File mirrored from on March 18, 1995. Note that this disk area on the Bellcore FTP server has several items relevant to SGML (DTDs,etc).

Information Products Interchange (IPI)

IPI History

The Information Products Interchange Committee addresses one of the
largest, most widespread problems in the telecommunications industry -
the vast amount of paper documentation associated with equipment used
in the telecommunications network. With the ready availability of
terminals, computers and publishing and retrieval systems for creating,
viewing and managing documents in electronic form, delivery of the
documentation electronically is a logical step.

When the Telecommunications Industry Forum (TCIF) precursor of the formal
IPI Committee began meeting, it was quickly apparent that most companies
had dissimilar platforms, operating systems, work cultures and
processes. No company could afford to abandon its investment in tools,
and most felt their operation was appropriate for their circumstances.
This meant that the members of a different committee needed to address
recognized standards and develop guidelines that could support a
diverse industry and support the emerging information technologies
rather than to try to enfore standardization of tools.

Therefore, when the IPI Committee was recognized as a working committee
of TCIF in 1988, it developed a charter to reflect this reality.

IPI Charter

The IPI Charter is to establish guidelines to facilitate the electronic
interchange of information products in the telecommunications industry.
The committee examines, interprets, evaluates and recommends existing and
emerging electronic interchange standards and guidelines for voluntary
industry acceptance and use. The standards and guidelines recommended
by the IPI Committee are a means to ensure that text, graphics, voice
annotated and animated forms of information created by one organization
can be delivered to, stored, retrieved and used by others in the
telecommunications industry. The IPI's goal is to define common standards
that software and hardware tool vendors will support, but the committee
is NOT attempting to recommend a specific product, system, or tool set
for industry-wide compliance.

IPI Working Teams

The IPI Committee consists of three teams which do the needed work to
accomplish the charter.

  o Strategic Planning Team - Defines an appropriate vision and
    strategic direction for the committee.

  o Interchange Team - Develops methods for interchange of information
    products within the telecommunications industry by identifying,
    recommending and developing the implementation of standards.

  o Administration Team - Orients new members, supplies and maintains
    educational information and tracks progress of all IPI Teams.

IPI Accomplishments

The IPI Committee selected Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML)
as the standard for exchange of text. As steps toward implementing
SGML, the committee has developed an SGML Document Type Definition
(DTD), conducted document analysis for telecommunications procedural
documents and successfully completed trial exchanges of documents
in an SGML Format. The committee also works with Bellcore on the
development of Generic Requirements Documents on SGML.

The committee has recommended Consultative Committee for International
Telegraphy and Telephone (CCITT) Group IV for the exchange of raster
graphics and is evaluating standards for the exchange of vector graphics.

The committee continues to monitor international standards activity and
benchmark other industries effort on electronic interchange.