Summer Workshop 1998


STEP/SGML Harmonization Initiative (SSHI)

Session Leader

Daniel Rivers-Moore (RivCom)

Session Objective

  • To give the Technical Committee a better understanding of the work to be done
  • To identify some immediate technical issues
  • To get feedback on those issues
  • To prioritize and identify a role for OASIS
  • To get Board approval on the OASIS role (including sponsorship structure for SSHI)

Session Committee Members

An attendance list was not taken. The session took place as part of the Technical Committee Plenary.


An overview of the nature of the STEP/SGML harmonization work was given by Daniel Rivers-Moore and Eliot Kimber (ISOGEN). Key tasks include the development of an EXPRESS model of SGML, a Property Set for EXPRESS data and an XML representation of EXPRESS data and schemas.

Some of the technical issues that need to be addressed were outlined. In view of time constraints, it was not possible to look in detail at these technical issues, but the decision was reached that OASIS should support the ongoing work in this area.

A request for volunteers to participate actively in the technical work gave rise to one new volunteer - Irina Golfman (Inera), in addition to Eliot Kimber (Isogen) and Daniel Rivers-Moore (RivCom), who are already involved. However, there was consensus that OASIS should actively support this technical work by making it a sponsored technical initiative to which OASIS members can opt to have a percentage of their membership fees allocated (according to the new structures currently being discussed by the Board). This will enable the work to proceed at a faster rate than would otherwise be possible.

Member Benefit

STEP/SGML harmonization will enable SGML-aware tools and STEP-aware tools to interoperate in ways that will open up the possibility of technical documentation being truly integrated with product data. This is of great importance to major manufacturers and users of large complex items of equipment, from automobiles to aircraft to power plants.

OASIS support for this activity will open the way for recruitment of major users of structured information, to increase the membership of the consortium, and improve vendor-user communication and cooperation in the open structured information marketplace.

Action Items

Daniel Rivers-Moore (RivCom) will act as a liaison with the OASIS Board about the setting up of a formal STEP/SGML Harmonization Initiative with affiliate/subgroup status and will actively seek new members of OASIS who wish to sign up to this activity.

Eliot Kimber, Daniel Rivers-Moore and Irina Golfman will continue to work with others involved in the STEP/SGML harmonization work under ISO TC184/SC4 and will report back to OASIS as this work proceeds.

Unresolved Issues

There could be a role for XLL and MathML within the XML representation of EXPRESS data and schemas. MathML is already approved as a W3C Recommendation, but XLL is still work in progress.