and elsewhere)

The following standards and projects may be relevant to the TC's planned work, although none currently provide the functionality anticipated by this committee's deliverables:

  • NISO Z39.50/ISO23950
  • NISO Z39.92
  • SRU
  • CQL
  • Opensearch
  • Google API
  • SQI
  • MSN Search API
  • OSIDs
  • ZOOM
  • XQuery Full Text (W3C)

The TC intends to seek and if possible maintain liaison with each of the organizations maintaining the above works.

Details of the First Meeting

The first meeting of the of the committee will be held by telephone conference call at 3pm EDT on 18 July 2007. Call-in information will be provided to the TC's e-mail list in advance of the meeting.

Projected Ongoing Meeting Schedule

The work of the committee will be carried out primarily by email and conference calls, possibly every two weeks, with face-to-face meetings perhaps once or twice a year.

Following the first several calls, an initial face-to-face meeting, perhaps two days, or one and a half, is planned. The TC will determine its own schedule once organized.

Supporters of the Proposal

The following people support this proposal and are committed to the Charter and projected meeting schedule.


Ray Denenberg

The Member Section With Which the TC Intends to Affiliate

Not Applicable.

Contributions of Existing Technical Work

SRU or

CQL or

Draft Frequently Asked Questions

To be developed.

Proposed Working Title for the Specifications to be Developed

SRU - Search/Retrieve via URL
CQL - Contextual Query Language

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive; see also the source.

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