Q:What is a "Directory
Service Markup Language"?
A vocabulary and schema (a structured framework) for describing the structure
and content of directory
services information in an XML Document. Directory information can then be easily
used by any
application that makes use of XML, including browsers and e-commerce applications
Q:What is DSML.org?
This Web site is intended
to provide more information on the DSML spec, its partners and future
developments. Here you will find most recent news and events surrounding
the DSML initiative.
Q: How can I view the
To download a zip file containing the full DSML 1.0 specification, the
DTD and the Biztalk schema formats, click here.
Q:Who were the
founding members of the standard?
Bowstreet introduced the initial draft of the DSML specification.
The founding members at the time were IBM, Microsoft, Novell, Oracle and
the Sun-Netscape Alliance. The working group of dsml.org has sent the
final draft of the specification to OASIS.
Q:Who is developing
and working on DSML 2.0?
including the founding members of DSML.org have signed up to work on the
technical committe, which will further develop the DSML standard. Click
here for further information regarding this group.
Q: Why has DSML
To standardize the way directory services information is represented in
XML. With a recognized standard, applications can be written to make use
of DSML and capture the scalability, replication, security and management
strengths of directory services.
Q: What's special about
DSML that makes it an essential building block for e-commerce
Directories are the best tools for managing the meta-data about resources. XML
is the best way to
describe application/resource data for use on the Web. DSML is the markup language
that provides the
missing piece that allows these two to work together, and provides a common ground
for all XML-based
applications to make better use of directories.
Q: What is the difference
between LDAP and DSML?
The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) is intended to provide a means
for accessing directory
information. DSML provides the means for reading and understanding directory content
in XML. So,
DSML is actually very synergistic with LDAP.
Q: You say it's synergistic,
DSML is an XML-Schema, not an access protocol. DSML still depends on an access
protocol such as LDAP to get data from individual directories. DSML provides a
standard for creating XML documents
from the information that LDAP delivers.
Q: When will DSML-compatible
products be available?
Web Automation FactoryTM is the first commercial product to support DSML.
has also announced that it has entered a joint development agreement with Siemens
to create a new directory product based on DSML.
Q: How do consumers benefit
from DSML-compliant Web businesses?
DSML will enable customers to use directory information from, and exchange directory
information with, their customers and partners, regardless of the specific directories
at the remote sites. DSML also fosters a new computing approach in which XML-enabled
applications leverage business functionality and services, managed in directories
and delivered via the Web.
Q: How does the DSML
effort relate to the Directory Interoperability Forum?
These two efforts focus on different aspects of directory services standards.
DSML is focused on specifying how directory content and structure is described
using XML. DIF is focused on extending the core LDAP protocol to include more
cross directory SDKs and synchronization. There is no dependency or overlap between
the two efforts.
Q: Why are directories
a good foundation for e-commerce Web applications?
Directory services provide an optimal way of naming, describing and finding information
and resources while managing the relationship between the resources. Typically,
directory services software stores and manages access to detailed information
about a company's IT assets, including people and business processes and resources
- for internal use. But analysts believe that directory services software is also
the best way to store this type of information for expanding e-business or e-commerce
purposes. Since directory services software offers high levels of security, location
independence, granular access and easy replication, and combined with the advantages
of XML, it can become a powerful enabler of e-commerce and e-business.
Directory services software
is a mature, time-tested technology that's been in use in client/server environments
for several years. So, many customers already have directories that can be extended
to manage applications over extranets. All the leading directory service vendors
- including Novell, IBM and Microsoft - are working on solutions that extend directories
Q: What are DSML applications
DSML enables directories to support whole new classes of XML-based applications,
- e-commerce and e-business
- Distributed Web Applications
- Internet Native Network
- Customer Support Federated
- Supply Chain Management
Q:How does DSML relate
DSML is an XML-Schema for representing Directory Services content and structure.
An XML-Schema is a format for specifying rules covering the structure and content
of XML documents. DSML will be defined using a Document Content Description (DCD)
(see W3C-DCD spec at http://www.w3.org/TR/NOTE-dcd
XML (for eXtensible Markup Language) is widely considered to be the core language
of e-business. It is a syntax that standardizes how task-focused information is
shared across the Internet. XML provides for both context and interoperability
of data, thereby enabling dynamic activities. Also, since XML is self-describing,
specific XML-based applications can interact with each other without special programming
to integrate them.
Q: How are directory
services relevant to enterprise Web deployments?
Directories enable corporate computing resources - including information and users
- to be dynamically and securely matched over networks. By mixing that capability
with XML, highly intelligent extranets can enable customized applications to be
created "on the fly" with minimal programming.
Q: How does DSML
relate to Novell's DirXML?
DirXML is a technology
built on top of Novell's NDS eDirectory. It exposes NDS change events
(additions, modifications, deletions) through an XML interface. DirXML
also has a query interface which allows you to query and retrieve NDS
information in XML format.
DSML is an open,
industry standard specification that describes how directory data should
be represented in XML format. Novell has publicly stated that it will
be supporting DSML.
Q: What is the
difference between DSML and SOAP? The Simple Object Access Protocol
(SOAP) defines the use of XML and HTTP to access services, objects, and
servers in a platform-independent manner. It is designed as a programming
protocol. DSML is a data definition specification which can be transported