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Last modified: June 30, 2004
SGML and XML News April - June 2004

Quick News: Bookmark 'News Headlines' or subscribe to an XML RSS channel [RSS 0.91], also HTML-ized. See Clippings for news in the making.

Related News:   [XML Articles] -   [Press News] - [News 2004 Q1] -   [News 2003 Q4] -   [News 2003 Q3] -   [News 2003 Q2] -   [News 2003 Q1] -   [News 2002 Q4] -   [News 2002 Q3] -   [News 2002 Q2] -   [News 2002 Q1] -   Earlier News Collections

  • [June 30, 2004]   Oracle BPEL Process Manager Provides SOA and Integration Platform Support.    At the JavaOne 2004 Conference, Oracle announced the immediate availability of the Oracle BPEL Process Manager, provided free on the Oracle Technology Network for download and evaluation. The Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) is being developed within the OASIS Web Services Business Process Execution Language Technical Committee, chartered to continue work on the business process language published in the April 2002 Business Process Execution Language for Web Services (BPEL4WS) specification. Based upon Oracle's acquisition of Collaxa Inc. and the Collaxa BPEL Server, the Oracle BPEL Process Manager provides a "complete Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and integration platform, makeing it easier for organizations to coordinate Web services and automate business processes." The Oracle BPEL Process Manager "is a new addition to the Oracle product portfolio, enabling enterprises to model, deploy and manage BPEL processes. It comprises an easy-to-use BPEL modeler, a scalable BPEL engine, an extensible WSDL binding framework, a monitoring console and a set of built-in integration services (transformation, user task, java embedding). It offers native and comprehensive BPEL support, ease-of-use, and cross-platform support." The Oracle BPEL Process Manager, "hailed as the best BPEL implementation on the market, enables organizations to easily implement adaptive transactions and collaborative business processes based on composite applications. The solution includes an engine for executing business processes, a console to monitor, manage and debug business processes and a rich graphical interface to design and build business processes. With its native BPEL engine, Collaxa provided organizations such as the European Space Agency, SAIC and British American Tobacco the most open means for executing business processes written in BPEL. When coupled with Oracle Application Server 10g, this native BPEL engine completes Oracle's comprehensive SOA and integration platform." [Full context]

  • [June 28, 2004]   Sun Releases JDesktop Network Components (JDNC) as an Open Source Project.    Sun Microsystems has announced the release of the open source JDesktop Network Components (JDNC) Project on JDNC includes the lightweight JDNC Markup Language, and aims to "simplify the development of rich networked desktop applications by means of a set of high-level user interface components with built-in networking and data-binding support." The JDNC Markup Language is "a simple, extensible XML-based markup language that enables developers to configure JDNC based clients using XML and deploy them either as Java Web Start applications or as applets in a standard browser." JDNC "leverages the power of J2SE and Swing while providing a higher level API, as well as an optional XML markup language, which enables common user-interface functionality to be constructed more quickly, without requiring extensive Swing or GUI programming skill. Additionally, JDNC simplifies the task of connecting a rich client to a J2EE backend, including JDBC and WebServices." JDNC has a specific goal to make programming shortcuts accessible to a broader developer base, and especially to markup language developers. It will allow a wider audience to build "rich, data-centric, Java desktop clients for J2EE-based network services comparable to what enterprise developers typically build, such as SQL database frontends, forms-based workflow, and data visualization applications. Three standard client deployment options are supported for JDNC, since is completely Java-based: (1) as a standalone application; (2) an application deployed with Java WebStart; (3) Applet deployed in a browser using Java Plugin. "When using the JDNC markup language, the same JDNC XML markup file may be used in all three cases. JDNC provides the bootstrapping classes which interpret the XML file and realize its contents in the appropriate toplevel UI container." Offered under the Lesser General Public License (LGPL), JDesktop Network Components is one of several open source projects announced by Sun at the JavaOne 2004 Conference. Other technologies contributed to open source include Project Looking Glass, Java 3D Desktop Technology, and JDesktop Integration Components (JDIC). [Full context]

  • [June 25, 2004]   IETF Releases Anti-Spam Sender ID Internet Draft Specification.    The IETF has released a revised version of the Internet Draft MTA Authentication Records in DNS from the MARID Working Group, now called the 'Sender ID' specification. Jointly authored by Jim Lyon (Microsoft) and Meng Weng Wong (, the Sender ID draft represents a merger of the Sender Policy Framework (SPF) specification and Microsoft's Caller ID for E-mail proposal. The authors "hope to simplify industry adoption of effective e-mail authentication technology, thereby helping more swiftly provide greater spam protection to e-mail users worldwide." Meng Weng Wong has authored a separate informational I-D Behind The Curtain: An Apology for Sender ID. It explains that "Sender ID follows from a set of design decisions; those decisions were motivated by philosophical, engineering, and political considerations. The document reviews some of the important choice that distinguish Sender ID from alternative possibilities in the same space." Motivation for the Sender ID draft is presented in the abstract: "Internet mail suffers from the fact that much unwanted mail is sent using spoofed addresses — 'spoofed' in this case means the address is used without the permission of the domain owner." The Sender ID document describes mechanisms by which a domain owner can publish its set of outgoing MTAs [Mail Transfer Agents], mechanisms by which SMTP servers can determine what email address is allegedly responsible for most proximately introducing a message into the Internet mail system, and whether that introduction is authorized by the owner of the domain contained in that email address." One part of the proposal's decision model involves finding a purported responsible address and extracting the domain part of the purported responsible address, called a purported responsible domain. Then an E-mail Policy Document for the purported responsible domain would be located. The E-mail Policy Document is modeled by an XML infoset that contains, among other things, a definition of the four-argument client authorization function. The Sender ID draft "describes those parts of the XML infoset that define the mail acceptance function. The infoset may contain other information relating to e-mail; this other information may be the subject of future IETF consensus processes." Industry experts are by no means agreed that the Sender ID proposal constitutes a real solution to the spamming problem, or that the net effect will be judged positive by all parties. The authors of the specification assert that the design "is carefully tailored to ensure that the overwhelming majority of legitimate emailers, remailers and mailing list operators are already compliant." [Full context]

  • [June 24, 2004]   Application Vulnerability Description Language (AVDL) Becomes an OASIS Standard.    OASIS has announced the approval of Application Vulnerability Description Language Version 1.0 as an OASIS Standard. AVDL is a security interoperability standard for creating a uniform method of describing application security vulnerabilities using XML. The version 1.0 specification "describes a standard XML format that allows entities such as applications, organizations, or institutes to communicate security information regarding web. AVDL provides an open XML-based vulnerability assessment output that will be used to improve the effectiveness of attack prevention, event correlation, and remediation technologies." Based upon the AVDL information exchange model, application administrators use an assessment tool to determine if their networked applications are "vulnerable to various types of malicious attacks. An assessment tool records and catalogues detected vulnerabilities in an XML file in AVDL format. An application security gateway then uses the AVDL information to recommend the optimal attack prevention policy for the protected application. In addition, a remediation product uses the same AVDL file to suggest the best course of action for correcting the security issues. Finally a reporting tool uses the AVDL file to correlate event logs with areas of known vulnerability." According to Jan Bialkowski of NetContinuum, Co-chair of the OASIS AVDL Technical Committee, "organizations are drowning in the flood of security bulletins and alerts while application vulnerability exploits are wreaking havoc on networks around the globe; AVDL offers an automated way to break this cycle by dramatically reducing the time between the discovery of a new vulnerability and the response time to block attacks at the security gateway." The AVDL TC Chairs indicate that some features of the AVDL specification design were inspired by Mitre's Open Vulnerability Assessment Language (OVAL), which uses the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) database. Related technical work is being done within the OASIS Web Application Security TC based upon Application Security Attack Components (ASAC) and VulnXML, developed by the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP). [Full context]

  • [June 23, 2004]   IPTC Collaborates with Adobe to Integrate XMP into Image Metadata Specifications.    Adobe Systems and the International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) have announced a collaborative effort to extend the capabilities of IPTC metadata through use of Adobe's Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP). The Adobe XMP specification "standardizes the definition, creation, and processing of metadata by providing a data model, storage model (serialization of the metadata as a stream of XML), and formal schema definitions (predefined sets of metadata property definitions that are relevant for a wide range of applications). XMP makes use of the W3C XML-based Resource Description Framework (RDF) standard in order to represent the metadata properties associated with a document. The International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) Consortium includes the world's major news agencies and news industry vendors. IPTC develops and maintains technical standards for improved news exchange, including XML-based standards for news content and metadata: NewsML, SportsML, ProgramGuideML, and EventsML. The IPTC also develops and maintains controlled vocabularies of terms of significance to publishers, "the most significant of which are part of the Subject Reference System (SRS). This metadata system includes a taxonomy of subject codes, listings of roles and genres of news components, and ratings for relevance, priority, urgency, and other characteristics. These sets of terms can be assigned as metadata to news objects such as text, photographs, graphics, audio- and video files, and streams." According to the joint announcement, incorporating Adobe XMP into IPTC metadata specifications "will expand the scope of information captured to describe the content of images and extend the reach of IPTC metadata beyond its traditional constituencies. For example, photographs can be tagged with richer detail including usage rights, limitations and assignment information, creating a direct link between editorial systems and photographer's work." Current IPTC users also welcome the incorporation of XMP's rights management schema which defines properties relating to legal ownership and usage terms applicable to digital news items. XMP's capabilities extend the current IPTC structure to support "advanced metadata capabilities, including rights management, for the current customer base, which includes the largest circulation newspapers in the United States." Adobe and IPTC have also announced their intent to "develop future implementations that will be accessible via the Adobe Creative Suite, and related point products including Photoshop CS, through a customizable metadata user interface. This is intended to streamline the data capture process and allow relevant IPTC metadata to be preserved as the file is utilized across news and derivative workflows. As part of its collaboration, Adobe and IPTC plan to establish a working group that will identify a strategy for users to transition to IPTC implementations that take advantage of XMP extensibility." [Full context]

  • [June 21, 2004]   Workflow Management Coalition Hosts ASAP and Wf-XML 2.0 Interoperability Demo.    The Workflow Management Coalition (WfMC) has announced a multi-vendor interoperability demonstration for Wf-XML 2.0 and the OASIS Asynchronous Service Access Protocol (ASAP). The interop demo will be held June 23, 2004 at the BrainStorm Business Process Management Conference in San Francisco. ASAP is currently a Working Draft specification being developed by an OASIS Technical Committee. This TC was chartered to create a very simple extension of Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) that enables generic asynchronous webservices or long-running webservices. ASAP is a "web services protocol that can be used to access a generic service that might take a long time to complete. Existing web services protocols protocols work best when the service can provide an answer quickly, within a minute or two at the longest. ASAP is useful when the answer might take longer than this — for example services that last from minutes to months in duration. The service being invoked might be fully automated, a manual task that a person performs, or any mixture of the two. This capability to handle both automated and manual activities is what makes ASAP particularly suited for B2B and intra-organizational service request scenarios." Wf-XML Version 2.0 was produced by the Workflow Management Coalition (WfMC), and extends the ASAP model to include BPM and workflow interchange capabilities. Wf-XML "introduces the concept that factories themselves may be added and removed. The concept of a container resource is defined, and operations are defined to list factories and to create new ones. A business process engine "is a special type of asynchronous service: it has the ability to be started, to involve people in that process, and to complete some time later. One BPM engine can be easily linked to another BPM engine using Wf-XML. Wf-XML extends ASAP by including the ability to retrieve the process definition, and to monitor the current state of a running process instance. Wf-XML 2.0 both simplifies and strengthens the implementation of asynchronous services to support business process interoperability." The Interoperability Demonstration will involve products that have implemented the Wf-XML 2.0 web commerce protocol, and will include scenarios with Customer, Retailer and Manufacturer. "All clients and servers will be internet; demonstration client each have a simple UI to invoke the asynchronous services from a web form. Each implementation exposes a factory that can be called with a specified context structure, and should return a specific result structure within a few seconds." [Full context]

  • [June 18, 2004]   W3C Public Working Draft on Content Selection for Device Independence (DISelect).    The W3C Device Independence Working Group (DIWG) has released a First Public Working Draft for Content Selection for Device Independence (DISelect) 1.0 as part of the W3C Device Independence Activity. The draft specification "represents one part of the approach being developed within DIWG for the provision of a markup language that supports creation of web sites that can be used from a wide variety of devices with a wide variety of characteristics. The overall approach being taken by DIWG is based on the development of a device independent profile for XHTML. The profile will be based on XHTML Version 2, XForms, and current and forthcoming versions of CSS. DIWG is developing additional modules that can be added to this combination of specifications to complete the profile. This specification describes the module that provides selection between versions of materials." According to the WD abstract, the new document "specifies a syntax and processing model general purpose selection. Selection involves conditional processing of various parts of an XML information set according to the results of the evaluation of expressions. Using this mechanism some parts of the information set can be selected for further processing and others can be suppressed. The specification of the parts of the infoset affected and the expressions that govern processing is by means of XML-friendly syntax. This includes elements, attributes and XPath expressions. The document specifies how these components work together to provide general purpose selection." The DISelect specification "provides a simple mechanism for the selection of the content that is to be expressed when adaptation takes place. Its processing model will follow the XInclude approach of positioning the document that contains DISelect items as the input to a step in which it is replaced by host markup based on processing of DISelect." Attributes and elements are defined for conditional processing. DISelect variables to help reduce the complexity of expressions and markup. DISelect uses a subset of XPath 1.0 to express the calculations and conditions involved when determining whether or not a particular piece of content is to be included for processing. This subset is sufficient to construct conditional expressions and expressions that return values. It also includes the ability to invoke XPath functions." [Full context]

  • [June 17, 2004]   European Commission's IDA TAC Publishes Recommendations on Open Document Formats.    The TAC (Telematics Between Administrations Committee) of the EC's IDA Community Programme has announced approval of an expert group's conclusions and recommendations on open document formats, with special focus upon XML formats in OpenOffice.Org and WordML. IDA (Interchange of Data between Administrations) is "a Community Programme managed by the European Commission's Enterprise Directorate General. IDA supports the implementation of EU legislation, from internal market regulations to consumer and health policies, by facilitating the exchange of information between public administrations across Europe through the use of information technology." "The TAC, which guides the Community programme for the Interchange of Data between Administrations (IDA), gave its support to recommendations that were prepared by a group of experts from EU Member States, based on an IDA report on the current market situation for document formats. While suggesting that the public sector should make use of XML-based document formats, the recommendations place particular importance on standardisation to ensure market access to industry actors. The TAC endorsed the IDA Expert Group's recommendations at a May 25, 2004 meeting, recognizing "the special responsibility of the European public sector to ensure the accessibility of its information, with a view to rationalising and improving the interactions with citizens and enterprises, and taking into account the importance of the public sector as buyer of IT services and products." The Expert Group stated that standardization initiatives "will ensure not only a fair and competitive market but will also help safeguard the interoperability of implementing solutions whilst preserving competition and innovation. Therefore, the submission of the OpenOffice.Org format to the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) in order to adopt it as the OASIS Open Office Standard should be welcomed." Further, "Industry is encouraged to provide filters that allow documents based on the WordML specifications and the emerging OASIS Open Document Format to be read and written to other applications whilst maintaining a maximum degree of faithfulness to content, structure and presentation; these filters should be made available for all products." [Full context]

  • [June 16, 2004]   IETF Forms New Atom Publishing Format and Protocol (atompub) Working Group.    The Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) has announced the formation of an Atom Working Group in the IETF Applications Area. Atom is being created as an enhancement to functionality provided in the popular RSS syndication format, currently documented in several semi-official XML specifications. Atom "defines a feed format for representing and a protocol for editing Web resources such as Weblogs, online journals, Wikis, and similar content. The feed format enables syndication; that is, provision of a channel of information by representing multiple resources in a single document. The editing protocol enables agents to interact with resources by nominating a way of using existing Web standards in a pattern. Chaired by Paul Hoffman and Tim Bray under the supervision of Applications Area Advisor Scott Hollenbeck, the IETF Atom Publishing Format and Protocol (atompub) Working Group will "use experience gained with RSS (variably used as a name by itself and as an acronym for 'RDF Site Summary', 'Rich Site Summary', or 'Really Simple Syndication') as the basis for a standards-track document specifying the model, syntax, and feed format. The feed format and HTTP will be used as the basis of work on a standards-track document specifying the editing protocol. The goal for the working group is to produce a single feed format and a single editing protocol; the working group will only consider additional formats or additional protocols if those charter changes are approved by the IESG." According to the new WG Charter, the working group "will also take steps to ensure interoperability, by unambiguously identifying required elements in formats, clearly nominating conformance levels for different types of software, and providing clear extensibility mechanisms and constraints upon them." Atom currently consists of "a conceptual model of a resource, a concrete syntax for this model, a syndication and archiving format (the Atom feed format) using this syntax, and an editing protocol using this syntax. The Atom protocol will be designed to provide security services for updating and accessing dynamic online resources. The working group will consider current known issues with requirements for remote access, along with the fact that many such resources are constrained by providers who provide the resource owners with little configuration control." The proposed WG schedule calls for release of initial Internet Drafts of the Atom feed format and Atom editing protocol in June 2004. These Internet Draft would be submitted approval as Last Call drafts in March 2005, and would be submitted to the IESG for consideration as Proposed Standards in April 2005. [Full context]

  • [June 15, 2004]   Last Call Review for IETF Indication of Message Composition for Instant Messaging.    The Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) has announced a Last Call review of the Internet Draft Indication of Message Composition for Instant Messaging, prepared by the IETF's SIP for Instant Messaging and Presence Leveraging Extensions (SIMPLE) Working Group. The Internet Draft describes an XML-based status message that can be used to indicate the current composing status to participants in an IM conversation. "In instant messaging (IM) systems, it is useful to know during an IM conversation that the other party is composing a message, e.g., typing or recording an audio message. The document defines a new status message content type and XML namespace that conveys information about a message being composed. Status messages are carried as XML, as instances of the XML Schema defined in the draft and labeled as an application/im-iscomposing+xml content type." The draft distinguishes two types of messages used in an IM conversation: one is the "content message" which "conveys actual content between two or more users engaged in an instant messaging conversation; the other is the "status message" which "indicates the current composing status to the other participants in a conversation. The status message can indicate the composition of a message of any type, including text, voice or video. The status messages are delivered to the instant messaging recipient in the same manner as the instant messages themselves. The Internet Draft Indication of Message Composition for Instant Messaging is legally encumbered, according to an IETF Patent Disclosure and Licensing Declaration from Microsoft on the version -00 'is-composing ' draft of March 2004. Microsoft declined to make a royalty-free declaration provided in the IPR Template ("Royalty-Free, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory License to All Implementers"), electing instead a RAND declaration for two issued patents and potentially for related unpublished pending patent application(s). The IESG solicits public comment on this Internet Draft by 2004-06-28. [Full context]

  • [June 09, 2004]   W3C Web Services Working Groups Release New Drafts on Handling of Binary Data.    Six new or updated specifications related to binary content have been released by members of the W3C XML Protocol Working Group and Web Services Description Working Group. Both Working Groups are part of the W3C Web Services Activity. XML-binary Optimized Packaging and SOAP Message Transmission Optimization Mechanism are now Last Call Working Drafts which enhance SOAP Version 1.2 performance. Feedback on these WDs may be sent to the XML Protocol Working Group through 2004-06-29. The XML-binary Optimized Packaging (XOP) convention provides a means of more efficiently serializing XML Infosets that have certain types of content. A concrete implementation of the XOP format designed for carrying SOAP messages is defined in the SOAP Message Transmission Optimization Mechanism Working Draft; it describes both an abstract feature and a concrete implementation of XOP for optimizing the transmission and/or wire format of SOAP messages. A new W3C Note written by Michael Mahan (Nokia) answers questions about design decisions in the choice of the include mechanism selected by the XML Protocol Working Group during construction of XML-binary Optimized Packaging (XOP). XOP Inclusion Mechanism: Frequently Asked Questions explains the use of xop:Include as a "a minimal include element that defines one mandatory href attribute information item for the URI link to the related MIME part in a XOP package." The SOAP 1.2 Attachment Feature Note "defines a SOAP feature that represents an abstract model for SOAP attachments. It provides the basis for the creation of SOAP bindings that transmit such attachments along with a SOAP envelope, and provides for reference of those attachments from the envelope. SOAP attachments are described using the notion of a compound document structure consisting of a primary SOAP message part and zero or more related documents parts known as attachments." An updated SOAP Optimized Serialization Use Cases and Requirements Working Draft document "serves to motivate and constrain the scope of the XML Protocol WG's work on a SOAP Message Transmission Optimization Mechanism. A new Assigning Media Types to Binary Data in XML Working Draft "addresses the need to indicate the media type associated with binary element content in an XML document and the need to specify, in XML Schema, the expected media types associated with binary element content. It is expected that the additional information about the media type will be used for optimizing the handling of binary data that is part of a Web services message." [Full context]

  • [June 08, 2004]   Tags for Identifying Languages: IESG Issues Last Call Review for IETF BCP.    The Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) has announced a last call review for the Internet Draft Tags for Identifying Languages, edited by Addison Phillips (webMethods) and Mark Davis (IBM). The IESG intends to make a decision within the next few weeks on the request to approve this document as an IETF Best Current Practice (BCP) RFC. Commonly referenced as "RFC 3066bis," this working draft of Tags for Identifying Languages is intended to replace Tags for the Identification of Languages (IETF RFC 3066, BCP 47, January 2001). RFC 3066bis describes the "structure, content, construction, and semantics of language tags for use in cases where it is desirable to indicate the language used in an information object. It also describes how to register values for use in language tags and a construct for matching such language tags, including user defined extensions for private interchange." RFC 3066bis will represent a significant improvement in language identification facility if it is approved as a an IETF BCP that supersedes RFC 3066. Both XML 1.0 and XML 1.1 normatively reference RFC 3066 for purposes of language identification: "In document processing, it is often useful to identify the natural or formal language in which the content is written. A special attribute named xml:lang may be inserted in documents to specify the language used in the contents and attribute values of any element in an XML document. In valid documents, this attribute, like any other, must be declared if it is used. The values of the attribute are language identifiers as defined by IETF RFC 3066, Tags for the Identification of Languages, or its successor..." The main goals in the revision RFC 3066 are: (1) to maintain backward compatibility, so that all previous codes would remain valid; (2) to reduce the need for large numbers of registrations; (3) to provide a more formal structure to allow parsing into subtags even where software does not have the latest registrations; (4) to provide stability in the face of potential instability in ISO 639, 3166, and 15924 codes — demonstrated instability in the case of ISO 3166; and (5) to allow for external extension mechanisms." The revision of IETF RFC 3066 represents one of several standards efforts currently underway to enhance intelligent computer processing of machine-readable natural language through the use of language description in markup contexts. The IESG solicits final comments on the proposal to approve "RFC 3066bis" as an IETF BCP. Feedback should be sent to the relevant IETF mailing lists by 2004-07-05. [Full context]

  • [June 07, 2004]   W3C First Public Working Draft for RDF Data Access Use Cases and Requirements.    The W3C RDF Data Access Working Group has released an initial Working Draft specification for RDF Data Access Use Cases and Requirements which "outlines use cases for RDF query languages and access protocols and their requirements, examining their design objectives." The Working Draft has been produced as part of the W3C Semantic Web Activity. The RDF Data Access Working Group was chartered to "gather requirements and to define an HTTP and/or SOAP-based protocol for selecting instances of subgraphs from an RDF graph," paying special attention to the RDF Net API submission. The WG's work involves specification of a "language for the query and the use of RDF in some serialization for the returned results. The query langauge may have aspects of a path language similar to XPath (used for XML in XSLT and XQuery) and various RDF experimental path syntaxes." The Use Cases and Requirements draft clarifies some of the objectives in the W3C design of an RDF query language and data access protocol. "Each use case describes a user-oriented context in which the RDF query language or protocol or both are used to solve a real problem. The use cases characterize some of the most important and most common motivations behind the development of existing RDF query languages and access protocols. The use cases, in turn, inform decisions about requirements, that is, the critical features that a standard RDF query language and data access protocol require, as well as design objectives that are not on the critical path." "The RDF data model is a directed, labeled graph with edges labeled with URIs and nodes that are either unidentified, literals, or URIs. The W3C's Semantic Web Activity is based on RDF's flexibility as a means of representing data. While there are several standards covering RDF itself, there has not yet been any work done to create standards for querying or accessing RDF data. There is no formal, publicly standardized language for querying RDF information. Likewise, there is no formal, publicly standardized data access protocol for interacting with remote or local RDF storage servers." The requirements sketched in the initial Working Draft are in development: the RDF Data Access Working Group has adopted some but not all of these requirements; several are still under discussion. The team invites feedback especially with respect to which use cases and requirements should be elaborated, clarified, removed, or added. [Full context]

  • [June 03, 2004]   Proposed Technical Specification for Web Services Addressing and Referencing Framework.    A bold move to catalyze standards convergence and create a public Web Services Addressing specification has been published on W3C's open Web services mailing list. Representatives from eleven major companies have proposed the creation of a new technical activity to "bring about industry convergence in the area of Web Service Referencing and Addressing." An open letter from Jeff Mischkinsky (Oracle) to the W3C AC Forum contains the proposal from W3C Advisory Committee members representing Arjuna, CycloneCommerce, Enigmatec, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Iona, NEC, Nokia, Oracle, SeeBeyond, and Sun. Two principal specifications in the web services addressing and referencing area would be used as input to the new technical activity; the working group would "use these inputs without prejudice or restriction and, evaluate them on their technical merit,in its deliberations to create deliverables which satisfy the Charter requirements," together with other contributions which conform to the goals and scope of the proposed Charter. One is the the Web Services Addressing (WS-Addressing) specification, provided that it is submitted for such use. WS-Addressing is a proprietary specification in three published versions, owned by BEA, IBM, and Microsoft. The second key specification is WS-MessageDelivery Version 1.0, which "defines an abstract set of message delivery properties enabling message delivery for Web services that utilize Message Exchange Patterns associated with WSDL documents." WS-MessageDelivery is already a W3C Member Submission, contributed by a subset of W3C members companies that drafted the new proposal. Key deliverables from the proposed working group would include a WS-Addressing and Referencing Framework Recommendation and a corresponding primer which introduces the new specification, including use cases and scenarios. As justification for the new activity, the proposers reference the substantial informal discussion about how to bring about industry convergence in the area of web services addressing and are seeking to create a technical activity that "would have the participation of the entire web service community: we believe that the requirements are clear and that substantial contributions exist. With industry recognition of these elements, and contribution of their use, it is apparent that reasonable convergence should be feasible now." According to the a proposed Scope statement, "The ability to identify participants in a Web service message exchange is fundamental to the dynamic and ever changing world of on-line business. WSDL provides mechanisms to define and describe the server side of an interaction (i.e. where to send a one way or a request messages to), but there are no standardized mechanisms to identify other delivery destinations that may exist in a message exchange pattern, such as a reply-to destination." The purpose of the proposed working group would be to "define extensible and reusable mechanisms to reference Web Services, to allow such Web service references to be passed in messages, and to support WSDL Messsage Exchange Patterns. The specification would support the MEPs in WSDL 1.1, the MEPs anticipated in WSDL 2.0 if it is sufficiently progressed, and may define support for other useful MEPS such as basic callback." As proposed, the new working group would "collaborate with W3C efforts within the Web Service Activity including WSD, XMLP, WS-Chor as appropriate. [It would] collaborate with relevant OASIS TCs such as WS-RF, WS-N, WS-CAF, WS-BPEL, ASAP as appropriate." The authors of the proposal welcome debate and comments, either publicly or privately. [Full context]

  • [June 02, 2004]   Email Spoofing Targeted in IETF Draft on MTA Authentication Records in DNS.    An updated IETF Internet Draft has been published for MTA Authentication Records in DNS, representing one of several current proposals aimed at design of mechanisms to reduce spoofing of email headers and delivery of (virus-bearing) spam. The MTA Authentication Records in DNS draft borrows heavily from earlier proposals that involve use of a DNS record to check the legitimacy of an email address; it also incorporates ideas proposed by many members of the IETF MARID (MTA Authorization Records in DNS) Working Group. Other IETF draft proposals include: Sender Policy Framework (SPF): A Convention to Describe Hosts Authorized to Send SMTP Traffic; Caller ID for E-mail; The RMX DNS RR and Method for Lightweight SMTP Sender Authorization. The MTA Authentication Records in DNS Internet Draft describes mechanisms by which a domain owner can publish its set of outgoing Mail Transfer Agents (MTAs), and mechanisms by which SMTP servers can determine what email address is allegedly responsible for most proximately introducing a message into the Internet mail system, and whether that introduction is authorized by the owner of the domain contained in that email address. The specification is carefully tailored to ensure that the overwhelming majority of legitimate emailers, remailers and mailing list operators are already compliant." As with other current proposals, this IETF Internet Draft uses XML in its solution. Given an email message and an IP address from which it has been (or will be) received, the decision model tests whether the SMTP client at the host address authorized to send that email message. Part of the authentication process involves finding the E-mail Policy Document for the purported responsible address; this E-Mail Policy Document contains a description of a client authorization function with four arguments (the local-part of an email address; a domain name called the "original domain"; a domain name called the "current domain"; an IP address, either IPv4 or IPv6. An E-mail Policy Document "is modeled by an XML infoset that contains, among other things, a definition of the client authorization function; this function can be used to determine whether a domain owner is willing to take responsibility for e-mail that is sent by a particular SMTP client." The draft specification describes those parts of the XML infoset that define the mail acceptance function, provides a description of the macro expansion performed on the character data in some of the elements, and presents the algorithm by which the XML infoset may be obtained. Appendix B provides an XML Schema for 'urn:ietf:params:xml:schema:marid-1'. This IETF proposal recognizes that "a huge majority of the unwanted email contains headers that lie about the origin of the mail; this is true of most spam and substantially all of the virus email that is sent. The document describes a mechanism such that receiving MTAs, MDAs and/or MUAs can recognize mail in this category and take appropriate action." [Full context]

  • [May 31, 2004]   Open Mobile Alliance Releases Working Drafts for OMA DRM Version 2.0.    The OMA Browser and Content (BAC) Download and DRM Sub-Working Group has released several draft specifications as part of the OMA DRM 2.0 Enabler Release, announced in February 2004. The Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) Digital Rights Management technology "enables the distribution and consumption of digital content in a controlled manner, where content is distributed and consumed on authenticated devices per the usage rights expressed by the content owners. OMA DRM work addresses the various technical aspects of this system by providing appropriate specifications for content formats, protocols, and rights expression languages." OMA DRM 2.0 builds upon core DRM functionality specified in the OMA DRM 1.0 Enabler Release, now supported on more that fifty (50) mobile handsets. The new OMA DRM enabler release "takes advantage of expanded device capabilities and offers improved support for audio/video rendering, streaming content, and access to protected content using multiple devices, thus enabling new business models. It enables the protection of premium content such as music tracks, video clips, and games, with enhanced security and improved support to preview and share content." Support for OMA DRM 2.0 has been announced by numerous mobile device vendors and content suppliers. The OMA DRM 2.0 Enabler Release Specification Baseline introduces the five principal documents: DRM Rights Expression Language V2.0 defines the XML/ODRL-based rights expression language used to describe the permissions and constraints governing the usage of DRM protected media objects. The DRM Specification V2.0 defines the the format and semantics of the cryptographic protocol, messages, processing instructions and certificate profiles, including the Rights Object Acquisition Protocol (ROAP) messages, the domains functionality, transport mappings for ROAP, binding rights to user identities, exporting to other DRMs, the certificate profiles, and application to other services"; these features are outlined in the OMA DRM Requirements. A DRM Architecture document defines the overall architecture for DRM 2.0 including informative descriptions of the technologies and their uses. DRM Content Format V2.0 defines the content format for DRM protected (encrypted) media objects. XML schemas are provided for Rights Object Acquisition Protocol (ROAP) protocol data units, Rights Object Acquisition Protocol trigger media type, and the OMA DRM Rights Expression Language. The OMA DRM Rights Expression Language (REL) V2.0 is defined as a mobile profile of the Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL). ODRL is an XML-based rights expression language free of licensing restrictions, providing a lightweight formal mechanism for specifying rights independently of the content type and transport mechanism. [Full context]

  • [May 28, 2004]   Java Web Services Developer Pack V1.4 Supports WSS and WS-I Specifications.    Sun Microsystems has announced Java Web Services Developer Pack (Java WSDP) version 1.4 along with Sun Java System Application Server 7 Enterprise Edition. The Java WSDP is a "free integrated toolkit that allows Java developers to build and test XML applications, Web services, and Web applications with the latest Web service technologies and standards implementations. With 1.2 million downloads to date, the Java WSDP from Sun is one of the most popular toolkits for accelerating development of secure and interoperable Web services applications." According to the Sun announcement, Java WSDP 1.4 has been enhanced to support the latest Web services security standards and Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I) Basic Profile 1.1 with Attachments Profile 1.0. It also provides support for a full implementation of the OASIS Web Services Security (WSS) specification, providing message level security for SOAP. This technology helps allow developers to build reliable Web services, including XML digital signature (JSR 105), XML message encryption and authentication for Web services applications. The Java WSDP 1.4 will support a broader set of Web containers, allowing choice and flexibility for developers. In addition to Apache Tomcat, developers will be able to deploy to the Sun Java System Application Server and the Sun Java System Web Server." The toolkit is scheduled for general availability in June 2004, downloadable from the Sun Developer Network web site. Sun also announced the immediate availability the new Sun Java System Application Server 7 which features greater enterprise Java technology-based Web services performance, with scalability reaching over 100 linear CPUs and new technology that supports five-nines (99.999%) availability. Java System Application Server 7 EE provides a high performance, scalable and robust enterprise Java platform for delivering enterprise-class application services and Web services. The Application Server offers an economically compelling platform for deploying mission-critical applications that require extremely high availability and massive scalability. New features of the Java System Application Server 7 EE include a reference architecture that provides best practice recommendations for high availability; support for multiple platforms, including the Solaris Operating System, Linux, Red Hat, HP-UX 11i and Windows, and full enterprise Java platform application failover with added Enterprise JavaBeans (EJBs) specification support and Remote Method Invocation over Internet Inter-Orb Protocol (RMI/IIOP) failover." [Full context]

  • [May 26, 2004]   Industry Shows Heightened Interest in Federated Identity-Based Web Services.    Recent announcements about the adoption of identity federation standards and demonstrated interoperability of enterprise-level products reveal a growing interest in deploying secure, identity-based Web Services across company boundaries. The Liberty Alliance consortium has released a new overview document describing the general applicability of its Identity Web Services Framework (ID-WSF) to Web services. Finalized in November 2003, Liberty's ID-WSF suite of specifications supports the development of Web services which "typically require a number of standard functions, including authentication, security, service discovery, and the communication of service policy. Liberty ID-WSF provides such functionality, allowing the development of secure, privacy-protected Web services. AOL, Nokia and Vodafone are among approximately thirty (30) member companies that have announced products and services or plans for products and services based on Liberty specifications. Federated, identity-based Web services allow companies to connect their applications with their partners' or customers' applications by granting trusted entities access to services and information protected by firewalls." Microsoft announced that six companies participating in a WS-Federation interoperability workshop completed testing of their products; the solution was demonstrated in the Microsoft Interoperability Pavilion Microsoft at the TechED conference. Several participating companies have issued announcements describing the implementation of federated identity specifications in their products, including support for Web Services Federation (WS-Federation), OASIS Web Services Security (WSS) 1.0, SAML, and Liberty Alliance. WS-Federation (from BEA, IBM, Microsoft, RSA Security, and Verisign, July 2003) "defines mechanisms that are used to enable identity, account, attribute, authentication, and authorization federation across different trust realms. The mechanisms can be used by passive and active requestors; the Web service requestors are assumed to understand the new security mechanisms and be capable of interacting with Web service providers." RSA Security's announcement reports that Dan Blum of Burton Group counts "approximately 200 organizations currently implementing browser-based federated identity solutions, primarily utilizing the SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) specification." Ping Identity Corporation has founded an open source community project ( for federated identity management based upon the SAML, Liberty Alliance, and WS-Federation specifications. Its goal is to promote education about a federated identity infrastructure that "enables cross-boundary single sign-on, dynamic user provisioning and identity attribute sharing; by providing for identity portability, identity federation affords end-users with increased simplicity and control over the movement of personal identity information while simultaneously enabling companies to extend their security perimeter to trusted partners." [Full context]

  • [May 24, 2004]   Updated WS-Trust and WS-SecureConversation Specifications Accompany Microsoft WSE 2.0.    On May 24, 2004 Microsoft announced the final release of Web Services Enhancements 2.0 and revised specifications for Web Services Trust Language (WS-Trust) and Web Services Secure Conversation Language (WS-SecureConversation). According to Microsoft's summary Fact Sheet, WSE 2.0 is a "supported add-on to Microsoft Visual Studio .NET and the Microsoft .NET Framework that enables developers to build security-enhanced Web services based on the latest Web services protocol specifications and standards. Today more than 250,000 developers use WSE to create security-enhanced connected systems that help improve business processes within and beyond corporate trust boundaries and create new revenue-generating opportunities." These "latest Web services specifications and standards" include WS-Security 2004, WS-Policy, WS-SecurityPolicy, WS-Trust, WS-SecureConversation, and WS-Addressing; WS-Security 2004 became an OASIS Standard in April 2004, while the other five protocol specifications are proprietary. The revised Version 1.1 drafts of WS-Trust and WS-SecureConversation update the previous Version 1.0 specifications published by IBM, Microsoft, RSA, and VeriSign on December 18, 2002. These two documents are featured prominently in Microsoft's WSE 2.0 announcements. "What's New" says that WSE's support of the WS-Trust and WS-SecureConversation specifications "provides the capability to programmatically request a security token using a SOAP message, and that token can be used for a series of SOAP messages between a SOAP message sender and a target Web service. WSE allows you to build a security token service or configure one that issues security context tokens. When configured to issue security context tokens, a SOAP message sender can use the token to sign and/or encrypt a series of SOAP messages, known as a conversation, between a SOAP message sender and the target Web service." According to Martin Gudgin's new article "Using WS-Trust and WS-SecureConversation," the Web Services Enhancements (WSE) Toolkit Version 2.0 "provides implementations of both specifications to enable Web Service producers and consumers to secure their applications"; it implements the latest version of WS-Trust, providing a SecurityTokenService class as the base class for processing issuance, renewal, and validation requests for security tokens; it also implements the latest version of the WS-SecureConversation specification, providing a SecurityContextTokenService class for issuing Security Context Tokens. WSE 2.0 is said to work "in concert with another new addition to Microsoft's Web services offering, Microsoft Office Information Bridge Framework 1.0. Information Bridge Framework is an integrated set of tools that uses eXtensible Markup Language (XML) and Web services to enable information workers to view and act on enterprise business data from within familiar Microsoft Office System programs." [Full context]

  • [May 21, 2004]   SWRL: A Semantic Web Rule Language Combining OWL and RuleML.    W3C has acknowledged receipt of a Member Submission from the National Research Council of Canada, Network Inference, and Stanford University for SWRL: A Semantic Web Rule Language Combining OWL and RuleML. The submission has been made in association with the Joint US/EU ad hoc Agent Markup Language Committee. The SWRL submission package contains three components in addition to the principal prose document: (1) an RDF Schema partially describing the RDF Concrete Syntax of SWRL; (2) an OWL ontology partially describing the RDF Concrete Syntax of SWRL; (3) an XML Schema for the SWRL XML Concrete Syntax. The document "contains a proposal for a Semantic Web Rule Language (SWRL) based on a combination of the OWL DL and OWL Lite sublanguages of the OWL Web Ontology Language with the Unary/Binary Datalog RuleML sublanguages of the Rule Markup Language. SWRL includes a high-level abstract syntax for Horn-like rules in both the OWL DL and OWL Lite sublanguages of OWL. A model-theoretic semantics is given to provide the formal meaning for OWL ontologies including rules written in this abstract syntax. An XML syntax based on RuleML and the OWL XML Presentation Syntax as well as an RDF concrete syntax based on the OWL RDF/XML exchange syntax are also given, along with several examples." Statements concerning copyrights, trademarks, service marks, and patents related to the submission have been made by W3C members and non-members, including the National Research Council of Canada, Network Inference, Stanford University, Lucent Technologies, Macgregor, Inc., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and BBN Technologies; each of these organizations has granted to the W3C "a perpetual, nonexclusive, royalty-free, world-wide right and license under any of its copyrights in this contribution to copy, publish and distribute the contribution under the W3C document licenses." [Full context]

  • [May 20, 2004]   IETF Releases QA Checklist Document for Specification Production Using XML.    Technical specifications produced by committees with multiple phases of editorial review and feedback are susceptible to myriad QA risks, clerical and otherwise. The Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) has announced the publication of a technical memo which "defines a list of often called 'ID-NITS' that need to be checked before an Internet-Draft will be accepted for IESG consideration. The intent is that Working Group chairs check an I-D for any nits before submitting a request-for-publication. All Internet Drafts which are offered for publication as RFCs must conform to the stated requirements or they will be returned to the author(s)/editor(s) for revision." Several items in the checklist related to ABNF and XML syntax used in formal definitions and examples. Additionally, as a suggestion for productivity improvement, the Checklist document strongly recommends following RFC 2629 (Writing I-Ds and RFCs using XML) in the creation of XML source files for generating an Internet Draft. There is an online xml2rfc tool to generate the nroff and Internet Draft files; this tool automatically takes care of most of the formatting, administrative and bureaucratic rules." According to the new Checklist document, all ABNF grammars must be checked, and an online tool is available for validating IETF ABNFs. "Protocol specifications that use XML should always use well-formed XML at a minimum. Sample XML instances included in a specification have to be well-formed, and if the XML is supposed to be valid (according to the current W3C definition of validity), the samples must reference and be validated using an appropriate XML Schema, DTD, or other standard validation mechanism that is structurally and syntactically correct. XML provides structures, such as the <any> element information item in XML Schema, to allow element extensions. If these structures are included in a protocol, the protocol specification must include clear guidance on how, when, and where the extension structures, such as versioning, can be used. All XML Schemas, Namespaces, and Resource Description Framework (RDF) Schemas should be registered with the IANA using the procedures described in Best Current Practice 81, The IETF XML Registry." [Full context]

  • [May 19, 2004]   XML Silicon: The Tarari Random Access XML (RAX) Content Processor.    Tarari Inc. recently announced the availability of its RAX Content Processor which can "easily process millions of XPaths per second." The Random Access XML Content Processor solution was demonstrated at the NetWorld+Interop Las Vegas 2004 event, and represents the latest technology achievement in hardware-accelerated XML processing. Tarari's purpose-built silicon for XML processing is enabled by a core technology called a Simultaneous XPath engine which "produces results directly from the input XML document, whereas DOM or SAX-based systems need to create an in-memory representation of the document." According to a white paper authored by Michael Leventhal, Simultaneous XPath "is vastly faster than any software-based XPath engines (e.g., Saxon, Xalan, libxml) because its performance is insensitive to the number of XPaths in an evaluation group and the complexity of the XPath expressions. Simultaneous XPath handles XML namespaces and namespace prefixing on the fly without pre-scanning and declaration of prefixes; its execution time increases linearly with the file size, without any performance degradation and without memory thrashing." Random Access XML (RAX) "represents a breakthrough in accelerating and simplifying XML processing. Using XPaths as indices, RAX gives applications direct access to any data within an XML message without parsing and without tree or streaming traversal. RAX can be used for any XML application that would traditionally be handled by DOM, SAX, JAXB, BEA's XMLBeans, or any other approach. It enables network switch, server, blade, and appliance vendors to create a variety of new applications such as gigabit message classification and routing, high transaction rate publish and subscribe systems, advanced SOAP message processing, high performance XML security firewalls and real-time telecommunications billing solutions." The Tarari RAX Content Processor hardware device "sits on a 4.2Gbps PCI bus, communicating with main memory through multiple and interleaved DMA channels; this standard PCI card into servers, appliances, and network devices to allow control and inspection of complete messages. The complete Tarari technology solution includes acceleration of XML security, XML compression, and Unicode character conversion." Tarari participated in W3C's September 2003 Binary XML Workshop, and is currently studying how to propose RAX as an industry standard. [Full context]

  • [May 18, 2004]   WS-I Releases Basic Security Profile Version 1.0 Working Group Draft.    The Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I) has announced the availability of a Basic Security Profile Version 1.0 Working Group Draft. Publication of the Basic Security Profile follows a February 2004 release of WS-I Security Scenarios Working Group Draft which defined the requirements and scope for the WS-I Basic Security Profile. The WS-I Basic Security Profile Version 1.0 consists of "a set of non-proprietary Web services specifications, along with clarifications and amendments to those specifications which promote interoperability. The Security Profile WD addresses Transport Layer Security, SOAP Message Security, Username Token Profile, X.509 Certificate Token Profile, XML-Signature, XML Encryption, Algorithms, Relationship of Basic Security Extension Profile to Basic Profile, and Attachment Security. The Profile's Guiding Principles articulated in Section 1.1 clarify that testable statements are made when possible, but that "such testability is not required; preferably, testing is achieved in a non-intrusive manner (e.g., examining artifacts 'on the wire,' but due to the nature of cryptographic security, non-intrusive testing may not be possible." Similarly, the Basic Security Profile provides no guarantee of interoperability: "Although it is impossible to completely guarantee the interoperability of a particular service, the Profile attempts to increase interoperability by addressing the most common problems that implementation experience has revealed to date." Requirements from a number of specifications are incorporated into the Profile by reference, as enumerated in Appendix I: HTTP over TLS; Web Services Security: SOAP Message Security; Web Services Security: Username Token Profile; Web Services Security: X.509 Token Profile; XML-Signature Syntax and Processing; Web Services Security: SOAP Message Security Section 9; XML Encryption Syntax and Processing. The WS-I announcement reports that the the WS-I Basic Security Profile Working Group is "planning to incorporate the Web Services Security: Kerberos Token Profile into the Basic Security Profile upon completion of the technical work by the OASIS Web Services Security Technical Committee. In addition, WS-I is considering incorporating other token profiles, such as the Web Services Security: SAML Token Profile and the Web Services Security: XRML Token Profile into the Basic Security Profile." [Full context]

  • [May 13, 2004]   W3C Releases Candidate Recommendation for CSS3 Basic User Interface Module.    A CSS3 Basic User Interface Module Candidate Recommendation edited by Tantek Çelik has been published by the W3C CSS Working Group as part of the W3C Style Activity. This CR "describes those user interface related selectors, properties and values that are proposed for CSS level 3 to style HTML and XML, including XHTML and XForms. It includes and extends user interface related features from the selectors, properties and values of CSS level 2 revision 1 and Selectors specifications." Three other CSS Candidate Recommendations were released by the CSS Working Group earlier this year: Cascading Style Sheets, Level 2 Revision 1. CSS 2.1 Specification, CSS Print Profile, and CSS3 Paged Media Module. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is "a language for describing the rendering of HTML and XML documents on screen, on paper, in speech, etc. It uses various selectors, properties and values to style basic user interface elements in a document." The CSS3 Basic User Interface Module will remain at Candidate Recommendation level at least until 11-November-2004, providing opportunity for additional interoperability testing. "A test suite and a report on implementations will be provided before the document becomes a Proposed Recommendation. One of the Candidate Recommendation Exit Criteria for this CSS specification is that there must be at least two interoperable implementations for every feature." [Full context]

  • [May 12, 2004]   OGC Interoperability Experiment for LandXML and Geography Markup Language (GML).    The Open GIS Consortium has announced its first Interoperability Experiment involving the Geography Markup Language (GML) Version 3.1 and LandXML Version 1.0. OGC Interoperability Experiments are "brief, inexpensive, low-overhead initiatives led and executed by OGC members to achieve specific technical objectives that further the OGC Technical Baseline; three or more OGC members launch and run an initiative without the more substantial sponsorship that supports OGC's traditional testbeds and pilot projects. These initatives can be for specification development, refinement, or testing or for other purposes." LandXML Version 1.0 is "an industry-driven, open XML data exchange standard that provides interoperability in more than 40 software applications serving the civil engineering, survey and transportation industries. The Industry Consortium, initiated by Autodesk and now comprised of 190 companies, government agencies and universities, developed the standard. LandXML is now broadly supported in online cadastral applications, GIS applications, Survey field instruments, Civil Engineering desktop and CAD-based applications, instant 3D viewers and high end 3D visualization rendering applications." LandXML XML Schema root nodes include Alignments, Application, CgPoints, CoordinateSystem, GradeModel, Monuments, Parcels, PipeNetworks, PlanFeatures, Project, Roadways, Surfaces, Survey, and Units. OGC's Geography Markup Language (GML) is a "widely supported open specification for representation of geographic (spatial and location) information. It defines XML encoding for the transport and storage of geographic information, including both the geometry and properties of geographic features." The LandGML IE initiated by US Army Corps of Engineers ERDC, Autodesk and Galdos Systems "will test a GML 3.0 application schema for encoding LandXML 1.0 documents (LandGML) and will provide a tool to transform LandXML 1.0 documents into LandGML documents. In a second phase, a tool will be developed to transform LandGML documents to LandXML 1.0 documents." [Full context]

  • [May 11, 2004]   OASIS Forms Open Building Information Exchange (oBIX) Technical Committee.    A new Open Building Information Exchange (oBIX) Technical Committee has been formed at OASIS to "define a standard web services protocol to enable communications between building mechanical and electrical systems and enterprise applications. This protocol will enable facilities and their operations to be managed as full participants in knowledge-based businesses. The oBIX specification will utilize web services for exchange of information with the mechanical and electrical systems in commercial buildings." The TC will continue work previously hosted by the Continental Automated Building Association (CABA) in an XML/Web Services Guideline Committee. Motivation for the technical work is provided in the TC Call for Participation: "most mechanical and electrical systems are provided with embedded digital controls (DDC) and most of these devices are low cost and not enabled for TCP/IP. They are installed with dedicated communications wiring. Larger DDC controllers provide network communications for these dedicated controllers. There are several well established binary protocols (BACnet, LonTalk, Modbus, DALI) that are used on these dedicated networks in addition to numerous proprietary protocols. While these binary protocols can be used over TCP/IP networks — they have challenges with routers, firewalls, security, and compatibility with other network applications. There is an added challenge in that the industry is split between several largely incompatible protocols." The oBIX TC therefore proposes to "develop a publicly available web services interface specification that can be used to obtain data in a simple and secure manner from HVAC, access control, utilities, and other building automation systems, and to provide data exchange between facility systems and enterprise applications. In addition, the TC will develop implementation guidelines, as needed, to facilitate the development of products that use the web service interface." [Full context]

  • [May 07, 2004]   OMG Membership Approves Adoption of Reusable Software Assets (RAS) Standard.    The Object Management Group (OMG) announced that its members have voted to adopt the Reusable Asset Specification (RAS), which "defines a standard way to package reusable software assets. A reusable software asset is, broadly speaking, any cohesive collection of artifacts that solve a specific problem or set of problems encountered in the software development life cycle." A reusable asset, which "provides a solution to a problem for a given context, may have a variability point with a value provided or customized by the asset consumer, and rules for usage which are the instructions describing how the asset should be used. Artifacts are any workproducts from the software development lifecycle, such as requirements documents, models, source code files, deployment descriptors, test cases or scripts, etc." RAS describes assets as part of asset-based development (ABD) which complements the Model Driven Architecture (MDA) by describing asset production, asset consumption, and asset management. An RAS manifest document is an XML document; the authoritative description of the RAS manifest document structure is provided as an XML Schema. Every reusable asset must contain at a minimum one manifest file, which are described below, and at least one artifact to be considered a valid reusable asset. The manifest file is an XML document that validates against one of the known RAS XML Schemas, and passes an additional set of semantic constraints described in the profile document. An asset package is the collection of artifact files plus a manifest." Several tool vendors have implemented the currently released RAS XML schema in their tools and other companies have implemented internal tools based on the RAS specification. [Full context]

  • [May 06, 2004]   HL7 Approves Web Services Profile and ebXML as 24-Month DSTUs for Messaging Standard.    Health Level Seven (HL7) has announced the approval of a Web Services Profile and ebXML Message Service Specification 2.0 as Draft Standards for Trial Use (DSTUs) as Version 3 Transport Specifications within the HL7 Messaging Standard. The Web Services and ebXML transport specifications are two of over two dozen specifications that make up the HL7 Version 3 Messaging Standard. The HL7 V3 project "represents a new approach to clinical information exchange. It is XML-based and built from the ground up around a single object model, the HL7 Reference Information Model (RIM) and a rigorous methodology that ties model to message and finally to syntax." A Version 3 HL7 Patient Administration Standard is also being published for a twelve-month period of trial use within the HL7 V3 project. This Version 3 specification is "built around subject domains, for each of which it provides storyboard descriptions, trigger events, interaction designs, domain object models derived from the RIM, hierarchical message descriptors (HMDs) and a prose description of each element. Implementation of these domains further depends upon a non-normative V3 Guide and normative specifications for data types, the XML implementable technical specifications (ITS) or message wire format, message and control wrappers, and transport protocols." The Web Services Profile for HL7 has been designed "in response to an industry need for increased interoperability between implementations; it focuses on basic Web services protocols and technologies like SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) and WSDL (Web Services Description Language), which lay the groundwork for more complex interactions based on higher-level Web services specifications." The purpose of the HL7 ebXML transport specification is to "provide secure, flexible transport for exchanging HL7 messages between message handling interfaces or ebXML Message Service Handlers (ebXML MSH). It specifies an HL7-specific implementation of the ebXML Message Service specification, providing transport to move HL7 content, messages and documents over a variety of lower level transports, such as TCP/IP, HTML, and SMTP. This protocol optionally supports important features such as Duplicate Message handling, Reliable Messaging, Message Routing, Sequencing, and Digital Signatures. When using this protocol in combination with a certificate based TLS (Transport Layer Security) or SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) TCP/IP lower level transport it provides a robust, secure and authenticated communications infrastructure for exchanging HL7 V2 and V3 messages and content between organizations." HL7 is a "not-for-profit, ANSI-accredited standards developing organization dedicated to providing a comprehensive framework and related standards for the exchange, integration, sharing, and retrieval of electronic health information that supports clinical practice and the management, delivery and evaluation of health services. HL7's more than 2,000 members represent over 500 corporate members, including 90 percent of the largest information systems vendors serving healthcare." [Full context]

  • [May 05, 2004]   IESG Announces Proposal for IETF Atom Publishing Format and Protocol Working Group.    The Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) has announced the proposal for a new IETF Atom Publishing Format and Protocol Working Group within the IETF Applications Area. An informational document about the proposed ATOMPUB Working Group describes the motivation for the WG, the essential features of Atom, the group's proposed focus, and technical background to the Atom Publishing Format. Atom currently "defines a feed format for representing and a protocol for editing Web resources such as Weblogs, online journals, Wikis, and similar content. The feed format enables syndication, that is, provision of a channel of information by representing multiple resources in a single document. The editing protocol enables agents to interact with resources by nominating a way of using existing Web standards in a pattern." The proposed IETF Working Group would "use experience gained with RSS (variably used as a name by itself and as an acronym for 'RDF Site Summary', 'Rich Site Summary', or 'Really Simple Syndication') as the basis for a standards-track document specifying the model, syntax, and feed format. The feed format and HTTP will be used as the basis of work on a standards-track document specifying the editing protocol. The goal for the working group is to produce a single feed format and a single editing protocol. The working group's primary focus will be on delivering an interoperable format and corresponding protocol; it is expected that all but the most basic, generic metadata and functions will be accommodated through extensions, rather than in the core documents." Interoperability is a key concern for the design initiative; in order to ensure interoperability the WG will unambiguously identify required elements in formats, clearly nominate conformance levels for different types of software, and provide clear extensibility mechanisms and constraints upon them. Public comment on the proposed Atom Publishing Format and Protocol Working Group may be sent to the IESG mailing list by May 12, 2004. [Full context]

  • [May 04, 2004]   Microsoft Releases Devices Profile for Web Services Specification.    A new Devices Profile for Web Services: A Proposal for UPnP 2.0 Device Architecture edited by Jeffrey Schlimmer (Microsoft) "defines a minimal set of implementation constraints to enable secure Web service messaging, discovery, description, and eventing on resource-constrained endpoints." The profile has been jointly authored with Intel, Lexmark, and Ricoh. Description in a technical overview clarifies that the Devices Profile relies upon other Web service specifications, allowing devices "to participate in the Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) fabric. Sharing a common protocol framework allows devices to contribute to Web service scenarios that are traditionally beyond the reach of individual devices. Moreover, this commonality allows ISVs to leverage development tooling when writing applications for devices, and it allows IT departments to leverage service management infrastructure. By leveraging factored Web service specifications built on a common foundation of SOAP and XML, device implementations can support rich functionality in a pay-as-you-go manner. The Devices Profile represents a new foundation for application protocols; it frees vendors and their standards organizations to concentrate on designing messages for specific device classes. The well-factored architecture and significant extensibility of the Device Profile enables as-yet-unforeseen messaging patterns, transports, metadata, and capabilities and requirements." The three principal goals of the Devices Profile specification are to: (1) "Identify a minimal set of Web service specifications needed to enable secure messaging, dynamic discovery, description, and eventing; (2) Constrain Web services protocols and formats so Web services can be implemented on peripheral-class and consumer electronics-class hardware; (3) Define minimum requirements for compliance without constraining richer implementations." Namespaces are provided for several WS-* specifications, in addition to XML Schema, SOAP, and WSDL: the unpublished Web Services Metadata Transfer (WS-MetadataTransfer), WS-Addressing, WS-Discovery, WS-Eventing, and WS-Policy. [Full context]

  • [April 30, 2004]   Universal Business Language (UBL) 1.0 Approved as an OASIS Committee Draft.    The approval of the Universal Business Language (UBL) Version 1.0 as an OASIS Committee Draft represents a major publication milestone in the arena of e-business message exchange standards development. Freely available to everyone without legal encumbrance or licensing fees, UBL "defines a generic XML interchange format for business documents that can be extended to meet the requirements of particular industries. The specification is designed to provide a universally understood and recognized commercial syntax for legally binding business documents and to operate within a standard business framework such as ISO 15000 (ebXML) to provide a complete, standards-based infrastructure that can extend the benefits of existing EDI systems to businesses of all sizes." The UBL v1.0 Committee Draft release is distributed for public review as a ZIP archive with some 244 files, containing prose documentation, normative XML Schemas, UML diagrams, spreadsheet models, formatting specifications, sample instances, and other components. A UBL ASN.1 specification provides an alternative schema definition for UBL documents in accordance with ITU-T X.680-X.693. The UBL v1.0 release provides a library of XML schemas for reusable data components, small set of XML schemas for common business documents useful in a generic order-to-invoice trading context, and support for the customization of UBL in specific trading relationships. The UBL schemas are "modular, reusable, and extensible in XML-aware ways. Designed as an implementation of ebXML Core Components Technical Specification 2.01, the UBL Library is based on a conceptual model of information components known as Business Information Entities (BIEs). These components are assembled into specific document models such as Order and Invoice. These document assembly models are then transformed in accordance with UBL Naming and Design Rules into W3C XSD schema syntax. This approach facilitates the creation of UBL-based document types beyond those specified in the version 1.0 release." Special Projects undertaken by members of the UBL Technical Committee in reaching the Committee Draft level include design, development, and QA projects for Business Modeling, XSD Schema Generation, XSD Schema Validation, XSD Rules Review, ASN.1 Generation, UML Generation, UN Layout Key Formatting, CCTS Alignment, and Quality Assurance. The UBL effort has been directed by Jon Bosak (TC Chair) and Mark Crawford (Vice Chair), together with leadership provided in sixteen (16) UBL Subcommittees. The approved UBL v10 Committee Draft is being submitted to OASIS for public review in preparation for OASIS standardization. [Full context]

  • [April 30, 2004]   W3C Publishes Last Call Working Draft for CCXML Version 1.0.    The W3C Voice Browser Working Group has issued a last call Working Draft for Voice Browser Call Control: CCXML Version 1.0, incorporating some major changes in the Sections for Session Variables Documentation, Session Life-Cycle Details, Element and attribute name re-factoring, Meta and Metadata Features, Expanded Conferencing Events/Options, <dialogprepare>, Event I/O Updates, and VoiceXML Appendix. The Call Control Extensible Markup Language (CCXML) is designed "to provide telephony call control support for VoiceXML or other dialog systems. CCXML has been designed to complement and integrate with a VoiceXML interpreter. Because of this there are many references to VoiceXML's capabilities and limitations. There are also details on how VoiceXML and CCXML can be integrated. However it should be noted that the two languages are separate and are not required in an implementation of either language. For example CCXML could be integrated with a more traditional Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system and VoiceXML or other dialog systems could be integrated with some other call control systems." According to the WD Introduction, CCXML "can provide a complete telephony service application, comprised of Web server CGI compliant application logic, one or more CCXML documents to declare and perform call control actions, and to control one or more dialog applications that perform user media interactions. Since platforms implementing CCXML may choose to use one of many telephony call control definitions (e.g., JAIN Call Control, ECMA CSTA, S.100), the call control model in CCXML has been designed to be sufficiently abstract so that it can accommodate all major definitions. For relatively simple types of call control, this abstraction is straightforward. The philosophy in this regard has been to 'make simple things simple to do.' Outdial, transfer (redirect), two-party bridging, and many forms of multi-party conferences fall within this classification." [Full context]

  • [April 29, 2004]   OASIS TC Approves Application Vulnerability Description Language (AVDL) Draft.    The OASIS Application Vulnerability Description Language TC has approved a Committee Draft of its version 1.0 specification and has submitted it for consideration as an OASIS Standard. The AVDL specification defines "a standard XML format that allows entities (such as applications, organizations, or institutes) to communicate information regarding web application vulnerabilities. The OASIS AVDL Technical Committee was formed to create an XML definition for exchanging information about the security vulnerabilities of applications exposed to networks. For example, the owners of an application use an assessment tool to determine if their application is vulnerable to various types of malicious attacks. The assessment tool records and catalogues detected vulnerabilities in an XML file in AVDL format. An application security gateway then uses the AVDL information to recommend the optimal attack prevention policy for the protected application. In addition, a remediation product uses the same AVDL file to suggest the best course of action for correcting the security issues. Finally a reporting tool uses the AVDL file to correlate event logs with areas of known vulnerability." According to a declaration presented by the AVDL TC Chairs, some features of the AVDL specification design were inspired by Mitre's Open Vulnerability Assessment Language (OVAL), which uses the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) database. Related technical work is being done within the OASIS Web Application Security TC based upon Application Security Attack Components (ASAC) and VulnXML, developed by the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP). Application Vulnerability Description Language version 1.0 Committee Draft will be balloted to the OASIS membership during the period May 16-31, 2004. [Full context]

  • [April 28, 2004]   Delivering Classics Resources with TEI-XML, Open Source, and Creative Commons Licenses.    The Center for Hellenic Studies of Harvard University has adopted an innovative technological program for free online publication of books, articles, and databases designed to make resources in the classics more visible and accessible. A second issue of the online Classics@: The Electronic Journal of the Center for Hellenic Studies of Harvard University features articles about "Ancient Mediterranean Cultural Informatics." It is published under the Creative Commons 'Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike' license allowing others to copy, distribute, display, and perform the authored work, and to create derivative works in non-commercial settings. The Harvard CHS publication process is based upon TEI-XML encoding and "uses open source tools to convert proprietary word-processing files to TEI-XML and to publish the result." Consistent with the intellectual mission of the CHS editorial group to expedite online publication and collaborative research, the team is developing a process and tools "that others can adopt or modify to produce online and print books rapidly, beautifully, and accurately." Erik Ray and Benn Salter have assisted the CHS technical team in the development of Perl and XSLT transformation tools to convert word-processor data into TEI-XML format; publication of the materials online involves the use of the open source Apache Cocoon web development framework. Classics@ Issue Two was published directly from source files encoded in TEI-conformant XML, using publication mechanisms available in the CHS TextServer protocol. CHS is also "committed to experimental uses of online publication to complement print publication as well as innovative arrangements with traditional academic publishers in the interest of generalizing its goals to the academic community and of making creative classical scholarship available to the widest possible audience." [Full context]

  • [April 27, 2004]   W3C Publishes Web Services Choreography Description Language (WS-CDL).    An initial Public Working Draft of the Web Services Choreography Description Language Version 1.0 has been released by W3C. This document, the first in a series of WS-CDL working drafts, has been produced by members of the W3C Web Services Choreography Working Group as part of the Web Services Activity. The WS-CDL XML-based language "describes peer-to-peer collaborations of Web Services participants by defining, from a global viewpoint, their common and complementary observable behavior, where ordered message exchanges result in accomplishing a common business goal. The Web Services Choreography specification is targeted for composing interoperable peer-to-peer collaborations between any type of Web Service participant regardless of the supporting platform or programming model used by the implementation of the hosting environment." According to the W3C announcement, the Web Services Choreography Description Language is a "necessary complement to end point languages such as BPEL and Java. WS-CDL provides them with the global model they need to ensure that end point behavior — the 'rules of engagement' — is consistent across cooperating services. Business transactions, especially those envisioned by Web services, grow from complex interactions. These interactions can be viewed from a variety of points in the transaction chain, not simply the start or the expected endpoint. Modeling these interactions from a global viewpoint allows software developers to take into account the distributed race conditions (unexpected dependence on the sequence of events) that may exist — in much the same way they exist in non-Web business processes. Choreography provides the set of rules that explains how different components may act together, and in what sequence, giving a flexible systemic view of the process." [Full context]

  • [April 26, 2004]   WS-MessageDelivery Specification Integrates with WSDL Message Exchange Patterns.    W3C has acknowledged receipt of a WS-MessageDelivery Version 1.0 specification which defines an abstract set of message delivery properties enabling message delivery for Web services that utilize Message Exchange Patterns associated with WSDL documents. The W3C Member Submission has been prepared by Oracle, Arjuna, Cyclone Commerce, Enigmatec, IONA, Nokia, SeeBeyond, and Sun Microsystems. According to the W3C staff comment, the WS-MessageDelivery proposal is similar to the WS-Addressing proposal from BEA, IBM, and Microsoft: "while addressing the same scope as the WS-Addressing document, WS-MessageDelivery is more fully integrated with WSDL, by defining its relations with the WSDL Message Exchange Patterns or by introducing a WSMD description for WSDL. It also follows the current work of the W3C Web Services Description Working Group, and the service references introduced in WSDL 2.0. WS-Addressing, while relying on the WSDL concepts, does not use the WSDL service element as a service reference. WS-MessageDelivery relies on the implicit open content model of WSDL for extensions, while WS-Addressing uses an explicit 'reference properties' extension mechanism." The WS-MessageDelivery Version 1.0 specification abstract summarizes: "[This] specification defines a mechanism to reference Web services (WSRef), essential abstract message delivery properties (AMDP), a SOAP binding for those properties, and the relationship of those properties to WSDL definitions and message exchange patterns. These properties enable SOAP messages to be transport independent — extending messaging capability to use separate transport protocol sessions or even using different transport protocols within the context of a message exchange pattern (MEP). Message delivery details are surfaced to the application layer, extending SOAP processors to use a wider range of message patterns and transport protocols to accomplish a Web service interaction. The abstract message delivery properties include web service references, message identification and message references. This specification outlines in detail how to build message exchange patterns consistent with WSDL 1.1 or WSDL 2.0 using the definitions in the specification. The semantics and mapping for the Callback Pattern, a commonly used message exchange pattern as a composite pattern, is defined. The Web service References (WSRef), Abstract Message Delivery Properties and a SOAP binding are designed for interoperability and extensibility." The submission request provides royalty-free license terms from the eight sponsor companies for use of the WS-MessageDelivery technology. [Full context]

  • [April 23, 2004]   W3C Director Tim Berners-Lee Awarded Millennium Technology Prize.    An announcement from the Finnish Technology Award Foundation describes the selection of Tim Berners-Lee by unanimous vote of the International Award Selection Committee as recipient of the first Millennium Technology Prize. A graduate of Oxford University, England, Tim Berners-Lee "holds the 3Com Founders chair at the Laboratory for Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He directs the World Wide Web Consortium, an open forum of companies and organizations with the mission to lead the Web to its full potential." The Finnish Millennium Technology Prize is awarded every other year for innovation based on scientific research in any of four disciplines: Health Care and Life Sciences, Communications and Information, New Materials and Processes, and Energy and the Environment. It is a technology award granted "for outstanding technological achievements that directly promote people's quality of life, are based on humane values, and encourage sustainable economic development." Berners-Lee was selected for the Millennium Technology Prize 2004 from a group of 78 nominees representing twenty-two countries and four continents. The Award Ceremony will be held on June 15, 2004 at Finlandia Hall in Helsinki, Finland. Ms Tarja Halonen, President of the Republic of Finland and Patron of the Millennium Technology Prize, has been invited to present the Prize, which carries a value of one million euros. [Full context]

  • [April 23, 2004]   OASIS Members Form New CGM Open WebCGM Technical Committee.    A new CGM Open WebCGM Technical Committee has been formed at OASIS to accelerate the further adoption, application, and implementation of the Computer Graphics Metafile (CGM). CGM is an "international standard for open interchange of structured graphical objects and their associated attributes. The WebCGM Profile of CGM was developed by CGM Open and is a current recommendation of the W3C. WebCGM is focused on presenting dynamic technical graphics in the web environment." New work for the OASIS TC, according to the scope statement, includes possible releases of new versions of WebCGM, WebCGM DOM development, Web-based CGM interoperability reporting and tracking system, alignment of WebCGM functionality with ATA and other graphics profile requirements, definition of semantics of XML companion data associated with WebCGM, and production of an XML encoding of WebCGM. The group may identify additional interoperability topics in response to the evolution of world markets, target application sectors, and CGM/WebCGM implementations. It will develop an education program for users and implementers of CGM and WebCGM technology as needed. The CGM Open WebCGM TC Convenor and Proposed Chair are Dave Cruikshank (Boeing). The first meeting of the TC will be held May 24-27, 2004 as a F2F meeting in Cologne, Germany, hosted by ITEDO. [Full context]

  • [April 21, 2004]   Unicode Consortium Hosts the Common Locale Data Repository (CLDR) Project.    An announcement from the Unicode Consortium describes new sponsorship for the CLDR Project and its Locale Data Markup Language (LDML), designed to facilitate standardized methods for software globalization. The project is now organized under the Unicode Locale Technical Committee (LTC). The Common Locale Data Repository (CLDR) "provides a general XML format for the exchange of locale information for use in application and system software development, combined with a public repository for a common set of locale data generated in that format." A locale, as described in the Draft Unicode Technical Standard, is "an id that refers to a set of user preferences that tend to be shared across significant swathes of the world. Traditionally, the data associated with this id provides support for formatting and parsing of dates, times, numbers, and currencies; for measurement units, for sort-order (collation), plus translated names for timezones, languages, countries, and scripts. They can also include text boundaries (character, word, line, and sentence), text transformations (including transliterations), and support for other services." An LDML specification has been produced by the Free Standards Group's LADE Workgroup, with support from workgroup founding members IBM, Sun and; the project was chartered "to devise a general XML format for the exchange of linguistically and culturally sensitive (locale) information for use in application and system development, and to gather, store, and make available data. With LDML, for example, collation rules can be exchanged, allowing two implementations to exchange a specification of collation. Using the same specification, two different implementations will achieve the same results in comparing strings." [Full context]

  • [April 20, 2004]   Technology Companies Form Enterprise Grid Alliance (EGA) Consortium.    Twenty-some leading technology companies have launched a new Enterprise Grid Alliance (EGA) consortium to develop enterprise grid solutions and accelerate the deployment of grid computing in enterprises. The EGA consortium has been formed to "encourage and accelerate movement to an open grid environment through interoperability solutions. It will work on grid computing specifications by endorsing and supporting existing specifications, assembling and profiling component specifications, and defining new specifications where needed." When specifications needed in enterprise grids are not available, EGA will create new specifications within the EGA consortium or by initiating efforts in other specification forums. EGA working groups have been proposed to address: (1) Reference model; (2) Component provisioning; (3) Data provisioning; (4) Utility accountingl (5) Grid security. Companies having representatives on the EGA Board of Directors include EMC, Fujitsu-Siemens, HP, Intel, NEC, Network Appliance, Oracle, and Sun. Initial Sponsor members of EGA include AMD, Ascential Software, Optena, and Paremus; they are joined by other companies as founding participants in Contributor and Associate member categories. Technology submitted to EGA and produced within its working groups is intended to me made available royalty-free: "EGA believes in the open disclosure of intellectual property interests and a commitment to royalty-free licensing of essential patents associated with foundational grid technology specifications. As part of their membership obligations, EGA members preparing specifications, test cases or reference implementations agree to license their essential patents under royalty free, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms." EGA intends to liaise with other consortia and SDOs, creating MOUs and harmonizing IPR norms; it will seek to work with organizations like DMTF, GGF, OSDL, SNIA, and others (W3C, OASIS). The EGA consortium is "an open, independent and vendor-neutral community addressing the near-term requirements for deploying commercial applications in a grid environment. Initial focus areas include reference models, provisioning, security and accounting. The Alliance will address obstacles that organizations face using enterprise grids, by looking at best practices and solutions that are open and interoperable. By focusing exclusively on the needs of enterprise users, the EGA will enable businesses to realize the many benefits of grid computing such as faster response to changing business needs, better utilization and service level performance and lower IT operating costs." [Full context]

  • [April 16, 2004]   Java System Application Server Platform Edition 8 Supports Web Services Standards.    Sun Microsystems has announced the general availability of its small-footprint Java System Application Server Platform Edition 8, designed for developer productivity with tools to help deploy applications quickly. It is completely free of license fees for development, deployment, and redistribution, "making it suitable for broad adoption and embedding in third-party systems and applications. The platform is the first commercially available version of the Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) 1.4 specification, featuring rigorous J2EE standard compliance and Web services interoperability through support of the WS-I Basic Profile. It offers a complete Web services infrastructure, including the Java API for XML Messaging (JAXM), Java API for XML Processing (JAXP), Java API for XML Registries (JAXR), Java API for XML-based RPC (JAX-RPC), SOAP and WSDL. Its high-performance Java Message Service (JMS) provider delivere enterprise-class application services and Web services. The new J2EE Connector Architecture version 1.5 featuring bi-directional connectivity for access to enterprise applications supports standardized J2EE deployment APIs, making it easier to deploy to the application server using industry-standard Java technology IDEs such as NetBeans. Java System Application Server Platform Edition 8 supports the new JavaServer Faces 1.0 APIs for building powerful GUIs for J2EE technology-based applications. It also supports the JavaServer Pages (JSP) Standard Tag Library (JSTL), which encapsulates core functionality common to applications that use JSP pages." A migration tool is available for migrating J2EE applications that were developed on other J2EE application servers. An updated version of the popular J2EE 1.4 SDK, free for both development and deployment, is also available for download. [Full context]

  • [April 15, 2004]   Microsoft Releases Royalty-Free XML Reference Schema for Office Visio 2003.    Microsoft has announced incorporation of the DataDiagramML XML Schema used by Microsoft Office Visio 2003 into the Microsoft Open and Royalty-Free Office 2003 XML reference schema program, announced in November 2003. Visio 2003 is a drawing and diagramming solution that helps users transform business and technical concepts into visual diagrams, automatically creating database diagrams, UML software diagrams, Web maps, timelines, calendars, organizational charts, and related types using data within other tools. Because the DatadiagramML XML Schema defines a text-based format, the user "can take advantage of all the text-based tools available for document management, including text utilities for archiving, differencing, searching, indexing, or versioning. One can create a multifile utility to search all the text in a DatadiagramML documents without running Visio; index files and search on more than just document properties; post DatadiagramML files on the Web to easily share data; and retrieve data embedded in the documents and run offline data processing and data analyzing applications." Microsoft has provided documentation for use of the DataDiagramML schema, together with a royalty-free license, so that "customers and partners can take advantage of the XML schema in its diagramming and data visualization tool. The availability of the Visio schema builds on Microsoft's commitment to XML by providing a complete and W3C-compliant description of the Visio Extensible Markup Language (XML) file format, enabling organizations to access information captured in their Visio diagrams and use it with other XML-enabled applications, such as customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, as part of their business processes." [Full context]

  • [April 15, 2004]   Systinet WASP Server for Java Supports WS-Addressing and WS-ReliableMessaging.    Systinet has announced the availability of WASP Server for Java 5.0 Beta, featuring new functionality and standards support. Systinet's WASP Server for Java is a "modular, easy to use, high performance Web services runtime environment for creating, deploying and managing Web services in Java and J2EE applications. WASP implements the latest SOAP, WSDL, UDDI and Java standards such as JAX-RPC, JAXM, and SAAJ. The WASP Server for Java 5.0 Beta provides reliable messaging with WS-ReliableMessaging support, including one-way, synchronous (request/response), and asynchronous messaging. WASP offers message persistence, support for multiple exchange patterns, and API or policy-based configuration. WASP also fully supports the WS-Addressing specification, which defines transport independent addressing and enables the creation of reliable, asynchronous Web services. The WASP administration console has been redesigned and extended to make Web service configuration, management, and testing even easier. New functionality includes an HTML Invocation Console that automatically creates HTML forms from WSDL definitions for testing deployed Web services. WASP now fully integrates with Netegrity SiteMinder so that it can accept security information propogated by Netegrity using a wide range of authentication credentials." [Full context]

  • [April 13, 2004]   W3C Working Draft Proposes Universal Markup Mechanism for Identifers.    An initial public working draft for xml:id Version 1.0 has been released by the W3C XML Core Working Group. The proposal provides a mechanism for annotating markup elements with unique identifiers. It 'unreserves' the attribute xml:id which otherwise cannot be declared for use in a well-formed XML document. The draft specification proposes xml:id "as a universal spelling for ID attributes, and defines processing of this attribute to identify IDs in the absence of validation." The document proposes that a parser would "validate that the ID value matches the allowed lexical form, that the value is unique within the XML document, and that each element has a single unique identifier." The new working draft takes into account the W3C's xml:id Requirements document published in August 2003 and an earlier W3C Technical Architecture Group (TAG) finding, "How should the problem of identifying ID semantics in XML languages be addressed in the absence of a DTD?" The draft TAG finding summarized the problem and sketched a solution space in terms of applying ID semantics universally for XML processors. The xml:id Requirements document framed the problem thus: Since XML 1.0, the ability of processors to identify an XML element by an explicit identifier ('IDness') has depended upon validation: both DTDs and XML Schema have mechanisms to identify the structures containing unique identifiers, but neither XML Schema nor DTDs are required by all processors. A common processor type does not perform validation, nor fetch external resources for the purpose of acertaining whether the document contains unique identifiers." The authors of the xml:id Version 1.0 document note that the Working Draft "does not yet fully address specific interactions between this specification and others. The intent is for this specification to compose smoothly with other specifications, but some specifications, particularly those not based on the XML Information Set, may require errata to realize the full benefits of xml:id. These interactions are a topic of study by the Working Group and will be documented in future Working Drafts." [Full context]

  • [April 09, 2004]   TMAPI 1.0 Alpha Release: Common Topic Map Application Programming Interface.    A first major public release of TMAPI has been made available from the project's SourceForge website. TMAPI is a "proposed programming interface for accessing and manipulating data held in a topic map. The TMAPI specification defines a set of core interfaces which must be implemented by a compliant application as well as a set of additional interfaces which may be implemented by a compliant application or which may be built upon the core interfaces." According to the project announcement of April 8, 2004, the goal of TMAPI is "to allow developers to learn and use just one programming API for work with any topic map processing engine — improving code portability and reducing learning curve. TMAPI has been developed in an open process by developers working on topic map processors and topic map applications, and has been placed into the public domain; there are no restrictions on its use." Motivation for the TMAPI development effort is provided on the project home page: "[Though] commercial and non-commercial topic map processing applications are available, each of these applications has a different programming interface, reflecting the slightly different ideas that each developer has had about the best way to represent the information in a topic map. For an application developer, this leads to non-portable code; the need to learn a new API for every topic map implementation he or she uses and the lack of a community of supporting developers. TMAPI hopes to do for topic maps what SAX and DOM did for XML: provide a single common API which all developers can code to and which means that their applications can be moved from one underlying platform to another with minimum fuss." [Full context]

  • [April 08, 2004]   OASIS Web Services Security Specification Approved as an OASIS Standard.    On April 6, 2004 the co-chairs of the OASIS Web Services Security (WSS) Technical Committee announced the TC's unanimous decision to request that the WSS TC's Web Services Security specification, as successfully balloted to the OASIS membership, be advanced to OASIS Standard status. The Web Services Security specification set includes: Web Services Security: SOAP Message Security 1.0 (WS-Security 2004), Web Services Security UsernameToken Profile 1.0, Web Services Security X.509 Certificate Token Profile, and two relevant XML Schemas. The WSS TC is also creating additional token profiles for use with the core SOAP Message Security 1.0 specification, including the Web Services Security: SAML Token Profile, now in an advanced state of preparation. The SOAP Message Security 1.0 core specification "describes enhancements to SOAP messaging to provide message integrity and confidentiality. The specified mechanisms can be used to accommodate a wide variety of security models and encryption technologies. The specification also provides a general-purpose mechanism for associating security tokens with message content. No specific type of security token is required, the specification is designed to be extensible, so as to support multiple security token formats. For example, a client might provide one format for proof of identity and provide another format for proof that they have a particular business certification. Additionally, the specification describes how to encode binary security tokens, a framework for XML-based tokens, and how to include opaque encrypted keys. It also includes extensibility mechanisms that can be used to further describe the characteristics 26 of the tokens that are included with a message." The UsernameToken Profile describes how to use the UsernameToken with the core WSS specification. It "describes how a web service consumer can supply a UsernameToken as a means of identifying the requestor by 'username', and optionally using a password (or shared secret, or password equivalent) [how] to authenticate that identity to the web service producer." The X.509 Certificate Token Profile document describes "how to use X.509 Certificates with the SOAP Message Security 1.0 specification. An X.509 certificate specifies a binding between a public key and a set of attributes that includes (at least) a subject name, issuer name, serial number and validity interval. This binding may be subject to subsequent revocation advertised by mechanisms that include issuance of CRLs, OCSP tokens or mechanisms that are outside the X.509 framework, such as XKMS. An X.509 certificate may be used to validate a public key that may be used to authenticate a WS-Security-enhanced message or to identify the public key with which a WS-Security-enhanced message has been encrypted." [Full context]

  • [April 08, 2004]   OASIS Hosts Open Symposium on XML-Based Messaging and Networking Infrastructure.    A symposium sponsored by OASIS members Adobe, Booz Allen Hamilton, IBM, SAP, and Sun Microsystems will be held April 26-27, 2004, in New Orleans, LA, USA, coinciding with the popular New Orleans Jazz Festival. Hosted by OASIS, the Symposium on Reliable Infrastructures for XML is open to the public, offering a forum for the international community to exchange ideas and present results of standards work-in-progress. Symposium events will address the different and only partially interchangeable technologies that propose to increase the reliability of XML-based messaging and networking infrastructure. Interoperability issues of concern relate to several technologies: reliable messaging specifications, transaction protocols, intermediate levels of routing, and point-to-point compared to end-to-end, and message-oriented middleware as a carrier for XML messages. At least seventeen (17) of the OASIS Technical Committees will be participating in two days of face-to-face working sessions. These include: FWSI TC, Legal XML Legislative TC, Legal XML Electronic Court Filing TC, Legal XML Integrated Justice TC, Legal XML SDHI TC, WS-CAF TC, WS-Notification TC, WSRF TC, WSRM TC, XACML TC, XDI TC, ebSOA TC, ebXML BP TC, ebXML CPPA TC, ebXML IIC TC, ebXML Messaging TC, and the ebXML Registry TC. Events include an OASIS Symposium BoF on "Advancing a Service-Oriented Architecture Based on ebXML and Web Services; the BoF leader is Duane Nickull of Adobe Systems, convener and proposed chair of the OASIS ebSOA Technical Committee. OASIS and CommerceNet will join forces to present "Reliable Infrastructure for eHealth," a one-day Workshop designed to investigate the relationships between the standards that exist today and identify solutions to the road ahead. This workshop is designed to facilitate the identification of practical steps that can be taken to apply reliable infrastructure for XML standards into healthcare applications. [Full context]

  • [April 08, 2004]   DOM Level 3 Specifications Published as W3C Recommendations.    The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has announced the publication of the DOM Level 3 specifications as W3C Recommendations, including Document Object Model (DOM) Level 3 Core Specification and Document Object Model (DOM) Level 3 Load and Save Specification. These specifications "reflect cross-industry agreement on a standard API (Applications Programming Interface) for manipulating documents and data through a programming language such as Java or ECMAScript. A W3C Recommendation indicates that a specification is stable, contributes to Web interoperability, and has been reviewed by the W3C Membership, who favor its adoption by the industry. Created and developed by the W3C Document Object Model (DOM) Working Group, DOM Level 3 Core extends the platform- and language-neutral interface to access and update dynamically a document's content, structure, and style first described by the DOM Level 2 W3C Recommendations. DOM Level 3 provides a standard set of objects for representing Extensible Markup Language (XML) documents and data, including namespace, XML Base, and XML Schema datatypes support. DOM Level 2 was designed for HTML 4.01, XML 1.0, and Namespaces in XML. With DOM Level 3, authors can take further advantage of the XML platform. It provide support for XML 1.1 and is aligned with the XML Information Set, specification which is also used by other W3C Recommendations such as XML Schema 1.0 and SOAP 1.2." [Full context]

  • [April 07, 2004]   OASIS Open Office XML Format TC Approves Committee Draft Specification.    A Committee Draft of the Open Office Specification 1.0 has been approved by the OASIS Open Office XML Format TC, providing an open, XML-based file format for office applications based on XML. The release includes a 607-page prose specification and separate schema files. The Open Office Specification defines an XML schema for office applications and its semantics. The schema is suitable for office documents, including text documents, spreadsheets, charts and graphical documents like drawings or presentations, but is not restricted to these kind of documents. The schema retains high-level information suitable for editing document and is friendly to transformations using XSLT or similar XML-based languages or tools. The normative XML Schema for Open Office XML embedded within the specification is defined as a RELAX NG schema. Chapter 15 on 'Data Types and Schema Definitions' also references some of the W3C Schema data types and provides Relax-NG definitions. The RELAX NG specifiction has been published as ISO/IEC 19757-2:2003, being "Document Schema Definition Language (DSDL) -- Part 2: Regular-Grammar-Based Validation." According to James Clark, the RELAX NG schema language is "based firmly on the labelled-tree abstraction," distinguished from other XML schema languages by what it leaves out; in RELAX NG, the syntax and minimal labelled-tree abstraction implicit in that syntax are at the center of XML processing." The Open Office XML CD "does not specify which elements and attributes conforming application must, should, or may support. The intention behind this is to ensure that Open Office XML can be used by as many implementations as possible, even if these applications do not support some or many of the elements and attributes defined in this specification. Viewer applications for instance may not support all editing relates elements and attributes (like change tracking), other application may support only the content related elements and attributes, but none of the style related ones. Similarly, Open Office documents may contain elements and attributes not specified within the Open Office schema. Such elements and attributes must not be part of a namespace that is defined within the specification, and are called foreign elements and attributes." [Full context]

  • [April 06, 2004]   W3C Releases Candidate Recommendations for XML Key Management Specification (XKMS 2.0).    The W3C XKMS Working Group has addressed Last Call issues relating to the April 18, 2003 XKMS Working Draft and has now approved publication of Candidate Recommendations for XML Key Management Specification (XKMS 2.0) and XML Key Management Specification (XKMS 2.0) Bindings. The XKMS Candidate Recommendation period will last for at least six months in order for the WG to collect implementation feedback and evaluate implementation experience. This W3C Working Group was chartered to "to develop a specification of an XML application/protocol that allows a simple client to obtain key information (values, certificates, management or trust data) from a web service." The main Part-1 document "specifies protocols for distributing and registering public keys, suitable for use in conjunction with the standard for XML Signatures defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), and the companion standard for XML encryption." XKMS Part-1 defines two service specifications. The XML Key Information Service Specification is a protocol designed "to support the delegation by an application to a service of the processing of key information associated with an XML signature, XML encryption, or other usage of the XML Signature <ds:KeyInfo> element." The XML Key Registration Service Specification is a protocol designed "to support the registration of a key pair by a key pair holder, with the intent that the key pair subsequently be usable in conjunction with the XML Key Information Service Specification or a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) such as X.509. These protocols do not require any particular underlying public key infrastructure but are designed to be compatible with such infrastructures." XKMS Part-2 specifies protocol bindings with security characteristics for the XML Key Management Specification (XKMS) as defined in Part-1. [Full context]

  • [April 05, 2004]   INCITS Announces ANSI's Approval of Role Based Access Control (RBAC) Security Standard.    An announcement from the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) describes the approval of an ANSI/INCITS 359-2004 standard Information Technology — Role Based Access Control, superseding the draft specification previously available from NIST. INCITS is sponsored by the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), a trade association representing the leading U.S. providers of information technology products and services. The approved standard "describes RBAC features that have achieved acceptance in the commercial marketplace. It includes a reference model and functional specifications for the RBAC features defined in the reference model. It is intended for: (1) software engineers and product development managers who design products incorporating access control features; (2) managers and procurement officials who seek to acquire computer security products with features that provide access control capabilities in accordance with commonly known and understood terminology and functional specifications." According to NIST's summary: "Security administration can be costly and prone to error because administrators usually specify access control lists for each user on the system individually. With RBAC, security is managed at a level that corresponds closely to the organization's structure. Each user is assigned one or more roles, and each role is assigned one or more privileges that are permitted to users in that role. Security administration with RBAC consists of determining the operations that must be executed by persons in particular jobs, and assigning employees to the proper roles. Complexities introduced by mutually exclusive roles or role hierarchies are handled by the RBAC software, making security administration easier." RBAC security methods have been implemented in a wide range of commercial products. At least ten papers accepted for presentation at the ACM Symposium on Access Control Models and Technologies (SACMAT 2004) are related to role based access control technologies. In February 2004 the OASIS Extensible Access Control Markup Language TC approved XACML Profile for Role Based Access Control (RBAC) as a Committee Draft. This OASIS document defines a profile for the use of XACML in expressing policies that use role based access control. [Full context]

Earlier News 2004 Q1

  • [March 31, 2004]   Web Services Resource Framework Adds WS-BaseFaults and WS-ServiceGroup.    An announcement from Akamai, The Globus Alliance, HP, IBM, Sonic Software, and TIBCO on January 20, 2004 described the release of three new Web Services Resource Framework specifications providing a scalable publication/subscription messaging model and the ability to model stateful resources using Web services. Further development of these specifications is now targeted for work in the OASIS Web Services Resource Framework (WSRF) Technical Committee. Two additional documents relevant to the Web Services Resource Framework were published on March 31, 2004. Web Services Base Faults (WS-BaseFaults) "defines an XML Schema type for base faults, along with rules for how this base fault type is used and extended by Web services. The goal of WS-BaseFaults is to standardize the terminology, concepts, XML types, and WSDL usage of a base fault type for Web service interfaces. A designer of a Web services application often uses interfaces defined by others. Managing faults in such an application is more difficult when each interface uses a different convention for representing common information in fault messages Support for problem determination and fault management can be enhanced by specifying Web services fault messages in a common way. When the information available in faults from various interfaces is consistent, it is easier for requestors to understand faults. It is also more likely that common tooling can be created to assist in the handling of faults." The Web Services Service Group Specification (WS-ServiceGroup) "defines a means by which Web services and WS-Resources can be aggregated or grouped together for a domain specific purpose. In order for requestors to form meaningful queries against the contents of the ServiceGroup, membership in the group must be constrained in some fashion. The constraints for membership are expressed by intension using a classification mechanism. Further, the members of each intension must share a common set of information over which queries can be expressed." The two new specifications have been inspired by portions of the Open Grid Services Infrastructure (OGSI) Version 1.0. [Full context]

  • [March 31, 2004]   Updated Releases of the WS-Addressing and WS-MetadataExchange Specifications.    On March 30, 2004 the Web Services Addressing (WS-Addressing) and Web Services Metadata Exchange (WS-MetadataExchange) specifications were published with revisions. The WS-MetadataExchange specification from BEA, IBM, Microsoft, and SAP was initially published on the BEA web site with a date of February 2004. The new March 30, 2004 version assigns a new XML Namespace URI and normatively references the March 2004 version of WS-Addressing. Web services "use metadata to describe what other endpoints need to know to interact with them. The WS-MetadataExchange specification defines messages to retrieve specific types of metadata associated with an endpoint." Specifically, it defines three request-response message pairs to retrieve three types of metadata, in order to bootstrap communication with a Web service. One message pair "retrieves the WS-Policy associated with the receiving endpoint or with a given target namespace; another retrieves either the WSDL associated with the receiving endpoint or with a given target namespace; a third message pair retrieves the XML Schema with a given target namespace. Together these messages allow efficient, incremental retrieval of a Web service's metadata." According to a published annotation from SAP, the Web Services Metadata Exchange specification "fits into the core Web service architecture since it is built on top of XML, XML Schema, WSDL, and WS-Policy." Microsoft has reckoned WS-Addressing among the Web Services "Metadata Specifications" together with WSDL, UDDI, WS-Policy, WS-PolicyAssertions, WS-PolicyAttachment, WS-SecurityPolicy, and WS-Discovery. The WS-Addressing specification released by BEA, IBM, and Microsoft in about May 2003 has now been published in an improved version "based on community feedback and multi-vendor implementation experience. Changes include an improved definition of request-reply and a new WSDL binding and fault codes." The WS-Addressing specification "provides transport-neutral mechanisms to address Web services and messages. Specifically, it defines XML elements to identify Web service endpoints and to secure end-to-end endpoint identification in messages. The specification enables messaging systems to support message transmission through networks that include processing nodes such as endpoint managers, firewalls, and gateways in a transport-neutral manner." The WS-Addressing specification makes normative use of WS-Policy; as of March 2004, several other (WS-*) specifications made (normative) reference to WS-Addressing. In Microsoft's classification scheme, WS-Addressing is assigned to the "Messaging Specifications" group along with SOAP, MTOM (Attachments), and WS-Eventing. [Full context]

  • [March 29, 2004]   OASIS Members Form New TC for the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA).    OASIS Sponsor Members Arbortext, IBM, Innodata Isogen, and Nokia have proposed a new OASIS DITA Technical Committee for development and maintenance of the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA). Joined by other individual members (from Comtech Services, IXIASOFT, Mulberry Technologies, Syntext), the TC will further define and maintain DITA to promote the use of the architecture for creating standard information types and domain-specific markup vocabularies. Pioneered by researchers at IBM (Don Day, Michael Priestley, David Schell, and others), DITA is an architecture for creating topic-oriented, information-typed content that can be reused and single-sourced in a variety of ways. It is also an architecture for creating new information types and describing new information domains based on existing types and domains. DITA supports content reuse through a unique transclusion mechanism that involves validation under DTD processing rules: an element "can replace itself with the content of a like element elsewhere, either in the current topic or in a separate topic that shares the same content models." DITA is "specializable, which allows for the introduction of specific semantics for specific purposes without increasing the size of other DTDs, and which allows the inheritance of shared design and behavior and interchangeability with unspecialized content. Providing specific semantics allows more automatable processes, more consistent authoring, better retrievability, and better applicability to specific groups." The OASIS DITA Technical Committee will "articulate the principles of the DITA architecture through formal specifications, assess the relationship of DITA specialization to emerging XML standards, define appropriate enhancements of the architecture, and standardize information types in the DITA type hierarchy. The TC will also encourage cooperation within and between the various topical domains of potential DITA users, designing a generic methodology for specialized extensions of the base specification by user communities." In connection with the new TC's formation, the DITA developers have prepared an updated version of the DITA Toolkit containing new DTDs and source for the DITA Language Reference. Ant build scripts are also provided: "in a properly set-up environment, they can generate output to HTML Help, JavaHelp, Eclipse Help, Web page models, and XSL-FO — all the way to PDF if you invoke FOP." Don Day of IBM is the Proposed Chair of the OASIS DITA TC. The first meeting of the TC will be held as a teleconference on May 4, 2004. [Full context]

  • [March 29, 2004]   W3C Updates Web Services Description Language (WSDL) Version 2.0 Drafts.    The W3C Web Services Description Working Group has released two revised Working Draft specifications for WSDL 2.0. Web Services Description Language (WSDL) Version 2.0 Part 2: Message Exchange Patterns defines patterns that are intended for use with the Web Services Description Language (WSDL). "WSDL message exchange patterns define the sequence and cardinality of abstract messages listed in an operation. Message exchange patterns also define which other nodes send messages to, and receive messages from, the service implementing the operation. WSDL patterns are described in terms of the WSDL component model, specifically the Label and Fault Reference components." Web Services Description Language (WSDL) Version 2.0 Part 1: Core Language "describes the Web Services Description Language (WSDL) Version 2.0, an XML language for describing Web services. It defines the core language which can be used to describe Web services based on an abstract model of what the service offers. It also defines criteria for a conformant processor of this language." [Full context]

  • [March 26, 2004]   Geography Markup Language (GML) Version 3.1 Public Release from Open GIS Consortium.    The membership of the Open GIS Consortium (OGC) has approved the release of the OpenGIS Geography Markup Language (GML) Implementation Specification Version 3.1.0 as a publicly available OpenGIS Recommendation Paper. The GML specification is now being edited jointly in the OGC GML Revision Working Group and in ISO/TC 211/WG 4 (Geographic Information/Geomatics). The ISO version is now Committee Draft level (ISO/CD 19136), while the OGC version is characterized as a Recommendation Paper in order to maintain alignment with the ISO editing process. The Geography Markup Language (GML) is the most widely supported open specification for representation of geographic (spatial and location) information. It defines XML encoding for the transport and storage of geographic information, including both the geometry and properties of geographic features. In keeping with OGC's IPR policies for Open GIS standards, GML is freely available for use on royalty-free terms. The GML Specifiction Version 3.1.0 has been edited by Simon Cox (CSIRO), Paul Daisey (U.S. Census Bureau), Ron Lake (Galdos Systems), Clemens Portele (Interactive Instruments), and Arliss Whiteside (BAE Systems). The 601-page prose document is supported by thirty-three (33) Schema files. The specification is based upon a large number of other standards; it normatively references the XML Linking Language (XLink) Version 1.0 and The Schematron Assertion Language 1.5. GML Version 3.1.0 adds new geometries, is more compliant with the ISO/TC 211 family of specifications, and contains some items for increased efficiency and simplicity. It "maintains backward compatibility for GML version 3.0.0 and 2.1.2 instance documents by preserving, but deprecating, some schema components that have been replaced by different constructs in the current version." The Open GIS Consortium, Inc (OGC) is "an international, member-driven, non-profit industry consortium of 258 companies, government agencies and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available interface specifications and geoprocessing interoperability computing standards. OGC supports interoperable solutions that 'geo-enable' the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. The specifications empower technology developers to make complex spatial information and services accessible and useful with all kinds of applications." [Full context]

  • [March 25, 2004]   Web Services Choreography Requirements and WS Choreography Model Overview.    The W3C Web Services Choreography Working Group has released an initial public working draft for Web Services Choreography Model Overview and an updated version of Web Services Choreography Requirements. The Working Group has been chartered to define a choreography definition language for coordinating interactions among Web services and their users. CDL will "define a language based on WSDL 2.0 that can describe a peer-to-peer global model for cross-enterprise interactions and their semantics through the composition of web services that are independent of any specific programming language." The Model Overview document provides "an information model that describes the data and the relationships between them that is needed to define a choreography that describes the sequence and conditions in which the data exchanged between two or more participants in order to meet some useful purpose. Global definitions of a choreography facilitate choreography reuse especially if choreographies are defined with varying degrees of abstraction. The draft model identifies and supports three different levels of abstraction in which choreographies can usefully be defined and used: abstract, portable and concrete choreographies." The Web Services Choreography Requirements document "describes a set of requirements for Web Services choreography based upon a set of representative use cases, as well as general requirements for interaction among Web Services. In order to gather requirements for Web Services Choreography, the working group has currently chosen to follow two paths toward this end. The first means of gathering requirements consists of examination of member-submitted use cases, from which requirements may be inferred. The second methods involves the use of the Critical Success Factor analysis methodology." [Full context]

  • [March 23, 2004]   Opera Multimodal Desktop Browser Supports XHTML+Voice (X+V) Specification.    An announcement from Opera Software at the AVIOS SpeechTEK International Exposition and Educational Conference describes the upcoming release of a multimodal desktop browser based on the XHTML+Voice (X+V) specification. In 2001, IBM, Motorola, and Opera submitted the XHTML+Voice Profile 1.0 to W3C for standards work. The most recent version of XHTML+Voice Profile 1.2 is managed by the VoiceXML Forum, and "brings spoken interaction to standard web content by integrating the mature XHTML and XML-Events technologies with XML vocabularies developed as part of the W3C Speech Interface Framework. The profile includes voice modules that support speech synthesis, speech dialogs, command and control, and speech grammars. Voice handlers can be attached to XHTML elements and respond to specific DOM events, thereby reusing the event model familiar to web developers. Voice interaction features are integrated with XHTML and CSS and can consequently be used directly within XHTML content." The Opera multimodal browser project builds upon an ongoing relationship between IBM and Opera: the new release incorporates IBM's Embedded ViaVoice speech technology. IBM's ViaVoice speech technology supports a variety of real-time operating systems (RTOS) and microprocessors, powering mobile devices such as smart phones, handheld personal digital assistants (PDAs), and automobile components. "By leveraging IBM's voice libraries in this version of Opera, users can navigate, request information, and even fill in Web forms using speech and other forms of input in the same interaction." The new platform allows users to "interact with the content on the Web in a more natural way, combining speech with other forms of input and output; developers can also start to build multimodal content using the open standards-based X+V markup language, which unifies the visual and voice Web by using development skills a large population of programmers already have today." [Full context]

  • [March 23, 2004]   Cape Clear Software Releases Simplified Graphical SOA Editor.    Cape Clear has announced a free service-oriented architecture (SOA) editor that supersedes its earlier WSDL Editor, "providing a wide range of improvements such as new editing features, new Web Services Description Language (WSDL) views, improved usability and performance. The SOA Editor offers programmers a graphical environment that simplifies the creation of standards-based Web Services, which can be deployed into an SOA-based architecture. The SOA Editor provides easy-to-use tools for building services, including automated wizards for common development tasks, support for Web Services standards, tools for testing code, support for XML Schema, and detailed documentation to help programmers get up and running quickly." W3C XML Schema is said to be "at the heart of SOA design: the SOA Editor includes full support for XML Schema and has been rigorously tested against many of the leading industry schema, including ACORD, Parlay, and SWIFT. As well as providing support for the use of standard WSDL 1.1 elements such as types, messages, operations, ports, port types, bindings, and services, the SOA Editor provides more advanced support for elements such as imports, faults, SOAP headers, multiple bindings, RPC/document-literal encoding styles, and parameter ordering. The tool enables developers to include MIME and non-XML attachments in their service definitions, enabling the creation of complex services across an enterprise. Validatation of service definitions against XML schemas includes checking for strict compliance with all WSDL and XML standards as well as validation against customized business rules that can be added to improve constraint checking. The SOA Editor automatically generates HTML descriptions of the created services and their properties, which significantly reduces the administration of service development." The SOA Editor is integrated with the commercial Cape Clear Business Integration Suite. The tool requires Sun Java Development Kit (JDK) 1.4 or later and has been tested on Windows NT/2000 platforms. [Full context]

  • [March 22, 2004]   The Growing Importance of Web Services Addressing (WS-Addressing).    Apache Addressing is an open source implementation of the Web Services Addressing (WS-Addressing) specification. It is built on top of Apache Axis, 'The Next Generation SOAP'. The announcement for Apache Addressing as an Apache Web Services Project is one evidence among several of the growing recognition that WS-Addressing is a key specification for Web Services messaging. WS-Addressing "defines two constructs that convey information that is typically provided by transport protocols and messaging systems in an interoperable manner. These constructs normalize this underlying information into a uniform format that can be processed independently of transport or application. The two constructs are endpoint references and message information headers." An endpoint reference contains a Net address and an optional collection of reference properties, functioning as a "generic URI." The goal of the specification is to provide "transport-neutral mechanisms to address Web services and messages, enabling messaging systems to support message transmission through networks that include processing nodes such as endpoint managers, firewalls, and gateways in a transport-neutral manner." Produced as a private WS-* specification by BEA, IBM, and Microsoft, WS-Addressing was published in March 2003 and revised in May 2003. It is being implemented in WSE (Web Services Enhancements), a supported add-on to Microsoft Visual Studio .NET and the Microsoft .NET Framework. WS-Addressing normatively references WS-Policy and is referenced by a growing number of WS-* specifications. [Full context]

  • [March 19, 2004]   Liberty's Federated Identity Project Supported by Intel and Six New Global Alliances.    The Liberty Alliance consortium has announced the formation of new relationships with six global alliances, and the addition of Intel Corporation to the Liberty Alliance Management Board. The new partner relationships will help Liberty address identity challenges in the security, financial, and mobile services sectors. Liberty is developing an open federated identity standard and business tools and guidance for implementing identity-based services. Standards organizations now working collaboratively with the Liberty Alliance include Network Applications Consortium (NAC), Open Mobile Alliance (OMA), Open Security Exchange (OSE), PayCircle, SIMalliance, and WLAN Smart Card Consortium. The forging of new global alliances by Liberty highlights the importance of federated identity as "a key enabler in everything from mobile payments and on-demand networking to integrating electronic and physical security systems." The Alliance also announced that Intel Corporation has joined the global consortium as "both a sponsor member and participating company on the Alliance's Management Board. As the newest member on the Management Board, Intel is one of fifteen (15) companies responsible for overall governance and operations of the Liberty Alliance. This new membership status will allow Intel the opportunity to work with the Liberty Alliance membership to assist in the creation and recommendation of future specifications and business tools in the area of federated identity." [Full context]

  • [March 17, 2004]   WS-I Releases Final Testing Tools Package for Basic Profile 1.0 Compliance.    An announcement from the Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I) describes the final release of compliance testing tools for WS-I Basic Profile and outlines plans to tackle Web Services Security. The WS-I Testing Tools Version 1.0 package approved by the WS-I membership contains the final release of the WS-I testing tools implementation for the Basic Profile V1.0. Prepared as C# and Java implementations, the tools are designed to help developers determine whether their Web services are conformant with Profile Guidelines and may be used to verify a Web service's compliance. A Service Communication Monitor "captures messages exchanged with Web services, and stores these messages for analysis by the second tool, the Web Service Profile Analyzer. The Analyzer evaluates messages captured by the Monitor, and also validates the description and registration artifacts of the Web service. These artifacts include the WSDL document(s) that describes the Web service, the XML schema files that describe the data types used in the WSDL service definition, and the UDDI registration entries. More than 300 test cases have been written and automated for the Analyzer tool; each test case exercises between 50 and 90 test procedures. The output from the Analyzer is a report that indicates whether or not a Web service meets the interoperability guidelines of the WS-I Basic Profile. The report provides details on the specific deviations and failures, so that users know which requirements of the WS-I Basic Profile were not met." With the completion of the Basic Profile 1.0 deliverables, WS-I is now turning its attention to the development of interoperability guidelines "to address attachments and Web services security. In December 2003 WS-I published drafts of the Basic Profile 1.1, Simple SOAP Binding Profile 1.0 and the Attachments Profile 1.0 for public review. In addition, the Basic Security Profile Working Group expects to publish a draft of the Basic Security Profile early next quarter. The Basic Security Profile will profile the OASIS WS-Security specification and its associated normatively referenced specifications. In February 2004 WS-I announced the availability of the first Security Scenarios Working Group Draft for public review. This document outlines security risks in building interoperable Web services and countermeasures for these risks." [Full context]

  • [March 16, 2004]   VoiceXML 2.0 and Speech Recognition Grammar Published as W3C Recommendations.    The World Wide Web Consortium has released the first two W3C Recommendations in its Speech Interface Framework. "Aimed at the world's estimated two billion fixed line and mobile phones, W3C's Speech Interface Framework will allow an unprecedented number of people to use any telephone to interact with appropriately designed Web-based services via key pads, spoken commands, listening to pre-recorded speech, synthetic speech and music." The Voice Extensible Markup Language (VoiceXML) Version 2.0 Recommendation defines VoiceXML, designed for "creating audio dialogs that feature synthesized speech, digitized audio, recognition of spoken and DTMF key input, recording of spoken input, telephony, and mixed initiative conversations. Its major goal is to bring the advantages of Web-based development and content delivery to interactive voice response applications." The second Recommendation, Speech Recognition Grammar Specification Version 1.0, is key to VoiceXML's support for speech recognition, and is used by developers to describe end-users responses to spoken prompts. It defines syntax for representing grammars for use in speech recognition so that developers can specify the words and patterns of words to be listened for by a speech recognizer. The syntax of the grammar format is presented in two forms, an Augmented BNF Form and an XML Form. The specification makes the two representations mappable to allow automatic transformations between the two forms." [Full context]

  • [March 15, 2004]   Public Review for the OASIS Content Assembly Mechanism (CAM) Specification.    A Committee Draft specification approved by the OASIS CAM Technical Committee has entered a 30-day review period in advance of its submission for approval as an OASIS Standard. The Content Assembly Mechanism (CAM) "provides an open XML based system for using business rules to define, validate and compose specific business documents from generalized schema elements and structures. A CAM rule set and document assembly template defines the specific business context, content requirement, and transactional function of a document. A CAM template must be capable of consistently reproducing documents that can successfully carry out the specific transactional function that they were designed for. CAM also provides the foundation for creating industry libraries and dictionaries of schema elements and business document structures to support business process needs. The core role of the OASIS CAM specifications is therefore to provide a generic standalone content assembly mechanism that extends beyond the basic structural definition features in XML and schema to provide a comprehensive system with which to define dynamic e-business interoperability." The CAM specification public review period ends April 15, 2004. [Full context]

  • [March 11, 2004]   Reliable Messaging: Recent Versions of WS-Reliability and WS-ReliableMessaging.    The Web Services Reliability (WS-Reliability) specification "is a SOAP-based protocol for exchanging SOAP messages with guaranteed delivery (acknowledgment messages, re-sending of messages), no duplicates, and guaranteed message ordering using a sequence number mechanism. WS-Reliability is defined as SOAP header extensions, and is independent of the underlying protocol. This specification contains a binding to HTTP." WS-Reliability is being developed by the OASIS Web Services Reliable Messaging (WSRM) Technical Committee which was chartered in February 2003. The Version 0.992 of March 10, 2004 prose specification is accompanied by two XML Schemas. It addresses a recognized problem, viz., that "SOAP 1.2 over HTTP is not sufficient when an application-level messaging protocol must also address reliability and security. The specification is intended as an initial proposal for defining reliability in the context of current Web Services standards. It borrows from previous work in messaging and transport protocols, e.g., SOAP and the OASIS ebXML Message Service Specification Version 2.0. The Web Services Reliable Messaging Protocol (WS-ReliableMessaging) "describes a protocol that allows messages to be delivered reliably between distributed applications in the presence of software component, system, or network failures. The protocol is described in this specification in a transport-independent manner allowing it to be implemented using different network technologies. To support interoperable Web services, a SOAP binding is defined within this specification. This specification integrates with and complements the WS-Security, WS-Policy, and other Web services specifications. Combined, these allow for a broad range of reliable, secure messaging options." The March 09, 2004 revised draft of WS-ReliableMessaging from BEA, IBM, Microsoft Corporation, and TIBCO Software updates the original publication of March 13, 2003. [Full context]

  • [March 10, 2004]   OASIS Forms TCs for Web Services Resource Framework and Web Services Notification.    Technical work on the refactoring of Open Grid Services Infrastructure (OGSI) Version 1.0 has been brought to OASIS with the formation of two new technical committees: the Web Services Resource Framework (WSRF) TC and Web Services Notification (WSN) TC. The WSRF TC will "define a generic and open framework for modeling and accessing stateful resources using Web services. This includes mechanisms to describe views on the state, to support management of the state through properties associated with the Web service, and to describe how these mechanisms are extensible to groups of Web services. The TC's goal is to define a set of royalty-free, related, interoperable and modular specifications that will allow the relationship between a Web service and state to be modelled in an explicit and standardized fashion." The WSRF TC will revise the recently re-published WS-ResourceProperties and WS-ResourceLifetime specifications; it will also release new specifications for the three other principal modules of the OGSI-TNG Web Services Resource Framework: WS-RenewableReferences, WS-ServiceGroup, and WS-BaseFaults. The Web Services Notification TC has been chartered to "define a set of specifications that standardise the way Web services interact using the Notification pattern. In the Notification pattern a Web service, or other entity, disseminates information to a set of other Web services, without having to have prior knowledge of these other Web Services." The OASIS WSN TC will develop a revised set of WS-Notification Framework specifications (WS-Base Notification, WS-Topics, WS-Brokered Notification) and will publish a WS-NotificationPolicy specification detailing the policy language associated with Notification. [Full context]

  • [March 10, 2004]   W3C Releases Updated Draft for XML Schema Component Designators.    The W3C XML Schema Working Group has published a revised working draft of the XML Schema: Component Designators specification. W3C XML Schemas "express shared vocabularies and allow machines to carry out rules made by people; they provide a means for defining the structure, content and semantics of XML documents." The Component Designators draft defines a scheme for identifying XML Schema components as described in the "XML Schema Abstract Data Model" of XML Schema Part 1: Structures. A schema component is the generic term for the building blocks that comprise the abstract data model of the schema. The revised Component Designators working draft introduces a three-layer model for schema component reference corresponding to a 3-layer model of schema processor conformance. The scheme divides the thirteen (13) kinds of schema components into: components in context, schema assembly, and schema reference. "Schema component designators thus on a related 3-layer model of schema component reference. Layer 1, the reference core, specifies the manner in which schema component paths relate to schema components; Layer 2 specifies the mapping of a set of schema documents to a schema; Layer 3 provides a set of conventions for the identifying such a set of schema documents on the Web." The new draft is also reorganized, with extended and clarified use-cases and requirements; it now allows for non-canonical schema component paths. The draft specification has been produced by the W3C XML Schema Working Group as part of the W3C XML Activity and is on the W3C Recommendation track. [Full context]

  • [March 05, 2004]   Web Services Notification Framework for Publish-Subscribe Notification Events.    The technology previously outlined in a Web Services Notification (WS-Notification) specification has been elaborated in terms of a Web Services Notification Framework which supports Publish-Subscribe Notification for Web services. This framework has been developed by Akamai Technologies, Computer Associates International, Fujitsu Laboratories of Europe, Globus, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, SAP AG, Sonic Software, and TIBCO Software. The Web Services Notification Framework complements the Web Services Resource Framework, which includes the WS-ResourceProperties and WS-ResourceLifetime specifications and defines a family of specifications for accessing stateful resources using Web services. The Web Services Notification Framework currently includes three specifications. Web Services Base Notification (WS-Base Notification) describes "standard message exchanges to be implemented by service providers that wish to act in these roles, along with operational requirements expected of them." Web Services Brokered Notification (WS-BrokeredNotification) "defines the Web services interface for the NotificationBroker, which is an intermediary that allows publication of messages from entities that are not themselves service providers." Web Services Topics (WS-Topics) "defines a mechanism to organize and categorize items of interest for subscription known as 'topics' that are used in conjunction with the notification mechanisms defined in WS-Base Notification. It defines three topic expression dialects and specifies an XML model for describing metadata associated with topics." These specifications "implement the Notification pattern in which a service provider, or other entity, initiates messages based on a subscription or registration of interest from a service requestor. The Web Services Notification Framework defines how the publish/subscribe (pub/sub) pattern commonly used in Message-Oriented middleware products can be realized using Web services. This includes brokered as well as direct pub/sub which allows the publisher/subscribers to be decoupled and provides greater scalability..." [Full context]

  • [March 05, 2004]   Web Services Metadata Exchange (WS-MetadataExchange) for Service Endpoints.    A new WS-* specification from BEA Systems, IBM, Microsoft, and SAP defines messages to retrieve specific types of metadata associated with an endpoint. Web Services Metadata Exchange (WS-MetadataExchange). The purpose of the specification is to "define a bootstrap mechanism for metadata-driven message exchange," as required in the Web Services Policy Framework (WS-Policy), in Web Services Description Language (WSDL) 1.1, and in W3C XML Schema. Supporting SOAP 1.1, SOAP 1.2 Envelopes and WSDL 1.1 description, the WS-MetadataExchange specification "leverages other Web service specifications for secure, reliable, transacted message delivery." The associated namespace URI is "Specifically, WS-Policy describes the capabilities, requirements, and general characteristics of Web services; WSDL 1.1 describes abstract message operations, concrete network protocols, and endpoint addresses used by Web services; W3C XML Schema describes the structure and contents of XML-based messages received and sent by Web services. To bootstrap communication with a Web service, this WS-MetadataExchange specification defines three request-response message pairs to retrieve these three types of metadata. One retrieves the WS-Policy associated with the receiving endpoint or with a given target namespace, another retrieves either the WSDL associated with the receiving endpoint or with a given target namespace, and a third retrieves the XML Schema with a given target namespace. Together these messages allow efficient, incremental retrieval of a Web service's metadata." [Full context]

  • [March 04, 2004]   US LOC SRW Maintenance Agency Releases Search/Retrieve Web Service Version 1.1.    An announcement from the SRW Maintenance Agency at the U.S. Library of Congress describes the release of the Search/Retrieve Web Service Version 1.1, together with CQL (Common Query Language) Version 1.1. SRW is "an XML-based protocol designed to be a low-barrier-to-entry solution for searching and other information retrieval operations across the internet. It uses existing, well tested, and easily available technologies, such as URI, XML, SOAP, HTTP, and XPath. All SRW records are transfered in XML. Record schemas used in SRW include Dublin Core, Onix, MODS, and MarcXml. Support for Dublin Core is strongly encouraged; other schemas can be defined locally. The protocol may be carried via SOAP or as parameters in a URL. When carried via SOAP, it is referred to as SRW; via URL, as SRU." CQL, the 'Common Query Language', is "a formal language for representing queries to information retrieval systems such as web indexes, bibliographic catalogs and museum collection information. The CQL design objective is that queries be human readable and human writable, and that the language be intuitive while maintaining the expressiveness of more complex languages. CQL was designed in conjunction with SRW and is the query language in which queries are expressed for both SRW and SRU, although it is not in any way limited to these two protocols. CQL is used in both the searchRetrieve and scan operations within SRW. In searchRetrieve, it is sent in the 'query' parameter, which may include any legal CQL. On the other hand, the 'scanClause' parameter in scan may only contain a single CQL searchClause, made up of index, relation (plus optional modifiers) and term. Both of these parameters are mandatory, and as such CQL forms a solid foundation on which to build the SRW protocol." The Z39.50 standard refers to ANSI/NISO Z39.50 and, with minor differences, to the International Standard ISO 23950 Information Retrieval (Z39.50): Application Service Definition and Protocol Specification. [Full context]

  • [March 02, 2004]   W3C Publishes Candidate Recommendations for CSS Language Specifications.    A W3C announcement describes the release of three Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) language specifications as Candidate Recommendations. The Cascading Style Sheets, Level 2 Revision 1. CSS 2.1 Specification "allows authors and users to attach style to structured documents; by separating the presentation style of documents from the content of documents, CSS 2.1 simplifies Web authoring and site maintenance. CSS 2.1 builds on CSS2 and CSS1. It supports media-specific style sheets so that authors may tailor the presentation of their documents to visual browsers, aural devices, printers, braille devices, handheld devices, etc. It also supports content positioning, table layout, features for internationalization and some properties related to user interface." This specification will remain at Candidate Recommendation level at least until September 2004. CSS Print Profile "specifies a conformance profile for printing from mobile devices to low-cost printers, identifying a minimum set of properties, values, selectors, and cascading rules. This profile was designed in conjunction with XHTML-Print for low cost printers that may not have a full-page buffer and that generally print from top-to-bottom and left-to-right with the paper in a portrait orientation." The CSS3 Paged Media Module "describes the page model that partitions a flow into pages. It builds on the CSS3 Box model module and introduces and defines the page model and paged media. It adds functionality for pagination, page margins, headers and footers, image orientation. Finally, it extends generated content for the purpose of cross-references with page numbers." [Full context]

  • [February 27, 2004]   Liberty Publishes Federated Identity Documents on Mobile Deployments and Identity Theft.    The Liberty Alliance Project has released two key federated identity documents. The Tier 2 Business Guidelines: Mobile Deployments document outlines "near-term market opportunities and business requirements for federated identity in the mobile market. The document examines how mobile operators, equipment providers, content and service providers as well as vendors and users can take advantage of the growth and demand for mobile services, and in turn, how Liberty's open standard can enable secure delivery of Web services. The Mobile Deployments guidelines address business issues that must be considered during planning and deployment, including: establishing mutual confidence and minimum quality standards; developing a comprehensive risk management strategy; defining liability and dispute resolution mechanisms; complying with agreed-upon standards and relevant legislation. A Whitepaper on Liberty Protocol and Identity Theft white paper "discusses identity theft and the related problem of identity management, showing how the Liberty Alliance Project addresses the current issue of identity theft through its specifications and through best practice implementation guidelines. Liberty specifications lower the risk of identity theft because of higher security and privacy standards. They limit the damage of identity theft caused to Principals because all their personal data is not concentrated in the same single site, and Principals control which sites can share what data." The Liberty Alliance represents more than 150 institutional members partnering to "develop open standards for federated network identity management and identity-based services. Its goals are to ensure interoperability, support privacy, and promote adoption of its specifications, guidelines and best practices." [Full context]

  • [February 26, 2004]   Common Alerting Protocol Version 1.0 Approved by OASIS Emergency Management TC.    Members of the OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee have approved a Committee Draft specification for the Common Alerting Protocol Version 1.0 and have recommended its advancement for approval by OASIS as an OASIS standard. The Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) is "a simple but general format for exchanging all-hazard emergency alerts and public warnings over all kinds of networks. CAP allows a consistent warning message to be disseminated simultaneously over many different warning systems, thus increasing warning effectiveness while simplifying the warning task. CAP also facilitates the detection of emerging patterns in local warnings of various kinds, such as might indicate an undetected hazard or hostile act. And CAP provides a template for effective warning messages based on best practices identified in academic research and real-world experience." The TC was chartered to "design, develop, and release XML Schema-based standards that begin to solve the real-world problems of incident preparedness, response, and emergency management; these standards are not only to provide a framework for data exchange, but also for functionality and service accessibility, all with the common goal of seamless application and data interoperability. The Emergency Management TC's scope includes: unified incident identification; emergency GIS data accessibility and usage; notifications methods and messages; situational reporting; source tasking; asset and resources management; monitoring and data acquisition systems; staff, personnel and organizational management." [Full context]

  • [February 25, 2004]   WS-I Releases Public Working Draft Document on Security Scenarios.    The Web Services-Interoperability Organization (WS-I) has announced the availability of a public review draft for WS-I Security Scenarios which defines the requirements for and scope of the WS-I Basic Security Profile. Produced by members of the WS-I Basic Security Profile Working Group, this document "is aimed at Web Services architects and developers who are examining the security aspects of the Web Services they are designing/developing. WS-I Security Scenarios "identifies security challenges [in terms of] general security goals or features that inform the selection of specific security requirements in scenarios. It also identifies the typical threats that prevent accomplishment of each challenge, and identifies the typical countermeasures (technologies and protocols) used to mitigate each threat. The draft documents potential usage scenarios and the security challenges and threats that might apply to each, as derived from the templates found in the Supply Chain Management Use Cases and Scenarios documents." A subsequent draft will address security issues related to attaching material to SOAP messages as, described in the WS-I Attachment Profile 1.0. WS-I has requested input, suggestions, and other feedback on the draft from a wide variety of industry participants in order to improve its quality over time. It is assumed that the reader has a basic understanding of security technologies such as SSL/TLS, XML encryption, digital signatures, and the OASIS Web Services Security specification. "WS-I is also currently working on the Basic Security Profile, an interoperability profile involving transport security, SOAP messaging security, and other security considerations implicated by the Basic Profile 1.0. The Basic Security Profile is intended to compose with other WS-I profiles and will reference existing specifications used to provide security, including the OASIS Web Services Security 1.0 specification, and provide clarifications and guidance designed to promote interoperability of those specifications. A Working Group Draft of the Basic Security Profile is expected to be delivered in 2004Q2." [Full context]

  • [February 20, 2004]   OASIS Members Form Electronic Business Service Oriented Architecture TC.    A new ebSOA (Electronic Business Service Oriented Architecture) technical committee has been created by OASIS members to continue work on the ebXML Technical Architecture. The goal is to advance the version 1.04 model to "a more current architecture that takes into account both subsequent releases of the ebXML specifications and other Web Services and service-oriented architecture works, including the work of the W3C Web Services Architecture WG. The TC will assess the implementability and interoperability of the multiple ebXML and Web Services specifications, providing relevant comments and suggestions to OASIS TCs and other panels managing the individual specifications. The proposed schedule calls for release of an eBusiness Service Oriented Architecture Technical Specification within eighteen months, preceded by incremental working drafts. A Service Oriented Architecture Best Practices Document covering both ebXML and Web Services will also be published. Duane Nickull (Adobe) is the Proposed TC Chair. The first meeting of the OASIS ebSOA TC will be held April 29, 2004 in New Orleans, LA, USA. [Full context]

  • [February 19, 2004]   OASIS SAML Interoperability Event Demonstrates Single Sign-On at RSA Conference.    OASIS has announced that several vendors will team with the U.S. General Service Administration E-Gov E-Authentication Initiative at the RSA Conference 2004 to demonstrate interoperability of the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML). Vendor participants include Computer Associates, DataPower Technology, Entrust, Hewlett-Packard, Oblix, OpenNetwork, RSA Security, Sun Microsystems, and others. SAML Version 1.1 is an OASIS authentication and authorization standard based upon an XML framework for exchanging security information. "This security information is expressed in the form of assertions about subjects, where a subject is an entity (either human or computer) that has an identity in some security domain. A typical example of a subject is a person, identified by his or her email address in a particular Internet DNS domain. One major design goal for SAML is Single Sign-On (SSO), the ability of a user to authenticate in one domain and use resources in other domains without re-authenticating." The unique teaming of the U.U. General Service Administration with eleven vendors in this RSA event "showcases interoperability across three separate scenarios, simulating interaction between a government or enterprise portal and sites from typical content or service providers. For the first time ever, members of the OASIS Security Services Technical Committee will demonstrate both types of SAML version 1.1 Single Sign-On, along with additional scenarios that highlight SAML's flexibility. The event is sponsored by the U.S. GSA E-Gov E-Authentication Initiative, which is committed to delivering open standards-based authentication solutions to U.S. government agencies." In connection with the OASIS SAML 1.1 Interoperability Showcase, members of the Security Services TC have published a Technical Overview of the OASIS Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) V1.1 as a committee working draft. [Full context]

  • [February 17, 2004]   Microsoft Releases Web Services Dynamic Discovery Specification (WS-Discovery).    Microsoft, BEA, Canon, and Intel have jointly authored a Web Services Dynamic Discovery (WS-Discovery) specification which defines a multicast discovery protocol to locate services. WS-Discovery "enables advertisement and dynamic discovery of services on both ad-hoc and managed networks. Services may be organized in a hierarchical scope, and clients can query for services by type as well as scope without heavy administrative costs. The specification enables numerous design patterns for enterprise services and provides a discovery architecture for peer-to-peer services like buddy lists, websites, and file shares; it forms the basis for discovering network-attached devices such as printers, cameras, and PDAs." The prose specification is accompanied by an XML Schema and WSDL file, using the XML namespace WS-Discovery is part of the WS-* suite of "composable architecture" Web service specifications published by Microsoft, IBM, and others; it therefore "specifically relies on other Web service specifications to provide secure, reliable, and/or transacted message delivery and to express Web service and client policy." Microsoft MSDN reckons WS-Discovery among the Web Services Metadata Specifications, together with WSDL, UDDI, WS-Policy, WS-PolicyAssertions, WS-PolicyAttachment, and WS-SecurityPolicy. The Protocol Assignments require that multicast messages use port 3702 (UDP or TCP, typically for UPNP v2 Discovery) using designated IPv4/IPv6 multicast addresses. Messages sent over UDP must be sent using SOAP over UDP, compensating for possible UDP unreliability by use of a modified transmission algorithm documented in Appendix A of 'SOAP over UDP'. WS-Discovery is not intended to support "Internet-scale discovery, to provide liveness information on services, to define a data model for service description, or to define rich queries over that description. It is meant to suport "discovery of services in ad hoc networks with a minimum of networking services (e.g., no DNS or directory services), and to enable smooth transitions between ad hoc and managed networks. The multicast-based protocol defined in WS-Discovery enables clients on a network to automatically find Web services. "By default, probes are sent to a multicast group, and target services that match return a response directly to the requester. To scale to a large number of endpoints, the protocol defines the multicast suppression behavior if a discovery proxy is available on the network. To minimize the need for polling, target services that wish to be discovered send an announcement when they join and leave the network." [Full context]

  • [February 17, 2004]   IETF SIMPLE Specifications Support Presence-Based IM, Video, and Voice.    Several new draft specifications have been released by members of the IETF SIMPLE Working Group, laying the foundation for extensible communication protocols based upon XML and presence awareness. Some of these SIMPLE/SIP technologies are already being implemented in Push-to-Talk (PTT) and geolocation applications, and others are expected to be supported by mobile devices by 2004Q4. The SIMPLE (SIP for Instant Messaging and Presence Leveraging Extensions) working group specifications address configurable presence capabilities, authorization, policies, provisioned data, watcher information, partial presence optimizations, filtering, ad hoc list subscription, and instant messaging. SIMPLE, according to Jonathan Rosenberg, "is broken up into a number of separate and relatively independent specifications. This allows the system to be deployed in different sizes and configurations with different features. The three core technologies within SIMPLE are SIP itself, HTTP, and XML. Indeed, SIMPLE makes extensive use of XML technologies, including those from W3C, OpenGIS and OASIS. While the SIP and HTTP protocols themselves are not XML-based, SIP is structured almost identically to HTTP; both SIP and HTTP carry XML content for a variety of purposes." Extensibility and configurability for SIMPLE are supported through the use of XML Schema and XML Namespaces; XPath, XML Fragments, and Canonical XML provide a basis for economical updates in the wireless environment. A summary of the IETF RFCs and Internet Drafts for the SIMPLE, SIP, GEOPRIV, and SIPPING working groups prepared by Jonathan Rosenberg (dynamicsoft Inc) highlights the central role of presence and geolocation in the design of these technical specifications. [Full context]

  • [February 13, 2004]   CPXe Version 2.0 to Support Dynamic Business-To-Business Transactions.    I3A's CPXe Version 2 Working Group has outlined its technical goals for development of the next version of Common Picture eXchange Environment (CPXe) specification. I3A (International Imaging Industry Association) formed the CPXe Initiative to create web services standards that "enable the transmission and printing of digital images between digital cameras, PCs, desktop software, Internet services, photo kiosks, digital minilabs and photofinishers -- regardless of the type of digital camera, device, PC brand, operating system, or photofinishing equipment used by service providers. By incorporating CPXe, photographic device and software vendors give their customers easy connection to a range of digital photography services. The CPXe Version 1.0 specification combines open standards for the exchange of digital images via the Internet, such as Extensible Markup Language (XML), Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), Web Services Definition Language (WSDL), and Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI)." Projected for delivery in 2004Q4, the CPXe Version 2.0 specification "will build on the foundation of Version 1.0 to incorporate important new features such as access to storage services, support for composite products such as albums, greeting cards and calendars, and transaction logging to enable dynamic business-to-business transactions." [Full context]

  • [February 12, 2004]   W3C Releases Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P) Version 1.1.    W3C's P3P Specification Working Group has published a First Public Working Draft of The Platform for Privacy Preferences 1.1 (P3P1.1) Specification. This document, along with its normative references, includes all the specification necessary for the implementation of interoperable P3P 1.1 applications. P3P simplifies and automates the process of reading Web site privacy policies, promoting trust and confidence in the Web. P3P version 1.1 is based on the P3P 1.0 Recommendation and adds some features using the P3P 1.0 Extension mechanism. It also contains a new binding mechanism that can be used to bind policies for XML Applications beyond HTTP transactions." New features in P3P 1.1 were developed from suggestions that emerged in a Workshop in Dulles/Virginia and a Workshop in Kiel/Germany. "All new features are built using P3P's own Extension mechanism, defined in version 1.0. Those extensions are contained in a new XML Schema in Appendix 5 and carry their own new namespace. All P3P 1.0 components preserve their old namespace; additionally, the version 1.1 Working Draft contains all the errata to P3P 1.0. [Full context]

  • [February 10, 2004]   W3C Recommendations: Resource Description Framework (RDF) and Web Ontology Language (OWL).    The World Wide Web Consortium has announced "final approval of two key Semantic Web technologies, the revised Resource Description Framework (RDF) and the Web Ontology Language (OWL). RDF and OWL are Semantic Web standards that provide a framework for asset management, enterprise integration and the sharing and reuse of data on the Web. These standard formats for data sharing span application, enterprise, and community boundaries, since different types of users can share the same information even if they don't share the same software." The Resource Description Framework (RDF) is a "language for representing information about resources in the World Wide Web. It is particularly intended for representing metadata about Web resources, such as the title, author, and modification date of a Web page, copyright and licensing information about a Web document, or the availability schedule for some shared resource. However, by generalizing the concept of a 'Web resource', RDF can also be used to represent information about things that can be identified on the Web, even when they cannot be directly retrieved on the Web. Examples include information about items available from on-line shopping facilities (e.g., information about specifications, prices, and availability), or the description of a Web user's preferences for information delivery." The W3C RDF Recommendation is presented six parts: Primer, Concepts, Syntax, Semantics, Vocabulary, and Test Cases. The OWL Web Ontology Language is "intended to be used when the information contained in documents needs to be processed by applications, as opposed to situations where the content only needs to be presented to humans. OWL can be used to explicitly represent the meaning of terms in vocabularies and the relationships between those terms. This representation of terms and their interrelationships is called an ontology. OWL has more facilities for expressing meaning and semantics than XML, RDF, and RDF-S, and thus OWL goes beyond these languages in its ability to represent machine interpretable content on the Web. OWL is a revision of the DAML+OIL web ontology language incorporating lessons learned from the design and application of DAML+OIL." W3C has published the OWL Recommendation in six documents: Use Cases, Overview, Guide, Language Reference, Test Cases, and Language Semantics and Abstract Syntax. [Full context]

  • [February 09, 2004]   OASIS Committee Draft for the Application Vulnerability Description Language (AVDL).    Members of the OASIS Application Vulnerability Description Language (AVDL) TC have approved a Committee Draft specification and invite public review through 7-March-2004. AVDL is a proposed security "interoperability standard for creating a uniform method of describing application security vulnerabilities using XML. The prose specification and accompanying XML Schema describe a standard XML format that allows entities such as applications, organizations, or institutes to communicate information regarding web application vulnerabilities." In this context, vulnerability information may include "discrete, previously known vulnerabilities against the application's software stack or any of its components such as operating system type/version, application server type, web server type, database type, etc. It may also include iformation on an application's known legitimate usage schemes such as directory structures, HTML structures, legal entry points, and legal interaction parameters. Security entities that might use AVDL include vulnerability assessment tools, application security gateways, reporting tools, correlation systems, and remediation tools. AVDL is not intended to communicate network-layer vulnerability information such as network topology, TCP related attacks, or other network-layer issues, nor is it intended to carry any information about authentication or access control, as these issues are covered by SAML and XACML." Subject to consideration of input from the 30-day public review period, the OASIS TC intends to submit the AVDL specification to OASIS for consideration as an OASIS Standard. [Full context]

  • [February 06, 2004]   CECID Releases XML Schema Guide Based on UN/CEFACT UMM, ebXML Core Components, and UBL.    The Center for E-Commerce Infrastructure Development (CECID) at the University of Hong Kong has announced the release of a four-part XML Schema Design and Management Guide Version 1.0, which aims to "provide a process for designing and defining quality, consistent and reusable XML Schema Definitions (XSDs) in a systematic manner." The Guide was produced by the CECID XML Coordination Group for the Information and Technology Services Department (ITSD) of the HKSAR Government (HKSARG). The Hong Kong Observatory, Department of Health and Commerce, Industry and Technology Bureau are first to use this Guide in their XML projects of weather news, notifiable infectious disease notification and electronic surveillance system and Integrated Criminal Justice System respectively. Based on international best practices such as UN/CEFACT's Modeling Methodology (UMM), ebXML Core Components (CC), and Universal Business Language (UBL), the XML Schema Design and Management Guide was developed by CECID for the HKSARG to assist bureaux and departments, as well as their business partners, in implementing e-government joined-up service projects (G2G and G2B)." The Schema Design and Management Guide was created in support of the Hong Kong e-government initiative "to provide one-stop comprehensive services and seamless flow of information, within legal bounds, across individual Bureaux and Departments (B/Ds) as necessary. Its Interoperability Framework is a collection of technical and data specifications that help B/Ds define the interface between interacting applications, and XML is a key component of this Interoperability Framework. The overall Interoperability Framework, including the technical specifications, is managed by the Interoperability Framework Coordination Group (IFCG). An XML Coordination Group (XMLCG) has also been formed to develop strategies to facilitate more effective adoption of XML." [Full context]

  • [February 05, 2004]   Extensible Markup Language (XML) Version 1.1 Published as a W3C Recommendation.    The World Wide Web Consortium has published Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.1 and Namespaces in XML 1.1 as W3C Recommendations. XML Version 1.1 has been updated since the first Recommendation issued in 1998 to addresses Unicode, control character, and line ending issues. "Whereas XML 1.0 provided a rigid definition of names wherein everything that was not permitted was forbidden, XML 1.1 names are designed so that everything that is not forbidden (for a specific reason) is permitted. Since Unicode will continue to grow past version 4.0, further changes to XML can be avoided by allowing almost any character, including those not yet assigned, in names." The Namespaces Version 1.1 Recommendation incorporates errata corrections and provides a mechanism to undeclare prefixes. W3C also released XML Information Set (Second Edition) as a Recommendation. The Infoset specification provides a set of definitions for use in other specifications that need to refer to the information in an XML document; Version 1.1 "updates the Infoset to cover XML 1.1 and Namespaces 1.1, clarifies the consequences of certain kinds of invalidity, and corrects typographical errors." A W3C Recommendation was also published for Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.0 (Third Edition). XML 1.0 third edition does not define a new version of XML, but "brings the XML 1.0 Recommendation up to date with second edition errata, and clarifies its use of RFC 2119 keywords like must, should and may." [Full context]

  • [February 04, 2004]   W3C Voice Extensible Markup Language (VoiceXML) 2.0 a Proposed Recommendation.    The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has announced a Proposed Recommendation release of the Voice Extensible Markup Language (VoiceXML) Version 2.0 specification, published according to W3C Royalty-Free (RF) Licensing Requirements. VoiceXML "is designed for creating audio dialogs that feature synthesized speech, digitized audio, recognition of spoken and DTMF key input, recording of spoken input, telephony, and mixed initiative conversations. Its major goal is to bring the advantages of web-based development and content delivery to interactive voice response applications." According to Dave Raggett (W3C Voice Browser Activity Lead), "VoiceXML 2.0 has the power to change the way phone-based information and customer services are developed: no longer will we have to press one for this or two for that; instead, we will be able to make selections and provide information by speech. VoiceXML 2.0 also creates opportunities for people with visual impairments or those needing Web access while keeping their hands and eyes free for other things, such as getting directions while driving." W3C 'Proposed Recommendation' status signifies that the Working Group has successfully completed both public and W3C Working Group review, and has provided evidence of successful interoperable implementations; at least eight known implementations in both prototype and fully released products are available for VoiceXML Version 2.0. Separately, the VoiceXML Forum has announced support for the W3C VoiceXML 2.0 PR version, and has released XHTML+Voice Profile Version 1.2. The XHTML+Voice profile "brings spoken interaction to standard web content by integrating the mature XHTML and XML-Events technologies with XML vocabularies developed as part of the W3C Speech Interface Framework. This profile includes voice modules that support speech synthesis, speech dialogs, command and control, and speech grammars." [Full context]

  • [February 03, 2004]   WS-BusinessActivity Specification Completes the Web Services Transaction Framework.    BEA, IBM, and Microsoft have published a third WS-* specification in the Web Services Transaction Framework. The new Web Services Business Activity Framework (WS-BusinessActivity) specification is designed to work in concert with two documents released earlier: Web Services Coordination (WS-Coordination) and Web Services Atomic Transaction (WS-AtomicTransaction). The three specifications "collectively provide the necessary mechanisms to create activities, join in activities, and reach common agreement on the outcome of joint operations across distributed systems." In particular, WS-BusinessActivity "provides the definition of the business activity coordination type that is to be used with the extensible coordination framework described in the WS-Coordination specification. The WS-BusinessActivity specification defines two specific agreement coordination protocols for the business activity coordination type: BusinessAgreementWithParticipantCompletion, and BusinessAgreementWithCoordinatorCompletion. Developers can use any or all of these protocols when building applications that require consistent agreement on the outcome of long-running distributed activities." WS-BusinessActivity addresses the coordination of activities that apply business logic to handle business exceptions: actions are applied immediately and are permanent; compensating actions may be invoked in the event of an error. The Business Activity specification defines protocols that enable existing business process and work flow systems to wrap their proprietary mechanisms and interoperate across trust boundaries and different vendor implementations." According to IBM, the WS-Policy and WS-PolicyAssertions documents may affect how business activities operate; business activities as defined in WS-BusinessActivity may also utilize the secure messaging features of WS-Security. [Full context]

  • [February 02, 2004]   IBM Proposes BI-ICS Specification for Declaring Business Information Conformance.    IBM researchers have published a BI-ICS specification which supports a formal declaration of business information conformance through an extensible XML vocabulary. The developers believe that standardization of the BI-ICS specification would help increase business interoperability and define a foundation for future related specifications. BI-ICS "provides the ability to declare that business information is conformant with type systems and processes. It intrinsically supports the declaration of a sequential conformance model with specific W3C XML Schema instances, MIME types, and XSLT transforms based on Schematron assertions. BI-ICS is extensible for extended support of alternate type systems, process mechanisms, and conformance models." The BI-ICS document does not specify actual usage contexts, but "many uses are possible for many types of information. Formally stating information conformance using ICS also allows for trading partners to advertise the information constraint requirements needed for conducting electronic business, by embedding an BI-ICS into partner agreements, registries, web site publishing, etc. A BI-ICS formalism may also be utilized within interaction middleware runtimes to check information conformance prior to application dispatch, or exchanged at runtime to express the information constraints for conducting electronic business with a specific partner. A corresponding tool "Business Integration - Information Conformance Statements for Java (BI-ICS4J)" is available from IBM alphaWorks. BI-ICS4J contains a conformance engine supporting W3C XML Schema and Schematron assertions. A conformance statement may be created by hand or by a tool such as the visual ICSManipulator in BI-ICS4J; the statement specifies a set of 'conformances' and a location URL of each conformance resource mechanism. "Typically, a conformance statement may declare a model of increased constraints, starting with industry-level schema such as a purchase order, and specify additional constraints required by a specific business. The conformance statement is processed by BI-ICS4J against an instance of business information in order to check conformance, and a yes/no result is yielded." [Full context]

  • [January 30, 2004]   IESG Approves XMPP Instant Messaging and Presence Core Specification.    The Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) has approved the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP): Core specification as an IETF Proposed Standard. XMPP Core is a "protocol for streaming XML elements in order to exchange structured information in close to real time between any two network endpoints. While XMPP provides a generalized, extensible framework for exchanging XML data, it is used mainly for the purpose of building instant messaging and presence applications that meet the requirements of RFC 2779." The XMPP Core specification "includes guidelines to ensure that extensions are possible without conflicts or breaking core interoperability. Lack of conflicts is ensured with use of XML namespaces. Interoperability is ensured with careful layering of stanzas of known types, on top of the base stream." The Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) working group is one of three IETF working groups chartered to develop architectural, protocol, and data format specifications supporting internet-scale end-user presence awareness, notification, and instant messaging systems. The Jabber Software Foundation (JSF) "has been working with the IETF for just over a year to add security and internationalization features to the core Jabber protocols, which the JSF has contributed to the IETF under the name XMPP. XMPP now joins other IETF-approved protocols such as HTTP (the World Wide Web) and SMTP (email), thus positioning it as an Internet standard for instant messaging (IM) and presence. In addition, the Jabber community continues to develop specialized application protocols on top of XMPP." [Full context]

  • [January 29, 2004]   Danish National XML Committee Adopts Universal Business Language (UBL).    The Danish XML Committee responsible for standardization of XML Schemas and Information Objects in Denmark has announced the adoption of the OASIS Universal Business Language (UBL) as a standard for e-Commerce in the public sector. Operating under the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Development and its Coordinating Information Committee, the Danish XML Committee oversees a national XML project that includes the Danish Public Procurement Portal (DOIP). DOIP is an "electronic market place accessible to all public buyers and suppliers in Denmark. Established to create a central access point for all public buyers and their suppliers, the portal provides information on supply, agreements, purchasing- and sales statistics. DOIP is the first public procurement portal in Europe, covering a public sector procurement of goods and services for approximately DKK 100 billion per year." Following a public hearing, the Danish XML Committee adopted UBL version 0.7 "to enable integration between systems controlled by state authorities and the newly implemented portal for public procurement. UBL provides an XML library of common business data components together with a set of standard business documents such as purchase orders and invoices that are assembled from the component library. UBL is the product of an international technical committee of the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), a non-profit consortium dedicated to the creation of XML standards. Currently at version 1.0 Beta, UBL is produced in an open, publicly visible process and is made available without royalties or other fees." [Full context]

  • [January 27, 2004]   Microsoft Files for Patents Related to XML Parsing and Word Processing.    Applications for patents related to XML processing have been filed by Microsoft with various patent offices worldwide. EP1376387 "Word-Processing Document Stored in a Single XML File" has been filed in the European Patent Office and similarly with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) and Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ). US 20040006744 "System and Method for Validating an XML Document and Reporting Schema Violations" has been filed with US Patent and Trademark Office. Another, US 20030237048, covers a "Word Processor for Freestyle Editing of Well-Formed XML Documents." A Microsoft spokesman Mark Martin is reported to have said in response to questions: "While the XML standard itself is royalty free, nothing precludes a company from seeking patent protection for a specific software implementation that incorporates elements of XML." Acccording to the Microsoft Watch column, "some company watchers claim that the company's patent is attempt to prohibit competing desktop word-processing applications, such as those from Sun Microsystems, Corel and others, from being able to access Microsoft Word 2003 data stored in the XML format." [Full context]

  • [January 26, 2004]   OASIS Web Services Security TC (WSS) Approves Committee Draft Specifications.    A set of five documents has been approved as Committee Draft specifications by the OASIS Web Services Security (WSS) Technical Committee. The WSS Committee Draft documents have also been approved for submission to OASIS for consideration as OASIS standards. The CDs include Web Services Security: SOAP Message Security 1.0, Web Services Security UsernameToken Profile, and Web Services Security X.509 Certificate Token Profile. They are accompanied by two XML Schemas, documented in the main WSS specification as Appendix A "Utility Elements and Attributes" and Appendix B "SecurityTokenReference Model." The WSS 1.0 specification "describes enhancements to SOAP messaging to provide message integrity and confidentiality. The specified mechanisms can be used to accommodate a wide variety of security models and encryption technologies. The document also provides a general-purpose mechanism for associating security tokens with message content. No specific type of security token is required, the specification is designed to be extensible (i.e., support multiple security token formats). For example, a client might provide one format for proof of identity and provide another format for proof that they have a particular business certification. Additionally, the WSS specification describes how to encode binary security tokens, a framework for XML-based tokens, and how to include opaque encrypted keys. It also includes extensibility mechanisms that can be used to further describe the characteristics of the tokens that are included with a message." The OASIS WSS TC was chartered to continue work on the Web Services security foundations as described in an earlier WS-Security specification authored by IBM, Microsoft, and VeriSign, written within the context of the Web Services Security Roadmap as published in April 2002. WSS TC members also envision that the approved deliverables will form "the necessary technical foundation for higher-level security services which are to be defined in other specifications." [Full context]

  • [January 23, 2004]   IBM and X-Hive Present XML Schema API as a W3C Member Submission.    W3C has acknowledged receipt of a member submission entitled XML Schema API. The technology was submitted by from IBM Corporation and X-Hive Corporation B.V. and provides API access to properties of the XML Information Set. Specifically, the document "defines an XML Schema API, a platform- and language-neutral interface that allows programs and scripts to dynamically access and query the post-schema-validation infoset (PSVI) defined in the Normative Appendix C (Outcome Tabulations) of the W3C Recommendation XML Schema Part 1: Structures, "C.2 Contributions to the post-schema-validation infoset." The specification is implemented in Apache Xerces2 Java Parser; there is also a C++ binding and implementation for this specification in Apache Xerces C++ Parser." Section 1.2 defines interfaces which allow developers to access the XML Schema components which follow as a consequence of validation and/or assessment; Section 1.3 defines a set of interfaces for accessing the PSVI from an instance document; Section 1.4 defines a set of interfaces for loading XML Schema documents. The W3C Staff comment on the XML Schema API notes that the proposal "provides a substantial and useful addition to the DOM API, or to other existing event/pull parsing APIs such SAX/XNI. However, the XML Query and XSL Working Groups have been working on extending the work of XML Schema and adding more properties, and are working on a new version of XML Schema 1.1; therefore, while the proposal addresses today's needs, it should be noted that future extensions will still be needed to follow additions to the XML Architecture." [Full context]

  • [January 22, 2004]   OJP Releases Global Justice XML Data Model (GJXDM) Version 3.0 Operational Version.    Together with the U.S. Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative (Global), the US Office of Justice Programs (OJP) has released the first operational version of the Global Justice Extensible Markup Language (XML) Data Model (GJXDM) Version 3.0 to the justice community. "Developed by Global and OJP, the GJXDM is an object-oriented data model comprised of a well-defined vocabulary of approximately 2,500 stable data objects, or reusable components, that facilitate the exchange and reuse of information from multiple sources and multiple applications." The goal is to support public safety by eliminating communication delays and processing errors through automated cross-jurisdiction data sharing. "The GJXDM represents a significant milestone in the process of developing appropriate standards for expressing the baseline data needs of the justice and public safety communities and their related partners. In that sense, it will become a reference benchmark for jurisdictions in the justice and public safety communities to use, in its entirety or in part, to fulfill their specific needs. Since the first prerelease in April 2003, the GJXDM has undergone an intensive review and validation process that included an open public comment period, pilot validation projects, an online feedback and error-reporting mechanism (Bugzilla), and a new GJXDM listserv for sharing expertise and support. As a result, three data dictionary prerelease versions evolved that incorporated more than 100 modifications. Today, more than 50 law enforcement and justice-related projects have been implemented utilizing the GJXDM prerelease versions, further demonstrating the flexibility and stability of the GJXDM." [Full context]

  • [January 21, 2004]   OASIS Members Form XRI Data Interchange (XDI) Technical Committee.    A new OASIS XDI Technical Committee has been created to define a "generalized, extensible, location-, application-, and transport-independent service for sharing, linking, and synchronizing data over the Internet and other data networks using XML documents and XRIs (Extensible Resource Identifiers), a URI-compatible abstract identifier scheme defined by the OASIS XRI Technical Committee. With XDI, data from any data source can be identified, described, linked, and synchronized into an active, machine-readable "dataweb" just as content from any content source can be identified and linked into the human-readable Web today. A particular purpose of XDI is to allow the controls needed to mediate access and usage of shared data to be expressed as XDI links. These data sharing controls can govern authority, authentication, authorization, access control, usage control, transmission, synchronization, and rights management. The integration of such controls into a common, generalized data-oriented service can provide a new platform for trusted data sharing networks and applications." The TC will define an "XDI meta-schema for describing and linking XRI-identified resources, XRI resolution rules within XDI documents, the WSDL for XDI service and bindings to common transport protocols such as HTTP, SOAP, and SMTP/MIME, and the XDI service dictionary. The service dictionary is the set of globally-shared XDI resources that can be used to define, control, secure, and protect data sharing relationships using XDI." A first meeting of the XDI TC will be held as a teleconference on February 20, 2004. Technical specifications produced by the TC are intended to be royalty-free. [Full context]

  • [January 21, 2004]   Approved OpenLS Specification Supports Interoperable Location Service Applications.    OpenGIS Consortium (OGC) members recently approved the OpenGIS Location Services (OpenLS) Specification for public release. The primary objective of the OpenLS Implementation Specification is "to define access to the Core Services and Abstract Data Types (ADT) that comprise the GeoMobility Server, an open location services platform. 'Abstract Data Types' is a basic information construct consisting of well-known data types and structures for location information, defined as application schemas that are encoded in XML for Location Services (XLS). XLS is defined as the method for encoding request/response messages and associated Abstract Data Types for the GeoMobility Server. "The interfaces allow telecommunications companies, telematics service providers, traditional GIS technology companies, and location-based services (LBS) providers to efficiently implement interoperable LBS applications that seamlessly access multiple content repositories and service frameworks that work across the world's many different wireless networks and devices." OpenLS Core Services are specified in five parts. The Directory Service is "a network-accessible service that provides access to an online directory (e.g., Yellow Pages) to find the location of a specific or nearest place, product or service. The Gateway Service is a network-accessible service that fetches the position of a known mobile terminal from the network; this interface is modeled after the Mobile Location Protocol (MLP), Standard Location Immediate Service. The Location Utility Service provides a Geocoder/Reverse Geocoder; the Geocoder transforms a description of a location, such as a place name, street address or postal code, into a normalized description of the location with a Point geometry. The Presentation (Map Portrayal) Service portrays a map made up of a base map derived from any geospatial data and a set of ADTs as overlays. The Route Service determines travel routes and navigation information between two or more." Annex A.1 supplies the normative OpenLS Core Services Schema for the XML/S Profile; Annex A.2 provides an informative OpenLS Schema for the SOAP Profile. Normative references include the OpenGIS Geography Markup Language (GML), W3C XML Linking Language (XLink), and W3C XML Schema; some schemas have been updated to interoperate with the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) Mobile Location Protocol Specification (MLP). The OpenLS Implementation Specification was submitted to OGC by Autodesk (Canada), ESRI (USA), Image Matters (USA), Intergraph IntelliWhere (Australia), MapInfo (USA), Navigation Technologies (USA), Oracle (USA), Sun Microsystems (USA), and Webraska (France). [Full context]

  • [January 20, 2004]   Web Services Notification and Web Services Resource Framework.    An announcement from Akamai, The Globus Alliance, HP, IBM, Sonic Software, and TIBCO describes the release of three new specifications providing a scalable publication/subscription messaging model and the ability to model stateful resources using Web services. The new WS-Notification and WS-Resource Framework are designed to integrate Grid and Web services standards, and represent "a common, standards-based infrastructure will be available for business applications, Grid resources and systems management." Stateful resources are "elements that can be modeled including physical entities (such as servers) to logical constructs (such as business agreements and contracts). Access to these stateful resources enables customers to realize business efficiencies including just in time procurement with multiple suppliers, systems outage detection and recovery and Grid-based workload balancing." Web Services Notification as presented in WS-Notification "can automatically trigger an action in the IT infrastructure once certain criteria have been met. This can include suppliers automatically being notified to bid to replenish inventory once current inventory drops to a set level. Several suppliers can be notified of this depletion in inventory and WS-Notification can be set up so that only the supplier with the best bid fills the order." The WS-Resource Properties document "defines how data associated with a stateful resource can be queried and changed using Web services technologies. This allows clients to build applications to efficiently read and update data associated with resources, such as contracts, servers or purchase orders." The WS-Resource Lifetime document provides a means for the user to "specify the period during which a resource definition is valid. For example, WS Resource Lifetime can automatically update suppliers from all systems once contracts or service level agreements expire, or deleting products from inventory systems that are no longer being manufactured." [Full context]

  • [January 19, 2004]   OASIS TC Promotes Extensible Resource Identifier (XRI) Specification.    A Committee Draft of the Extensible Resource Identifier (XRI) Generic Syntax and Resolution Specification has been approved by the OASIS XRI Technical Committee in advance of its submission for consideration as an OASIS Standard. The XRI TC was chartered "to define a URI scheme and a corresponding URN namespace for distributed directory services that enable the identification of resources (including people and organizations) and the sharing of data across domains, enterprises, and applications." XRI TC work incorporates several features of the XNS (eXtensible Name Service) technology, and is broadly aligned with the goals of the Identity Commons Initiative. The TC Charter asserts that "there is a demand for distributed directory services that enable the identification of any type of resource, both those directly on the network and those abstract from it, and the sharing of data across domains, enterprises, and applications. Meeting this need requires an extensible, location-, application-, and transport-independent identification scheme that provides addressability not just of resources, but also of their attributes and versions." XRIs function like URIs and have a syntax mirroring URIs: a scheme name (xri:) followed by the same four optional components as a generic URI, thus: xri: authority / path ? query # fragment, where the definitions of these components are, for the most part, supersets of the equivalent components in the generic URI syntax. XRIs may be used either as indirect 'names' or direct 'locators' for resources, including other XRIs. The XRI scheme also includes syntax for distinguishing whether an XRI is intended only for identification or also for resolution. XRI syntax extends generic URI syntax by providing support for persistent and reassignable segments, unlimited delegation of namespaces, global context symbols, cross-references (containment of other URIs or XRIs), self-references (a form of cross-reference indicating that an entire XRI is intended as a unique identifier, not for network resolution), and an internationalized character set. XRIs use Unicode for internationalization following the W3C's draft for Internationalized Resource Identifiers (IRI). [Full context]

  • [January 16, 2004]   PML: Proof Markup Language for Semantic Web Services.    A technical report published by the Knowledge Systems Laboratory at Stanford University proposes a "Proof Markup Language (PML) which "provides an interlingua for capturing the information agents need to understand results and to justify why they should believe the results." The model and tools are predicated upon a conviction that successful inter-operation between components in non-trivial Web Services transactions is dependent upon those components having a shared understanding of the results that have passed between. "In order for Semantic Web services to explain their results, they need to be able to generate justifications of their results in an exchangeable, combinable format. PML addresses the issue of understanding and trusting results generated by web services. PML classes are OWL classes, and thus are subclasses of owl:Class. They are used to build OWL documents representing both proofs and proof provenance information. PML concepts therefore can be considered to be either proof level concepts or provenance level concepts." The report provides an overview of related work and introduces an Inference Web infrastructure that uses PML as the foundation for providing explanations of web services to end users. [Full context]

  • [January 15, 2004]   CC/PP Structure and Vocabularies 1.0 Specification for Mobile Devices.    W3C has announced the publication of Composite Capability/Preference Profiles (CC/PP): Structure and Vocabularies 1.0 as a final Recommendation. The CC/PP standard addresses "one of the biggest obstacles for access to the Web from different devices, viz., the ability to get content delivered to the device in a usable format. The W3C CC/PP Recommendation documents a standard way to allow devices to communicate their configuration details and capabilities to servers. CC/PP is an extensible framework that can be used for communicating the delivery context (screen size, audio capabilities, bandwidth, etc) from a device to a Web server, resulting in the delivery of Web content that is usable on a given device. It also is the first W3C Recommendation to use the Resource Description Framework (RDF), thus adding Semantic Web capabilities. As the number and variety of devices connected to the Internet grows, there is a corresponding increase in the need to deliver content that is tailored to the capabilities of different devices. As part of a framework for content adaptation and contextualization, the CC/PP specification provides a general purpose profile format that can describe the capabilities of a user agent and preferences of its user." The CC/PP vocabulary defined identifiers (URIs) that are used to refer to specific capabilities and preferences. The document "identifies the types of values to which CC/PP attributes may refer, describes how to introduce new vocabularies, supplies an example small client vocabulary covering print and display capabilities, and presents a survey of existing work from which new vocabularies may be derived." [Full context]

  • [January 15, 2004]   Online INFO Registry Supports the INFO URI Scheme for Asset Identification.    An announcement from the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) describes the launch of a new INFO Registry supporting the INFO URI Scheme. Embraced by the OpenURL Framework, the INFO URI Scheme was developed within the library and publishing communities to expedite the referencing by URIs of information assets that have identifiers in public namespaces but have no representation within the URI allocation. Participants in the joint task force include the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), Elsevier, and Manifest Solutions; the initiative also builds on earlier consultations with representatives from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The motivation behind developing the info URI scheme is "to allow legacy identification systems to become part of the Web global information architecture so that the information assets they identify can be referenced by Web-based description technologies such as XLink, RDF, or Topic Maps. The scheme is concerned with 'information assets', not 'digital assets' per se, so the information assets may be variously digital, physical or conceptual." The new INFO Registry is accessible online and is available for receiving new registrations. "This Registry contains all the information needed by Web applications to make use of INFO namespaces. Each Registry entry defines the namespace, the syntax, and normalization rules for the representing INFO identifiers as URIs, and gives full contact information for the namespace authority for that entry. Moreover, the INFO Registry is readable by both humans and machines alike." [Full context]

  • [January 14, 2004]   Hewlett-Packard Submits Query Language for RDF (RDQL) to W3C.    W3C has acknowledged receipt of a member submission RDQL: A Query Language for RDF from Hewlett-Packard. RDQL has already "been implemented in a number of RDF systems for extracting information from RDF graphs." RDQL represents an evolution from several languages, including ideas described in a 1998 W3C Query Languages meeting paper Enabling Inference, by R.V. Guha, Ora Lassila, Eric Miller, and Dan Brickley. RDQL is "an implementation of an SQL-like query language for RDF. It treats RDF as data and provides query with triple patterns and constraints over a single RDF model. The target usage is for scripting and for experimentation in information modelling languages. The language is derived from SquishQL. The purpose of RDQL is as a model-level access mechanism that is higher level than an RDF API. Query provides one way in which the programmer can write a more declarative statement of what is wanted, and have the system retrieve it." According to the W3C Staff Comment on the submission, the RDQL approach "suggests a strategy for possible standardization: an RDQL-like language could be developed and deployed without detailed treatment of rule or inference facilities, yet subsequently be used to query "smarter" RDF services which make use of inferences licensed by OWL or RDF-rule semantics." [Full context]

  • [January 08, 2004]   Ontology Web Language for Services (OWL-S) Version 1.0.    OWL-S Version 1.0 has been released for public review by members of the OWL Services Coalition. OWL-S (formerly DAML-S) is "an OWL Web service ontology which supplies Web service providers with a core set of markup language constructs for describing the properties and capabilities of their Web services in unambiguous, computer-intepretable form." The OWL Web Ontology Language was published by W3C as a Proposed Recommendation on December 15, 2003. OWL is "used to publish and share sets of terms called ontologies, supporting advanced Web search, software agents, and knowledge management. It is designed for use by applications that need to process the content of information instead of just presenting information to humans. OWL facilitates greater machine interpretability of Web content than that supported by XML, RDF, and RDF Schema (RDF-S) by providing additional vocabulary along with a formal semantics. OWL has three increasingly-expressive sublanguages: OWL Lite, OWL DL, and OWL Full." The OWL-based Web Service Ontology (OWL-S) Version 1.0 "features a number of refinements to the Service Profile and Process Model. The Service Profile is used to concisely represent the service in terms of capabilities, provenance, and operational parameters (e.g. cost-of-use, quality-of-service parameters, etc), for constructing both advertisements and requests. Version 1.0 offers clarification and simplification of capability description parameters (i.e., inputs, outputs, preconditions and effects), a tighter integration with the process model, and better organization/modularization of the Profile constructs." [Full context]

  • [January 07, 2004]   BEA, Microsoft, and Tibco Release Web Services Eventing (WS-Eventing) Specification.    A draft version of Web Services Eventing (WS-Eventing) has been published as a new member of the 'Composable Architecture' (WS-*) Web service specifications. The WS-Eventing specification "describes a protocol that allows Web services to subscribe to or accept subscriptions for event notification messages." An example request to create a subscription for storm warnings is used to illustrate the notification protocol. "Web services often want to receive messages when events occur in other services and applications. A mechanism for registering interest is needed because the set of Web services interested in receiving such messages is often unknown in advance or will change over time." Formal models for the protocol are provided in the XML Schema and WSDL files. Supporting both SOAP 1.1 and SOAP 1.2 Envelopes, the specification intends to define a "means to create and delete event subscriptions, to define expiration for subscriptions, and to allow them to be renewed. It defines how an event sink can determine which subscriptions it is receiving notifications for, and how one event sink can subscribe on behalf of another. The specification is meant to leverage other Web service specifications for secure, reliable, transacted message delivery. It provides extensibility for more sophisticated and/or currently unanticipated subscription scenarios." [Full context]

  • [January 06, 2004]   Java Tools Community (JTC) Formed to Support Design-Time Java Standards Interoperability.    Seeking to promote the "creation, adoption and advancement of Java Specification Requests (JSRs) for toolability and interoperability in the design-time area, several software vendors have formed a new collaborative effort under the title Java Tools Community (JTC). Founding companies include BEA Systems, Compuware, Embarcadero Technologies, Iopsis Software, JetBrains, Oracle Corp., Quest Software, SAP AG, SAS, and Sun Microsystems; founding customers include US Sprint and Verizon. Through the Java Community Process (JCP), the Java Tools Community "will provide an online community for tool vendors, customers and developers to collaborate together in three major areas. First, the JTC will strive to maximize the toolability of current and newly proposed JSRs. Second, the JTC will be dedicated to the interoperability of Java development tools and extensions through the advancement and proposal of design-time standards. Third, the JTC will strive for communication across the entire design-time community, allowing tool vendors, customers and developers to access information and provide input when creating or extending design-time Java standards via the JCP." [Full context]

Earlier Stories 2003

  • [December 31, 2003]   W3C Director Tim Berners-Lee to Be Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.    Announcements from Buckingham Palace and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) proclaim that Queen Elizabeth II will make Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director, a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE). "The rank of Knight Commander is the second most senior rank of the Order of the British Empire, one of the Orders of Chivalry awarded. Tim Berners-Lee, 48, a British citizen who lives in the United States, is being knighted in recognition of his services to the global development of the Internet through the invention of the World Wide Web." Berners-Lee responded: "This is an honor which applies to the whole Web development community, and to the inventors and developers of the Internet, whose work made the Web possible. I accept this as an endorsement of the spirit of the Web; of building it in a decentralized way; of making best efforts to keep it open and fair; and of ensuring its fundamental technologies are available to all for broad use and innovation, and without having to pay licensing fees. By recognizing the Web in such a significant way, it also makes clear the responsibility its creators and users share. Information technology changes the world, and as a result, its practitioners cannot be disconnected from its technical and societal impacts. Rather, we share a responsibility to make this work for the common good, and to take into account the diverse populations it serves." [Full context]

  • [December 31, 2003]   Proposed Calendar Server Extensions for WebDAV (CalDAV).    IETF has announced the publication of an initial working draft for Calendar Server Extensions for WebDAV (CalDAV). The CalDAV draft been submitted to the IETF CALSCH working group for consideration of the mechanisms designed to enable interoperable calendar access over WebDAV. The draft specification was commissioned at the Fall 2003 Minneapolis meeting of the IETF Calendaring and Scheduling Working Group Working Group and is intended as an exploration of the advantages of using WebDAV as well as a proposal for one way to model calendaring data, with some ideas for how to specify the features that go beyond WebDAV." Under the initial proposal, a CalDAV server would need to support WebDAV Level 1 and 2, WebDAV ACL, DASL (DAV Searching and Locating), and HTTP/SASL; WebDAV DeltaV support would be optional. The document describes certain features that are required for modern enterprise-level calendar systems are not present in HTTP or WebDAV, including fanout (server supports fanning out scheduling requests on behalf of the client), recurrance (support for recurring appointments are common in calendaring applications), and notifications (optimal way for the server to contact the client). "A CalDav repository, or server, is a calendaring-aware engine combined with a WebDAV repository. The CalDAV server or repository is the canonical location for calendar data, state information and semantics. The CalDAV server has significant responsibility to ensure that the data is consistent and compliant. Clients may submit requests to change data or download data. Clients may store the calendar offline and attempt to synchronize when reconnected, but changes to the repository occurring in between are not considered to be automatically disposable and clients should consider the repository to be the first authority on state. HTTP Etags and other tools help this work." [Full context]

  • [December 29, 2003]   LREC Post-Conference Workshop on XML-Based Richly Annotated Corpora.    A Call for Papers has been issued in connection with an announcement for the Workshop on XML-Based Richly Annotated Corpora, to be held May 29, 2004 in Lisbon, Portugal as a post-conference event following the Fourth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC). LREC 2004 is organized by the European Language Resources Association (ELRA) in cooperation with several other associations, consortia, and international organizations. The Annotated Corpora Workshop organizers recognize that "XML has become a de facto standard for the representation of corpus resources: it is being used for representing speech and text corpora, multimodal and multimedial corpora, as well as, in particular, integrated corpora which combine different modalities. XML-based representations make it easier to work with richly annotated corpora, which include annotations from different levels of linguistic description or from different modalities. A number of tools have also become available, over the last few years, for creating, managing, annotating, querying such corpora and for their statistical exploration. The workshop aims at bringing together XML experts, both theorists and practitioners, as well as linguists and natural interactivity researchers working on the definition of corpus architectures, annotation and resource exchange schemes and on tools for the use of multilevel and/or multi-layer annotated corpora. It will provide a forum for the definition of requirements for corpus representations and pertaining tools, discussing at the same time case studies from linguistics and natural interactivity research." [Full context]

  • [December 19, 2003]   FISD XML Messaging Specification for Real Time Streaming XML-Encoded Market Data.    The Software and Information Industry Association's Financial Information Services Division has released a beta version of FISD's XML Messaging Specification: fisdMessage Reference Guide, together with Appendices and Enumerations. The fisdMessage specification defines a standards-based way of delivering XML content like Market Data Definition Language (MDDL) information between a data provider and consumer. The fisdMessage specification is the realization of a standards-based realtime streaming data feed; it defines an industry-standard data feed protocol for transmitting statically formed content. The proper implementation of an fisdMessage enabled data feed thus allows a consumer to accept encoded XML content from any fisdMessage enabled provider. It is intended that applications (via toolkits) that implement this protocol faithfully, consistent with XML processing guidelines, will enable senders to distribute high-volumes of content changes in the lowest possible bandwidth while maintaining the ability to add content without breaking processing applications. This document uses the Market Data Definition Language (MDDL) to illustrate examples and demonstrate the functionality. MDDL is a specification based on the XML standard to enable interchange of data necessary to account for, to analyze, and to trade instruments of the world's financial markets." [Full context]

  • [December 17, 2003]   W3C Publishes First Working Draft for Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) Version 1.1.    W3C has released an initial public working draft for Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) Version 1.1, updating the W3C XSL Version 1.0 Recommendation published on October 15, 2001. This specification and a companion Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) Version 1.1 Requirements document have been produced as part of the W3C XML Activity by the XSL Working Group. The Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) is "a language for expressing stylesheets. Given a class of arbitrarily structured XML documents or data files, designers use an XSL stylesheet to express their intentions about how that structured content should be presented; that is, how the source content should be styled, laid out, and paginated onto some presentation medium, such as a window in a Web browser or a hand-held device, or a set of physical pages in a catalog, report, pamphlet, or book. New functionality has been added in XSL Version 1.1 to support change marks, indexes, multiple flows, and bookmarks. Existing functionality has been extended in the areas of graphics scaling, 'markers' and their retrieval in tables to support e.g., partial sums, and page number referencing. A number of errata changes have been incorporated into the text. This document is expected to be taken through the W3C Recommendation track process. Since first becoming a W3C Recommendation, XSL 1.0 has enjoyed widespread support. However, the user community has expressed requirements that have encouraged various implementations to provide extensions to the language. These extensions -- especially those implemented by more than one implementation -- are clear candidates for standardization so as to maximize interoperability. The XSL Working Group has surveyed and analyzed various existing extensions, user requirements, and features intentionally cut from XSL 1.0 due to lack of time. Using the results of this research, the Working Group is developing the XSL 1.1 version that incorporates current errata and includes a subset of relatively simple and upward compatible additions to XSL." [Full context]

  • [December 16, 2003]   New DMTF Server Management Working Group to Evolve CIM Specification.    An announcement from the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) describes the formation of a new DMTF Server Management Working Group formed by Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, AMD, Microsoft, Oracle, OSA Technologies, Sun Microsystems, and several other technology companies. The goal of the Server Management Working Group is to "define a platform independent, industry standard management architecture instantiated through wire level protocols built upon IP based technologies. The focus of the WG is management of server system hardware; this includes interactions with the operating system that are necessary to assist in hardware management." The architectural model will "extend the Common Information Model (CIM) schema to represent new server system topologies; it will define the syntax and semantics of a Command Line Interface (CLI) protocol, leveraging the CIM/XML protocol and identifying enhancements as necessary. The group will define profiles for different server system topologies in order to support base-level compliance, and will document an architectural model for understanding the semantic behavior of server management components." Initial deliverables identified for July 2004 include a lightweight command line interface specification, lightweight CIMOM and supported CIM operations specification, and standard server system topology profiles. Phase 2 deliverables for December 2004 include a compliance specification, test cases for interoperability, and interoperability testing data. Liaison relationships are expected to be formed with relevant OASIS TCs, the Storage Management Initiative (SNIA), W3C Working Groups, and the Service Availability Forum. [Full context]

  • [December 16, 2003] Releases Investment Research Standard RIXML Version 2.1.    The consortium of buy- and sell-side financial industry leaders has announced the Version 2.1 release of its RIXML specification, including the RIXML XML Schema and RIXML Users Guide: Data Dictionary Report. The RIXML investment research standard is designed "to provide extensive capabilities to be able to tag any piece of research content, in any form or media, with enough meta-data information for consumers to search, sort and filter through publisher research and quickly provide highly relevant information to their decision makers." RIXML Version 2.1 "adjusts the standard by incorporating taxonomies to address ratings for both equity and fixed income markets. The new User Guide outlines the approach taken in creating the RIXML standard and explains some fundamental concepts such as XML, object modeling, schemas, etc. Diagrams of the RIXML object model are included as are definitions for the elements and attributes. The RIXML XML Schema formally represents the relationships and components as defined by the object model." Members of the consortium include Asset Managers, Investment Banks, and several Associate Members. These financial industry leaders have joined forces to develop an open, global XML-based RIXML standard for the tagging and delivery of investment research. Its goal is to define an open protocol that will improve the process of categorizing, aggregating, comparing, sorting, searching, and distributing global financial research data. has recently enhanced its public web site to include a "new interactive demo and educational section that demonstrates and describes how RIXML works. Additionally, the new site will enable member firms and industry participants to sign up for email updates, view a calendar of past and upcoming industry events, and access membership information." [Full context]

  • [December 15, 2003]   RELAX NG XML Schema Language Published as an ISO Standard (DSDL Part 2).    A posting from James Clark announces the publication of the RELAX NG specification as an ISO standard, being Part 2 'Regular-Grammar-Based Validation' of the multi-part ISO 19575 Document Schema Definition Language (DSDL). In Clark's vision, the RELAX NG schema language is "based firmly on the labelled-tree abstraction," distinguished from other XML schema languages by what it leaves out; in RELAX NG, the syntax and minimal labelled-tree abstraction implicit in that syntax are at the center of XML processing." According to the DSDL Part 2 abstract, ISO/IEC 19757-2:2003 "specifies RELAX NG, a schema language for XML. A RELAX NG schema specifies a pattern for the structure and content of an XML document. The pattern is specified by using a regular tree grammar. A RELAX NG schema is itself an XML document. ISO/IEC 19757-2:2003 specifies (1) when an XML document is a correct RELAX NG schema and (2) when an XML document is valid with respect to a correct RELAX NG schema." RELAX NG is supported by a growing collection of software tools, including validators, conversion utilities, code generators, and XML editors. ISO/IEC 19757-2:2003 is Part 2 of a planned ten-part ISO standard which will include "Rule-Based Validation: Schematron" (Part 3) as well. The goal of ISO SC34/WG1 (Document Description and Processing Languages, Information Description) in developing Document Schema Definition Languages (DSDL) is "to create a framework within which multiple validation tasks of different types can be applied to an XML document in order to achieve more complete validation results than just the application of a single technology." [Full context]

  • [December 12, 2003]   Metadata Envelope for IETF MMUSIC Internet Media Guides (IMG).    A draft document Metadata Framework for Internet Media Guides: Metadata Envelope has been submitted to the IETF MMUSIC Working Group, together with an XML Schema for the IMG transfer envelope. The IETF Multiparty Multimedia Session Control Working Group was chartered to "develop protocols to support Internet teleconferencing and multimedia communications, focusing upon revisions of current protocols in the light of implementation experience and additional demands that have arisen from other WGs (such as AVT, SIP,SIPPING, and MEGACO), and upon delivery mechanisms for IMGs, generalizing its work on session announcement and discovery protocols (SAP, RTSP, SIP)." An Internet Media Guide (IMG) is "a collection of multimedia session descriptions expressed using Metadata Envelopeor similar session description format used to describe a collection of multimedia sessions. The purpose of the IMG metadata is to provide machine- and human-readable information describing the files, resources and multimedia programs available for streaming or downloading via multicast or unicast. IMG metadata is encapsulated into an IMG transfer envelope before it is passed to an IMG transport protocol, such as MUPPET. The purpose of the transfer envelope is to provide independence of metadata formats from transport protocols, and to enable versioning, updating and expiring of transmitted metadata." Appendix A of the MMUSIC WG's Session Description and Capability Negotiation (SDPng) draft provides the formal syntax specifications in the form of an SDPng Base DTD and SDPng XML-Schema Specification. The SDPng protocol addresses multiparty multimedia conferences, being intended for two-way negotiation and unidirectional delivery; its XML Schema will be extended to harmonize with the XML Schema for the IMG Transfer Envelope. [Full context]

  • [December 09, 2003]   W3C TAG Publishes Last Call Working Draft for Architecture of the World Wide Web.    W3C's Technical Architecture Group (TAG) has released a Last Call Working Draft for the Architecture of the World Wide Web, First Edition. The Working Draft is edited by Ian Jacobs, with contributions from Tim Berners-Lee, Tim Bray, Dan Connolly, Paul Cotton, Roy Fielding, Chris Lilley, David Orchard, Norman Walsh, and Stuart Williams. The document "is written for Web developers, implementers, content authors and publishers. It describes the properties that are desired of the Web and the design choices that have been made to achieve them. The architecture document promotes re-use of existing standards when suitable, and gives guidance on how to innovate in a manner consistent with the Web architecture." Three architectural bases of the Web are discussed: Identification (resources identified by URI), Interaction (protocols defining the syntax and semantics of messages exchanged by agents over a network; web agents communicating information about the state of a resource through the exchange of representations), and Formats (representations built from a non-exclusive set of data formats, used separately or in combination)." Public review and comment on the Working Draft are invited through the last call period ending March 05, 2004. [Full context]

  • [December 05, 2003]   HR-XML Consortium Approves Assessments Specification for Skills Evaluation.    The Assessments 1.0 specification recently approved by the membership of the HR-XML Consortium features six new XML Schemas supporting order requests to providers of assessment and testing services, and the return of assessment status and results. An assessment in this context "can encompass a wide variety of tests, screenings, and instruments. Assessments can include tests of both hard skills (technical abilities acquired through training and education) and/or soft skills (a diverse range of abilities or personal characteristics such as customer orientation, analytical thinking, leadership skills, team-building skills, listening skills, and diplomacy). The Assessment Order specification is sufficiently generalized to be useful in a wide variety of scenarios. The HR-XML Assessment Workgroup is planning future releases of the standard that will support additional options, such as the discovery of available assessment instruments based on the particular competencies an employer may want to assess." This collection of XML Schemas is the latest suite in a series of related modular specifications designed to "spare employers and vendors the risk and expense of having to negotiate and agree upon data interchange mechanisms on an ad-hoc basis." HR-XML is an independent, non-profit consortium "dedicated to enabling e-commerce and inter-company exchange of human resources data worldwide. Its work centers on the development and promotion of standardized XML vocabularies for HR, with current efforts are focused on standards for staffing and recruiting, compensation and benefits, training and work force management. The Consortium has produced a library of more than 75 interdependent XML schemas defining data elements for particular HR transactions, as well as options and constraints governing the use of those elements." [Full context]

  • [December 04, 2003]   IBM Submits EPAL Version 1.2 Privacy Specification to W3C.    W3C has acknowledged receipt of IBM's Enterprise Privacy Authorization Language (EPAL) Version 1.2 as a Member Submission request. The specification includes two parts: a prose description of syntax and semantics, with formal definition of the EPAL syntax presented in an XML Schema. The EPAL technical specification defines a "formal language for writing enterprise privacy policies to govern data handling practices in IT systems according to fine-grained positive and negative authorization rights. It concentrates on the core privacy authorization while abstracting data models and user-authentication from all deployment details such as data model or user-authentication. EPAL is thus an interoperability language for exchanging privacy policy in a structured format between applications or enterprises, supporting the ability to encode an enterprise's privacy-related data-handling policies and practices and providing a language that can be imported and enforced by a privacy-enforcement systems. The goal of EPAL is: (1) to enable organizations to be demonstrably compliant with their stated policies; (2) to reduce overhead and the cost of configuring and enforcing data handling policies; and (3) to leverage existing standards and technologies. Whereas the W3C Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P) Recommendation defines a global terminology that can be used to describe the privacy promises of an enterprise, EPAL aims at formalizing enterprise-internal privacy policies, which requires a fine-grained vocabulary; it also includes a fine-grained hierarchy of purposes for which an enterprise collects data." While EPAL is not in scope for the W3C P3P 1.1 Specification Working Group as currently chartered, the submission will be brought to the attention of the P3P Coordination Group, the P3P community, W3C's AC, and the PET community. [Full context]

  • [December 02, 2003]   ISTH Initiative Develops Core Payments XML Kernel Transaction Standard.    Key players in the financial services area have launched an International Standards Team Harmonization (ISTH) Initiative to develop and promote a "single 'Core Payment XML Kernel' that can be used globally by any corporate, irrespective of size and sector and by any servicing bank, regardless of location." Details of the project are summarized in an agreement between IFX, OAGi, SWIFT, and TWIST; this MOU sets out "the framework of cooperation and coordination in the area of the content and use of a core payment kernel XML transaction." Several banks support the initiative, including ABN AMRO, Bank of America, Citibank, Deutsche Bank AG, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Nordea, Standard Chartered, and Wells Fargo. A pilot version of XML schemas and basic documentation was completed in August 2003; a handbook and final versions of XML schemas to be available in Q2 of 2004, while interim deliverables will be made available for public review. The Core Payment XML Kernel "provides the definition of an XML message that will be used for making a payment or direct debit as indicated in three message types: Payment Initiation; Status and Advice; Reconciliation. Direct Debit and Bank Statement will be addressed in future phases of work, while other types are currently out of scope (Extended Remittance Advice; Working Capital Management and Card Payments). Participating members will "identify and resolve content differences between the messages so a single set of content can be used, recommending a common core payment that can be accepted for use by each of the standards bodies. They will establish a method of interoperability that allows the Core Payment XML Kernel to have extended or related messages packaged with it. The goals are to support straight through processing, to provide reconciliation for corporates, to enhance the transparency of payments, and reduce the costs of a host-to-host file delivery implementation." [Full context]

  • [December 01, 2003]   ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC34 Publishes Topic Map Query Language (TMQL) Requirements.    A posting from Lars Marius Garshol announces the publication of a new draft version of TMQL Requirements, defining informal requirements and feature lists for the upcoming ISO standard TMQL (Topic Map Query Language, ISO/IEC 18048). This language "is intended to be a kind of SQL (or XML Query) for topic maps, and will greatly simplify topic map application development by making it much easier to extract information from topic maps." TMQL is being developed by SC34 in connection with TMCL (ISO 19756: Topic Maps Constraint Language) and the multi-part standard ISO/IEC 13250: Topic Maps. This updated TMQL Version 1.2.0 draft supersedes the August 2003 draft version 1.0.0. ISO/IEC 13250-2 (Topic Maps Data Model) defines the abstract structure of topic maps and provides the foundation for TMQL. The revised TMQL requirements draft "reflects the intentions of the Topic Map community regarding a Topic Map retrieval and manipulation language, and contains the consolidated view of the standards editors. It defines the requirements for the TMQL standard as a whole, and for the query aspect of TMQL in particular; additional requirements for the update part of TMQL will be detailed at a later stage." SC34/WG3 ('Information Association') will be meeting for standards work December 6-8, 2003 in Philadelphia, PA, USA. Special attention is being given to the Topic Map specifications, including the ISO 13250 Roadmap and Primer, XTM (XTM Syntax and Specification), TMDM ( Topic Map Data Model), TMCL, Canonical XTM, TMQL, and the Topic Map Reference Model. [Full context]

  • [November 28, 2003]   UBL Version 1.0 Committee Draft Beta Approved for Public Implementation Testing.    The OASIS Universal Business Language Technical Committee has reached a major milestone with the approval of UBL 1.0 Beta as a Committee Draft, now published to enable trial implementations of UBL in realistic business environments. A posting from Jon Bosak (Chair, OASIS UBL TC) announces the results of the TC voting and purpose of the UBL 1.0 Beta draft. The UBL TC was chartered to: "(1) develop a standard library of XML business documents (purchase orders, invoices, etc.) by modifying an already existing library of XML schemas to incorporate the best features of other existing XML business libraries; (2) design a mechanism for the generation of context-specific business schemas through the application of transformation rules to the common UBL source library; (3) produce an international standard for electronic commerce freely available to everyone without licensing or other fees." The UBL 1.0 Beta package approved as a Committee Draft is intended to "provide the specifications needed to begin implementation testing of UBL in advance of its recommendation to OASIS for standardization. Normative components of the CD are intended to represent UBL 1.0 as it will be released in 2004, with the exception of code list validation (which will be addressed by a Code List Subcommittee that has been formed for this purpose) and fixes for any major problems that may be discovered during the implementation phase. The non-normative parts of the draft (e.g., page formatting, illustrations, documentation) will be subject to further editorial work during the implementation phase. The implementation testing phase began as of November 25, 2003 and will end two weeks prior to the UBL TC meeting in Washington D.C., 23-27 February 2004. An implementation subcommittee (UBL ISC) is being formed to coordinate input received during implementation testing." [Full context]

  • [November 26, 2003]   W3C and ISO Publish Final Version of Portable Network Graphics (PNG) Specification.    The Portable Network Graphics (PNG) Specification Second Edition has been published as a W3C Recommendation and as an International Standard, ISO/IEC 15948:2003. PNG is an "extensible file format for the lossless, portable, well-compressed storage of raster images. PNG provides a patent-free replacement for GIF and can also replace many common uses of TIFF. Indexed-color, grayscale, and truecolor images are supported, plus an optional alpha channel. Sample depths range from 1 to 16 bits. The specification also defines an Internet Media Type image/png. PNG is designed to work well in online viewing applications, such as the World Wide Web, so it is fully streamable with a progressive display option. PNG is robust, providing both full file integrity checking and simple detection of common transmission errors. Also, PNG can store gamma and chromaticity data for improved color matching on heterogeneous platforms. The PNG specification enjoys a good level of implementation with good interoperability. At the time of this publication more than 180 image viewers could display PNG images and over 100 image editors could read and write valid PNG files. Full support of PNG is required for conforming SVG viewers; at the time of publication all eighteen SVG viewers had PNG support. HTML has no required image formats, but over 60 HTML browsers had at least basic support of PNG images." The W3C PNG Recommendation has been produced as part of the W3C Graphics Activity. Related standards include the WebCGM Profile and Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), a modularized language for describing two-dimensional vector and mixed vector/raster graphics in XML. [Full context]

  • [November 25, 2003]   BEA and IBM Publish Service Data Objects (SDO) Specifications.    Three specifications describing Service Data Objects (SDO) have been published jointly by BEA and IBM, and will be implemented in upcoming releases of the BEA WebLogic Platform and IBM WebSphere Application Server. The documents "provide programmers with simpler and more powerful ways of building portable server applications." Java Specification Requests (JSRs) are also being filed in the areas of these specifications for formal consideration under the Java Community Process (JCP). Introduced by a whitepaper on Next-Generation Data Programming: Service Data Objects, the principal Service Data Objects document describes SDO as "data programming architecture and API for the Java platform that unifies data programming across data source types, provides robust support for common application patterns, and enable applications, tools, and frameworks to more easily query, view, bind, update, and introspect data. The core concepts in the SDO architecture are the Data Object and Data Graph. A Data Object holds a set of named properties, each of which contains either a primitive-type value or a reference to another Data Object. The Data Object API provides a dynamic data API for manipulating these properties. The Data Graph provides an envelope for Data Objects, and is the normal unit of transport between components. Data Graphs also have the responsibility to track changes made to the graph of Data Objects, including inserts, deletes, and modification to Data Object properties." Related documents include: (1) Work Manager for Application Servers, which provides an API for application-server supported concurrent execution of work items, and (2) and Timer for Application Servers, which defines an API for using timers in an application-server supported fashion. The three specifications have been published under royalty-free terms. [Full context]

  • [November 24, 2003]   Open GIS Consortium Issues RFQ for OGC Web Services Phase 2 Interoperability Initiative.    The Open GIS Consortium Inc. (OGC) has announced a Request for Quotations from technology developers in connection with the OGC Web Services Phase 2 (OWS-2) testbed. OGC Web Services make up a the set of OpenGIS Specifications for interfaces, schemas, and encodings that comprise the interoperability framework for the emerging Spatial Web. "OWS-2 is part of OGC's Interoperability Program, a global, collaborative, hands-on engineering and testing program that rapidly delivers proven candidate specifications into OGC's Specification Program, where they are formalized for public release." Participants in the initiative will develop enhancements and compliance tests for current OpenGIS Specifications, including Open Location Services, the Web Map Service (WMS), Web Feature Service (WFS), Web Coverage Service (WCS), Web Object Service (WOS), Catalog Services, and Geography Markup Language version 3.x. In OGC's Interoperability Initiatives, international teams of technology providers work together to solve specific geoprocessing interoperability problems posed by the Initiatives' Sponsors. The sponsors for this OGC initiative include: The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, NASA, Spot Image (France), Sun Microsystems, and other organizations. The Open GIS Consortium is "an international industry consortium of 257 companies, government agencies and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available interface specifications. OpenGIS Specifications support interoperable solutions that geo-enable the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. The specifications empower technology developers to make complex spatial information and services accessible and useful with all kinds of applications." [Full context]

  • [November 21, 2003]   Event-Driven Process Chain Markup Language (EPML) for Business Process Modeling.    A communiqué from Jan Mendling (New Media Lab, Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration) describes the progress of a standardization initiative within the EPC Community, focused upon development of an Event-Driven Process Chain Markup Language (EPML). Event-Driven Process Chains (EPCs) are a method for representation of business process models, popular especially in Germany. EPML is motivated by the goal of supporting data and model interchange in the face of heterogenous Business Process Modeling tools. The chief design principles in EPML are "readability, extensibility, tool orientation, and syntactic correctness. Readability expects EPML elements and attributes to have intuitive and perspicuous names. This is important because EPML documents will be used not only by applications, but also by humans who write XSLT-scripts that transform between EPML and other XML vocabularies. Extensibility reflects the need to provide different business perspectives and views on a process. EPML will be capable of expressing arbitrary perspectives instead of supporting just a pre-defined set. Tool orientation deals with graphical representation of EPCs. This is a crucial feature because BPM tools provide a GUI for developing the models. EPML will be able to store various layout and position information for EPC elements. Finally, syntactic correctness addresses EPC syntax elements and their interrelation." An initial EPML XML Schema and supporting documentation have been published. [Full context]

  • [November 18, 2003]   Microsoft Announces Licenses for Use of Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas.    Claiming that it may have patents necessarily infringed by implementations reading or writing files conforming to Office 2003 XML Schemas, Microsoft has published the terms of a license allowing third parties to create and distribute "Licensed Implementations" that support the XML Reference Schemas. A "Licensed Implementation" in this context refers to specific portions of a software product that solely read and write files that are fully compliant with the specifications for the Office Schemas. The Microsoft announcement of royalty-free licensing follows a period of "fruitful discussions with the Danish Government" and the publication of a 91-page report on "Open-Source Software in E-Government" from the Danish Board of Technology. XML Schemas and documentation for WordprocessingML, the XML file format for Microsoft Office Word 2003, are now available for download. Additional Microsoft Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas to be delivered in December 2003 include SpreadsheetML (Microsoft Office Excel 2003) and FormTemplate XML schemas (Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003). The Microsoft schemas define document structures used for presentation and layout of XML data, describing how information is stored when Microsoft Office documents are saved as XML. [Full context]

  • [November 14, 2003]   IETF Draft on Language Tags Defines Mechanism for Private Use Extension.    An initial public draft of Tags for Languages presented to the IETF Network Working Group builds upon the current IETF RFC 3066 Tags for the Identification of Languages and defines additional mechanisms for private use extension. The Internet Draft also clarifies how private use, registered values, and matching interact. Identifiers known as language tags are authorized for use in XML and many related computing technologies that need to support language-sensitive and locale-based processing. Current practice regarding the creation, registration, and use of language tags is in a considerable state of confusion and "mess," in the experience of localization experts and software engineers. The goal of the new draft is to work toward a new IETF RFC that replaces RFC 3066. The proposed syntax for construction of a language tag provides for designation of language, script, region, variant, and arbitrary extension (using name/value pairs). Under the new proposal, "all 4-letter subtags are interpreted as ISO 15924 alpha-4 script codes from ISO 15924, or subsequently assigned by the ISO 15924 maintenance agency or governing standardization bodies, denoting the script or writing system used in conjunction with this language. All 2-letter and 3-letter subtags are interpreted as ISO 3166 alpha-2 (or alpha-3) country codes from ISO 3166, or subsequently assigned by the ISO 3166 maintenance agency or governing standardization bodies, denoting the area to which this language variant relates. Region tags must occur after any script tags and before any variants or extensions." A further goal of the new RFC is to provide for stable language tags even in the face of ISO instability. "To maintain backwards compatibility, there are two provisions to account for instabilities in ISO 639, 3166, and 15924 codes: (1) Ambiguity - in the event that one of these ISO standards reassigns a code that was previously assigned to a different value, the new use of the code will not be permitted and the IANA registry, as soon as practical, will register a surrogate value for the new code, based on the year that the new code assignment was made. (2) Stability - all other ISO codes are valid, even if they have been deprecated; where a new equivalent code has been defined, implementations should treat these tags as identical." [Full context]

  • [November 12, 2003]   Liberty Alliance Publishes Final Phase 2 Specifications and Previews Phase 3.    An announcement from the Liberty Alliance Project describes the final publication of Phase 2 Specifications in the Liberty Identity Web Services Framework, along with the Liberty Privacy Guidelines for Federated Identity. The announcement also sketches a roadmap for Liberty Alliance Phase 3 deliverables that will benefit from member participation in two new expert groups. A Services Expert Group was formed "to define and manage the process for creating new service specifications," and a Conformance Expert Group (CEG) was formed "to define and manage the process for validating interoperability between vendors' implementations of the Liberty Alliance standards." New Service Interface Specifications planned for Liberty Phase 3 include: (1) a Contact Book Service Interface, providing a "common method for users to manage and share personal or business contacts regardless of contact book provider, enabling service providers to access or automatically update, at the user's request, information like billing or shipping address"; (2) a Geo-location Service Interface, "supporting an interoperable way to automatically identify a person's location, at the user's request, to provide services like weather, news, travel or currency updates or directions to a chosen location"; (3) a Presence Service Interface "defining a common way for users to share presence information. The new Liberty Web Services Framework provides organizations with an open, standards-based way of delivering identity-based web services that can enable new revenue opportunities, cut internal IT costs, and make web services more secure and private. Because the Liberty specifications are built on existing open industry standards such as SAML, SOAP, XML and WS-Security, they can be deployed and supported in any environment and maximize an organizations investment in non-proprietary standards." The announcement identifies five companies that have announced plans to support the Phase 2 Liberty specifications in existing or new products and services. [Full context]

  • [November 11, 2003]   US Federal Trade Commission Report Calls for Patent Law and Policy Reform.    Several conclusions and recommendations on software patent reform published in the FTC's recent report seek to restore a proper balance of interests between competition and current patent policy. The 315-page report summarizes the results of extensive Hearings held by the US Federal Trade Commission and the DOJ during 2002. "The Hearings took place over 24 days, and involved more than 300 panelists, including business representatives from large and small firms, and the independent inventor community; leading patent and antitrust organizations; leading antitrust and patent practitioners; and leading scholars in economics and antitrust and patent law. In addition, the FTC received about 100 written submissions." The FTC report observes that questionable patents can deter or raise the costs of innovation, and that in industries with incremental innovation such as computer hardware and software, questionable patents can increase 'defensive patenting' and licensing complications, "creating a 'patent thicket' of overlapping intellectual property rights that a company must hack its way through in order to actually commercialize new technology." The FTC recommends the creation of a new administrative procedure "that will make it easier for firms to challenge a patent's validity at the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), without having to raise an expensive and time-consuming federal court challenge. It also recommends allowing courts to find patents invalid based on the mere preponderance of the evidence, without having to find that clear and convincing evidence compels that result. The current standard of 'clear and convincing evidence' undermines courts' ability to weed out questionable patents. This is especially troubling, since certain PTO procedures and rules tend to favor the issuance of patents. The FTC recommends tightening certain legal standards used to evaluate whether a patent is 'obvious'. In appropriate circumstances, the FTC will ask the PTO Director to reexamine questionable patents that raise competitive concerns." [Full context]

  • [November 10, 2003]   Physical Markup Language (PML) Core Specification Version 1.0 for EPC Objects.    A PML Core Specification Version 1.0 has been published as an Auto-ID Center Recommendation. The specification documents the core part of the Physical Markup Language (PML Core), explaining details the scope of PML Core and its relation to the Physical Markup Language. The document provides usage scenarios, articulates the requirements, explains design decisions, and supplies XML schemas and sample instance documents. The goal of PML is to "provide a collection of common, standardized vocabularies to represent and distribute information related to EPC Network enabled objects." The EPC Network is "an enabling technology that will transform the global supply chain through a new, open global standard for real-time, automatic identification of items in the supply chain of any company; the EPC Network was developed by the Auto-ID Center, a global research team directed through MIT and affiliated labs around the world, supported by more than 100 leading companies." Examples of EPC objects include observations by sensors such as RFID readers, "configuration files for infrastructure components such as RFID readers or e-commerce documents featuring EPC data such as advanced shipping notices containing EPCs of the items shipped. Although these different vocabularies might have diverse contents, they will be using naming and design rules common to the PML. The PML vocabularies provide the XML definitions of the data exchanged between components in the EPC Network system. XML messages interchanged in the systems should be instantiated from these PML schemas. The PML development is part of the Auto-ID Center's effort to develop standardized interfaces and protocols for the communication with and within the Auto-ID infrastructure. PML does not attempt to replace existing vocabularies for business transactions or any other XML application libraries, but complements these by defining a new library containing definitions about EPC Network system related data." [Full context]

  • [November 10, 2003]   Portlet Open Source Trading (POST) Site for JSR 168 and WSRP Portlets.    An open source web site featuring shared resources for implementation of the JCP JSR 168 and WSRP OASIS standards has been announced by Plumtree Software, Documentum, BEA Systems Inc., and Sun Microsystems. The Portlet Open Source Trading Site (POST) "aims to help companies kickstart their portal deployments, leading to faster time to value for all portal customers by providing open source portlets and a forum to exchange and learn about how these emerging new standards. Separate areas within POST are provided for sharing JSR-168 and WSRP portlets. As with any open-source site on, any registered organization can contribute portlets to POST, which become available to all other members of the open-source community. Using POST, participants can see lists of newly available portlets, post requests to the community for the development of new portlets, search for portlets, upload new portlets, download available portlets, submit modified or enhanced versions of downloaded portlets, and discuss portlet development best practices, issues and solutions. Both the JCP (ava Community Process) and OASIS, the standard bodies that developed JSR 168 and WSRP respectively, have expressed support for the POST open-source site. The site will help companies learn from their industry peers and share best practices for developing standards-based portlets." [Full context]

  • [November 07, 2003]   W3C Public Working Draft on Authoring Techniques for Device Independence.    The W3C Device Independence Working Group has published an initial public working draft of Authoring Techniques for Device Independence. The document provides a summary of several techniques and best practices that Web site authors and solution providers may employ when creating and delivering content to a diverse set of access mechanisms. It includes discussions on the features of authoring tools, site creation and maintenance tools, storage, delivery, adaptation, end-user devices and software on such devices. The working draft seeks to identify known, published practices and techniques that address (1) the creation of original, reusable and adaptable content; (2) the representation of author intentions and decisions; (3) creating and adapting navigation features; (4) design and adaptation of interactive content; (5) use and management of contextual information." The W3C Device Independence WG was chartered to "study issues related to authoring, adaptation and presentation of Web content and applications that can be delivered effectively through different access mechanisms. The Working Group has the dual role of monitoring and reviewing the work of other groups from a device independence perspective, as well as proposing solutions for achieving better device independence in areas not already covered by other groups. The long-term objective of the Device Independence WG is to avoid fragmentation of the Web space, making it accessible with various kinds of presentation device. Consistent with this goal, presentation devices should be able to access Web content appropriate for their capabilities and authors should be enabled to create Web content that is deliverable across different presentation devices." [Full context]

  • [November 07, 2003]   CLaRK XML-Based System for Corpora Development.    A posting from Kiril Simov of the BulTreeBank Project announces the Version 2.0 release of CLaRK, an XML-based System for Corpora Development. The principal aim of the CLaRK system design is minimization of human intervention during the creation of language resources. It incorporates several XML-based technologies, including a Unicode XML Editor, XPath Engine, XSLT Engine, XML Constraints, and XML Cascaded Regular Grammar Engine. The basic mechanism of CLaRK for linguistic processing of text corpora is the cascaded regular grammar processor. The main challenge to the grammars in question is how to apply them on XML encoding of the linguistic information. The system offers a solution using an XPath language for constructing the input word to the grammar and an XML encoding of the categories of the recognised words. Several mechanisms for imposing constraints over XML documents are available. The constraints cannot be stated by the standard XML technology. The following types of constraints are implemented in CLaRK: (1) Regular expression constraints: additional constraints over the content of given elements based on a context; (2) Number restriction constraints: cardinality constraints over the content of a document; (3) Value constraints: restriction of the possible content or parent of an element in a document based on a context." The CLaRK system is implemented in Java and is available for download. [Full context]

  • [November 04, 2003]   BEA Offers Preview Release of JSR 173 Streaming API for Java (StAX).    BEA Systems, Inc. has announced the availability of the "first compliant preview" of the Streaming API for Java (StAX), documented in Java Specification Request (JSR) 173, Streaming API for XML. StAX is "a new Java API designed to improve developer productivity and performance by making it easier to incorporate Extensible Markup Language (XML) into Java. StAX is designed to overcome many of the disadvantages of former methods of accessing and manipulating XML documents from Java applications by providing the efficiency of streaming APIs and the control of tree-based APIs. This new method represents a next generation of APIs -- pull parsing. Unlike SAX and DOM, StAX is bidirectional, and can allow programs to both read existing XML documents and create new ones. Unlike other event-based approaches, developers using StAX for XML document parsing can pull events, rather than handling events in callback, which can enable them to stop processing, skip ahead, or get subsections and, ultimately, help to gain precise control, thereby saving time and reducing overall development costs." The BEA preview release of StAX is designed to provide developers with a suite of tests, tools and documentation designed to allow fully standardized implementation. This StAX preview is freely available online for developers. [Full context]

  • [November 04, 2003]   OASIS Opens Discussion List for Proposed Music Notation XML TC.    OASIS has created a public email list for the purpose of discussing the creation of one or more Technical Committees related to machine-processable music notation. According to a draft proposal for discussion, the purpose of the Music Notation XML TC would be "to develop a standard XML format for common Western musical notation. Although there are clearly a number of applications for such an XML standard, the proposed TC would initially focus on an XML standard to serve as an interchange format for score writing, music notation editing, and music publishing products. Many music notation products are already using XML for either interchange or native data storage. For example, interchange between Sibelius and Finale can be done using the MusicXML format. A major goal of the TC would be to minimize migration issues for existing music applications moving to an OASIS music notation standard. The TC would expect to receive and build upon existing music notation XML applications such as MusicXML and MEI as contributions to its work. These applications date back to 2000 and reflect the DTD technology of the time. The work of the TC might include modernizing current applications to improve support for schemas, namespaces, and other W3C and OASIS standards." The discussion list will be active for a maximum of 90 days (through calendar year 2003), during which time the list participants will decide if there is sufficient interest to form an OASIS TC. Public participation in the discussion list is welcome. [Full context]

  • [November 03, 2003]   IBM alphaWorks Releases Snobase Ontology Management System.    A new systems management technology known as SNOBASE (Semantic Network Ontology Base) or the Ontology Management System has been released by IBM alphaWorks. The Java-based application provides a "framework for loading ontologies from files and via the Internet and for locally creating, modifying, querying, and storing ontologies. It provides a mechanism for querying ontologies and an easy-to-use programming interface for interacting with vocabularies of standard ontology specification languages such as RDF, RDF Schema, DAML+OIL, and W3C OWL. Internally, the SNOBASE system uses an inference engine, an ontology persistent store, an ontology directory, and ontology source connectors. Applications can query against the created ontology models and the inference engine deduces the answers and returns results sets similar to JDBC (Java Data Base Connectivity) result sets. An ontology defines the terms and concepts used to describe and represent an area of knowledge. The ontology management system allows an application to manipulate and query ontology without worrying about how the ontology is stored and accessed, how queries are processed, how query results are retrieved, etc., by providing a programming interface. An ontology management system is to an ontology what a database management system (DBMS) is to data." The SNOBASE emerging technology was developed by an IBM research team including Juhnyoung Lee, Richard Goodwin, Rama Akkiraju, Yiming Ye, and Prashant Doshi. [Full context]

  • [October 31, 2003]   IETF Instant Messaging and Presence Protocol Specifications Approved.    A public message from the Internet Engineering Steering Group announces the approval of five proposed standard IETF Working Drafts from the Instant Messaging and Presence Protocol (IMPP) WG. These documents include Presence Information Data Format (PIDF), Common Profile for Instant Messaging (CPIM), Common Presence and Instant Messaging: Message Format, Address Resolution for Instant Messaging and Presence, and Common Profile for Presence (CPP). Two key RFCs on instant messaging were published by the IMPP WG earlier: A Model for Presence and Instant Messaging (RFC 2778) and Instant Messaging / Presence Protocol Requirements (RFC 2779). The IMPP WG specifications "form the basis for a mechanism by which multiple distinct Instant Messaging applications may pass messages among the different systems while retaining the ability to use end-to-end encryption, integrity protection, and a shared framework for presence information. The work on PIDF (Presence Information Data Format) is already in widespread usage by the SIP-based instant messaging community, as is the message format described." The IMPP working group, now in the process of concluding its work program, is one of three IETF working groups chartered to develop architectuural, protocol, and data format specifications supporting internet-scale end-user presence awareness, notification, and instant messaging systems. The IETF Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) WG is extending current XMPP protocols "to provide finished support for RFC 2779-compliant security mechanisms, including authentication, privacy, access control and end-to-end as well as hop-by-hop message security. XMPP is an open, XML-based protocol for near real-time extensible messaging and presence and is the core protocol of the Jabber Instant Messaging and Presence technology." The SIP for Instant Messaging and Presence Leveraging Extensions (SIMPLE) WG has produced a number of SIP-related specifications in parallel with the IMPP WG efforts. [Full context]

  • [October 30, 2003]   OASIS Emergency Management TC Approves Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) Draft.    A Comittee Draft for the Common Alerting Protocol Version 1.0 has been approved by members of the OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee and has been released for 30-day public review. The Common Alerting Protocol is "a simple but general format for exchanging all-hazard emergency alerts and public warnings over all kinds of networks. CAP allows a consistent warning message to be disseminated simultaneously over many different warning systems, thus increasing warning effectiveness while simplifying the warning task. CAP also facilitates the detection of emerging patterns in local warnings of various kinds, such as might indicate an undetected hazard or hostile act. And CAP provides a template for effective warning messages based on best practices identified in academic research and real-world experience." The OASIS TC was chartered to "advance the fields of incident and emergency preparedness and response, to be accomplished by designing, developing, and releasing XML Schema-based core and metadata standards to help facilitate and improve the real-world interoperability problems around incident and emergency management." Public review of the CAP Version 1.0 CD and comments are invited through November 30, 2003. [Full context]

  • [October 28, 2003]   W3C Presents Prior Art Filing to USPTO and Urges Removal of Eolas Patent.    A letter from Tim Berners-Lee (Director, World Wide Web Consortium) to the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (James E. Rogan, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property) appeals for a "reexamination of the '906 patent in order to prevent substantial economic and technical damage to the operation of World Wide Web." The Eolas '906 patent granted by the USPTO is described as applicable to Java applets, browser plug-ins, ActiveX components, Macromedia Flash, Windows Media Player, and related "embedded program objects." The W3C letter cites evidence of prior art, described in a "Citation of Prior Art Under 35 U.S.C. § 301 and 37 CFR 1.501 In Relation to U.S. Patent Number 5,838,906," which renders the Eloas patent invalid and justifies reexamination of the '906 patent. The Berners-Lee letter argues that the "impact of the '906 patent reaches far beyond a single vendor and even beyond those who could be alleged to infringe the patent. The existence of the patent and associated licensing demands compels many developers of Web browsers, Web pages, and many other important components of the Web to deviate from the fundamental technical standards that enable the Web to function as a coherent system. In many cases, those who will be forced to incur the cost of modifying Web pages or software applications do not even themselves infringe the patent (assuming it is even valid). Given the interdependence of Web technology, those who wrote Web pages or developed software in reliance on Web standards will now have to retrofit their systems in order to accommodate deviations from standards forced by the '906 patent. These deviations will either reflect individual decisions by developers about how to avoid infringement liability, or will be an effort to be compatible with decisions individual vendors make in the course of their own re-design. What's more, the inevitable fragmentation and re-tooling costs caused by the ability to enforce this patent, which we believe to be invalid, cannot even be remedied by individual parties choosing simply to pay licensing fees to the patent holder." [Full context]

  • [October 28, 2003]   IDEAlliance Working Group Publishes PRISM Aggregator DTD for Online Content.    The IDEAlliance PRISM Working Group has announced the publication of a new PRISM Aggregator XML DTD designed for use by publishers "to mark up and transmit magazine and journal content to aggregators and to push data to their internal web sites." Described as a "new standard format for publishers to use in transmitting content for online usage to aggregators and syndicators," the PRISM Aggregator DTD was developed in partnership with commecial publishers and content aggregators. The PRISM Aggregator Message DTD "combines a customization of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) XHTML standard and a set of PRISM metadata that augments the widely accepted Dublin Core metadata standard. The current DTD includes basic metadata and structural elements that will be found in any serial publication or web-based editorial. The XML DTD provides an explicit way of describing the article markup and metadata to support processes such as corrections, additions, deletions and updates. Future releases of the DTD will include additional elements to aid searching and to help track copyright ownership, rights and permissions information, and license agreements." The PRISM (Publishing Requirements for Industry Standard Metadata) working group "was established in 1999 by a group of companies primarily involved in the production of serial and web-based editorial content. This group includes publishers, other rights holders, systems integrators, software developers and content aggregators." [Full context]

  • [October 27, 2003]   Danish Board of Technology Report Recommends Open Source Software for E-Government.    Members of an interdisciplinary working group under the Danish Board of Technology have published the results of a detailed investivation into the usability of open-source software in public administration, including the economic perspectives in a change-over to open-source software. The 91-page report Open-Source Software in E-Government "contains an economic analysis of open-source software and additionally analyses its usability and makes a number of recommendations on how the public sector can promote the use of open-source software." The document concludes that "switching from proprietary software to open source software in Danish public administration has an economic impact of several billion Denmark Kroner (DKK) every year. One reason the open source software is competitive is because it allows users to change, to correct, and to distribute the software and therefore to a greater extent leaves the user in control of changes." The working group report recommends that the state "not put all its eggs in one basket" and that an "initial pilot project must be established in the near future in which open-source software such as StarOffice/OpenOffice is implemented in medium-sized e-government." A larger followup project should be designed "in which a number of administrative units use open-source software, for example switching over to StarOffice/OpenOffice, and utilize previously gathered experience to reduce installation and adaptation costs. The working group recommends that a standard document format be developed, firstly for problem-free exchange of documents and secondly for integration in systems used in e-government. A strategy for the introduction of an open standard for the exchange of word-processed documents is important, because there is no genuine competition at present in the desktop area, largely due to the fact that Microsoft formats also represent de facto standards for electronic document exchange." [Full context]

  • [October 24, 2003]   El Consorcio World Wide Web inaugura la Oficina Española en Oviedo, España.    W3C has announced the launch of a new W3C Spanish Office based at the Fundación para el Fomento de la Investigacin Científica y la Tecnología (FICYT) in Oviedo, Spain. FICYT carries out and disseminates applied research in information technologies, both self-financed and on behalf of the private and public sectors. It is a non-profit institution whose goal is to co-operate with industry on important areas of research and development. FICYT's activities include: (1) undertaking and supporting research and development projects; (2) warding individual grants to researchers and scientists; (3) promoting and disseminating technology transfer and collaboration among the scientific, education and research communities and the private and public sectors; (4) contributing to the development of the Information Society. FICYT also has an important network of contacts in Latin America. The new W3C Spanish Office will assist in coordinating with Latin American communities by also disseminating information in Latin America, encouraging and co-ordinating new translations to Spanish, build up press contacts, etc. FICYT meets the criteria for W3C Office selection as a vendor-neutral Member of W3C with an extensive contact network and shared objectives for Web development. Although the primary goal of the new W3C Office is to be dedicated to outreach in Spain, this is also the first W3C Office with active contacts with Spanish-speakers worldwide. It joins the complement of W3C European Offices in The Benelux Countries, Finland, Germany & Austria; Greece; Hungary, Italy; Sweden; and the United Kingdom and Ireland. As its Members work to realize the full potential of the Web, W3C partners with regional organizations wishing to further W3C's mission. The W3C Offices assist with promotion efforts in local languages, help broaden W3C's geographical base, and encourage international participation in W3C Activities. W3C currently has 14 Offices in Australia, the Benelux countries, Germany and Austria, Finland, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Korea, Morocco, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom and Ireland. En la fecha actual, existen 13 miembros españoles del World Wide Web Consortium W3C." [Full context]

  • [October 24, 2003]   OASIS Members Form Production Planning and Scheduling Technical Committee.    Representatives from Hitachi, Fujitsu, and the PSLX Consortium have joined with other individual members to form a new OASIS Production Planning and Scheduling Technical Committee. The nine members proposing the PPS work will focus on "production planning and production scheduling problems in manufacturing industries. The categories of manufacturers and types of manufacturing processes are not restricted; in scope are production planning and scheduling problems relating to a master production schedule, detail production schedule, material requirement planning, capacity requirement planning, production order management, and loading and dispatching in a shop floor. As a starting point, specifications published by PSLX Consortium will be discussed as one possible contribution to the standardization process. The PSLX Consortium specifications contain wide variety of information about planning and scheduling in manufacturing industries," including abstract models and data dictionaries. Some of these specifications are now being considered for stardization in ISO/TC184/SC5, "Architecture, Communications and Integration Frameworks, as described in SC5 Resolution 448. The OASIS TC will only deal with the XML Specification PSLX-04 which "prescribes how to represent the production planning and scheduling information by XML, and how to implement the interfaces on computers." The initial Committee Draft TC deliverable is expected to provide outlines of target applications of production planning and scheduling problems, list appropriate business execution messages for production planning and scheduling, define rules for an application in responding the business execution messages, and present XML schemas for each business execution message. Specifications produced by the TC will be of interest to system integrators and software vendors focusing on production planning and scheduling problems in manufacturing industries. The PPS TC's first meeting wlll be held December 18, 2003 in Tokyo. The TC Convenor and Proposed Chair is Yasuyuki Nishioka of the PSLX Consortium and Hosei University. [Full context]

  • [October 22, 2003]   Atom as the New XML-Based Web Publishing and Syndication Format.    The Atom Project, to the extent that anyone can declare authoritatively what it is, or is quintessentially meant to support, is "an initiative to develop a common syntax for syndication, archiving, and publishing." Sam Ruby (Emerging Technologies Group, IBM) is most often credited for originating the core ideas, and design work spread across several wikis and weblog Internet sites is now being shared by some of the brightest developer minds focused upon the future of Web content creation and distribution. The developers agree that Atom "will be vendor neutral, implemented by everybody, freely extensible by anybody, and cleanly and thoroughly specified." Atom is sometimes characterized as the successor to RSS, which is variably used for headline syndication, website metadata description, and content syndication. Like RSS, Atom is being created through an informal consensus process by volunteers in the Web developer community at large. Sam Ruby appears to recognize that the function of Atom will be revealed in unpredictable ways, escaping any telos imagined by the current designers. The key insights are these: design Atom such that content is not treated as a second class citizen (allow its conceptual model and syntax to blur the subjective distinction between metadata and data); insist upon a uniform mechanism for expressing the core concepts independent of the usage (e.g., allow multiple implementation designs conforming to abstract API requirements, and anticipate multiple schema formalisms for validation); keep the format open and simple (e.g., not requiring special serialization of the XML, implementable using simple POST and GET operations under HTTP). The Atom design is envisioned as extensible for different application areas (license terms, access control, content categorization, versioning, related resources, etc.) The core features are those common to most creations of intellectual works: source/author, editing date(s), resource identifier/location, and content. Given these minimal but central goals, we can understand the simplicity and generality of the abstract for the draft Atom API specification: the API document "presents a technique for using XML and HTTP to edit content." In this context, "edit" means "read, write, modify, delete" (approximately: GET, POST, PUT, DELETE). [Full context]

  • [October 21, 2003]   New Microsoft Office System Marketed to Enterprises.    Microsoft Corporation has announced the general availability of its new Microsoft Office System with six product suites, eleven products, and four servers. The press kit includes references to several dozen promotional documents (press releases, feature stories, speech transcripts, white papers, and product information datasheets) describing the major components: Office 2003, Exchange Server 2003, Office FrontPage 2003, Office InfoPath 2003, Office OneNote 2003, Office Project 2003, Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003, Office Visio 2003, and Solution Accelerators. The controversial Windows Rights Management Services solution has been delayed, but is promised for delivery before the end of 2003. Enterprises prepared to pay for the new servers and "professional" editions of the Office software will be able to take advantage of XML and collaboration features. According to Microsoft's Bill Gates, the October 21, 2003 release includes the largest number of products ever released by Microsoft on a single day. [Full context]

  • [October 20, 2003]   UN/CEFACT Announces V1.1 Release of ebXML Business Process Specification Schema.    A posting from Klaus-Dieter Naujok (UN/CEFACT/TMG Chair) announces the final release publication of UN/CEFACT ebXML Business Process Specification Schema Version 1.1. This ebXML BPSS specification was "developed in accordance with the UN/CEFACT/TRADE/22 Open Development Process (ODP) for Technical Specifications and has been approved by the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) Techniques and Methodologies Group (TMG). It defines a standard language by which business systems may be configured to support execution of business collaborations consisting of business transactions. The document is based upon prior UN/CEFACT work, specifically the metamodel behind the UN/CEFACT Modeling Methodology (UMM) defined in UN/CEFACT Modeling Methodology -- Meta Model -- Revision 12. Over the last two years, interested parties from around the world have collaborated in the development of the Specification addressing a number of deficiencies implementers of Version 1.01 identified." As to the TMG's BPSS road map, "as agreed to by the TMG in March 2003, work on Version 2.0 and alignment with the UMM Meta-Model's Business Transaction View (BTV) will commence starting with the upcoming TMG meeting in December. Interested parties are invited to attend the meeting in Waidhofen/Ybbs (Austria), 8-12 December 2003." The UN/CEFACT TMG has also announced commencement of technical work on a Business Collaboration Framework (BCF) based upon the UMM Meta-Model; it is focused on the creation of a new e-business standard using a "technological and implementation neutral approach to the exchange of global information requirements." [Full context]

  • [October 17, 2003]   ODRL International Workshop 2004 Call for Participation.    A call for participation has been issued in connection with the ODRL International Workshop 2004, featuring papers and demo presentations on standardized XML exchange formats for rights expressions. The workshop will be held April 21 - 23, 2004, hosted by the Department of Information Systems, Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. The Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL) initiative "was started in 2001 and is today an accepted technology in the field of rights expressions. ODRL has been formally approved by the Open Mobile Alliance (previously, the WAP Forum) as the Rights Language for mobile devices and has also been deployed in various projects (e.g., the COLIS project, and OpenIPMP) and in prototype implementations." The XML-based ODRL specification "supports an extensible language and vocabulary (data dictionary) for the expression of terms and conditions over any content including permissions, constraints, obligations, conditions, and offers and agreements with rights holders. The ODRL specification is freely available and has no licensing requirements. The ODRL International Workshop 2004 has the goal of bringing together people from research and industry to share experiences, and discuss the future develop the language to ensure its timeliness, usability, and future success." Submissions are invited for research and industry papers on experiences with ODRL and for demo presentations on ODRL implementations. The deadline for submissions is December 20, 2003. [Full context]

  • [October 16, 2003]   SPML Provisioning and Identity Management Specification Balloted for Approval.    The Service Provisioning Markup Language (SPML) Version 1.0 has been released in Committee Draft for approval as an OASIS Standard. The OASIS Provisioning Services Technical Committee (PSTC) was formed in late 2001 "to define an XML-based framework for exchanging user, resource and service provisioning information. The resulting Version 1.0 specification defines the concepts, operations, deployment and XML schema, for an XML based request and response protocol for provisioning. SPML will be of interest to any organization that develops custom built provisioning solutions or is involved in identity management." The Core SPML document is accompanied by Bindings for the Service Provisioning Markup Language (SPML) Version 1.0 (defining protocol bindings and profiles for the use of SPML request-response elements in communications protocols and applications) and the Core XML Schema. The SPML 1.0 specification "supports identifying principles using the OASIS Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) and Project Liberty standards. Additionally, the SPML 1.0 specification has been designed to accommodate the use of the OASIS Web Services Security (WSS) specification, XML Digital Signatures, and XML Encryption." Implementation code for SPML is provided on the web site, dedicated to "the promotion and distribution of an open source client code that supports SPML; OpenSPML is a cooperative initiative by independent software vendors and implementers of the SPML version 1.0 specification. Initially developed in Java, the OpenSPML client code is expected to be available in other languages." [Full context]

  • [October 14, 2003]   World Wide Web Consortium Releases XForms 1.0 as a W3C Recommendation.    W3C has announced the publication of XForms 1.0 as an approved W3C Recommendation, signifying that the specification is "stable, contributes to Web interoperability, and has been reviewed by the W3C Membership, who favor its adoption by the industry. In contrast to HTML forms in which functional and presentation markup are intertwined, XForms lets forms authors distinguish the descriptions of the purpose of the form; the presentation of the form, and how the instance data are written in XML. By splitting traditional HTML forms into three parts -- XForms model, instance data, and the XForms user interface -- XForms cleanly separates presentation from content. This separation brings new advantages: (1) Reuse: XForms modules can be reused independently of the information they collect; (2) Device independence: user interface controls are abstract -- that is, their generic features are the only thing indicated -- so they can easily be delivered to different devices with different capabilities; (3) Accessibility: separation of presentation from content leaves information more readily available for users of assistive technologies; in addition, the user interface controls encapsulate all relevant metadata such as labels, thereby enhancing accessibility of the application when using different modalities. Practically speaking, XForms technologies make it possible to deliver the same form to a PDA, a cell phone, screen reader or conventional desktop machine, without loss of functionality for the end user." The XForms 1.0 Basic Profile has now been published as a standalone W3C Candidate Recommendation. This profile describes a minimal level of XForms processing tailored to the needs of constrained devices and environments. A brief tutorial XForms for HTML Authors has also been released to support authors; it provides an introduction to XForms and shows how to convert existing forms to their XForms equivalent. [Full context]

  • [October 14, 2003]   Opsware and EDS Launch Data Center Markup Language (DCML) for Utility Computing.    A new Data Center Markup Language (DCML) has been announced by Opsware and EDS, designed to "help organizations realize the benefits of utility computing: greater operational efficiencies, increased visibility into data center environments and operations and reduced time and cost to implement strategic IT initiatives such as consolidation, disaster recovery, application capacity management, software policy management and data center planning." Opsware and EDS are joined by twenty-some technology companies in support of the DCML "foundation to enable utility computing." DCML is an XML-based standard that "will enable data center environment breakthroughs in three areas: construction, management and visibility. DCML is the first systematic, open language to describe data center environments, dependencies between data center components and the policies governing management and construction of those environments. DCML provides a standard method for data center automation, system management and performance management solutions to interoperate and share descriptions of data center elements, directions on constructing the environment and policies governing their use. Because automation and utility computing systems require a common understanding of the environment under management, DCML is a necessary precursor for realizing the benefits of utility computing. DCML provides the first standard model to describe what is contained within a data center, and specifically how that environment is constructed. This enables systematic reproduction, rebuilding or reprovisioning of any portion of the data center environment. DCML will encompass a wide array of data center elements, including network components, storage components, UNIX, Linux, Windows and other servers, software infrastructure and applications." The organization will submit the DCML specification(s) to a standards body such as DMTF, IETF, OASIS, or SNIA. [Full context]

  • [October 13, 2003]   XML 2003 News Standards Summit Seeks Interoperability and Convergence.    A News Standards Summit sponsored by IDEAlliance, IFRA, IPTC, NAA, and OASIS will be held December 8, 2003, in conjunction with the Philadelphia XML 2003 Conference. The organizers are concerned that key specifications for news content representation and dissemination (NewsML, NITF, PRISM, RSS, Atom, ICE, XMP, XHTML, etc.) are being developed in isolation. The News Standards Summit "will bring together major players -- experts on news metadata standards as well as commercial news providers, users, and aggregators. News Summit attendees will analyze the current state and future expectations for news and publishing XML efforts from both the content and processing model perspectives. The goal is to increase understanding and drive practical, productive convergence. All interested parties are welcome to participate. Anyone who develops or implements news exchange standards is strongly encouraged to attend, particularly providers and users of news, online content, mobile communications, newspapers and magazines, and picture libraries. The program will feature presentations from several key news standards efforts, balanced by a requirements overview from a panel of international users." Confirmed speakers include Chet Ensign (LexisNexis), Laurent Le Meur (AFP), Alan Karben (XML Team Solutions), Ron Daniel (Taxonomy Strategies), Dianne Kennedy (IDEAlliance), Sam Ruby (IBM), Ben Hammersley (author of Content Syndication with RSS), John Cowan (Reuters), Peter Meirs (Time Inc), and Patricia Harris (NISO). They will be joined by speakers from Adobe, Associated Press, Dow Jones and Nokia; other well-known participants include Tim Bray, David Megginson, and Mark Walters. [Full context]

  • [October 10, 2003]   Antenna House Issues Major Upgrade to XSL Formatter for High-Quality Print.    The XSL Formatter from Antenna House has been released in version 3.0, incorporating "an entirely new formatting engine developed from scratch." The XSL Formatter V3.0 application implements an XSL-FO (Extensible Style Language-Formatting Objects) processor meeting the specifications of the W3C XSL Recommendation. It supports the formatting of XML documents for production-quality printing and output to PDF. According to the announcement, XSL Formatter V3.0 "formats large XML documents, data, and forms with high speed; V3.0 is the fastest XSL Formatter available and is significantly faster than XSL Formatter V2. Version 3.0 has newly developed SVG support to retain the vector information for the output module, thus meeting the increasing demands for SVG delivery and viewing. The new V3.0 formatting engine has been designed to be able to format virtually any size of document; this design overcomes the V2.X limitation of approximately 4,000 pages in a single document so that v3.0 is able to format about 10 times as much content as XSL Formatter V2. The new version supports direct streaming of both the input FO and output PDF; since it does not go through a temporary disk file, system integration is easier and moreover is safer. Command line, COM, .NET, Java, and C++/C interfaces are supported. The XSL Formatter Hyphenation Option makes it possible to hyphenate 40 or more languages without preparing dictionaries. " An evaluation version for XSL Formatter V3.0 is available for download. [Full context]

  • [October 09, 2003]   W3C Publishes Draft Guidelines for Authoring Internationalized XHTML and HTML.    The World Wide Web Consortium has issued an initial Working Draft for Authoring Techniques for XHTML & HTML Internationalization 1.0. Produced by the Guidelines, Education & Outreach Task Force (GEO) of the Internationalization Working Group, the document describes and illustrates authoring techniques for the creation of "internationalized HTML using XHTML 1.0 or HTML 4.01, supported by CSS1, CSS2 and some aspects of CSS3." Most of the techniques for completed document subsections are implemented in the latest versions of popular Web browsers, so readers can inspect the source code and observe the visual behaviors, where relevant. In this initial WD, sigla are represented for implementation support in three user agents (Internet Explorer 6, Netscape Navigator 7, and Opera 7). The document is organized according to "tasks that a developer of XHMTL/HTML content may want to perform." Document sections at least partially complete include: Document structure and metadata; Character sets, character encodings and entities; Fonts; Specifying the language of content; Handling bidirectional text; Handling data that varies by locale. Subsequent versions of the document will document authoring techniques relating to: Handling vertical text; Text formatting; Lists; Tables; Links; Objects; Images; Forms; Keyboard shortcuts; Writing source text; Navigation; File management; Supplying data for localization. The Working Draft is presented in a full (detail) view, collapsible outline view, and resource view. In the resource view, bibliographic citations are hyperlinked to relevant standards from W3C, IANA, IETF, Unicode Consortium, etc. Icons in the document margins help the reader switch between the detail, outline, and resource views. The W3C GEO Task Force "encourages feedback about the content of this document as well as participation in the development of the techniques by people who have experience creating Web content that conforms to internationalization needs." [Full context]

  • [October 08, 2003] Releases Free, Open Source, Cross Platform Office Productivity Suite.    Following several months of beta testing, has released the new version of its award-winning 1.1 office productivity suite. According to the terms of the LGPL and SISSL open source licenses, the software is "free for all to use, improve, modify, and to redistribute to anyone. has tracked "over 20 million downloads" of the software, which is becoming increasingly popular in government jurisdictions, hospitals, schools, and in developing countries where money is not predictably available for software purchase and upgrades. The Version 1.1 suite comes complete with word-processor, spreadsheet, presentation and various other components and provides a revolutionary open, future-proof XML file format. The new release introduces many enhancements and new features including native one-click PDF (Adobe Acrobat) export, Macromedia Flash export for presentations and drawings, faster load-time, enhanced MS Office file compatibility, accessibility support, and a smoother look and feel. It supports vertical and bidirectional writing with complex text layout. It comes with a a macro recorder, software development kit, and an XML filter tool including filters for DocBook and XHTML." Downloads are available for for Windows (98/ME/NT/2000/XP), Linux (x86 & PowerPC), and Solaris Operating System (SPARC platform edition) in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Korean and Japanese. Support for other languages is underway; versions for Mac OS X, FreeBSD and Solaris (x86) will be available later in 2003. [Full context]

  • [October 07, 2003]   IBM Releases Web Services Provisioning (WS-Provisioning) Specification.    A draft version of Web Services Provisioning (WS-Provisioning) has been presented by IBM/Tivoli as a submission for consideration by the OASIS Provisioning Services TC. The contribution is provided as input to technical work on SPML Version 2, as Service Provisioning Markup Language (SPML) Version 1.0 is currently out for ballot as an OASIS Standard. The WS-Provisioning specification "describes the APIs and schemas necessary to facilitate interoperability between provisioning systems and to allow software vendors to provide provisioning facilities in a consistent way. The specification addresses many of the problems faced by provisioning vendors in their use of existing protocols, commonly based on directory concepts, and confronts the challenges involved in provisioning Web Services described using WSDL and XML Schema. WS-Provisioning defines a model for the primary entities and operations common to provisioning systems including the provisioning and de-provisioning of resources, retrieval of target data and target schema information, and provides a mechanism to describe and control the lifecycle of provisioned state." The WS-Provisioning authors envision that the technical work of the OASIS PSTC may at some point converge with the IBM specification. [Full context]

  • [October 03, 2003]   ECMA International Publishes CSTA XML Standard for Web Services Call Control.    ECMA International has announced the official publication of the ECMA-348 Standard, providing "the world's first complete call control web services specification." Web Services Description Language (WSDL) for CSTA Phase III defines a WSDL for the XML messages defined in ECMA-323. It "builds upon the XML data types and message formats specified in ECMA-323 second edition, supporting all CSTA features, e.g., services and events as specified in ECMA-269 (Services for Computer Supported Telecommunications Applications - CSTA) and in ECMA-323. CSTA provides a protocol independent abstraction layer for applications. It provides a consistent, standards-based messaging interface that can be used with basic first party call control based platforms as well as more complex third party call control (CTI) platforms, or a combination of both. ECMA-323 consists of a set of XML Schemas based upon the W3C XML Schema Language Recommendation; it extensible XML schemas for all of the categories of services defined in ECMA-269. Call control is just one category of services in ECMA-323. Examples of other categories of services are: capability exchange (feature discovery) services, call routing services, services to control a device (e.g., message waiting, writing to display, forwarding settings), and others." ECMA International is "an industry association founded in 1961 and dedicated to the standardization of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Systems. For over forty years ECMA has actively contributed to world-wide standardization in information technology and telecommunications. More than 335 ECMA Standards and 85 Technical Reports of high quality have been published, more than 40% of which have also been adopted as International Standards." [Full context]

  • [October 02, 2003]   OAGIS RiskML Work Group Defines XML Vocabulary for Risk and Control Libraries.    The Open Applications Group (OAGi) has announced the formation of a new RiskML Work Group to define an XML vocabulary for the definition of risk and control libraries. Formation of the RiskML WG is set against the backdrop of recent Sarbanes-Oxley legislation where "there is increased likelihood of ERP customers and Audit Firms exchanging a great deal of risk and control information. The separation of the External Audit from the Risk Assurance activity will mean that Audit firms will be exchanging risk and control information. Mapping different formats from different audit firms and different ERP solutions is inefficient, expensive and adds no value to the parties involved." The RiskML WG will therefore create a standardized vocabulary to describe a risk and control library facilitating risk library information exchange and a standardized mechanism for publication. It will focus on the Risk and Control structure described in the COSO framework. Key deliverables include a Class Diagram, Use Case Diagram, XML Schema Definition, and corresponding documentation. New OAGIS Business Object Documents (BODs)/Nouns to be added include: Financial Statement, Process, Objective, Risk, Control, and Testing Procedure. The Open Applications Group is "a non-profit consortium focusing on best practices and processes based on XML content for eBusiness and Application Integration. Its members have created a consensus based framework for business software application interoperability and have developed a repeatable process for quickly developing high quality business content and XML representations of that content." Other OAGi Content Working Group Projects include: Core Components, CRM XML, Internet Parts Order, Inventory Visibility, Location Services, Logistics XML, Semantic Integration, and STAR (Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail). [Full context]

What Was New in 1995 - 2003

Other SGML/XML news items recorded for 1995 and later may be found in separate online documents:

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