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Last modified: March 31, 2005
SGML and XML News January - March 2005

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  • [March 17, 2006]   WS-Transfer, WS-Eventing, and WS-Enumeration Specifications Submitted to W3C.    On March 15, 2006, W3C acknowledged receipt of three Member Submissions from leading industry partners including BEA Systems, Computer Associates, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Sonic Software, Systinet, and TIBCO Software for WS-* specifications relating to resources, events, and management. Also on March 15, 2006 a Joint White Paper Toward Converging Web Service Standards for Resources, Events, and Management was published by Hewlett Packard Corporation, IBM Corporation, Intel Corporation, and Microsoft Corporation. The Joint White Paper outlines a plan to "develop a common set of specifications for resources, events, and management that can be broadly supported across multiple platforms." The common functionality covered by these specifications is intended to include: (1) "Resources: the ability to create, read, update and delete information using Web services; (2) Events: the ability to connect Web services together using an event driven architecture based on publish and subscribe; (3) Management: providing a Web service model for building system and application management solutions, focusing on resource management." For information management, two new WS-* specifications (WS-Transfer Addendum, WS-ResourceTransfer) and a new version of an existing specification (WS-MetadataExchange) will be produced by HP, IBM, Intel, and Microsoft. "These specifications layer on and compose with WS-Transfer and WS-Enumeration, which HP, IBM, Intel and Microsoft will support." The new specifications will be published and refined over the next 18-24 months; some of these specifications will be published as early as 2Q06. The specifications will be refined using the WS-* workshop process, with eventual submission to a standards organization. [Full context]

  • [December 28, 2005]   U.S. Federal Enterprise Architecture Data Reference Model (DRM) Version 2.0.    On December 21, 2005, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) Data Reference Model (DRM) Final Version 2.0. The FEA Data Reference Model is companion to four other FEA reference models "designed to facilitate cross-agency analysis and the identification of duplicative investments, gaps, and opportunities for collaboration within and across Federal Agencies." Other Federal Enterprise Architecture models include: the Business Reference Model (BRM), the Service Component Reference Model (SRM), the Technical Reference Model (TRM), and the Performance Reference Model (PRM). "In contrast to many failed architecture efforts in the past, the U.S. Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) is entirely business-driven. Its foundation is the Business Reference Model, which describes the government's Lines of Business and its services. This business-based foundation provides a common framework for improvement in a variety of key areas such as: budget allocation, information sharing, performance measurement, budget/performance integration, cross-agency collaboration, e-government, and component-based architectures." An unofficial (draft) version 0.3 FEA DRM XML Schema and a sample XML instance document have been posted for inspection. This XML Schema has been updated (relative to version 0.2) to bring it into line with the DRM Version 2.0 Abstract Model. The FEA DRM is a framework whose primary purpose is "to enable information sharing and reuse across the federal government via the standard description and discovery of common data and the promotion of uniform data management practices. As a reference model, the DRM is presented as an abstract framework from which concrete implementations may be derived. Its abstract nature will enable agencies to use multiple implementation approaches, methodologies and technologies while remaining consistent with the foundational principles of the DRM." The DRM describes artifacts which can be generated from the data architectures of federal government agencies. The DRM provides a flexible and standards-based approach to accomplish its purpose. The scope of the DRM is broad, as it may be applied within a single agency, within a Community of Interest (COI), or cross-COI." [Full context]

  • [December 07, 2005]   IT Vendors Promote Service Component Architecture (SCA).    BEA Systems, IBM, IONA, Oracle, SAP AG, Siebel Systems, and Sybase have published a version 0.9 release of royalty-free specifications defining a Service Component Architecture (SCA). Xcalia and Zend Technologies have participated in the joint announcement with reference to their contributions on the companion Service Data Objects (SDO) specification. The SCA/SDO announcement describes a broad industry effort to "develop specifications and resulting collaborative technologies that simplify how organizations create and implement applications in a Service Oriented Architecture. Service Component Architecture (SCA) aims to simplify the development of creating business services, while the Service Data Objects (SDO) specification provides for accessing data residing in multiple locations and formats." The Service Component Architecture "provides an open, technology neutral model for implementing IT services that are defined in terms of a business function and make middleware functions more accessible to the application developer. SCA also provides a model for the assembly of business solutions from collections of individual services, with control over aspects of the solution such as access methods and security. Its Assembly Model describes (1) a model for the assembly of tightly coupled services and (2) a model for the assembly of loosely coupled service-oriented systems." SCA "divides up the steps in the building of a Service Oriented Application into two major parts: first, the implementation of components which provide services and which consume other services; second, the assembly of components to build the business application through the wiring of service references to services." [Full context]

  • [November 11, 2005]   Open Invention Network Collects Patents to Promote Royalty-Free Linux.    A joint announcement from IBM, Novell, Philips, Red Hat, and Sony describes the creation of a new Open Invention Network (OIN) dedicated to the promotion of technology innovation around Linux. Led by CEO Jerry Rosenthal, former Vice President of IBM's Intellectual Property and Licensing business, the partnership will build a collection of patents and "offer them royalty-free to promote Linux and spur innovation." The company is said to be the first of its kind: "Patents owned by Open Invention Network will be available on a royalty-free basis to any company, institution or individual that agrees not to assert its patents against the Linux operating system or certain Linux-related applications." Patent pools are more often created for offensive purposes: major patent holders in a narrow application domain privately agree to cross-license patents to each other, while creating an unopposable cartel that can fix royalty fees and demand payment from any other (non-cartel) companies. The Open Invention Network is something of the opposite: a patent pool created to promote patent non-enforcement, or non-aggressive patent use, to reduce patent litigation and create an opportunity for innovation in a patent-free (or mostly patent-free) global context. The Open Invention Network represents the latest in a series of similar patent contribution initiatives designed to limit the deleterious, stifling effect of patented technology in certain computing application areas. Previously, CA, IBM, Nokia, Novell, OSDL, RedHat, and Sun have announced programs of "patent disarmament" through contribution of patents to royalty-free use, creating the basis for a patent commons. According to several statements from Jerry Rosenthal and others, the goal of the OIN collaboration is not revenue collection, but freedom to innovate in a patent-free framework. [Full context]

  • [November 09, 2005]   Business Rules and Web Architecture: W3C Creates Rule Interchange Format WG.    W3C has announced the formation of a new Rule Interchange Format (RIF) Working Group tasked with the challenge of producing a "standard means for exchanging rules on the Web. Rules constitute a key element of the Semantic Web vision, allowing integration, derivation, and transformation of data from multiple sources in a distributed, transparent and scalable manner." The Rule Interchange Format WG has been chartered at least through November 2007 to "produce a core rule language plus extensions which together allow rules to be translated between rule languages and thus transferred between rule systems. The Working Group will have to balance the needs of a diverse community — including Business Rules and Semantic Web users — specifying extensions for which it can articulate a consensus design and which are sufficiently motivated by use cases." According to Tim Berners-Lee, announcing the new activity at the Information Juggernaut event in Galway, Ireland, the chartered work builds upon the foundation of years of industry and research work in rules languages. "bringing together business rules vendors, user companies, rule language designers, and Semantic Web developers to create a rules standard as an important step in achieving the full power of the Semantic Web." Creating a common Rule Interchange Format for the Web is expected to "provide a way to represent established and new rule languages, allowing rules written for one application to be published, shared, merged and re-used in other applications and by other rule engines. This in turn facilitates the integration of individual, departmental, corporate, and public data sources and the ability to draw new conclusions. A Rule Interchange Format will, for example, help businesses find new customers, doctors validate prescriptions, and banks process loan applications. With a Rule Interchange Format for the Web, conventional rules technology will be enhanced not only by the usual economies of standardization, but specifically by what the Semantic Web infrastructure provides: the ability to exchange and merge rules from different sources." [Full context]

  • [October 28, 2005]   IBM Submits Web Services Polling (WS-Polling) Specification to W3C.    On October 26, 2005, the World Wide Web Consortium published a W3C Member Submission from IBM presenting the Web Services Polling (WS-Polling) specification. WS-Polling defines a mechanism to deliver messages destined to an unreachable endpoint by allowing the destination to poll the source for messages targeted for it. The WS-Polling specification is part of the WS-* "Composable Architecture" which uses the XML, SOAP, and WSDL extensibility models, designed to be composed with other WS-* specification "to provide a rich set of tools to provide security in the Web services environment. The WS-Polling specification specifically relies on other Web service specifications to provide secure, reliable, and/or transacted message delivery and to express Web service and client policy." WS-Polling defines a mechanism through which "an endpoint may initiate a connection to another endpoint for the purposes of allowing messages from the destination/service endpoint to be delivered back to the source/client. When sending SOAP messages in an environment where the two endpoints (source and destination) are not able to freely open connection in both directions, delivery of asynchronous messages becomes problematic. [For example], if the initiator (client) of a Web service call is behind a firewall, any messages initiated from the service back to the client can not be delivered; another common case is where the client does not have a SOAP listener (i.e., server) running to receive asynchronous messages. In order for the service to deliver a message to the "unreachable" client endpoint it becomes necessary for the client to initiate the connection, thus allowing the message to be sent back on the response flow of the connection." The WS-Polling draft is related to three principal W3C specifications: SOAP 1.2 (W3C Recommendation produced by the XML Protocol Working Group), Web Services Addressing 1.0 (developed by the Web Services Addressing Working Group), and WSDL 2.0 (developed by the Web Services Description Working Group). [Full context]

  • [October 21, 2005]   Free 2.0 Office Suite Supports OASIS OpenDocument Format.    The Project is an open source community dedicated to building a leading international office suite which is free, will run on all major platforms, and provides access to all functionality and data through open-component based APIs and an XML-based file format. The developers recently announced the release of Version 2.0 as a "productivity suite that individuals, governments, and corporations around the world have been expecting for the last two years." 2.0 is described as an "open, feature-rich multi-platform office productivity suite with a user interface and functionality is very similar to other products (e.g., Microsoft Office, Lotus SmartSuite); but in contrast to these commercial products, is absolutely free for download, use, and distribution. This multiplatform and multilingual office suite is compatible with all other major office suites." Other new or enhanced features in 2.0 include: a new Mail Merge Wizard; support for nested tables; support of digital signatures, with certificates stored in the regular repositories; native installation mechanisms (.MSI, .CAB; RPM files for Linux); Calc module expanded to support up to 65,536 rows of data; floating toolbars; enhanced PivotTable support for data analysis; additional animation effects and slide transitions; enhanced word count featues. According to the announcement, 2.0 "runs natively on Windows, GNU/Linux, Sun Solaris, Mac OS X (X11) and several other platforms, Supported by dozens of professional companies, 2.0 will be available in more than 60 languages. is increasingly the choice of businesses and governments throughout the world, and earlier versions have been downloaded over 49 million times since the project's inception." [Full context]

  • [October 14, 2005]   First Release of the U.S. National Information Exchange Model (NIEM).    On October 7, 2005, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and their associated domains announced the first release of the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) Version 0.1. NIEM "establishes a single standard XML foundation for exchanging information between DHS, DOJ, and supporting domains, such as Justice, Emergency Management, and Intelligence." NIEM is a U.S. interagency initiative created to "provide the foundation and building blocks for national-level interoperable information sharing and data exchange. The NIEM project was formally announced on February 28, 2005, constituted as a joint venture between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), with outreach to other departments and agencies. NIEM establishes a single standard XML foundation for exchanging information between DHS, DOJ, and supporting domains such as Justice, Emergency Management, and Intelligence." The NIEM 0.1 release contains a collection of fifty-four (54) XML schemas and a Component Mapping Template for use by reviewers. Based in part upon the Global Justice XML Data Model (Global JXDM), NIEM 0.1 defines 250 types, of which 54 are Universal, 107 are Common, and 89 are Domain Specific. It also defines 2213 Properties, of which 273 are classified as Universal, 943 are Common, and 997 are Domain Specific. The NIEM Core collection of namespace includes a Universal namespace that holds components and properties utilized across all domains, and a Common namespace for components and properties that could be utilized by a minimum of two domains. The NIEM model also includes a Structure namespace for components and properties that identify functional relationships between information components. Naming conventions for XML components in the Schemas follow the major published Naming and Design (NDR) specifications: use of UpperCamelCase for XML types and elements, but lowerCamelCase for attribute names. [Full context]

  • [October 13, 2005]   IBM and SAP AG Release WS-BPEL Extension for Sub-Processes (BPEL-SPE).    A technical white paper published jointly by IBM and SAP for WS-BPEL Extension for Sub-Processes: BPEL-SPE proposes an extension to WS-BPEL "that allows for the definition of sub-processes that can be reused within the same or across multiple WS-BPEL processes." A formal language specification defining the precise syntax and semantics of the BPEL-SPE extension is planned for later release. The design paper recognizes that "the problem of modularization and reuse in the BPEL language has been intensively discussed in different contexts, including the work on the upcoming WS-BPEL standard. However, the outcomes of those discussions show that there is no consensus on how the problem should be resolved. The paper describes different invocation scenarios and introduces a coordination protocol to be used for interoperable invocation of sub-processes across infrastructures from different vendors." A backgrounder document prepared by Ivana Trickovic (Standards Architect in SAP's Platform Ecosystem Industry Standards Group) discusses in detail the problem process designers are facing using the WS-BPEL language with respect to modularization and reuse of WS-BPEL process fragments or processes. This document explains why the authors believe the issue should be addressed directly in the language rather than simply as a modeling tool issue. According to IBM's summary statement, the BPEL language currently "does not support the explicit definition of business process 'fragments' that can be invoked from another (or the same) business process. The only way to approximate similar behavior today is by defining a complete business process as an independent service and invoking it using an <invoke> activity. The fact that the invoked activity is really implemented as another process is completely hidden from the parent process, in other words, there is no chance to establish any coupling of process instance lifecycles." A sub-process in this context is understood as "a fragment of BPEL code that can be reused within a process or across multiple processes. It may also be a long-running process, which includes interactions with other partners. However, the interaction of a subprocess with its parent process is typically limited to the initiating request message and the final reply message. A sub-process may be defined either locally within another BPEL process and reused only within that process or as a BPEL process and reused across other BPEL processes, where the latter kind of process can be used both as a sub-process as well as a business process on its own." [Full context]

  • [October 04, 2005]   Sun Patent Non-Assertion Covenant for OpenDocument Offers Model for Standards.    On September 30, 2005 Sun Microsystems published a declaration of non-enforcement of its U.S. and foreign patents against any implementation of the Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) v1.0 Specification or of any subsequent version of ODF. This non-assertion covenant is being praised as a creative mechanism for patent management in the OASIS context — a "model for patent protection that doesn't involve the glorification of software patents." Sun's public non-assertion declaration may be summarized unofficially as an irrevocable covenant not to enforce any of its enforceable U.S. or foreign patents against any implementation of the OASIS OpenDocument specification; however, this commitment is not necessarily applicable to any individual, corporation, or other entity that asserts, threatens or seeks to enforce any patents or patent rights against any OpenDocument Implementation. Clarification of terms governing the use of the OASIS OpenDocument Standard is especially important because the final version of the Enterprise Technical Reference Model Version 3.5 published by The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and made effective on September 21, 2005 features the OpenDocument specification. As presented in the ETRM Version 3.5 Introduction and Information Domain final documents, the Commonwealth defines open formats as "specifications for data file formats that are based on an underlying open standard, developed by an open community, affirmed and maintained by a standards body and are fully documented and publicly available." Three (3) Open Format Technology Specifications are identified in ETRM Version 3.5: [1] OASIS Open Document Format For Office Applications (OpenDocument) v. 1.0; [2] Plain Text Format; [3] Hypertext Document Format v. 4.01. The Sun OpenDocument Patent Statement was published apparently in response to a question about whether users of the OpenDocument standard would need to ask Sun for a [formal, explicit, executable] license, and whether users would have to explicitly give Sun a reciprocal license. Sun updated its vintage-2002 declaration with a clarification that no such license application or license paperwork are necessary. The non-assertion covenant is a public, blanket declaration asserting the freedom of anyone to implement the OpenDocument specification without needing to transact paperwork or otherwise to ask for Sun's permission. [Full context]

  • [October 03, 2005]   OASIS Members Form Web Services Transaction (WS-TX) Technical Committee.    A new OASIS technical committee has been chartered to define a set of protocols to coordinate the outcomes of distributed application actions. The OASIS Web Services Transaction (WS-TX) Technical Committee will continue work on technologies now represented by the Web Services Transactions Specifications published by Arjuna Technologies, BEA Systems, Hitachi, IBM, IONA Technologies, and Microsoft. Three existing specifications will be submitted to the WS-TX Technical Committee as input to initial committee work: Web Services Coordination (WS-Coordination), Web Services Atomic Transaction (WS-AtomicTransaction), and Web Services Business Activity Framework (WS-BusinessActivity). Other contributions and changes to the input documents will be accepted for consideration, based on technical merit, insofar as they conform to the TC's published charter. The so-called Web Services Transactions specifications "define mechanisms for transactional interoperability between Web services domains and provide a means to compose transactional qualities of service into Web services applications. These specifications describe an extensible coordination framework (WS-Coordination) and specific coordination types for: (1) short duration, ACID transactions (WS-AtomicTransaction) and (2) longer running business transactions (WS-BusinessActivity)." Specifically, the OASIS TC proposes to "specify an extensible framework for developing coordination protocols through continued refinement of the Web Services Coordination (WS-Coordination v 1.0) specification. In addition, the TC will continue refinement of protocols for two coordination types that use the WS-Coordination framework: atomic transaction (AT) and business activity (BA), based on the Web Services Atomic Transaction (WS-AtomicTransaction v 1.0) and Web Services Business Activity (WS-BusinessActivity v 1.0) specifications as submitted to the committee. Members of the TC will "continue further refinement and finalization of the input documents to produce as output modular specifications that standardize the concepts, WSDL documents and XML schema renderings required to coordinate actions of distributed applications that conform to the specifications." [Full context]

  • [September 26, 2005]   Massachusetts Supports OASIS OpenDocument in Final Reference Model V3.5.    The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has announced publication of its final version of the Enterprise Technical Reference Model Version 3.5, which became effective on September 21, 2005. Most of the Reference Model remains unchanged from the draft Enterprise Technical Reference Model Version 3.0 released in March 2005. ETRM Final Version 3.5 incorporates a new Discipline for Data Formats within the Information Domain, including Open Formats. The decision of the Commonwealth's Information Technology Division (ITD) has been watched closely in recent weeks, given the expectation that other jurisdictions may follow the lead of Massachusetts in its definition of Open Format and in requiring the use of non-proprietary, open data formats for official documents and archives. The ETRM Open Formats Technology Area "addresses open standards and specifications for the presentation of data as office documents, text, numbers, maps, graphics, video and audio. The selection of format must consider the access channel being used (Web, PDA, cell phone), the nature of the data and structure (legal requirements that address preservation of document structure), and ease of accessibility for users. The open formats identified below do not yet address all data types. Future versions of the ETRM will address open formats for map, graphics, video and audio data." The Commonwealth defines open formats as "specifications for data file formats that are based on an underlying open standard, developed by an open community, affirmed and maintained by a standards body and are fully documented and publicly available. It is the policy of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that all official records of the Commonwealth be created and saved in an acceptable format." Three Open Formats are identified in ETRM Version 3.5: [1] OASIS Open Document Format For Office Applications (OpenDocument) v. 1.0; [2] Plain Text Format; [3] Hypertext Document Format v. 4.01. According to the published Guidelines and Description, the XML-based OpenDocument format "must be used for office documents such as text documents (.odt), spreadsheets (.ods), and presentations (.odp). [Full context]

  • [September 17, 2005]   WS-Management Specifications Submitted to DMTF for Standardization.    Microsoft and eleven industry partners have submitted the Web Services for Management (WS-Management) specification (Version 1, Edition 3) to the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) for "further refinement and finalization as a Web services-based management standard." Originally published in October 2004 by AMD, Dell, Intel, Microsoft, and Sun, the WS-Management specification has been issued in two new major releases based upon interoperability testing. The co-authors now include Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), BMC Software Inc., Computer Associates, Dell Inc., Fujitsu-Siemens Computers, Intel Corporation, Microsoft Corp., NEC Corp., Novell Inc., Sun Microsystems Inc., Symantec Corp., and WBEM Solutions Inc. WS-Management is designed to meet four key requirements: (1) "Constrain Web services protocols and formats so Web services can be implemented in management services with a small footprint, in both hardware and software; (2) Define minimum requirements for compliance without constraining richer implementations; (3) Ensure composability with other Web services specifications; (4) Minimize additional mechanism beyond the current Web service architecture." The WS-Management Web Services specification "addresses the cost and complexity of IT management by providing a common way for systems to access and exchange management information across their entire IT infrastructure. By using Web services to manage IT systems, deployments that support WS-Management will enable IT managers to remotely access devices on their networks, regardless of whether the systems are just out of the box, powered down or otherwise unavailable." According to the description from Sun Microsystems, the WS-Management specification "identifies a core set of Web service specifications and usage requirements to expose a common set of operations that are central to all systems management, supporting interoperability between management applications and managed resources. [Full context]

  • [September 08, 2005]   W3C Publishes QA Handbook and Related Quality Assurance Specifications.    On September 06, 2005, W3C announced the publication of The QA Handbook, developed by members of the Quality Assurance Working Group as the latest of the W3C QA Framework documents. While some features of specification QA presented in the document are unique to W3C's technical process and software automation tools, several of the resources referenced by The QA Handbook have broad applicability to formal specification development in any similar standards organization. Release of the The QA Handbook follows publication of the QA Framework Specification Guidelines, QA Framework Primer, and Variability in Specifications Note in August 2005. The Handbook and related resources have been produced through the W3C Quality Assurance Activity and its maintenance program. The QA Handbook documents a set of good practices that helps Working Groups improve their deliverables and keep their schedules. It is a non-normative handbook describing "processes and operational aspects of certain quality assurance practices of W3C's Working Groups, with particular focus on testability and test topics. It is intended for Working Group chairs and team contacts. It aims to help them to avoid known pitfalls and benefit from experiences gathered from the W3C Working Groups themselves. It provides techniques, tools, and templates that should facilitate and accelerate their work. Supported by real-world stories and examples, it offers a practical guide to applying good practices and quality assurance techniques to WG activities, especially developing Recommendations and test materials." [Full context]

  • [September 08, 2005]   OASIS Advances CAP and Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL) Specifications.    Two specifications developed by the OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee have advanced toward standardization, while work commences on a third XML-related standard for messaging. The Emergency Management TC was chartered to create incident and emergency-related standards for data interoperability. Working closely with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Emergency Interoperability Consortium (EIC), members of the TC are collaborating on the design and development of a suite of specifications under the name Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL). EDXL is a broad initiative to create an integrated framework for a wide range of emergency data exchange standards to support operations, logistics, planning and finance. EM TC participates in the design of format specifications (e.g., XML Schemas) based upon technical requirements provided by DHS and EIC. The Common Alert Protocol (CAP) v1.1 specification has recently been submitted by the Emergency Management TC to OASIS for consideration as an OASIS Standard. CAP functions both as a standalone protocol and as a payload for EDXL messages. It supports information exchange in order to advance incident preparedness and response to emergency situations. CAP 1.0 was successfully standardized in March of 2004. Voting on the CAP version 1.1 specification for approval as a Standard begins September 16, 2005. 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." The TC has also released a Public Review Draft for the Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL) Distribution Element v1.0 specification. The primary goal of the EDXL project is to "facilitate emergency information sharing and data exchange across the local, state, tribal, national and non-governmental organizations of different professions that provide emergency response and management services. EDXL will accomplish this goal by focusing on the standardization of specific messages (messaging interfaces) to facilitate emergency communication and coordination particularly when more than one profession is involved." [Full context]

  • [August 26, 2005]   IBM and SAP AG Propose WS-BPEL Extension for People (BPEL4People).    An informal specification describing a proposed extension to the Web Services Business Process Execution Language (WS-BPEL) has been released by IBM and SAP AG in the form of a white paper WS-BPEL Extension for People — BPEL4People. The paper describes business scenarios where users are involved in business processes and defines appropriate extensions to WS-BPEL to address these. The joint authors from IBM and SAP maintain that in order to support a broad range of scenarios that involves people within business processes, a WS-BPEL extension is required. BPEL4People "is defined in a way that it is layered on top of the BPEL language so that its features can be composed with the BPEL core features whenever needed"; additional BPEL extensions may be also be introduced which may use the BPEL4People extensions introduced in the white paper. According to the paper Abstract, "Human user interactions are currently not covered by the Web Services Business Processes Execution Language (WS-BPEL), which is primarily designed to support automated business processes based on Web services. In practice, however, many business process scenarios require user interaction. The spectrum of activities that make up general purpose business processes is much broader than simply activities of which can be assumed to be interactions with Web services with no additional prerequisite behavior. People often participate in the execution of business processes introducing new aspects, such as human interaction patterns. Workflow tools already cater for the orchestration of user interactions." For example, "people can be involved in business processes as a special kind of implementation of an activity — a communication step which may be called people activity. In some scenarios it is desirable to define which people are eligible to start a certain business process. During the lifetime of a long-running business process, conditions that require human involvement can occur; a process may be stuck because no one has been assigned to perform a particular task. In addition to simple task selection and execution actions, there are more complex patterns in the way humans interact with the process instances, and these need to be handled by BPEL4People. Sometimes it is not clear who should perform the task in hand. Escalation takes place if a task does not meet its modeled time constraints. If this occurs, a notification is sent to one or several people specified as escalation recipients using a people assignment definition." A companion article authored by Ivana Trickovic (SAP) provides additional rationale for creating the BPEL4People extension: "Currently there is no standard that spans both the service orchestration and user interactions. Rather then developing a new specification that particularly covers user interactions, SAP and IBM determined that it is most suitable to extend the existing BPEL specification, or more precisely, version 2.0... The BPEL4People extension is layered on top of the BPEL language so that its features can be composed with the BPEL core features. It is envisaged that additional BPEL extensions may be introduced that may in turn use the BPEL4People extension. In this way it can be avoided to build a monolithic specification that would contain numerous features and rather be pursued a more modular approach by building separate extensions on top of the BPEL core features. [Full context]

  • [August 25, 2005]   DITA Open Toolkit 1.1: A Reference Implementation for OASIS DITA 1.0.    The open source DITA Open Toolkit being developed at SourceForge.Net has been released as a major upgrade in Version 1.1. The DITA Open Toolkit application transforms XML-based DITA content (maps and topics) into deliverable formats including XHTML, Eclipse Help, HTML Help, and JavaHelp. The toolkit "uses open source solution of ANT, XSLT, and Java to implement transformation functions from DITA content (XML-encoded data in maps and topics) into different deliverable formats. The whole process works like a pipeline. The pipeline input is DITA map, DITA XML files and property files. And the pipeline output is XHTML, Eclipse help, PDF, JavaHelp, etc. depending on what output user selects. The pipeline consists of various modules which performs different functions. The Toolkit implements a two-pass, map-driven architecture that resolves any conditional properties and content references on the first pass, then applies transformations to the normalized files on the second pass." The highlight of the version 1.1 release is implementation of the OASIS DITA 1.0 standard for DITA DTDs and Schemas: the Toolkit now provides reference implementation support for OASIS DITA 1.0, approved as an OASIS Standard in April 2005. A DITA map might contain topicrefs that reference topics using either the older IBM doctypes (e.g., the "1.3.2" DTDs) or the OASIS doctypes; each will be processed according to its own DTD. The Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) is "an XML-based, end-to-end architecture for authoring, producing, and delivering readable information as discrete, typed topics. It provides a technology for (1) managing readable information, (2) reusing information in many different combinations and deliverables, (3) creating online information systems such as User Assistance (help) or web resource, and (4) creating minimalist books for easier authoring and use." The DITA Open Toolkit version 1.1 provides new functionality to fulfill additional requirements, offers several feature enhancements, and fix bugs reported since the version 1.0.2 release. Providing a reference implementation for the DITA 1.0 Standard through its core transforms is the single most important feature. Release 1.1 also contains a new Eclipse transformation that produces as output a version of DITA XML that can be dynamically rendered in the Eclipse Help System. [Full context]

  • [August 19, 2005]   Initiatives Ramp Up Work on XML Naming and Design Rules Specifications.    Several industry and government initiatives are now gaining momentum in their goal to craft guidelines and rules for naming XML components: XML namespace names, types, elements, attributes, code list enumerations, domain models, etc. Most of these initiatives have identical or similar goals, aimed optimizing semantic interoperability, modularity, extensibility, maintainability, and data element re-use through best-practice design of business components. One indication of increased interest in XML naming design rules/guidelines is seen in the three most recent meeting agendas of the XML Community of Practice: the June, July, and August meetings have included major presentations by practitioners and other interested stakeholders who are seeking to design component naming models that interoperate inside and outside their domains. Some of the current design initiatives have their historical roots in the UN-CEFACT/ISO ebXML Core Components Technical Specification (CCTS) and in the ebXML Technical Architecture Specification. The latter, for example, provides for consistent capitalization and naming convention across all family specifications, using "Upper Camel Case" (UCC) for XML elements [and types] and "Lower Camel Case" (LCC) for XML attribute names. [Full context]

  • [August 11, 2005]   Business Narrative Markup Language (BNML) Proposed for eContracts.    Members of the OASIS LegalXML eContracts Technical Committee are considering approval of the Elkera Business Narrative Markup Language (BNML) as a host schema to serve as a base structural markup language for eContract documents. Produced by Elkera Pty Limited, BNML is a general purpose XML Schema capable of marking up most technical, legal and business narrative documents. BNML is currently defined in RELAX NG Compact syntax. In May 2005, members of the OASIS eContracts TC began a review of candidate "host schema" languages suitable for use in "Narrative Markup" required by eContracts. Evaluation was made in light of the TC's eContracts Structure Markup Preliminary Report produced by the eContracts Structure Subcommittee and the Requirements for Technical Specification based upon use cases collected in August-September 2004. An initial evaulation was made of XHTML, Structural Markup Document, DITA, S1000D, DocBook, BNML, WordML, TEI Text Encoding Initiative, the Open Office Markup. The eContracts TC developed a Schema Evaluation Criteria document and a corresponding Host Schema Evaluation Template for use in assessing the merits of a reduced list of candidate schemas. In July 2005, the TC produced a collection of evaluation reports for these candidates, including BNML, LegalXML Court Document format, Docbook, Open Document, Open Office, TEI Lite, Text Encoding Initiative (TEI Full), and WordML. The Business Narrative Markup Language (BNML) from Elkera has emerged as the lead candidate, which will be considered for approval as the TC's host schema in an August 17, 2005 meeting. Using simple, re-usable patterns, the Elkera BNML Schema is designed to "make it easier to develop XML authoring applications that will be easy to use and that will enhance author productivity." While some general purpose DTDs or schemas "contain a vast number of elements in an attempt to provide a smorgasbord of elements for different types of content, the core of the Elkera BNML Schema is a very small number of elements to model the generic structure of almost any kind of narrative document. To begin, an author only needs to know six or seven markup elements." [Full context]

  • [August 10, 2005]   Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) Announces Patent Commons Project.    On the second day of the LinuxWorld Conference & Expo in San Francisco, Open Source Development Labs CEO Stuart Cohen announced a new OSDL Patent Commons Project "designed to provide a central location where software patents and patent pledges will be housed for the benefit of the open source development community and industry." Several leading companies (e.g., Computer Associates, IBM, Nokia, Novell, RedHat, Sun Microsystems) have already contributed patents and patented technology to the "open source community," attempting to create a framework for patent-free software development. To date, no formal legal entity has been designated to coordinate the patent pledges, contributions, and legal declarations that would provide the structure for a patent pool. Plans for the OSDL Patent Commons Project call for the creation of a "library and database that aggregates patent pledges made by companies. The library will also aggregate other legal solutions, such as indemnification programs offered by vendors of open source software. It will include a collection of software patent licenses and software patents (issued and pending) held for the benefit of the open source community." p>Building upon patent contributions from several open source vendors, OSDL's proposal for the Patent Commons Project begins to give shape to an idea long dreamed about by open source advocates: the idea that "free software programmers [and others] could create a patent pool to support cross-licensing for free [and open source] software." [Full context]

  • [August 01, 2005]   OASIS Members Form SOA Adoption Blueprints Technical Committee.    A Call for Participation has been issued in connection with a new OASIS Service-Oriented Architecture Adoption Blueprints Technical Committee, chartered to develop, circulate, maintain, and update a set of example business profiles (adoption blueprints) which illustrate the practical deployment of services using SOA methods. Members proposing the SOA Adoption Blueprints TC state that there is often "a shortage of clear, demonstrable examples of working implementations based on real needs and requirements that can be used as best practices reference, to kickstart implementation projects and to compare implementations. One way to encourage these examples is to supply an archetypal blueprint set of business requirements and functions that can be fulfilled by SOA methods. In planning and building Service Oriented Architectures (SOA), concrete examples often are useful. SOA designers, vendors and users can reference a wealth of abstract guidelines, descriptions of functional layers and sets of specific standards or software that fulfill SOA requirements." The new Technical Committee provides a forum for continuation of work begun as the SOA Blueprints Initiative, originally founded by The Middleware Company and BEA Systems, Inc. The TC anticipates "starting with the original blueprint scenario created by The Middleware Company and its expert group. This scenario, the Generico core application set, will serve as a basic Adoption Blueprint. It is expected that additional blueprints will be developed to address other business requirement sets. Additional Adoption Blueprints may interoperate with the basic Generico blueprint, or may describe a new separate scenario." Each of the adoption blueprints "will provide a business problem statement, a set of business requirements, and a normative set of functions to be fulfilled — all on a vendor- and specification-neutral basis." Anticipated contributions from the SOA Blueprints Initiative include four documents: SOA Blueprints Initiative Definition, SOA Blueprints Concepts, SOA Blueprints Reference Example Requirements Specification, and SOA Blueprints: Occasionally Connected Profile. [Full context]

  • [July 15, 2005]   IETF Atom Syndication Format Specification Declared Ready for Implementation.    With the July 14, 2005 release of the The Atom Syndication Format Version -10 specification by the IETF, the Atom Format Internet Draft has been declared an appropriate basis for implementation of Atom 1.0. Atom is an XML-based Web content and metadata syndication format. Atom will live alongside RSS Version 2.0, and is expected by many to gradually replace RSS ("RDF Site Summary" or "Really Simple Syndication). The The Atom Syndication Format has been produced by members of the IETF Atom Publishing Format and Protocol (atompub) Working Group under the direction of WG Co-Chairs Tim Bray and Paul Hoffman. The version -10 Internet Draft fixes a few things from the -09 draft sent to the IESG for final review. Eleven Internet drafts have been produced by the WG, beginning with Version -00 dated July 8, 2004. The IETF's specification for the Atom 1.0 data format is described as "cooked and ready to serve." According to an announcement from Tim Bray, "The Atom 1.0 spec still has one registered objection from a member of the IESG, but the WG agreed that the objection was reasonable and we think the latest draft linked above fixes it; assuming he agrees, Atom very soon becomes an IETF standard. It will eventually get an RFC number, but that may take a while, first because the RFC Editor machinery works slowly, and secondly because we have a normative reference to Ned Freed's re-work of the MIME-type RFCs, which isn't quite finished yet. Atom is "an XML-based document format that describes lists of related information known as feeds. Feeds are composed of a number of items, known as entries, each with an extensible set of attached metadata. For example, each entry has a title. The primary use case that Atom addresses is the syndication of Web content such as Weblogs and news headlines to Web sites as well as directly to user agents. However, nothing precludes it from being used for other purposes and types of content." [Full context]

  • [July 14, 2005]   Microsoft and IBM Announce Submission of Security Specifications to OASIS.    An updated version of the Web Services Security Policy Language (WS-SecurityPolicy) specification has been released by IBM, Microsoft, RSA Security, and VeriSign. IBM and Microsoft have also announced that this WS-SecurityPolicy specification, together with Web Services Trust Language (WS-Trust) and Web Services Secure Conversation Language (WS-SecureConversation), will be submitted to OASIS for standardization in September 2005. The WS-SecurityPolicy specification defines a set of security policy assertions which apply to Web Services Security: SOAP Message Security, WS-Trust, and WS-SecureConversation. The July 2005 WS-SecurityPolicy Version 1.1 specification updates Version 1.0 released on December 18, 2002. It is characterized as a "public consultation draft release" appropriate for community evaluation and review; feedback on the specification is handled through the WS-* Workshop process under terms of a feedback license agreement. According to the specification Introduction, WS-Policy "defines a framework for allowing web services to express their constraints and requirements. Such constraints and requirements are expressed as policy assertions. WS-SecurityPolicy defines a set of security policy assertions for use with the WS-Policy. It defines a base set of assertions that describe how messages are to be secured. Flexibility with respect to token types, cryptographic algorithms and mechanisms used, including using transport level security is part of the design and allows for evolution over time. The intent is to provide enough information for compatibility and interoperability to be determined by web service participants along with all information necessary to actually enable a participant to engage in a secure exchange of messages." The WS-SecurityPolicy "is designed to work with the general Web Services framework, including WSDL service descriptions, UDDI businessServices and bindingTemplates and SOAP message structure and message processing model; WS-SecurityPolicy should be applicable to any version of SOAP. The current SOAP 1.2 namespace URI is used herein to provide detailed examples, but there is no intention to limit the applicability of this specification to a single version of SOAP." [Full context]

  • [July 12, 2005]   Final Release of the Java XML Digital Signature API Specification (JSR 105).    Developers from Sun, IBM, and other companies have announced the final release of Java XML Digital Signature API Specification (JSR 105) Version 1.0, produced under the Java Community Process (JCP). The purpose of this Java Specification Request is "to define a standard Java API for generating and validating XML signatures. The APIs for XML digital signatures services of JSR 105 implement the W3C XML-Signature Syntax and Processing Recommendation, and provide for support of the W3C XML-Signature XPath Filter 2.0 and Exclusive XML Canonicalization Version 1.0 Recommendations. JSR 105 was developed by members of the JSR 105 Expert Group under the direction of Specification Leads Anthony Nadalin (IBM) and Sean Mullan (Sun Microsystems), who continue jointly in the role of JSR 105 Maintenance Lead. The Java Community Process under which which JSR 105 was developed is a standards framework which "produces high-quality specifications in 'Internet time' using an inclusive, consensus building approach that produces a specification, a reference implementation (to prove the specification can be implemented), and a technology compatibility kit (a suite of tests, tools, and documentation that is used to test implementations for compliance with the specification). JCP participants include the international Java community, working to develop and evolve Java technology specifications." JSR 105 has been approved in a Final Approval Ballot with votes from by Apache Software Foundation, Apple Computer, Inc., BEA Systems, Fujitsu Limited, Hewlett-Packard, IBM Corp., Intel Corp., IONA Technologies PLC, JBoss, Inc., Nortel Networks, SAP AG, and Sun Microsystems, Inc. The Java XML Digital Signature API Specification supports software development projects that need to use the JSR 105 API to generate and validate XML signatures. It is also designed for use by Java programmers "who want to create a concrete implementation of the JSR 105 API and register it as a cryptographic service of a JCA provider. A cryptographic service provider is a package or set of packages that supply a concrete implementation of a subset of the Java 2 SDK Security API cryptography features." [Full context]

  • [July 08, 2005]   New Unicode Consortium Technical Report on Unicode Security Considerations.    Unicode Technical Report #36 on Unicode Security Considerations "describes some of the security considerations that programmers, system analysts, standards developers, and users should take into account [when using the Unicode Standard], and provides specific recommendations to reduce the risk of problems." A number of visual security issues have arisen in connection with (visual) spoofing, and this threat provides the basis for the technical report. The new Unicode Security Considerations Technical Report from the Unicode Consortium "provides an initial step towards reducing the risk of such problems while preserving the ability to have internationalized domain names for all the modern languages of the world." Security issues identified and addressed in the report include Internationalized Domain Names, Mixed-Script Spoofing, Single-Script Spoofing, Inadequate Rendering Support, Bidirectional Text Spoofing, Syntax Spoofing, and Numeric Spoofs. In many ways, acording to the TR introduction, "the use of Unicode makes programs much more robust and secure. When systems used a hodge-podge of different charsets for representing characters, there were security and corruption problems that resulted from differences between those charsets, or from the way in which programs converted to and from them. But because Unicode contains such a large number of characters, and because it incorporates the varied writing systems of the world, incorrect usage can expose programs or systems to possible security attacks." The authors of the Unicode Security Considerations Technical Report envision that the document "should grow over time, adding additional sections as needed. Initially, it is organized into two sections: visual security issues and non-visual security issues. Each section presents background information on the kinds of problems that can occur, then lists specific recommendations for reducing the risk of such problems." [Full context]

  • [July 07, 2005]   OGC Releases GML Simple Features Profile Specification for Review.    The Open Geospatial Consortium Inc. has issued an invitation for public review of a GML Simple Features Profile specification. OGC's Geography Markup Language (GML), now being prepared for publication as ISO/IEC 19136 Geographic Information — Geography Markup Language by ISO/TC 211/WG 4 (Geographic Information/Geomatics). OGC Specification Profiles are subsets of existing OpenGIS Specifications. GML is an XML grammar written in XML Schema for the modelling, transport, and storage of geographic information. This GML profile is a product of OGC's Interoperability Program: "a global, collaborative, hands-on engineering and testing program designed to deliver prototype technologies and proven candidate specifications into the OGC's Specification Development Program. In OGC Interoperability Initiatives, international teams of technology providers work together to solve specific geo-processing interoperability problems posed by Initiative." The new GML Simple Features Profile defines a restricted but useful subset of XML-Schema and GML. The Geography Markup Language (GML) full specification defines "an XML grammar for the encoding of geographic information including geographic features, coverages, observations, topology, geometry, coordinate reference systems, units of measure, time, and value objects. The GML Simple Feature Profile candidate specification defines a set of schema encoding rules that allow simple features, such as points, lines, and polygons, to be described using GML application schemas." The Profile's restricted subset GML is designed to "lower the implementation bar of time and resources required for an organization to commit for developing software that supports GML. It is hoped that by lowering the effort required to manipulate XML encoded feature data, organizations will be encouraged to invest more time and effort to take greater advantage of GML's rich functionality." [Full context]

  • [June 29, 2005]   W3C Publishes XML Key Management Specification (XKMS) 2.0 Recommendation.    The XKMS (XML Key Management Specification) Version 2.0 produced by members of the W3C XML Key Management Working Group has now been issued as a W3C Recommmendation in two parts: the main XML Key Management Specification (XKMS 2.0) document and the companion XML Key Management Specification (XKMS 2.0) Bindings. The primary XKMS document comprises two parts: the XML Key Information Service Specification (X-KISS) and the XML Key Registration Service Specification (X-KRSS). Advancement to a W3C Recommendation signifies a specification that, "after extensive consensus-building, has received the endorsement of W3C Members and the Director. W3C recommends the wide deployment of its Recommendations, which are similar to the standards published by other organizations." The XKMS Activity is managed as part of the W3C Technology and Society Domain. The XML Key Management Specification Version 2.0, acccording to W3C's published announcement, is "part of the W3C XML Security Framework, which includes the XML Signature, XML Encryption, and Canonical XML Recommendations. XKMS, a cornerstone of Web applications security, adds public key management to the W3C XML Security Framework. The XKMS specification defines key functionality essential for Web Services Security, as "Web applications and services security rely on interoperable components that make it possible to sign, seal, encrypt, and exchange electronic documents. All of these functions rely on management and processing of public keys. Before XKMS, these services lacked openly specified, non-proprietary interfaces (APIs). Today, XKMS offers an open, standards-based interface to key management services that has already demonstrated its utility in distributed enterprise security applications." [Full context]

  • [June 28, 2005]   Candidate Recommendation for Voice Extensible Markup Language (VoiceXML) 2.1.    W3C's Voice Browser Working Group has released a new version of the Voice Extensible Markup Language (VoiceXML) 2.1 specification at Candidate Recommendation level. VoiceXML "enables integration of voice services with data services using the familiar client-server paradigm. It is 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." The W3C Voice Browser Working Group, chartered through January 31, 2007, is developing XML-based specifications to "bring the benefits of Web technology to the telephone, enabling Web developers to create applications that can be accessed via any telephone, and allowing people to interact with these applications via speech and telephone keypads. The W3C Speech Interface Framework is a suite of markup specifications aimed at realizing this goal. It covers voice dialogs (VoiceXML), speech synthesis (SSML, PLS), speech recognition (SRGS, SISR), telephony call control for voice browsers (CCXML) and other requirements for interactive voice response applications, including use by people with hearing or speaking impairments." VoiceXML Version 2.1 defines a set of eight (8) markup elements, either newly introduced or enhanced from VoiceXML 2.0; they represent features now commonly implemented by VoiceXML applications. According to the Candidate Recommendation Introduction, "the popularity of VoiceXML 2.0 spurred the development of numerous voice browser implementations early in the specification process so that VoiceXML 2.0 has been phenomenally successful in enabling the rapid deployment of voice applications that handle millions of phone calls every day. This success has led to the development of additional, innovative features that help developers build even more powerful voice-activated services. While it was too late to incorporate these additional features into version 2.0, the purpose of VoiceXML 2.1 is to formally specify the most common features to ensure their portability between platforms and at the same time maintain complete backwards-compatibility with VoiceXML 2.0." A new <data> element in VoiceXML 2.1 "allows a VoiceXML application to fetch arbitrary XML data from a document server without transitioning to a new VoiceXML document; the XML data fetched by the <data> element is bound to ECMAScript through the named variable that exposes a read-only subset of the W3C Document Object Model (DOM). V2.1 also supports dynamic concatenation of prompts using a new <foreach> element; it allows a VoiceXML application to iterate through an ECMAScript array and to execute the content contained within the <foreach> element for each item in the array. A new attribute for <grammar> supports referencing grammars dynamically; <property> now controls platform settings; <script> can references a document containing client-side ECMAScript; the <transfer> element may support any combination of bridge, blind, or consultation transfer types to transfer the user to another destination. Normative Appendix B provides the VoiceXML Schema and and non-normative Appendix A supplies a VoiceXML Document Type Definition (DTD). [Full context]

  • [June 20, 2005]   U.S. Interagency FEA DRM Working Group Releases Draft XML Schema.    As part of the ongoing revision of the Data Reference Model (DRM) for the U.S. Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA), the DRM Working Group has issued a new DRM XML Schema for public review. Working Group members are eager to receive feedback from reviewers as they work toward the planned October 17, 2005 release of the new multi-part FEA Data Reference Model. The draft FEA DRM XML Schema is designed to "support the DRM's primary use case of facilitation of interagency information sharing. It facilitates the inventory, cataloging, and discovery of information holdings as required by law and policy (OMB Circular A-130, Management of Federal Information Resources), with support for harmonization across the federal government of data artifacts, and establishment of authoritative data sources. The Schema provides an open and well-documented standard to enable the organization and categorization of government information, in ways that are searchable, and interoperable, across agencies." The Federal Enterprise Architecture being developed by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is described as a "business-based framework for Government-wide improvement." The FEA DRM is designed to "promote the common identification, use, and appropriate sharing of data/information across the federal government. It describes three basic standardization areas: (1) Categorization of data; (2) Exchange of data; (3) Structure of data. Information sharing can be enabled through the common categorization and structure of data. By understanding the business context of data, DRM users will be able to communicate more accurately about the content and purpose of the data they require." The newly released XML Schema for the FEA DRM is a W3C XML Schema that serves as an abstract metamodel for the DRM; it represents all three of the DRM's major standardization areas. The Data Description section "provides a standard means for agencies to describe their data and data sources clearly, concisely, and unambiguously. The Data Sharing section provides a standard means for describing interagency data exchanges and data sharing capabilities. The XML Schema's Data Context section provides a standard means for representing taxonomies that an agencies use to categorize their data." [Full context]

  • [June 16, 2005]   DERI Announces Submission of Web Services Modeling Ontology (WSMO) to W3C.    The Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), a leading European research institute in the field of Semantic Web and Semantic Web services technology, has announced the submission of its Web Services Modeling Ontology (WSMO) to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The multi-part submission package was made on April 04, 2005 by five institutions: DERI Innsbruck at the Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck, Austria; DERI Galway at the National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland; British Telecom (BT, UK), The Open University (UK), and SAP AG (Germany). The Web Service Modeling Ontology, according to DERI's announcement, "has been under development over the past two years within the WSMO working group. It provides a comprehensive framework for addressing Semantic Web services challenges and it is designed to help overcome the current problems of Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) and Service-Oriented Architectures (SOA). WSMO provides a conceptual framework and a formal language for semantically describing all relevant aspects of Web services in order to facilitate the automation of discovering, combining and invoking electronic services over the Web." The Web Service Modeling Ontology Primer presented as part of the Member Submission describes the objective of WSMO as an attempt "to solve the application integration problem for Web services by defining a coherent technology for Semantic Web services. WSMO takes the Web Service Modeling Framework (WSMF) as starting point and further refines and extends its concepts. In order to achieve automated discovery, composition, and execution of Web services a conceptual model alone is insufficient. In addition, a formal language is required to write down annotations of Web services according to the conceptual model. Logical inference-mechanisms can be applied to the descriptions in this language. In order to allow appropriate, satisfactorily logic-based reasoning on Semantic Web services, the description language has to provide reasonable expressivity, together with well-defined formal semantics. The Web Service Modeling Language (WSML) is a family of languages which formalizes WSMO." Three primary prose specifications are included in the WSMO Submission. The Web Services Modeling Ontology (WSMO) document provides ontological specifications for the core elements of Semantic Web services. This document "describes the overall structure of WSMO by its four main elements: ontologies, which provide the terminology used by other WSMO elements; Web service descriptions, which describe the functional and behavioral aspects of a Web service; goals that represent user desires; and mediators, which aim at automatically handling interoperability problems between different WSMO elements. Along with introducing the main elements of WSMO, the syntax of the formal logic language used in WSMO is provided." [Full context]

  • [June 15, 2005]   Sun Service Registry for SOA Supports UDDI 3.0 and ebXML Registry 3.0 Standards.    Sun Microsystems has announced the development of a Web Services Registry and Repository for building Service-Oriented Architectures (SOA). The Sun Service Registry "enables service oriented architectures by providing centralized access to discovery, use, and reuse of web services as well as secure, federated information management. By offering a unique single-registry solution that supports both UDDI v3 and ebXML Registry 3.0 standards, Sun's Service Registry enables customers to publish, manage, govern, discover and reuse services within a broad range of applications." Sun's Service Registry is based upon the open source 'freebXML' registry (ebXML Registry Reference Implementation Project), developed at The Service Registry supports secure, federated information management for any type of electronic artifacts, and information artifact discovery using domain-specific queries (SQL, XML filter query syntax). It provides for validation of information artifacts using domain-specific business rules, with version control, life cycle management, and governance of information artifacts. Both standard and user-defined taxonomies may be used to classify information artifacts, and the Sun Service Registry offers the ability to define associations between those information artifacts based on custom, fine-grained role based access control. Notification of changes to information artifacts may be sent to subscribers, recorded in a complete audit trail and event log of changes." Common use cases for Sun's Service Registry include: (1) "Publication, management, governance, discovery and reuse of Web Services and related SOA Artifacts; (2) Taxonomy management; (3) XML Schema management; (4) Vocabulary Management; (5) Business Process registry; (6) Medical content repository. It features a single registry solution supports wide customer adoption across diverse domains." Development of the Sun Service Registry was guided by a realization that the "ability to register, discover, and govern Web services is an essential requirement for any Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) implementation. This need may not be fully appreciated in the early stages of an SOA roll-out when dealing with a small number of services. However, large organizations will typically need to support a large number of Web services, and as the number of services deployed grows to dozens or hundreds, centralized facilities for access and control of service metadata and artifacts becomes critical. A service registry provides these capabilities and is a key infrastructural component and cornerstone for SOA deployments." [Full context]

  • [June 14, 2005]   DMTF Releases Draft Server Management Command Line Protocol Specification (SMASH CLP).    A Version 1.0 Preliminary Standard defining the Server Management Command Line Protocol Specification (SM CLP) has been released by the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF). The document "specifies a common command line syntax and message protocol semantics for managing computer resources in Internet, enterprise, and service provider environments." Statements of support for SMASH CLP have been provided by Avocent, Dell, Hitachi, HP, IBM, Intel, The Open Group, Peppercon, RLX Technologies, the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), and Sun Microsystems. The SMASH CLP specification addresses "the growing need to rely on multi-vendor, out-of-band hardware and software management solutions as core components of interoperable, heterogeneous enterprise-wide management solution. By the extending the DMTF Specifications to include a CIM-based command line protocol for managing out-of-band and out-of-service devices, the DMTF comes closer to realizing its vision of enabling end-to-end, multi-vendor interoperability in management systems." The principal goal of the specification is to "define a light-weight, human-oriented command line protocol which is also suitable for scripting environments. This includes a direct mapping to a subset of the CIM Schema. The command line protocol will specify the syntax and semantics used to allow the manipulation of the Managed Elements within servers, as collections or individually." The SMASH CLP specification builds upon the DMTF Common Information Model (CIM), which includes an implementation-neutral schema for describing overall management information in a network/enterprise environment. The DMTF Command Line Protocol defines XML output data ('clpxml') as one of three structured data formats; CSV (Comma Separated Value) mode and modes for plain text output are also allowed. "XML was chosen as a supported output format due to its acceptance in the industry, establishment as a standard, and need for Clients to import data obtained through the CLP into other applications." Specification Appendix B supplies the Command Response XML Schema required for use in by implementations that support XML message data. [Full context]

  • [June 06, 2005]   Eclipse Announces Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) Version 1.0.    The Eclipse Foundation has announced general availability of the Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) Project version 1.0. The BIRT Project "exploits the convergence of analytics and operations in application development, with its trend toward embedding BI functionality within Java applications. Its goal is to allow Java developers to easily integrate business intelligence and reporting capability into enterprise Java applications and commercial products." Eclipse is a not-for-profit "open source community whose projects are focused on providing an extensible development platform and application frameworks for building software. Eclipse provides extensible tools and frameworks that span the software development lifecycle, including support for modeling, language development environments for Java, C/C++ and others, testing and performance, business intelligence, rich client applications and embedded development." The Eclipse open platform for tool integration uses a "common public license that provides royalty free source code and world wide redistribution rights. Eclipse based tools give developers freedom of choice in a multi-language, multi-platform, multi-vendor environment." The Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) Project was created as a top level Eclipse project in September 2004. The release of BIRT version 1.0 "marks the culmination of Eclipse community participation during which hundreds of members of the community provided their feedback to shape the future of the project. BIRT has been downloaded 9,000 times since a preview version was made available in late February." BIRT version 1.0 includes a report designer, a report engine, and a complete set of APIs which provide the ability to integrate and extend BIRT. The Eclipse Report Designer is "an Eclipse-based desktop authoring environment that generates reports based on a comprehensive XML-based report design. In addition, it provides a rich business chart generation capability." [Full context]

  • [June 02, 2005]   Microsoft Announces Adoption of XML for Default File Formats in 'Office 12'.    Microsoft Corporation has announced its plan to use XML schemas in the new "Microsoft Office Open XML Formats" for its next version of Microsoft Office editions, now referenced under the code-name "Office 12." Although binary formats will be supported as well, for example in the ZIP package format and the 'Excel 12 Binary Workbook (.xlsb), Office 12 will use XML in its "default" file formats for Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, which "are expected to be released in the second half of 2006." The new XML file formats are designed as an "extension of the WordprocessingML and SpreadsheetML schemas introduced in previous versions of Office," and are intended to be interoperable with binary formats in Office 2000 and later. Free tools will be made available to "enable users of Office 2000, Office XP, and Office 2003 to open and save to the new formats. Documents created with the current binary file formats in Office also will be fully compatible with Office 12 applications, so workers can save documents to their current formats and exchange those documents with people using 'Office 12'; when they upgrade to 'Office 12,' they can continue to use their existing binary documents." Similar to the XML-based technology documented in the OASIS Standard Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument), the Microsoft Office Open XML Formats use ZIP to package and compress constituent parts of compound XML documents. A white paper "The Microsoft Office Open XML Format: Preview for Developers" provides details on the XML File Structure. Each file is composed of "a collection of multiple XML parts describing file data, metadata, customer data. Non-XML parts supported as native files" (e.g., images, VBA projects, OLE objects), and XML structures support the encoding relationships that define any specific file structure. ZIP itself provides the wrapper, or container, providing compression and CRC-based integrity checking for individual file components. [Full context]

  • [May 27, 2005]   New Release of Predictive Model Markup Language (PMML) from SourceForge.    SourceForge developers have issued two recent updates to Version 3 of the Predictive Model Markup Language (PMML). Considered to be the most widely deployed data mining standard, PMML is an XML markup language used to describe statistical and data mining models. Formally defined in a W3C XML Schema language, PMML "describes the inputs to data mining models, the transformations used prior to prepare data for data mining, and the parameters which define the models themselves. PMML is used for a wide variety of applications, including applications in finance, e-business, direct marketing, manufacturing, and defense. PMML is complementary to several other data mining standards: its XML interchange format is supported by XML for Analysis (XMLA), JSR 73, and 'SQL/MM Part 6: Data Mining'. As of PMML Version 3.0.2, the specification is said to represent a mature standard such that deployment through the creation of PMML scoring engines is now straight-forward. For PMML version 3.1 and following the development team will continue to add new statistical and data-mining models, reducing the need to use approved extension mechanisms. They also plan to enhance support for data preparation, which is still a labor-intensive task for some applications. PMML specification development has been advanced for several years by the independent, vendor-led Data Mining Group (DMG), though end user companies are now showing heightened interest. According to a published "Overview of PMML Version 3.0" by Stefan Raspl (IBM), PMML is an application and system independent interchange format for statistical and data mining models. More precisely, the goal of PMML is to encapsulate a model in an application and system independent fashion so that two different applications (the PMML Producer and Consumer) can use it. PMML Version 3.0 adds the ability to compose certain data mining operations. For example, the outputs of regression models can be used as the inputs to other models (model sequencing) and a decision tree or regression model can be used to combine the outputs of several embedded models (model selection)." Three new models in PMML Version 3 include rule sets, support vector machines, and text models. [Full context]

  • [May 24, 2005]   W3C Workshop to Address Improved Interoperability of Schema-Aware Software.    W3C has issued a Call for Participation in connection with the June 21-22, 2005 "Workshop on XML Schema 1.0 User Experiences," to be held at the Oracle Conference Center in Redwood Shores, California. The deadline for submission of a user experience report has been extended through May 27, 2005. The purpose of this W3C Workshop is to "gather concrete reports of user experience with XML Schema 1.0, and examine the full range of usability, implementation, and interoperability problems around the specification and its test suite. Topics of discussion include, but are not limited to, the use of XML Schema in vocabulary design, Web Services description and toolkits, XHTML, XML Query, and XML Schema editors." The W3C XML Schema specification was released in a Second Edition Recommendation on October 28, 2004. This Second Edition incorporated the changes dictated by the corrections to errors found in the first edition, published as a W3C Recommendation on May 2, 2001. Since its approval as a W3C Recommendation, XML Schema 1.0 "has been widely adopted by vendors and as a foundation for other specifications in the Web Services area, in XML query systems, and elsewhere." The W3C Workshop on XML Schema 1.0 User Experiences will provide an opportunity for users to identify usability problems, to document the most serious interoperability problems users have experienced with schema-aware software, to design improvements to the XML Schema test suite, and to discuss future work to improve interoperability of schema-aware software. As with other W3C Workshops, this "Workshop on XML Schema 1.0 User Experiences" is open to the public, but will be limited to 60 attendees. Participants are required to submit a user experience report (by May 27, 2005); these papers will be included in the published proceedings of the Workshop. [Full context]

  • [May 19, 2005]   OASIS Advances Common Alerting Protocol and Emergency Data Exchange Language.    Members of the OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee have released a Version 1.1 Committee Draft for the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) specification, and invite public review through July 15, 2005. Members of the TC are also actively developing an XML-based Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL), intended to provide a broader integrating framework for a wide range of emergency data exchange standards and application types. Version 1.0 of the Common Alerting Protocol was approved as an OASIS Standard in April 2004 and has been adopted widely. 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. CAP also provides a template for effective warning messages based on best practices identified in academic research and real-world experience." The CAP format "is compatible with emerging techniques, such as Web services, as well as existing formats including the Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) used for the United States' National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio and the Emergency Alert System (EAS). CAP also offers enhanced capabilities that include: (1) flexible geographic targeting using latitude/longitude shapes and other geospatial representations in three dimensions; (2) multilingual and multi-audience messaging; (3) phased and delayed effective times and expirations; (4) enhanced message update and cancellation features; (5) template support for framing complete and effective warning messages; (6) compatible with digital encryption and signature capability; (7) facility for digital images and audio." [Full context]

  • [May 16, 2005]   Microsoft and Sun Publish Web Single Sign-On (SSO) Identity Specifications.    Sun Microsystems and Microsoft Corp held a joint press conference on May 13, 2005 to announce the publication of two new identity management specifications and plans for additional collaborative effort to support product interoperability. A new Web Single Sign-On Metadata Exchange Protocol specification "defines how a service can query an identity provider for metadata that describes the identity-processing protocol suites supported by that provider, to increase the service's ability to communicate successfully and efficiently with the provider." The companion Web Single Sign-On Interoperability Profile "defines an interoperability profile of the web single sign-on metadata exchange protocol that allows using either Liberty Identity Federation or WS-Federation based Identity Providers to interact with a service. It defines how the service determines the protocols supported by the client's identity provider thereby allowing identity processing to occur." Release of the identity specifications is said to represent first steps by the two companies "towards improving interoperability for customers using Liberty and WS-* web service architectures with the joint development of two draft specifications for web single sign-on interoperability. These new specifications will ultimately enable browser-based web single sign-on between security domains that use Liberty ID-FF and WS-Federation." The two companies welcome developer participation in the further development of the Web SSO specifications; this design work will be managed through the Web services protocol workshop process. Subsequently, the two specifications will be submitted to a standards organization for finalization and ratification as industry standards. Initially, the Microsoft Windows Server and the Sun Java Enterprise System will support the Web SSO specifications: "Products that support the Web SSO MEX Protocol and the Web SSO Interop Profile will enable companies to provide users with an improved SSO experience from their Web browsers. For example, if a company implements an employee portal using Sun Java Enterprise System, and the company's benefits provider deploys a Web-based application using Microsoft Windows Server, then an employee will be able to access the benefits application from the portal without having to log in separately." [Full context]

  • [May 12, 2005]   W3C Proposed Recommendation for XML Key Management Specification (XKMS 2.0).    The W3C XML Key Management Working Group has released a Proposed Recommendation for the XKMS specification version 2.0, including XML Key Management Specification (XKMS 2.0) and XML Key Management Specification (XKMS 2.0) Bindings. Operating within the W3C Technology and Society Domain, the XML Key Management (XKMS) Activity "specifies protocols for distributing and registering public keys, suitable for use with the standard for XML Signatures defined by W3C and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and its companion standard for XML encryption." The Working Group was chartered to build upon the March 2001 XML Key Management Specification (XKMS) submitted to W3C by VeriSign Inc, Microsoft Corporation, and webMethods Inc. As presented in the May 2003 XML Key Management (XKMS 2.0) Requirements, XML-based public key management "should be designed to meet two general goals. The first is to support a simple client's ability to make use of sophisticated key management functionality. This simple client is not concerned with the details of the infrastructure required to support the public key management but may choose to work with X.509 certificates if able to manage the details . The second goal is to provide public key management support to XML applications that is consistent with the XML architectural approach. In particular, it is a goal of XML key management to support the public key management requirements of XML Encryption, XML Digital Signature, and to be consistent with the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML)." The XML Key Management Specification (XKMS 2.0) is published in two parts: the XML Key Information Service Specification (X-KISS) and the XML Key Registration Service Specification (X-KRSS). "XKMS does not require any particular underlying public key infrastructure (such as X.509) but is designed to be compatible with such infrastructures. The X-KISS protocol allows an application to delegate to a service the processing of key information associated with an XML signature, XML encryption, or other usage of the XML Signature ds:KeyInfo element. The X-KRSS protocol supports the registration of a key pair by a key pair holder, with the intent that the key pair subsequently be usable in conjunction with X-KISS or a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) such as X.509 or PKIX." The XML Key Management Specification (XKMS 2.0) Bindings document defines different protocol bindings with security characteristics for the XML Key Management Specification. Security requirements "vary according to the application: in the case of a free or un-metered service the service may not require authentication of the request. A responder that requires an authenticated request must know in that circumstance that the request corresponds to the specified response." The document addresses Confidentiality, Request Authentication, Response Authentication, Persistent Authentication, Message Correlation (Response Replay and Request Substitution), Request Replay, and Denial of Service. [Full context]

  • [May 10, 2005]   W3C Mobile Web Initiative to Define Best Practices and 'mobileOK' Trustmark.    The World Wide Web Consortium announced the launch of a new Mobile Web Initiative (MWI), designed to make "Web access from a mobile device as simple, easy and convenient as Web access from a desktop device." The W3C Mobile Web Initiative has been activated to address "interoperability and usability problems that make the Web difficult to use for most mobile phone subscribers. The Mobile Web Initiative proposes to address these issues through a concerted effort of key players in the mobile production chain, including authoring tool vendors, content providers, handset manufacturers, browser vendors and mobile operators. W3C MWI initially will focus upon developing best practices for 'mobileOK' Web sites, creating device information needed for content adaptation, and marketing and outreach activities." Two new W3C Working Groups have been formed to support MWI. The Mobile Web Best Practices (MWBP) Working Group has been chartered to "develop a set of technical best practices and associated materials in support of development of Web sites that provide an appropriate user experience on mobile devices." The MWBP Working Group will define a 'mobileOK' trustmark based on existing standards and best practices. A trustmark, in this context, is "a mark or badge that indicates adherence to a set of criteria. Relevant examples of trustmarks include the Conformance Logos promoted by the W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative and the TRUSTe seal developed and promoted by TRUSTe. In both of these examples, a visible mark is used to indicate adherence to a set of best practice criteria in a particular domain." The new MWI Device Description Working Group (DDWG) has been chartered to "enable the development of globally accessible, sustainable data and services that provide device description information applicable to content adaptation." Chaired by Rotan Hanrahan of MobileAware, the WG will seek to enhance "provision and access to device descriptions that can be used in support of Web-enabled applications that provide an appropriate user experience on mobile devices." The Device Description Working Group will "work with the OMA's UAProf sub working group to development requirements for a repository of device descriptions; it will develop requirements for extensions to technologies where gaps exist, for example in the area of highly dynamic device characteristics. W3C's Mobile Web Initiative is being funded through a sponsorship program. Initial MWI sponsors include France Telecom, HP, Vodafone, MobileAware, Segala M Test, and Volantis. [Full context]

  • [May 06, 2005]   Open Archives Initiative Releases Specification for Conveying Rights Expressions.    The Open Archives Initiative has published an Implementation Guideline specification for Conveying Rights Expressions About Metadata in the OAI-PMH Framework. This specification defines mechanisms for data providers to associate XML-based rights expressions with harvested metadata that is queried and delivered via service providers using the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). The rights expressions indicate how data may be used, shared, and modified after it has been harvested. Detailed examples are provided in the specification for declaring rights using the Creative Commons and GNU licenses; however, the rights expression mechanism under the OAI-PMH data model is agnostic as the particular rights expression language used by the data provider. The OAI Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) has now become the most widely adopted approach for publication of both "data" and "metadata" by online digital libraries and archive centers. A list of registered OAI conforming repositories (perhaps not current) identifies some 286 digital library projects using this federated database approach, and the OAIster Digital Library Production Service at the University of Michigan stores some 5,366,375 records of digital resources from 472 institutions. The essence of the open archives approach is "to enable access to Web-accessible material through interoperable repositories for (meta-)data sharing, publishing and archiving. OAI develops and promotes a low-barrier interoperability framework and associated standards based upon open protocols. In the OAI model, a data provider maintains one or more repositories (web servers) that support the OAI-PMH as a means of exposing metadata; a service provider issues OAI-PMH requests to data providers and uses the metadata as a basis for building value-added services. According to the online tutorial, OAI-PMH provides "a simple technical option for data providers to make their metadata available to services, based on the open standards HTTP (Hypertext Transport Protocol) and XML (Extensible Markup Language). The metadata that is harvested may be in any format that is agreed by a community (or by any discrete set of data and service providers), although unqualified Dublin Core is specified to provide a basic level of interoperability. MARCXML, METS, and OLAC are also popular supported formats. The OAI-PMH protocol is based on HTTP with support for flow control. Request arguments are issued as GET or POST parameters. OAI-PMH supports six request types, known as verbs; responses are encoded in XML syntax. OAI-PMH supports any metadata format encoded in XML, and OAI-PMH defines a single XML Schema to validate responses to all OAI-PMH requests." [Full context]

  • [May 04, 2005]   Call for Participation in the OASIS Web Services Reliable Exchange (WS-RX) TC.    On May 03, 2005, OASIS issued a Call for Participation in a new Technical Committee chartered to define a protocol for reliable message exchanges between two Web services, through continued development of the Web Services Reliable Messaging (WS-RM) specification. The OASIS Web Services Reliable Exchange (WS-RX) Technical Committee will operate in the 'RF on RAND Terms' IPR mode as defined in the new OASIS IPR Policy. Some forty-one (41) individuals identified as TC Proposers have already agreed to support the work of the new TC, representing ACORD, Actional, Adobe, Arjuna, BEA Systems, Blue Titan, Choreology, Entrust, Ericsson, Hitachi, IBM, IONA, Microsoft, NEC, Nortel, Novell, OAGi, Oracle, Reactivity, SAP, SeeBeyond, Sonic Software, Sun Microsystems, Systinet, TIBCO, United Kingdom e-Government Unit, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and webMethods. A 'reliable message transfer" is one in which "certain reliability assurances exist between two parties even in the presence of a variety of failures. There can be multiple, concurrent and independent reliable exchanges between two parties. Reliability assurances make statements about the type of reliability provided to a message exchange." The WS-RX TC will continue development of the (BEA Systems, IBM, Microsoft, and TIBCO Software) Web Services Reliable Messaging specification (WS-ReliableMessaging) submitted to the TC. The defined mechanism by which Web services express support for reliable messaging and related useful parameters "will be based upon the Web Services Reliable Messaging Policy Assertion (WS-RM Policy) specification," also to be submitted to the TC. The WS-RX work will be designed to compose with the WSS TC specifications and will utilize the WS-Addressing functions where appropriate, and avoiding the creation of overlapping functions. The first meeting of the WS-RX will be held as a F2F meeting June 23-24, 2005 in Palo Alto, California, hosted by SAP. The WS-RX TC Convener is Paul Cotton (Microsoft Corporation); the proposed TC Chairs are Paul Fremantle (IBM) and Sanjay Patil (SAP). [Full context]

  • [May 03, 2005]   Globus Toolkit Version 4.0 Features Support for Key Web Services Standards.    The Globus Consortium has announced the release of the Globus Toolkit Version 4.0 (GT4) as a stable, enterprise ready set of services and software libraries incorporating the latest web services standards, with new security and authorization features. The Globus Consortium, announced January 24, 2005, "is comprised of global computing leaders who support the Globus Toolkit. HP, IBM, Intel and Sun Microsystems are the Globus Consortium's Founding members; supporting entities also include Nortel Networks, Univa, and others. According to Ian Foster, Board Member with the Globus Consortium, "The leading enterprise Grid vendors and standards bodies are standing behind GT4 as the preferred open source software for enterprise Grids. For nearly a decade, a global community of Grid developers have contributed to Globus Toolkit code." The Globus Toolkit is "an open source software toolkit used for building enterprise-level Grid systems and applications. Freely available in open source format on the Web, the Globus Toolkit provides applications for security, information infrastructure, resource management, data management, communication, fault detection, portability, and more. Grid computing, as defined by the Globus Toolkit implementation, refers to "an information technology infrastructure that enables the integrated, collaborative use of computers, networks, databases, and scientific instruments owned and managed by many different organizations in many different locations. Grid applications often involve large amounts of data and/or computing and often require secure resource sharing across organizational boundaries." The Globus Toolkit Version 4 (GT4) supports "interoperability, flexibility and the freedom to choose the best vendor products and equipment" to implement enterprise Grid solutions. The Globus Consortium announcement identifies four new areas of support for interoperable computing solutions: (1) GT4 complies with the latest Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I) web services standards, which provides maximum interoperability between different environments.; (2) GT4 includes initial support for important authorization standards, including Security Markup Language (SAML) and Extensible Access Control Markup Language (XACML); these provide business with a foundation for building a secure web-services enabled Grid infrastructure; (3) GT4 implements the Web Services Resource Framework (WS-RF) and Web Services Notification (WS-N) specifications, which are emerging standards in OASIS backed by major vendors for web services enablement of Grid and resource management systems; (4) GT4 features sophisticated authorization and security capabilities so as to make the toolkit 'enterprise ready' from a security perspective." [Full context]

  • [April 30, 2005]   OASIS TC Addresses Software Deployment, Configuration, and Lifecycle Management.    OASIS has announced the formation of a new Technical Committee to develop standardized schemas which describe the characteristics of an installable unit (IU) of software that are relevant for core aspects of its deployment, configuration, and maintenance. The OASIS Solution Deployment Descriptor (SDD) Technical Committee will continue work on a technology formerly called the Installable Unit Deployment Descriptor (IUDD) schema. It is documented in a June 2004 Member Submission to W3C from IBM and Novell, co-authored by InstallShield Software and Zero G Software, presented under the name Solution Installation Schema. TC proposers include indivuduals from Computer Associates, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Macrovision, NEC, Novell, Softricity, Sun Microsystems, and Zero G. Participation from other companies is expected, and invited, because the technical solution envisioned by the initial proposers is to be standardized for multi-platform use in heterogeneous environments. The technical activity and its deliverables will be of interest to "ISVs and independent developers who wish to create software packages for managed or unmanaged environments, and to internal corporate software development organizations. IT staff who need to manage deployment and lifecycle within their infrastructure and software consumers who want reliable and predictable software installation and lifecycle may have a stake in the work. The specifications will be used by developers of tooling which is used either for packaging of software for installation or used in the process of software life-cycle management." A solution, in the context of 'Solution Deployment Descriptor', is "any combination of products, components, or application artifacts addressing a particular user requirement. This includes what would traditionally be referred to as a product offering (e.g.,, a database product), as well as a solution offering (e.g.,, a business integration platform comprising multiple integrated products), or a user application (e.g.,, a set of application artifacts like J2EE applications and database definitions). All the software constituents of a solution can be represented by a single Solution Deployment Descriptor (SDD) as a hierarchy of installable unit aggregates." [Full context]

  • [April 29, 2005]   First Public Working Draft for XML Linking Language (XLink) Version 1.1.    The W3C XML Core Working Group has produced a First Public Working Draft for XML Linking Language (XLink) Version 1.1 and requests feedback from W3C Members and other interested parties. XLink Version 1.0 was approved as a W3C Recommendation in June 2001. The XLink Version 1.1 Working Draft defines mechanisms to allow markup constructs "to be inserted into XML documents in order to create and describe links between resources. It uses XML syntax to create structures that can describe links similar to the simple unidirectional hyperlinks of today's HTML, as well as more sophisticated links." Background information on this revision is published in a January 2005 Note Extending XLink 1.0, edited by Norman Walsh. The Note recognizes that XLink has been adopted by several markup vocabularies since its publication as a Recommendation, but "the current trend to migrate from DTD-based validation to schema-based validation poses additional challenges that could hamper its continued adoption." Four small changes in XLink Version 1.0 were identified which could "make XLink easier to use, reduce XLink's dependence on annotations provided by external grammars (XML DTDs or XML Schema, for example), and increase interoperability by reducing the risk of markup errors or misinterpretations." The proposed changes in Extending XLink 1.0 were: (1) to make simple XLinks an application-level default; (2) to reserve all attributes in the XLink namespace; (3) to allow Internationalized Resource Identifier [IRIs], not just URIs, to be used to identify XLink properties; (4) to provide Sample XML Schema and RELAX NG Grammars. The Version 1.1 specification now "implements all of the XLink 1.1 requirements documented in the W3C Note Extending XLink 1.0. XLink is not without its critics and the changes in this specification do not address all of the criticisms that have been leveled at XLink. But these changes do make XLink more useful in the places where it is already being used and make it practical in a variety of similar vocabularies." [Full context]

  • [April 27, 2005]   Orbeon Submits XML Pipeline Language (XPL) Version 1.0 to W3C.    W3C has acknowledged receipt of a Member Submission for the draft XML Pipeline Language (XPL) Version 1.0 specification from Orbeon, Inc. The XPL XML Pipeline Language defines an XML vocabulary for describing a processing model for XML components, particularly with respect to XML Infosets. The purpose of Orbeon's XPL submission is described as an attempt "to advance work around an XML pipeline language, also known as XML processing model." It responds especially to two W3C Notes previously published in 2002 and 2004. The specification as submitted lists a number of open issues, some of which are raised in the W3C XML Processing Model Requirements Note. An XPL program or program in the XPL language "is a well-formed XML document whose syntax is well-formed XML conforming to the Namespaces in XML Recommendation. An XPL program defines orchestrated sequences of operations on XML Information Sets (Infosets). Individual operations are encapsulated within components called XML processors. Operations include production, consumption, and transformation of XML Infosets. An XPL program supports unconditional operations, and may support as well conditions, loops, and change of control following runtime errors." Motivation for XPL's design comes from a desire to address interoperability: "A growing number of specifications describe operations on XML documents. The best-known specification is XSLT, a language designed to transform XML documents into other XML documents. There are other such specifications, including XQuery, validation languages like RELAX NG and XML Schema. No current specification adequately addresses the interoperability of those specifications from the point of view of the XML Infosets they produce or consume, [and] XPL addresses this problem." The XML Pipeline Language, as summarized in the W3C Staff Comment, is a systematic attempt to address the well-recognized need for a way of specifying XML processing as an orchestrated connection of simple processing steps. It consists of an XML language for specifying a configuration of infoset creation, processing and serialization steps, in terms of their identity and the connection of their input(s) and output(s). Configuration options are straight-line sequences, choices and for-each iteration, the latter two controlled by XPath expressions." [Full context]

  • [April 25, 2005]   SweetRules Open Source Platform for Semantic Web Rules Supports Web Services.    The developers of the SweetRules tools for semantic web rules and ontologies have announced a version 2.1 release of the software at SemWebCentral under the LGPL open source license. Featuring new support for rule-triggered WSDL Web Services, SweetRules is described as the first open source platform for semantic web business rules. SweetRules is designed around the Rule Markup Language (RuleML), an emerging XML/RDF standard for semantic web rules, and supports the OWL standard for semantic web ontologies. SweetRules also supports the closely related Semantic Web Rule Language (SWRL), essentially an expressive subset of RuleML rules. The RuleML Initiative is working on an XML-based markup language "that permits Web-based rule storage, interchange, retrieval, and firing/application. RuleML covers the entire rule spectrum, from derivation rules to transformation rules to reaction rules. RuleML can thus specify queries and inferences in Web ontologies, mappings between Web ontologies, and dynamic Web behaviors of workflows, services, and agents. RuleML is about rule interoperation between industry standards (such as JSR 94, SQL'99, OCL, BPMI, WSFL, XLang, XQuery, RQL, OWL, DAML-S, and ISO Prolog) as well as established systems (CLIPS, Jess, ILOG JRules, Blaze Advisor, Versata, MQWorkFlow, BizTalk, Savvion, etc.)." The W3C Web Ontology Language (OWL) has been developed as part of the Semantic Web Activity. 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." SweetRules attempts to unite the most important kinds of rule and ontology languages using "a new, common knowledge representation (SCLP) in a new standardized syntax (RuleML), including the ability to cope with heterogeneity and resolve contradictory conflicts. It endeavors to capture most of the useful expressiveness, interoperably and scalably. It combines a large distributed set of rule and ontology knowledge bases that each are active, where each has a different associated engine for reasoning capabilities (inferencing, authoring, and/or translation ). Based upon recent fundamental KR theory advances, it includes semantics-preserving translations between different rule languages, systems, and families. Typical application areas include policies and authorizations; contracting, supply chain management; retailing, customer relationship management; business process automation and e-services; financial reporting and information. Version 2.1 has several first-of-a-kind capabilities, including support for rule-triggered WSDL Web Services, RuleML presentation syntax for user-friendlier editing, an open-source courteous compiler enabling prioritized conflict handling, and full non-stratified negation-as-failure via Jess production rules, along with a new installation wizard and additional examples of e-business application scenarios." [Full context]

  • [April 20, 2005]   IESG Issues Last Call Review for Atom Syndication Format as a Proposed Standard.    The Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) has announced a last call review of The Atom Syndication Format IETF Internet Draft. A request has been received to approve the Atom Syndication draft as a Proposed Standard, and the IESG plans to make a decision in the next few weeks. Review comments should be submitted to the designated IESG or IETF mailing lists by May 04, 2005. The Atom Syndication Format specification has been produced by members of the IETF Atom Publishing Format and Protocol (atompub) Working Group. It defines Atom as an XML-based Web content and metadata syndication format. Atom is expected to be serve as the successor to the popular RSS ("RDF Site Summary" or "Really Simple Syndication") news format, and in many contexts, references to RSS are intended to mean "RSS or Atom." Many applications already process newsfeeds in Atom or any of the several variant RSS XML formats. Atom is an XML-based document format that "describes lists of related information known as feeds. Feeds are composed of a number of items, known as entries, each with an extensible set of attached metadata. For example, each entry has a title. The primary use case that Atom addresses is the syndication of Web content such as Weblogs and news headlines to Web sites as well as directly to user agents." The two kinds of Atom Documents defined in the specification (Atom Feed Documents and Atom Entry Documents) must be well-formed XML, and are identified using the 'application/atom+xml' media type. Atom uses XML Namespaces to uniquely identify XML element names, and terminology from the XML Infoset. The specification does not define a DTD for Atom Documents, but expresses conformance within the prose; it provides a RELAX NG Compact Schema in an Informative Appendix B. The specification also places some requirements on Atom Processors. Any element defined in The Atom Syndication Format specification may have an xml:base and/or xml:lang attribute. The value of the xml:lang attribute "indicates the natural language for the element and its children [and] the language context is only significant for [particular] elements and attributes declared to be 'language-sensitive'," as defined in the specification. [Full context]

  • [April 19, 2005]   OASIS TC to Finalize WS-ReliableMessaging and WS-RM Policy Assertion Specifications.    Twenty-five months after the first public announcement for the Web Services Reliable Messaging Protocol (WS-ReliableMessaging), the co-authors BEA Systems, IBM, Microsoft, and TIBCO have announced that the WS-ReliableMessaging and WS-RM Policy specifications will be submitted to OASIS for further refinement and finalization as a Web services standard. In February 2005, WS-RM was re-published as two separate specifications: one for the core protocol elements and one for the related policy assertion. WS-ReliableMessaging "describes a protocol and SOAP binding 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. The protocol depends upon other Web services specifications for the identification of service endpoint addresses and policies." The Web Services Reliable Messaging Policy Assertion (WS-RM Policy) specification refactors the Reliable Messaging policy assertion into a discrete specification. Reliable message-based communication, according to the recent announcement, is a "vital element in enterprise-critical applications. Reliable messaging includes the ability to ensure that a message exchange has been completed correctly with no messages lost or duplicated. For example, within an order processing system, it is critical for the application to know that all items have been received and none have been duplicated. If a client using this application temporarily loses network connectivity during the course of order submission, reliable messaging ensures that the order is received once and only once. In some applications, it can also be important to know the correct sequencing of messages. The WS-RM protocol, together with the other Web services specifications such as those related to security, policy, transactions and coordination, helps provide a more secure, robust and scalable approach to reliable messaging." The WS-RM co-authors have drafted a proposal for a new OASIS Technical Committee that will be chartered to finalize work on the Web Services Reliable Messaging specification. The proposed charter is based upon "extensive industry support and interoperability with a number of implementations beyond the authoring companies as a result of a series of feedback and interoperability workshops." [Full context]

  • [April 14, 2005]   W3C Request for Review of SVG's XML Binding Language (sXBL) Working Draft.    The W3C SVG Working Group has issued an invitation for comments on its third Working Draft specification for SVG's XML Binding Language (sXBL). The document has been produced by the sXBL subgroup of the W3C SVG Working Group as part of the W3C Graphics Activity, within the Interaction Domain. Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is W3C's specification defining XML Graphics for the Web. SVG is "a platform for two-dimensional graphics, specified in two parts: an XML-based file format and a programming API for graphical applications. Key features include shapes, text, and embedded raster graphics, with many different painting styles. It supports scripting through languages such as ECMAScript and has comprehensive support for animation. SVG is used in many business areas including Web graphics, animation, user interfaces, graphics interchange, print and hardcopy output, mobile applications and high-quality design." The sXBL specification uses the XML Binding Language as a mechanism for defining the presentation and interactive behavior of elements described in a namespace other than SVG's. It is intended to be used to enable XML vocabularies implemented in terms of SVG elements. For instance, a tag set describing a flowchart could be mapped to low-level SVG path and text elements, possibly including interactivity and animation." Section 8 of the draft defines a grammar for sXBL using a RelaxNG schema. The sXBL mechanism for defining the presentation and interactive behavior of elements a non-SVG namespace uses the XML Binding Language to declare that "a particular element in a particular namespace is implemented by a particular binding. The element thus bound by the XBL declaration acquires the new behavior and presentation specified by the binding. XBL is currently defined as a set of new elements that can be used in SVG document fragments and SVG resources. A future version may extend XBL to be applicable to any markup, and the current version has been designed with this goal in mind." XBL "cannot be used to give a document new semantics unless a script invoked by XBL explicitly changes the original DOM. The meaning of a document is thus not changed by any bindings that are associated with it — only its presentation and interactive behavior." The release of the third Working Draft for sXBL is accompanied by an explicit request for feedback by the SVG developer community on three specific issues. Following evaluation of public feedback on these issues, it is anticipated that the next public draft of sXBL will be a Last Call Working Draft. [Full context]

  • [April 12, 2005]   Liberty Releases Contact Book, Geo-Location, and Presence Interface Specifications.    The Liberty Alliance Project has announced the publication of three new identity management specifications that are deployable in Liberty's Identity Web Services Framework (ID-WSF). The Liberty ID-SIS Contact Book Service Specification, Liberty ID-SIS Geolocation Service Specification, and Liberty ID-SIS Presence Service Specification "offer new application functionality to enterprises and service providers, as well as privacy, personalization and security benefits to users." Liberty is an alliance of "more than 150 companies, non-profit and government organizations from around the globe, committed to developing an open standard for federated network identity that supports all current and emerging network devices. Federated identity offers businesses, governments, employees and consumers a more convenient and secure way to control identity information in today's digital economy, and is a key component in driving the use of e-commerce, personalized data services, as well as Web-based services." The Liberty ID-SIS Contact Book (ID-SIS-CB) specification defines 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. ID-SIS-CB is an instance of data-oriented identity web service. It is characterized by ability to query and to update attribute data and incorporates from other specifications mechanisms for access control and conveying data validation information and usage directives. The Liberty ID-SIS Geolocation (ID-SIS-GL) specification provides "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. It is an instance of a data oriented identity web service. ID-SIS-GL uses the Liberty ID-WSF Data Services Template, and the geolocation-related data is mostly from the Mobile Location Protocol version 3.1 specified by the Open Mobile Alliance." The Liberty ID-SIS Presence Service Specification specification "defines a web service for presence information within the context of the Liberty Alliance project. It provides a common way for users to share presence information, such as whether they are online, offline, on the phone or in a meeting, with any service provider for the purpose of communicating availability. The core meaning of presence refers to a Principal's availability for communications over a network (phone, IM, video conference); 'extended' presence includes the Principal's proximity to or interaction with a user agent (e.g., 'away' or 'do not disturb'), activity (e.g., 'driving'), mood (e.g., 'grumpy'), and date/time ranges for availability." [Full context]

  • [April 07, 2005]   OASIS Releases Extensible Resource Identifier (XRI) Specification for Review.    Members of the OASIS Extensible Resource Identifier (XRI) Technical Committee have approved a set of draft documents for public review and invite feedback through 30-April-2005. This OASIS TC was chartered to define a URI-compatible identifier scheme and resolution protocol for an "extensible, location-, application-, and transport-independent identification that provides addressability not just of resources, but also of their attributes and versions." The work was expected to build upon the XNS Addressing Specification published by the XNS Public Trust Organization (XNSORG). According to the XRI Version 2.0 specification summary, this suite of specifications defines "a syntax and resolution protocol for abstract identifiers — identifiers that are independent of a specific location, domain, application, or protocol. The XRI specifications build directly on the foundation provided by the URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) and IRI (Internationalized Resource Identifier) specifications pf IETF RFC 3986 and 3987. Unlike URNs (Uniform Resource Names, RFC 2141), XRIs support both persistent and reassignable abstract identifiers. In addition they offer several other features required for a uniform abstract identification layer, including unlimited federation, cross-references, and global context symbols." The XRI specification suite presented for public review contains four parts. A non-normative document Introduction to XRIs summarizes the uses and features of XRIs and is intended to serve as an entry point for the XRI 2.0 suite. It clarifies what XRIs are in terms of the supported Uniform Abstract Identification Layer. It provides examples of the types of problems XRIs are designed to solve, for example: The Broken Links Problem (Persistent Identification); The Multiple Authority Problem (Federated Identification); The N-Squared Mapping Problem (Shared Identification); The Exploding Addresses Problem (Simplified Identification); The Bootstrap Discovery Problem (Metadata Identification); The Public Identifier Problem (Privacy-Protected Identification); The Future-Proofing Problem (Extensible Identification). The normative XRI specifications cover Syntax, Resolution, and Metadata. [Full context]

  • [April 04, 2005]   OASIS Entity Resolution TC Releases XML Catalogs V1.1 for Public Review.    A public review draft of the XML Catalogs Version 1.1 specification has been released by the OASIS Entity Resolution Technical Committee. The review period extends from 1-April-2005 through 30-April-2005. Public review and feedback from potential users, developers and stakeholders are an important part of the OASIS process to assure interoperability and quality. The XML Catalogs specification defines mechanisms to facilitate machine processing of XML entities associated with external identifiers, as defined in production rule 75 of the W3C Recommendation Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.0 Second Edition. External identifiers, which include system identifiers, are used in the XML Document Type Definition, Entity Declarations (general entities, parameter entities), and in Notation Declarations. Because the XML Recommendation itself does not specify entity management in a detailed way, "the interoperability of XML documents has been impeded in several ways, identified in the XML Catalogs document: (1) External identifiers may require resources that are not always available; for example, a system identifier that points to a resource on another machine may be inaccessible if a network connection is not available; (2) External identifiers may require protocols that are not accessible to all of the vendors' tools on a single computer system; an external identifier that is addressed with the ftp: protocol, for example, is not accessible to a tool that does not support that protocol; (3) It is often convenient to access resources using system identifiers that point to local resources; exchanging documents that refer to local resources with other systems is problematic at best and impossible at worst." The XML Catalogs specification therefore defines an entity catalog "that maps both external identifiers and arbitrary URI references to URI references. Conceptually, a catalog is a logical structure that contains mapping information. A catalog may be physically contained in one or more catalog entry files, and a catalog entry file is a document that contains a set of catalog entries. The logical input to a catalog processor is an external identifier (some combination of public and system identifiers) or a URI reference; the logical output of the catalog processor is a URI reference." [Full context]

  • [March 31, 2005]   Adobe Systems Announces Release of IPTC Core Schema for XMP.    Release of a new IPTC Core Schema for XMP has been announced by Adobe Systems Incorporated. The metadata specification was developed jointly by Adobe, the International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC), and IDEAlliance. Adobe's Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP) is "a labeling technology that allows one to embed data about a file (encoded metadata) into the file itself. XMP makes use of the W3C XML-based Resource Description Framework (RDF) standard in order to represent the metadata properties associated with a document. Using XMP, desktop applications and back-end publishing systems share a common method for capturing, sharing, and leveraging metadata usage for efficient job processing, workflow automation, and rights management, among many other possibilities." The IPTC Core Schema for XMP specifies a standardised set of metadata properties to be used within the scope of the XMP specification. New 'custom panels' are exposed through Adobe Creative Suite software, "giving photographers and news services immediate access and compliance with a standard that aims to streamline data capture for images used in news outlets." The IPTC Core updates the IPTC's earlier standard for metadata, based upon the Information Interchange Model (IIM), which "defined a large set of metadata properties. In the early nineties a subset of this IIM was adopted as the well known 'IPTC Headers' supported in JPEG, TIFF, and PSD files by Adobe Photoshop." The IPTC Core thus represents the latest revision of the International Press Telecommunications Council IIM schema which was designed to use XMP. With XMP, legacy IPTC IIM metadata and new and customized metadata, or metadata from other standards such as EXIF camera data can now be recorded using the XML/RDF format. The encoded information can be stored inside JPEG, TIFF, and PSD files as well as other file types, including PDF. [Full context]

  • [March 29, 2005]   W3C Releases Survey of RDF/Topic Maps Interoperability Proposals Working Draft.    An initial public working draft from the W3C RDF/Topic Maps Interoperability Task Force (RDFTM) presents A Survey of RDF/Topic Maps Interoperability Proposals. This specification, initiated by the W3C Semantic Web Best Practices and Deployment Working Group (SWBPD) with the support of the ISO Topic Maps Committee (ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34), is part of the W3C Semantic Web Activity. The document "contains a survey of existing proposals for integrating RDF and Topic Maps data and is intended to be a starting point for establishing standard guidelines for RDF/Topic Maps interoperability." The W3C Resource Description Framework (RDF) is a model developed by the W3C for representing information about resources in the World Wide Web. Topic Maps, a project of ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34, is a standard for knowledge [representation and] integration, developed by ISO. The primary goal of this W3C endeavor is to "achieve interoperability between RDF and Topic Maps at the data level. This means that it should be possible to translate data from one form to the other without unacceptable loss of information or corruption of the semantics. It should also be possible to query the results of a translation in terms of the target model and it should be possible to share vocabularies across the two paradigms." According to the Background statement for the Working Draft, the RDF and Topic Maps specifications "were developed in parallel during the late 1990's within their separate organizations for what at first appeared to be very different purposes. The results, however, turned out to have a lot in common and this has led to calls for their unification." While unification of RDF and Topic Maps has to date "not been possible, for a variety of technical and political reasons, a number of attempts have been made to uncover the synergies between RDF and Topic Maps and to find ways of achieving interoperability at the data level. There is now widespread recognition within the respective user communities that achieving such interoperability is a matter of some urgency. Work has therefore been initiated by the Semantic Web Best Practices and Deployment Working Group of the W3C with the support of the ISO Topic Maps committee to address this issue." This Working Draft "consists of a summary and analysis of the major existing proposals for achieving data interoperability between RDF and Topic Maps. RDF-Schema and OWL are considered relevant to this work to the extent that the classes and properties they define are supportive of its goals. However, it is explicity not a goal of the current work to enable the general use of RDF Schema and OWL with Topic Maps, although this issue may be addressed later. [Full context]

  • [March 25, 2005]   Massachusetts Releases Enterprise Technical Reference Model Version 3.0.    The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has released a review draft Version 3.0 for its Enterprise Technical Reference Model (ETRM). The document "introduces Disciplines, Technology Areas, and Technology Specifications for the Information, Application, Integration and Security Domains. The authors invite comment on the review draft by April 1, 2005. The design goal is that ETRM "will result in a Service Oriented Architecture for the Commonwealth that uses open standards solutions where appropriate to construct and deliver online government services. Agencies are expected to migrate towards compliance with the ETRM as they consider new information technology investments or make major enhancements/replacement to existing systems." Rationale for the ETRM is provided in a 'Roadmap' statement: "The Commonwealth is transitioning from siloed, application centric and agency centric information technology investments to an enterprise approach where applications are designed to be flexible, to take advantage of shared and reusable components, to facilitate the sharing and reuse of data where appropriate and to make the best use of the technology infrastructure that is available. The technology specifications and standards detailed in this document are required to achieve the desired target state of a Service Oriented Architecture. These specifications and standards are required for all new IT investments." The principle of openness is featured prominently in the Information Domain's definition of open formats: "The Commonwealth defines open formats as specifications for data file formats based on an underlying open standard, developed by an open community, and affirmed by a standards body; or de facto format standards controlled by other entities that are fully documented and available for public use under perpetual, royalty-free, and nondiscriminatory terms. While data files formats that meet the open formats definition above are considered acceptable by the Commonwealth, it is our intent to move to open formats that are based on an underlying open standard, developed by an open community, and affirmed by a standards body as soon as they are ratified." [Full context]

  • [March 24, 2005]   Call for Participation in the Extreme Markup Languages Conference 2005.    Conference organizers for Extreme Markup 2005 have issued a renewed call for papers in connection with the August 1-5, 2005 event, to be held in Montréal, Québec, Canada. April 15, 2005 is the deadline for paper proposals. Extreme 2005 is presented by IDEAlliance in partnership with OASIS. IDEAlliance is a "non-profit membership organization dedicated to advancing user-driven, cross-industry specifications and best practices for all publishing and content-driven enterprises." Extreme Markup is the laid-back, intellectually challenging, and mostly vendor-free annual conference for markup enthusiasts, dedicated to the theory and practice of markup languages. The organizers describe is as "an unfettered festival of unconventional markup with pointy-brackets, pointed questions, and sharp ideas. It's nearly a week of geek speak. It's also a peer-reviewed technical conference." Extreme Markup accommodates industrial, academic, and other points of view. It "differs from other conferences partly in its unapologetic emphasis on technical subjects and problems on the frontiers of current practice, and partly in the participants it attracts. Extreme typically has an unusually high concentration of markup theorists, computer scientists, linguists, taxonomists, publishers, lexicographers, typographers, software developers, librarians, and other people you want to spend time with — also anarchists, curmudgeons, and deep thinkers — and a lower than average concentration of managers in need of a clue." Topics covered at Extreme typically inclued any of the following: (1) XML, XSLT, XSL-FO, XPath, RSS, OWL, XTM; (2) XML querying and searching; (3) Knowledge representation: Topic Maps, RDF graphs, and semantic networks; (4) Constraint languages: DTDs and schemas; (5) Metadata registries and unregistered metadata; (6) Anthropology of markup adoption patterns; (7) XML databases and content management systems; (8) Performance and other deployment issues; (9) Making the world mark-uppable: ontologies, taxonomies, controlled vocabularies, and PSI; (10) The Next Big Edge Case; (11) Chicken lips, overlap, and other things you can't talk about without using your hands. [Full context]

  • [March 21, 2005]   Dublin Core Metadata Initiative Publishes DCMI Abstract Model.    In March 2005 the DCMI Directorate announced the release of the DCMI Abstract Model specification as a DCMI Recommendation. DCMI recommendations are semantic or technical specifications that have progressed through the formal review and approval process of the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative; these specifications are stable and are supported for adoption by the Dublin Core community. DCMI is formed around a community of individuals and organizations "committed to building and developing metadata standards, practices, policies and technologies. The organization is dedicated to promoting the widespread adoption of interoperable metadata standards and developing specialized metadata vocabularies for describing resources that enable more intelligent information discovery systems." The approved DCMI Abstract Model is a foundational document that "specifies an abstract model for Dublin Core Metadata Initiative metadata. The primary purpose of the specification is to provide a reference model against which particular Dublin Core encoding guidelines can be compared. To function well, a reference model needs to be independent of any particular encoding syntax. Such a reference model allows us to gain a better understanding of the kinds of descriptions that we are trying to encode and facilitates the development of better mappings and translations between different syntaxes." The DCMI Abstract Model is "primarily aimed at the developers of software applications that support Dublin Core metadata, people involved in developing new syntax encoding guidelines for Dublin Core metadata, and those people developing metadata application profiles based on the Dublin Core." [Full context]

  • [March 18, 2005]   Fedora Version 2.0 Open-Source Repository Supports XML and Web Services.    The Fedora Project at The University of Virginia Library and Cornell University has announced the release of Fedora (Flexible Extensible Digital Object and Repository Architecture) Version 2.0. This Fedora Project, not to be confused with a Red Hat Inc. initiative with the same name, is a "general purpose repository service devoted to the goal of providing open-source repository software that can serve as the foundation for many types of information management systems. Fedora software demonstrates how distributed digital information management can be deployed using web-based technologies, including XML and web services." New features in Fedora Version 2.0 include "the ability to represent and query relationships among digital objects, a simple XML encoding for Fedora digital objects, enhanced ingest and export interfaces for interoperability with other repository systems, enhanced administrative features, and improved documentation. Fedora is capable of serving as the foundation for many types of information management applications, including institutional repositories, digital libraries, records management systems, archives, and educational software." The Fedora architecture is "an extensible framework for the storage, management, and dissemination of complex objects and the relationships among them. Fedora accommodates the aggregation of local and distributed content into digital objects and the association of services with objects. This allows an object to have several accessible representations, some of them dynamically produced." The Fedora architecture "includes a generic RDF-based relationship model that represents relationships among objects and their components. Queries against these relationships are supported by an RDF triple store. The architecture is implemented as a web service, with all aspects of the complex object architecture and related management functions exposed through REST and SOAP interfaces. The implementation is available as open-source soft-ware, providing the foundation for a variety of end-user applications for digital libraries, archives, institutional repositories, and learning object systems. The project reports that Fedora is in use at some twenty-three (23) universities and research institutes. [Full context]

  • [March 17, 2005]   W3C Publishes First Requirements Working Draft for Compound Document Formats.    The W3C Compound Document Formats Working Group chartered in October 2004 has released an initial Working Draft specification for Compound Document by Reference Use Cases and Requirements Version 1.0. The Compound Document Formats Working Group is part of W3C's Interaction Domain and is part of the CDF Activity. The Working Group is "producing recommendations on combining separate component technologies (e.g., XML-based languages, elements and attributes from separate namespaces), like XHTML, SVG, XForms, MathML, and SMIL, with a focus on user interface markups. This work is divided in phases and two technical solutions; compounding by reference, and by inclusion." The CDF activity recognizes that W3C and other bodies have created "multiple XML syntaxes for various purposes, such as XHTML for on-line document viewing, SVG for 2D vector graphics, or SMIL for multi-media synchronization. There is a demand for letting content creators combine these markups so as to create richer documents, containing multi-media information: text, graphics, audio and video. The individual markups become even more compelling when combined: for example, being able to display scalable 2D images in XHTML pages provides the ability to define pages which can be printed with high quality. Similarly, using SVG images in an XHTML table provides an easy way to layout SVG images in a table." The W3C Compound Document Formats Activity was started following a successful June 2004 'Workshop on Web Applications and Compound Documents' hosted by Adobe. About sixty people attended the workshop, where twenty of the forty-six position papers were presented. The Workshop attendees agreed that the W3C should develop a specification that combines profiles of W3C Technologies (choosing from XHTML, SVG, CSS, SMIL, and XForms), primarily focused on the mobile market space, with a conformance test suite. The WG's first Working Draft addresses a technical solution for compounding document formats "by reference. This means that documents using different languages (namespaces) are linked by a reference such as XLink references, XHTML <img>, <object>, and <link> elements, and XForms model and instance src attributes. This allows separate languages to work together, but it allows implementations of the languages be separated. The standardization issues are for example, how events flow in multi-document environment, how different documents are accessed by the scripts, and how different languages should cooperate in drawing to the screen." In a subsequent phase of design, the CDF Working Group "will address document combining by inclusion. The inclusion means that several languages (namespaces) are used within one document. There is no more need to put different languages (namespaces) in separate document but they can be used together. The standardization issues here are for example, how different language implementations share the document, how non-orthogonal language features interact, and how different language implementations cooperate in more general way." [Full context]

  • [March 14, 2005]   Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) V2.0 Approved as OASIS Standard.    The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) has approved Version 2.0 of the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) as an OASIS Standard. The specification was produced by members of the OASIS Security Services Technical Committee. The SAML standard "leverages core Web services standards including XML, SOAP, Transport Layer Security (TLS), XML Signature (XMLsig), and XML Encryption (XMLenc). It defines a framework for exchanging security information between online business partners. It allows business entities to make assertions regarding the identity, attributes, and entitlements of a subject (an entity that is often a human user) to other entities, such as a partner company or another enterprise application." SAML Version 2.0 "enables the secure exchange of authentication, attribute, and authorization information between disparate security domains, making vendor-independent Web single sign-on and secure e-business transactions possible. Version 2.0 adds key functions to create and manage federated networks that combine and appropriately share pre-existing repositories of identity information." A key feature of SAML is its support for federated identity — one that is "both portable and potable, so it can be transported and consumed across autonomous domains or business boundaries. By defining standardized mechanisms for the communication of security and identity information between business partners, SAML makes federated identity, and the crossdomain transactions that it enables, a reality." According to Rob Philpott, co-chair of the OASIS Security Services Technical Committee. "SAML v2.0 is the convergence point for the major identity federation initiatives deployed in the industry today; that is, SAML v1.x, Liberty ID-FF, and the Internet2's Shibboleth effort. With the release of SAML v2.0, the industry now has a very robust, proven foundation upon which to build identity-based solutions that meet those requirements." [Full context]

  • [March 11, 2005]   OGC Launches Initiative to Support GML Metadata Encoding in JPEG 2000 Image Files.    In February 2005 the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) launched a new Encoding Interoperability Experiment relating to the use of the Geography Markup Language in JP2 (JPEG 2000) image files. The goal is to support a standardized mechanism for inclusion of geo-referencing information as XML-encoded metadata within the ISO 15444 JPEG 2000 image format. 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 Policy for royalty-free OGC standards, the GML specification is freely available for use on royalty-free terms. GML provides a variety of kinds of objects for describing geography including features, coordinate reference systems, geometry, topology, time, units of measure and generalized values. As with other XML-based or XML-aware image file formats, the JPEG 2000 standard makes provision for several forms of XML-encoded metadata in the JPX file format within reserved 'boxes'. Normative Annex M 'JPX file format extended metadata definition and syntax' defines a comprehensive set of optional metadata elements that may be embedded in a JPX file within XML boxes. Metadata types are documented in four logical groups: image creation metadata, content description metadata, metadata history metadata, and intellectual property rights metadata. Section M.8 supplies the JPX extended metadata document type definition (DTD). The standardized part of the metadata model is based upon the DIG35 Metadata Standard for Digital Images. Information in the XML 'box' is not application specific, however, allowing for arbitrary conforming XML-encoded metadata. The new Open Geospatial Consortium "GML in JPEG" Interoperability Experiment has been formed to "test and refine a draft implementation specification that defines how Geography Markup Language is to be used within JPEG 2000 data packages for geographic imagery. The Interoperability Experiment will implement several prototype GMLJP2 codecs (data compressor/decompressors) based upon an OGC draft specification 04-045 titled "GML in JPEG 2000 for Geographic Imagery"; this specification proposal was submitted to OGC by Galdos Systems Inc. and LizardTech. The purpose is to confirm that the specification will support the requirements of geospatially related imagery over the Internet, and to improve the specification if it does not support these requirements. The participants will perform several individual experiments of increasing complexity and will demonstrate encoding similar to GeoTIFF." [Full context]

  • [March 07, 2005]   ODRL Initiative Releases Draft Specification of ODRL Creative Commons Profile.    The ODRL Initiative has announced the release of the ODRL Creative Commons Profile as a Draft Specification. The draft "describes the semantics of the Creative Commons licenses and defines how they can be represented using a Profile of the ODRL rights expression language." The goal is to enable those who require more advanced rights expression language (REL) mechanisms "to utilize both the Creative Commons license semantics and the ODRL REL features. The purpose of the ODRL Profile is not to replace the standard CC licenses, but to allow additional semantics to be expressed in separate ODRL offers or agreements." The Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL) specification is a publicly available XML-based "standard language and vocabulary for the expression of terms and conditions over assets. It covers a core set of semantics for these purposes including the rights holders and the expression of permissible usages for asset manifestations. Rights can be specified for a specific asset manifestation (i.e., format) or could be applied to a range of manifestations of the asset. ODRL is focused on the semantics of expressing rights languages and definitions of elements in the data dictionary, and can be used within trusted or untrusted systems for both digital and physical assets." The ODRL Creative Commons Profile Working Group was formed as one of several planned ODRL Profiles groups, chartered to develop an extension of the ODRL rights expression language to capture the semantics of Creative Commons licenses. The WG is defining the core CC license semantics in terms of the ODRL REL using an XML Schema, allowing for additional expressiveness around the CC semantics. 'Reproduction' in Creative Commons licensing "includes the right to copy the work, and to shift the work into another format as a verbatim copy. These features allow the typical private end-use rights, which ODRL makes more explicit in its Play, Display, Execute, and Print Permissions. The CC 'Distribution' also includes the right to distribute the work, to display or perform the work publicly, and to make digital public performances of the work (e.g., webcasting). Both Reproduction and Distribution are examples of new semantics that are captured in the ODRL/CC Profile." The ODRL Creative Commons Profile draft contains three normative appendices. Appendix A "ODRL/CC Profile Data Dictionary" provides the Creative Commons Profile data dictionary definitions for Reproduction, Distribution, DerivativeWorks, Sharing, NonCommercialUse, NonHighIncomeNationUse, Notice, ShareAlike, SourceCode — representing the Permission, Constraint [CC: Prohibits characteristic], and Requirement types. Normative Appendix B "ODRL/CC Profile XML Schema" contains the Creative Commons Profile data dictionary XML Schema; Normative Appendix C "CC License Mapping" presents the the Creative Commons License definitions (by URI) and the corresponding XML elements required to express the license. ODRL Profiles were first announced at the ODRL International Workshop in April in Vienna (2004) as a formal means of showing how to use ODRL in specific technical environments. Profile Working Groups have now been formed to create ODRL Profiles for Geospatial Data, for Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) encoding, and for Creative Commons licenses. [Full context]

  • [March 02, 2005]   Apache Releases New Version of Open Source Lenya Content Management System.    The Apache Software Foundation has announced a new Version 1.2.2 release of the XML-based open source Apache Lenya Content Management System. It provides features one can expect of a modern Content Management System, such as WYSIWYG browser-based editor support, "revision control, scheduling, a built-in search engine, separate staging areas, and workflow." According to the project summary, Apache Lenya is "an Open-Source Content Management System written in Java and based on open standards such as XML and XSLT. Lenya is built on top of Apache Cocoon and other components from the Apache Software Stack. Its XML-centric architecture allows for content delivery targeted to the capabilities of various devices, and avoids data lock-in. Apache Lenya is built around off-the-shelf components from the Apache Software Foundation." The Apache Lenya Project project was chartered (1) "to provide commercial-quality, high-performance, well-tested, standards-based XML editing environments that are developed in an open and collaborative fashion, (2) to add user-oriented functionality on top of the Cocoon framework and other Apache projects, and (3) to advance the state of the art of content management and structured text editing." Apache Lenya is integrated with the Apache Cocoon XML Web Development Framework Project. Apache Cocoon is "a web development framework built around the concepts of separation of concerns and component-based web development. Cocoon implements these concepts around the notion of 'component pipelines', each component on the pipeline specializing on a particular operation. This makes it possible to use a Lego-like approach in building web solutions, hooking together components into pipelines without any required programming." Because is based on Cocoon, "you can use Cocoon features such as robust Caching, multi-channel output, it's many connectivity options to quickly build customized solutions to meet your specific needs that are not already covered by Apache Lenya today. The integration with Cocoon has been improved in Version 1.2. For the next (1.4) release, it is planned to move Lenya to a block-based system which should make it much easier to mix and match Cocoon and Lenya components. Other feature set objectives in version 1.4 include integration with Open Office, implementation of link management, and multilingual capabilities." Apache Lenya supports browser-based WYSIWYG editing in the authoring area that "validates input against a Relax NG Schema. This prevents invalid markup as produced by other WYSIWYG editors, and allows to enforce web site style guidelines. Lenya ships with the BXE and Kupu editors out of the box." [Full context]

  • [February 28, 2005]   IESG Announces Proposed IETF Working Group for Language Tag Registry Update.    The Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) has announced the submission of a proposal for a new IETF Working Group for 'Language Tag Registry Update' in the IETF Applications Area. The Steering Group requests comment on this proposal through March 2, 2005; it is expected that the creation of the Working Group will be discussed at the IESG teleconference on March 3, 2005. The proposed Working Group would continue technical work on matters related to RFC 1766/RFC 3066 language tags, currently under discussion in the 'ietf-languages' list. RFC 3066, published in 2001, "describes a language tag for use in cases where it is desired to indicate the language used in an information object, how to register values for use in this language tag, and a construct for matching such language tags." RFC 3066 language tags are used in a wide range of computing applications, and particularly in (meta-) markup languages (XML, HTML), to provide language attributes. Computing machines need to know what language a text is "in" so as to perform intelligent processing on encoded text: for spell-checking, indexing, searching, multilingual-context word wrapping, computer-synthesized speech, hyphenation, transliteration, sorting/collation, grammar checking, thesaurus building, machine translation, etc. The computer needs to know about both language and script (writing system) to do the right thing in a multilingual setting. Several individual Internet Drafts have been prepared as a successor to RFC 3066, including the February 14, 2005 two-part version composed of Tags for Identifying Languages and Matching Language Identifiers, edited by Addison P. Phillips and Mark Davis. Review by various parties in the IETF context has pointed out a number of remaining complications stemming from dependencies upon other standards bodies and maintenance agencies (scripts, countries). These would be addressed within the proposed IETF Working Group. The draft IETF proposal for the WG notes several issues that have presented challenges to the design of a successor to RFC 3066: "(1) stability and accessibility of the underlying ISO standards ; (2) difficulty with registrations and their acceptance; (3) lack of clear guidance on how to identify script and region where necessary; (4) lack of parseability and the ability to verify well-formedness; (5) lack of specified algorithms, apart from pure prefix matching, for operations on language tags." [Full context]

  • [February 23, 2005]   OASIS Ballots WSDM Specification for Approval as an OASIS Standard.    The OASIS WSDM Technical Committee has submitted its Web Services Distributed Management (WSDM) Committee Draft Specification Version 1.0 to the Consortium membership for approval as an OASIS Standard. The OASIS WSDM TC was chartered to "define web services management, including using web services architecture and technology to manage distributed resources. Its goal is to develop the model of a web service as a manageable resource, collaborating with evolving activities within other standards groups including DMTF, GGF, the W3C web services architecture, and other OASIS TCs." The approved WSDM Committee Draft Specification 1.0 now being balloted includes both Management Using Web Services (WSDM-MUWS) and Management of Web Services (WSDM-MOWS). MUWS "defines how an Information Technology resource connected to a network provides manageability interfaces such that the IT resource can be managed locally and from remote locations using Web services technologies. MUWS is composed of two parts: MUWS Part 1 and provides the fundamental concepts for management using Web services. MUWS Part 2 provides specific messaging formats used to enable the interoperability of MUWS implementations." Although MUWS Part 2 has a dependency upon Part 1, MUWS Part 1 is independent of Part 2. MUWS Part 1 provides a sample list of types of management capabilities exposed by MUWS: they are "the management capabilities generally expected in systems that manage distributed IT resources; examples of manageability functions that can be performed via MUWS include monitoring the quality of a service, enforcing a service level agreement, controlling a task, and managing a resource lifecycle." Design of the Management of Web Services (MOWS) specification is based on a recognition that "web services form a logical network which may span enterprise boundaries. Managing such logical networks is critical for organizations that use Web services to automate and integrate various internal functions, and deal with partners and clients electronically. To manage the Web services network, one needs to manage the components that form the network, viz., the Web services endpoints. The WSDM Management of Web Services (MOWS) specification addresses management of the Web services endpoints using Web services protocols. It is based on the concepts and definitions expressed in the Management Using Web Services specification (MUWS). The WSDM specification has been tested in real implementations. Certification by OASIS member organizations that they are successfully using the WSDM specification consistently with the OASIS IPR Policy have been received from Computer Associates, Hewlett-Packard, International Business Machines, Amberpoint, and TIBCO Software. OASIS Sponsor Members represented on the WSDM TC include Actional Corp, BEA Systems, BMC Software, CA, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Hitachi, IBM, Novell, Oracle, and TIBCO. [Full context]

  • [February 21, 2005]   W3C Announces Workshop on Rule Languages for Interoperability.    Position papers are due March 18, 2005 for the W3C Workshop on Rule Languages for Interoperability, to be held April 27-28, 2005 in Washington, D.C., USA. Hosted by ILOG S.A. with support from DARPA through the DAML program, this W3C Workshop is intended to "gather various participants and inputs needed to see how a standard rule framework might be developed, as informed by the Web Architecture and useful for addressing real user challenges." The Workshop on Rule Languages for Interoperability is open to the public and there will be no participation fee. Interested participants should submit a position paper on a topic within scope for the workshop, with focus upon the requirements for the public representation and interchange of rules. "Position papers discussing interchange formats are expected to focus on the requirements and types of application covered by the proposal; papers discussing specifications or rule interchange format are expected to focus on that aspect and on how they could link to/import rules represented in other existing or emerging formats; papers discussing general issues regarding rules interchange and rule systems interoperability are expected to focus on how relevant existing standards or proposal or parts of an approach can be reused, evolved, extended; on principles and architecture; on related efforts in other communities (e.g., OMG, JCP, ISO, RuleML, SWSI, WSMO)." Accepted papers will also be made available to the public from the workshop web site. The Workshop CFP reports that rule languages and rule systems "are widely used in applications ranging from database integration, service provisioning, and business process management to loan underwriting, privacy policies and Web services composition. General purpose rule languages remain relatively unstandardized, however, and rule systems from different suppliers are rarely interoperable." In the W3C context, Semantic Web languages like RDF and OWL "are beginning to support data/knowledge sharing on the same scale and with considerable flexibility. Having a language for sharing rules is often seen as the next step in promoting data exchange on the Web." The goal of the Workshop on Rule Languages for Interoperability is to "gather and refine use cases and requirements for a framework, together with information about available technologies and relevant areas of practice and research. [Full context]

  • [February 18, 2005]   New Release of Web Services Reliable Messaging Protocol (WS-ReliableMessaging).    BEA Systems, IBM, Microsoft, and TIBCO have released a revised version of the WS-ReliableMessaging specification, updating the previous publication of March 2004. WS-RM is now published as two separate specifications: one for the core protocol elements and one for the related policy assertion. The new Web Services Reliable Messaging Policy Assertion (WS-RM Policy) specification refactors the Reliable Messaging policy assertion into a discrete specification. According to the document abstract, the WS-ReliableMessaging specification "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. The protocol defined in this specification depends upon other Web services specifications for the identification of service endpoint addresses and policies." WS-ReliableMessaging belongs to the WS-* composable architecture being defined by Microsoft, IBM, BEA, and other industry partners. "By using the SOAP and WSDL extensibility model, SOAP-based and WSDL-based specifications are designed to be composed with each other to define a rich Web services environment. As such, WS-ReliableMessaging by itself does not define all the features required for a complete messaging solution. WS-ReliableMessaging is a building block that is used in conjunction with other specifications and application-specific protocols to accommodate a wide variety of protocols related to the operation of distributed Web services." An introduction to the revised specification by co-editor Christopher Ferris (IBM) reports that in terms of technical content in the specification "the protocol has really not changed all that much. Most of the changes were motivated by feedback from participation and discussion at the [May 2004] Interoperability Workshop and follow-up in subsequent endpoint testing. These changes have led to a much improved specification. Most of the changes relate to the manner in which an RM Sequence is created." The Web Services Reliable Messaging Policy Assertion (WS-RM Policy) specification "describes a domain-specific policy assertion for WS-ReliableMessaging that that can be specified within a policy alternative as defined in WS-Policy Framework. [Full context]

  • [February 17, 2005]   OASIS Darwin Information Typing Architecture TC Approves DITA Version 1.0.    OASIS announced that the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) Technical Committee has approved DITA 1.0 as a Committee Draft and recommended its submission for public review. DITA, according to the specification Introduction, 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 topic types and describing new information domains based on existing types and domains. The process for creating new topic types and domains is called specialization. Specialization allows the creation of very specific, targeted document type definitions while still sharing common output transforms and design rules developed for more general types and domains, in much the same way that classes in an object-oriented system can inherit methods of ancestor classes." In DITA, a topic is "the basic unit of authoring and of reuse. A document may contain one topic or multiple topics, and a document type may support authoring one or many kinds of topics. But regardless of where they occur, all topics have the same basic structure and capabilities. Books, PDF files, Websites, and help sets, for example, can all be constructed from the same set of underlying topic content, although there may be some topics that are unique to a particular deliverable, and the organization of topics may differ to take advantage of the unique capabilities of each delivery mechanism." DITA topics are "XML conforming. As such, they are readily viewed, edited, and validated with standard XML tools, although some features such as content referencing and specialization may benefit from customized support." The DITA TC's review materials for the Committee Draft are distributed in ZIP format, containing the DITA Architectural Specification and DITA Language Specification in normative PDF format and non-normative CHM format. Some sixty (60) XML Schema and XML DTD files are included, as well as catalog files. The XML DTDs and Schemas define DITA markup for the base DITA document types. The DITA Architectural Specification provides an overview and introduction, followed by a Chapter 3 on "DITA Markup," which presents DITA topics, DITA maps, Common metadata elements, and Common attributes. Chapter 4 discusses DITA specialization, providing details on the mechanisms DITA provides for defining and extending DITA document types. The Language Specification provides explanations for each element in the base DITA document types. Chapter 1 of the language reference contains an alphabetical listing of DITA elements, each with a description and documentation on permissible attributes. Chapter 2 presents the sets of attributes by named group. The Chapter 3 'Appendix' covers xml:lang values, outputclass processing, and keyref processing. [Full context]

  • [February 16, 2005]   W3C and IETF Publish New Standards Supporting the Internationalized Web.    W3C has announced the release of Character Model for the World Wide Web 1.0: Fundamentals as a Final W3C Recommendation. The Consortium also announced support for two other newly issued publications that are critical to increasing the international reach of the World Wide Web. Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax and Internationalized Resource Identifiers (IRIs) were coordinated through both the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and W3C. The Character Model for the World Wide Web 1.0: Fundamentals Recommendation is one of three series publications defining the W3C Character Model. The goal of the Character Model for the World Wide Web is "to facilitate use of the Web by all people, regardless of their language, script, writing system, and cultural conventions, in accordance with the W3C goal of universal access. One basic prerequisite to achieve this goal is to be able to transmit and process the characters used around the world in a well-defined and well-understood way. The model will allow Web documents authored in the world's scripts (and on different platforms) to be exchanged, read, and searched by Web users around the world." The W3C Character Model Recommendation "allows Web applications to transmit and process the characters of the world's languages. It provides authors of specifications, software developers, and content developers with a common reference for interoperable text manipulation on the World Wide Web, building on the Universal Character Set (UCS), defined jointly by the Unicode Standard and ISO/IEC 10646. Topics addressed include use of the terms 'character', 'encoding' and 'string', a reference processing model, choice and identification of character encodings, character escaping, and string indexing." W3C adopted Unicode "as the document character set for HTML in HTML 4.0. The same approach was later used for Recommendations such as XML 1.0 and CSS Level 2. W3C specifications and applications now use Unicode as the common reference character set." Other series documents under development include Character Model for the World Wide Web 1.0: Resource Identifiers and Character Model for the World Wide Web 1.0: Normalization. The first is an architectural specification defining a common reference for the use of resource identifiers, and in particular, spefifying Internationalized Resource Identifiers (IRIs). The second provides a "common reference for early uniform normalization and string identity matching to improve interoperable text manipulation on the World Wide Web." W3C has also announced support for the publication of the cooperatively produced IETF RFC 3987 on Internationalized Resource Identifiers (IRIs) as an IETF Proposed Standard, together with IETF STD 66 and RFC 3986, Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax. URIs are fundamental to the Web: they are "simple text strings that refer to Internet resources — to documents, resources, people, and indirectly to anything. URIs are the glue that binds the Web together. IRIs extend and strengthen the glue, by allowing people to identify Web resources in their own language." [Full context]

  • [February 14, 2005]   OASIS Approves ebXML Registry Version 3.0 Committee Draft for Public Review.    The OASIS ebXML Registry Technical Committee has voted to approve its ebXML Registry Version 3.0 specification as a Committee Draft and to advance the draft for public review in preparation for ballot as an OASIS Standard. The ebXML Registry Version 3.0 release is a package of some forty-four files, including the two prose documents ebXML Registry Information Model (RIM) and ebXML Registry Services and Protocols (RS). XML schemas and WSDL files complete the distribution. The specification uses schema documents conforming to W3C XML Schema, and normative text to describe the syntax and semantics of XML-encoded objects and protocol messages. An ebXML Registry is "an information system that securely manages any content type and the standardized metadata that describes it. It provides a set of services that enable sharing of content and metadata between organizational entities in a federated environment. An ebXML Registry may be deployed within an application server, a web server or some other service container. The registry may be available to clients as a public, semi-public or private web site. The ebXML Registry thus provides a stable store where submitted information is made persistent. Such information is used to facilitate business to business relationships and transactions." In this context, submitted content for an ebXML Registry includes, but is not limited to: XML schema and documents, process descriptions, ebXML Core Components, context descriptions, UML models, information about organizations, and software components. The ebXML Registry Information Model (RIM) specification defines the types of metadata and content that can be stored in an ebXML Registry. The companion document ebXML Registry Services and Protocols (RS) defines the services provided by an ebXML Registry and the protocols used by clients of the registry to interact with these services. According to the RIM specification, an ebXML Registry is capable of storing any type of electronic content such as XML documents, text documents, images, sound and video. Instances of such content are referred to as a RepositorytItems. RepositorytItems are stored in a content repository provided by the ebXML Registry. In addition to the RepositoryItems, an ebXML Registry is also capable of storing standardized metadata that may be used to further describe RepositoryItems. Instances of such metadata are referred to as a RegistryObjects, or one of its sub-types. RegistryObjects are stored in the registry provided by the ebXML Registry." [Full context]

  • [February 11, 2005]   Liberty Identity Web Services Framework (ID-WSF) Supports SAML Version 2.0.    The Liberty Alliance has announced a public draft release of its Identity Web Services Framework (ID-WSF) Version 2.0 in a Phase One distribution that supports the OASIS SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) Committee Draft 2.0 release. Liberty Alliance is global consortium of "more than 150 companies, non-profit and government organizations from around the globe. The consortium is committed to developing an open standard for federated network identity that supports all current and emerging network devices." Liberty's ID-WSF 2.0 is a second-generation framework for identity-based Web services which "has been extended to include support for SAML 2.0, specifically defining how SAML 2.0 assertions can be used to communicate identity information among identity-based Web services." The ID-WSF 2.0 release is "part of a Liberty Alliance roadmap for WSF 2.0 specifications that are being released in phases to accommodate rapid industry deployment. The first phase is focused on SAML 2.0 support. The second and third phase, which are expected to be completed in full by the end of 2005, include several significant new features, designed to give implementers even greater depth of functionality including the capability to leverage custom Web services, as well as those being developed in the services groups within Liberty Alliance. The Liberty announcement highlights four enhancements in the Identity Web Services Framework which reflect respose to user requirements and contributed use cases. ID-WSF 2.0 support for Subscription/Notification "permits Web service consumers to subscribe to automatic notices of changes from the Web services provider, automating the process and delivering benefit of ease and control to the end users." Enhancements for Groups offers support for those scenarios in which membership in a group (e.g., a soccer team, senior managers, etc ... ) drives/impacts the consumers' online interactions, allowing implementers to deliver enhanced services to end users." The ID-WSF 2.0 release enhances Principal Referencing, which "Allows users to create and maintain a list of those friends/colleagues with whom they wish to interact online (e.g., viewing photos, finding the location, sharing contact book info, etc), opening up significant new opportunities to personalize services and allow end users to easily customize their Web experience. It also now supports Intelligent Client, which "Defines/profiles identity management mechanisms where the user device has enhanced capabilities, available if the device is on or offline, allowing Web services across a variety of devices and interoperability across systems, expanding the opportunity for additional types of strong authentication mechanisms, smart cards, SIM devices, etc." [Full context]

  • [February 11, 2005]   W3C Hosts Open Workshop on Frameworks for Semantics in Web Services.    W3C has issued a Call for Participation in the Workshop on Frameworks for Semantics in Web Services, to be held June 9-10, 2005 at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), Innsbruck, Austria. The workshop objective is to have participants discuss the features of a "comprehensive and expressive framework for describing all aspects of Web services, envisioning more powerful tools and fuller automation using Semantic Web technologies such as RDF and OWL. Output of the workshop will provide advice to W3C on possible future work in the area, and in particular the creation of a Working Group." Design of the Workshop on Frameworks for Semantics in Web Services builds upon results of an October 2004 W3C Workshop on Constraints and Capabilities for Web Services. That workshop elicited proposals for Semantic Web technologies in the light of requirements for expressing policies for Web Services. W3C now aim at "looking into a generic extensible framework based on Semantic Web technologies, to support longer-term objectives, while continuing to develop immediate solutions for the most pressing Web Services requirements. The OWL-S submission has already demonstrated interest in this approach. Integration to the Web Services stack, and also in the Web architecture, should be key properties of such a framework." The Call for Participation notes that there are many potential relationships to existing Semantic Web efforts as well as to existing Web Services development efforts. Participants are encouraged to discuss the the relationship of these areas to the workshop topic. For example, RDF and OWL are foundational Semantic Web background technologies; SOAP and WSDL are core Web Services background technologies. Other relationships include eegistries, taxonomies, and search mechanisms (e.g., UDDI), rule languages such as SWRL, ontologies for Web Services (e.g., OWL-S, WSMO), Web Services Choreography (e.g., WS-CDL) and business process specifications (e.g., BPEL4WS). Position papers, especially those containing use cases and examples, are solicited from interested parties. Topics may include any of the following, or related perspectives: "(1) Relationship to existing technology efforts, with exploration of benefits and drawbacks to leveraging them; (2) Ontologies for Semantic Web Services; (3) Specific problem domains such as versioning, security, management, internationalization; (4) Integration in the Web Services Architecture, in particular description and composition of Web Services; (5) Location of semantics in Web Services Description; (6) Reasoning about Web Services, for example search, discovery, choice, and what kind of logic could be needed/expressed; (7) Automating tasks based on semantic descriptions; (8) Integration in the Web Architecture, in particular the representation of resources and interaction." This W3C Workshop on Frameworks for Semantics in Web Services is open to public. [Full context]

  • [February 09, 2005]   W3C Publishes Candidate Recommendation for xml:id Universal Identifier.    The W3C XML Core Working Group has released the xml:id Version 1.0 specification as a Candidate Recommendation. The xml:id CR "introduces a predefined attribute name that can always be treated as an ID and hence can always be recognized. It defines the meaning of the attribute xml:id as an ID attribute in XML documents, and defines processing of this attribute to identify IDs in the absence of validation, without fetching external resources, and without relying on an internal subset." XML has inherited from SGML the notion of a reserved ID attribute type which may be declared for any element (type) as a means of uniquely identifying markup elements in document instances; the scope of an ID is global to a document, and an element in an instance may have only one ID attribute. Linking and addressing in typical XML documents is often based upon the ID and IDREF attribute pairs, but many forms of addressing not prescribed by XML can be used if the XML ID lexical and syntax rules are followed. Development of the xml:id Version 1.0 specification was motivated by several use cases in which applications should be able to process ID attributes in cases where standard attribute declarations cannot be used. For this purpose, we need a "mechanism allowing unique element identifiers to be recognized by all conformant XML processors, whether they validate or not, in order to make XML sub-resource linking robust." The xml:id Version 1.0 specification thus "allows authors to identify elements with IDs that can be recognized by any processor without regard to how, or if, any internal or external declarations are available. A guiding principle in the design is that the result of xml:id processing should be the same as if an appropriate declaration has been seen and used by the processor." The specification encourages authors of XML documents "to name their ID attributes xml:id in order to increase the interoperability of these identifiers on the Web. In namespace-aware XML processors, the xml prefix is bound to a prescribed namespace name as described in the Namespaces in XML and Namespaces in XML 1.1 documents. The xml:id attribute can be still used by non-namespace-aware XML processors," as described in the CR. Implementors likewise "are encouraged to support xml:id processing and to make ID type assignment the default behavior of their processors." [Full context]

  • [February 08, 2005]   OASIS Creates TC to Define Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) Reference Model.    A new SOA-RM TC (Service Oriented Architecture Reference Model Technical Committee) has been created by OASIS members. The goal of the TC is to "establish a Reference Model to encourage the continued growth of specific and different SOA implementations whilst preserving a common layer that can be shared and understood between those or future implementations." The new TC is a spin-off and partial successor to the Electronic Business Service Oriented Architecture (ebSOA) TC, chartered in February 2004. Proposers of the the new TC include representatives from Adobe Systems, BAE Systems, Boeing, Booz Allen Hamilton, Cisco Systems, ECOM, Fujitsu, and Lockheed Martin. The TC proposers believe that "Service Oriented Architecture" (SOA) as a term "is being used in an increasing number of contexts and specific technology implementations, sometimes with differing or conflicting understandings of implicit terminology and components. The proposal to establish a Reference Model is intended to encourage the continued growth of specific and different SOA implementations whilst preserving a common layer that can be shared and understood between those or future implementations." A reference model, as defined by the new SOA-RM TC, is "an abstract framework for understanding significant relationships among the entities of some environment, and for the development of consistent standards or specifications supporting that environment. A reference model is based on a small number of unifying concepts and may be used as a basis for education and explaining standards to a non-specialist." A reference model is thus "not directly tied to any standards, technologies or other concrete implementation details, but it does seek to provide a common semantics that can be used unambiguously across and between different implementations." The goal of the new OASIS SOA-RM TC is to deliver a Service Oriented Architecture Reference Model (SOA-RM) and possibly ancillary materials. It may form subcommittees to create specialized SOA models for vertical industries or technology families. The group may also propose usage and implementation guidelines for creating specializations of the reference model, whether as a formal methodology or as best practice guidelines. [Full context]

  • [February 02, 2005]   OASIS Consortium Members Approve UDDI Version 3 as an OASIS Standard.    Version 3 of the Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI) specification, in development since mid-2002, has been ratified as an OASIS Standard. The UDDI Version 3.0.2 Specification describes the Web services, data structures, and behaviors of all instances of a UDDI registry. It "describes a registry of Web services and programmatic interfaces for publishing, retrieving, and managing information about services described therein." Prior to balloting the UDDI 3.0.2 specification for approval as a standard, seven OASIS organizational members provided attestations with respect to successful use of UDDI Version 3, as required by the OASIS TC Process. These companies include Computer Associates, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP AG, Systinet, and UnitSpace. According to the UDDI specification Introduction, Web services are meaningful "only if potential users may find information sufficient to permit their execution. The focus of Universal Description Discovery & Integration (UDDI) is the definition of a set of services supporting the description and discovery of (1) businesses, organizations, and other Web services providers, (2) the Web services they make available, and (3) the technical interfaces which may be used to access those services. Based on a common set of industry standards, including HTTP, XML, XML Schema, and SOAP, UDDI provides an interoperable, foundational infrastructure for a Web services-based software environment for both publicly available services and services only exposed internally within an organization." The UDDI protocol is a "central element of the group of related standards that comprise the Web services stack. The Version 3 specification defines a standard method for publishing and discovering the network-based software components of a service-oriented architecture (SOA). The key objective in UDDI Version 3 is to support secure interaction of private and public implementations as major element of service-oriented infrastructure. [Full context]

  • [February 01, 2005]   NIST and NSA Release XML-Based XCCDF Specification for Security Checklists.    The National Security Agency (NSA) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have published Specification for the Extensible Configuration Checklist Description Format (XCCDF) for public review. The XCCDF specification is "designed to support information interchange, document generation, organizational and situational tailoring, automated compliance testing, and compliance scoring. The specification also defines a data model and format for storing results of benchmark compliance testing. XCCDF documents are expressed in XML, and may be validated with an XML Schema-validating parser. The intent of XCCDF is to provide a uniform foundation for expression of security checklists, benchmarks, and other configuration guidance, and thereby foster more widespread application of good security practices." The Checklist Description Format has been developed in response to the Cyber Security Research and Development Act of 2002 which "tasks the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to 'develop, and revise as necessary, a checklist setting forth settings and option selections that minimize the security risks associated with each computer hardware or software system that is, or is likely to become widely used within the Federal Government.' Such checklists, when combined with well-developed guidance, leveraged with high-quality security expertise, vendor product knowledge, operational experience, and accompanied with tools, can markedly reduce the vulnerability exposure of an organization. The specification document released by NIST and NSA defines the data model and XML representation for the Extensible Configuration Checklist Description Format (XCCDF). An XCCDF document is "a structured collection of security configuration rules for some set of target systems. The model and its XML representation are intended to be platform-independent and portable, to foster broad adoption and sharing of rules. The processing discipline of the format requires, for some uses, a service layer that can collect and store system information and perform simple policy-neutral tests against the system information." [Full context]

  • [January 31, 2005]   XML Naming and Design Rules Specifications Published by OASIS, UN/CEFACT, and Navy CIO.    Three closely related specifications governing XML naming and design rules have been approved for public release. Each of the NDR specifications builds upon the methodolgy and syntax-neutral object model specified by the Core Component Technical Specification (CCTS) published by UN/CEFACT in conjunction with OASIS as Part 8 of the ebXML framework. The Universal Business Language (UBL) Naming and Design Rules from the OASIS UBL Technical Committee has been approved as an OASIS Standard. The UN/CEFACT XML Naming and Design Rules produced by the Working Group 2 of the UN/CEFACT Applied Technology Group (ATG) has been approved by the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business for implementation verification in accordance with Step 6 of the UN/CEFACT/TRADE/22 Open Development Process (ODP). The U.S. Department of the Navy XML Naming and Design Rules Final Version 2.0 published by the Office of the DON Chief Information Officer as part of the DoD Net-Centric Data Strategy supersedes the DON XML Developers Guide, Version 1.1. The NDR specifications have very similar goals, aimed optimizing semantic interoperability, modularity, extensibility, maintainability, and data element re-use through best-practice design of business components. The UBL NDR specification "provides guidelines for the construction of XML components for the UBL vocabulary, conveying a normative set of XML schema design rules and naming conventions for the creation of business based XML schema for business documents being exchanged between two parties using XML constructs defined in accordance with the ebXML Core Components Technical Specification." The UN/CEFACT ATG2 NDR "describes and specifies the rules and guidelines that will be applied by UN/CEFACT when developing XML schema; it provides a way to identify, capture and maximize the re-use of business information expressed as XML schema components to support and enhance information interoperability across multiple business situations." The DON NDR "addresses many key aspects of XML schema architecture that are critical to effecting successful data management and harmonization (an XML data management approach, XML namespace and modularity, and versioning) to to provide the DON XML developer with a clear and comprehensive set of XML development rules and guidance that will standardize XML across the DON and promote global interoperability." [Full context]

  • [January 27, 2005]   Sun Releases Solaris Operating System and 1600 Patents under CDDL Open Source License.    Sun Microsystems has announced the release of the Solaris 10 operating system under a new CDDL open source license approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI). The company is also releasing under open source license more than 1,600 active Sun patents associated with the Solaris OS. The new OpenSolaris community governed by a Community Advisory Board has been created to "help foster the innovation and collaboration needed to open up new opportunities for developers, customers and partners." The source code for Solaris 10, one of the the most advanced operating systems in the industry, has its roots in BSD UNIX and enjoys a strong reputation workdwide. Sun is releasing the most current Solaris 10 technology, both source code and binary, to the open source community under the CDDL license. "At launch, this will include all of the features and kernel innovations in the new Solaris 10, including DTrace, Solaris Zones partitioning technology (Zones), and Predictive Self-Healing." Solaris DTrace technology, one of the most popular features of Solaris 10, is immediately available for download as source code from the new web site. The Open Source Initiative (OSI) Board of Directors approved the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL) on January 14, 2005. Based upon the well-known Mozilla Public License (MPL), CDDL was Sun's choice because it "wanted a copyleft license that provided the protections and freedoms necessary for true open source, as well as enabling creation of larger works for commercial purposes." The newly approved CDDL is file-based, which means that "files licensed under the CDDL can be combined with files licensed under other licenses, whether open source or proprietary. provides an explicit patent license for code released under the license, as well as provisions to discourage patent litigation against open source developers. The CDDL was also created to be a reusable license that would be attractive to other open source efforts, so that other projects with similar community and licensing goals would not need to create a new license." In conjunction with the launch of the OpenSolaris community initiative, Sun has announced the release of more than 1,600 patents associated with the Solaris OS, believed to be the "largest single release of patent innovations into the open source community by any organization to date." Sun says the contribution marks "a significant shift in the way Sun positions its intellectual property portfolio. By giving open source developers free access to Sun OpenSolaris related patents under the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL), the company is fostering open innovation and establishing a leadership role in the framework of a patent commons that will be recognized across the globe." [Full context]

  • [January 25, 2005]   W3C Web Services Recommendations Support Faster Binary Data Transmission.    W3C has published three Recommendations which improve Web services performance by standardizing the transmission of large binary data. The specifications have been produced by the XML Protocol Working Group as part of the W3C Web Services Activity. Using an XML Schema datatype, the XML-binary Optimized Packaging (XOP) specification defines an efficient serialization of XML element content based upon XML Infosets. A SOAP Optimized Serialization Use Cases and Requirements document created by the XMLP Working Group motivates this work; it provides use cases and specifies the requirements for optimizing the processing and serialization of SOAP messages. The SOAP Message Transmission Optimization Mechanism (MTOM) provides optimization for hop-by-hop exchanges between SOAP nodes using a XOP-based selective encoding. The concrete implementation in the MTOM Recommendation thus relies on the XML-binary Optimized Packaging format for carrying SOAP messages. It "describes an abstract feature and a concrete implementation of it for optimizing the transmission and/or wire format of SOAP messages." The Resource Representation SOAP Header Block specification "describes the semantics and serialization of a SOAP header block for carrying resource representations in SOAP messages." This RRSHB functionality "allows SOAP message recipients to access cached representations of external resources. This is important, as there may be times when there are either limits to bandwidth or access of files. It gives the recipient the option of using either the original file that may be identified by a URI, or to use a cached copy that accompanies the actual SOAP message. Used with MTOM, it enhance greatly the speed and of processing as the external data is already present when the recipient is starting processing the message." [Full context]

  • [January 21, 2005]   IBM alphaWorks Releases Web Services Interface Definition for Intrusion Defense.    Web Services Interface Definition for Intrusion Defense (WSID4ID) is a recent release from alphaWorks emerging technologies. The IBM WSID4ID tool is "an Eclipse plug-in that validates the Web Service Description Language (WSDL) interface specification of a Web service, flagging any interface feature that could open a door to hacker attacks against that service." Freely available for download, the WSID4ID software package requires Eclipse 3.0 and the WSDL validator from the Eclipse Web Service Validation Tools (WSVT), either the whole WSVT package or just the WSDL validator. It was developed and tested on Windows XP, but should run on Windows, Linux, UNIX, or on any other platform on which Eclipse runs. Eclipse, hosted at by the Eclipse Foundation, is "an open platform for tool integration built by an open community of tool providers. Operating under a open source paradigm, with a common public license that provides royalty free source code and world wide redistribution rights, the eclipse platform provides tool developers with ultimate flexibility and control over their software technology. Eclipse has formed an independent open eco-system around royalty-free technology and a universal platform for tools integration." WSID4ID has been developed by IBM Web services security expert Phil Janson. The tool was designed as an extension to the open-source WSDL validation plug-in, which is provided as part WSVT. "Using the WSVT WSDL validator, an Eclipse user may right-click on a WSDL file to validate its syntactic correctness. If this syntactic validation succeeds, the WSVT WSDL validator in turn invokes the WSID4ID plug-in. This new validator walks through the file and any nested WSDL or XML Schemas Definition (XSD) files it imports, checking for interface features that could open attack paths that hackers could use against the Web service defined by the WSDL file(s) being validated." WSID4ID detects and flags security risk features in the WSDL file and any file it imports. Such features represent interface design aspects "that have been known as dangerous ever since the dawn of programming, even more so since the advent of distributed programming, especially Web programming paradigms such as CGI scripts, servlets, Web services, etc. These dangerous features all correspond to certain XSD constructs that should be avoided for the sake of intrusion defense." [Full context]

  • [January 20, 2005]   W3C Releases Revised Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P v1.1) Specification.    An updated Working Draft of The Platform for Privacy Preferences 1.1 (P3P 1.1) Specification has been produced by members of the W3C P3P Specification Working Group. Work on this document has been managed as part of the Privacy Activity within the W3C Technology and Society Domain. P3P defines a standard set of uses, recipients, data categories, and other privacy disclosures, together with an XML format for expressing a privacy policy; it also describes a means of associating privacy policies with Web pages or sites, and cookies. P3P is designed as a "standardized set of multiple-choice questions covering all the major aspects of a Web site's privacy policies. Taken together, they present a clear snapshot of how a site handles personal information about its users. The P3P specification brings ease and regularity to Web users wishing to decide whether and under what circumstances to disclose personal information. User confidence in online transactions increases as they are presented with meaningful information and choices about Web site privacy practices." P3P is now emerging "as an industry standard providing a simple, automated way for users to gain more control over the use of personal information on Web sites they visit. The privacy of an individual's personal data on the Internet is a top concern for business, government, media and the public. Opinion surveys consistently show that privacy concerns are a leading impediment to the further growth of Web-based commerce. Initial efforts by Web sites to publicly disclose their privacy policies have had some impact. But these policies are often difficult for users to locate and understand, too lengthy for users to read, and change frequently without notice." P3P-enabled Web sites make privacy information available in a standard, machine-readable format, and P3P-enabled browsers can read the snapshot automatically, comparing it to the consumer's own set of privacy preferences. The current P3P v1.1 document, along with its normative references, "includes all the specification necessary for the implementation of interoperable P3P 1.1 applications. P3P 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." [Full context]

  • [January 18, 2005]   Independent Developers Release Draft Version of RSS 1.1 (RDF Site Summary).    A group of RSS 1.0 users has announced the release of RSS 1.1: RDF Site Summary as a content syndication format intended to update and replace the popular RSS Version 1.0. RSS stands for "RDF Site Summary," "Rich Site Summary," "Really Simple Syndication," and perhaps similar phrases . It has become a popular XML format for news syndication since its creation in 1997. The two major variants of RSS include an XML RDF-based specification (RSS version 0.9, 1.0, draft 1.1) and a non-RDF XML specification (RSS versions 0.91, 0.92, 0.93, 0.94, 2.0). Both the draft RSS 1.1: RDF Site Summary and the non-RDF RSS 2.0 Specification are published under a Creative Commons License. RSS Version 1.1 is the independent project of three RSS 1.0 users, Sean B. Palmer, Christopher Schmidt, and Cody Woodard. These developers, "tired of the deficiencies of [the RSS Version 1.0] format, decided to create a more architecturally solid format based upon it. RSS 1.1 has not yet been officially ratified by any group, but has been intially well received by selected members of the RSS community, and a furtherance of the initial tools and implementations should be expected." According to the specification abstract, RSS 1.1 "is an application of the W3C's RDF and XML languages. It has better internationalization support, utilizes more up-to-date facilities of its constituent languages than RSS 1.0, and fixes a number of other issues with the RSS 1.0 specification. RSS 1.1 is as extensible as RSS 1.0 and can even make use of its extension modules." The RSS Version 1.1 specification is said to be "designed for current RSS 1.0 users, and is not designed to compete with the currently-under-development Atom specification. It is created taking into account a number of the problems brought up since the creation of the RSS 1.0 specification, and aims to correct these issues while maintaining a relatively high level of backwards compatibility for increased tool support." [Full context]

  • [January 13, 2005]   IBM Proposes a Patent Commons for Royalty-Free Open Source Software Development.    IBM has announced a new innovation initiative to support an industry-wide "patent commons" through which patents offered without payment of fees or royalties are used "to establish a platform for further innovations in areas of broad interest to information technology developers and users." The pledge extends to Open Source Software (OSS). IBM has seeded the initiative by publishing a "Statement of Non-Assertion of Named Patents Against OSS" that identifies 500 listed U.S. patents and/or the counterparts of these patents issued in other countries. The pledge to offer these patents free of fees or royalties "is applicable to any individual, community, or company working on or using software that meets the Open Source Initiative (OSI) definition of open source software now or in the future." Like other companies contributing to standards development in the IT arena, IBM has already been making selected patents available on a royalty-free basis for use in open standards covering software protocols, file formats, and interfaces. At the August 2004 LinuxWorld Conference and Expo, IBM's Nick Donofrio announced a promise that IBM would not "use its formidable collection of technology patents against Linux, and challenged other companies to do the same, working to dispel one cloud that hangs over the open-source programming movement." With reference to some twenty-seven essential patents affecting Linux, CNet reported Donofrio as saying "IBM has no intention of asserting its patent portfolio against the Linux kernel, unless of course we are forced to defend ourselves." The new pledge for open access to key innovations covered by 500 IBM software patents is characterized by IBM as a "major shift in the way IBM manages and deploys its intellectual property (IP) portfolio." The pledge is said to cover "thousands of open source projects and programs," and is "not a one-time event." According to Dr. John E. Kelly, IBM's Senior Vice President of Technology and Intellectual Property, "IBM will continue to demonstrate leadership in patent output, through measures such as today's pledge, will increasingly use patents to encourage and protect global innovation and interoperability through open standards, and [will] urge others to do so as well." [Full context]

  • [January 11, 2005]   W3C Forms Internationalization Tag Set Working Group with Rechartered I18N Activity.    W3C has announced a rechartered Internationalization Activity through October 2006, together with the creation of a new Internationalization Tag Set (ITS) Working Group. Two other I18N Working Groups formerly constituted as W3C task forces have also been formed: the W3C Internationalization Core Working Group, and Internationalization Guidelines, Education and Outreach (GEO) Working Group. W3C's Internationalization Activity has the goal of "proposing and coordinating any techniques, conventions, guidelines and activities within the W3C and together with other organizations that allow and make it easy to use W3C technology worldwide, with different languages, scripts, and cultures." The new W3C ITS Working Group will develop a set of markup elements and attributes "that can be used with new DTDs/Schemas to support the internationalization and localization of documents." The ITS WG will also create best practice techniques documents for developers of DTDs/Schemas, showing how to enable internationalization of their documents. Prior to authoring a W3C Recommendation for an internationalization/localizability tag set, the ITS WG will publish a set of requirements for development of the internationalization tag set. This document will "incorporate requirements arising from any work on localization formats developed by localization groups (e.g. translatability flags, notes to translators), but will also address requirements for supporting content in the many scripts and languages around the world (e.g. support of bidirectional text, ruby annotations, language/localization information, switch for language alternatives, and indication of glyph variants)." The Internationalization Tag Set WG will liaise with the LISA (Language Industry Standards Association) OSCAR group "to understand Localization Industry requirements for the tag set and techniques. OSCAR is expected to work on defining related standards for the Localization Industry (the 'Localization XML Properties'). It will also liaise with the OASIS XLIFF TC to understand Localization Industry requirements for the tag set and techniques." [Full context]

  • [January 06, 2005]   XTech 2005 Conference Adds New Tracks for Browser Technology and Open Data.    Edd Dumbill, XTech 2005 Conference Chair, has issued a renewed Call for Participation in connection with the XTech 2005 Conference, to be held May 24-27, 2005 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The deadline for proposals is January 7, 2005. XTech is successor to the IDEAlliance XML Europe Conference, which has now widened its scope to incorporate neighboring technologies from the web and business. XTech 2005 is produced by IDEAlliance, co-hosted by OASIS, and co-located with the Gilbane Conference on Content Management Technologies. XTech 2005 is the premier European conference for developers and managers working with XML and Web technologies, bringing together the worlds of web development, open source, semantic web, weblogging, search, and open standards. Four tracks are planned for XTech 2005: Core Technologies, Applications, Browser Technology, and Open Data. The Core Technologies track is the traditional home ground of developer-focused technical talks at XTech, where presentations will focus on "XML standards, new XML applications, techniques for processing XML, and other hardcore markup topics. The XTech 2005 Applications Track "covers the use of XML, web and knowledge technologies with talks aimed at both technical and managerial attendees. Applications is the place for deployment stories, open source implementations, new vocabularies and integration. Topics include, but are not limited to: publishing; topic maps; DocBook, and other open source tools; e-business; web services and integration. The new Browser Technology track has been scheduled in recognition of the fact that "Web browser technology is now reinvigorated. Topics include, but are not limited to: Mozilla, Safari, Opera, IE; XForms, SVG, CSS, XHTML; Compound Document Formats; WHATWG; mobile browser technology." A new Open Data conference track is planned to support the increasing number of information owners who are choosing to be in the web, not just on it. "Opening up data encourages its creative re-use, empowers citizens and can create new commercial opportunities. As well as governments, commercial organisations and content owners such as Amazon, Google and the BBC are experimenting with open data. At an individual level, exciting open data developments are happening through movements such as blogging and social networking. This track will contain talks at all levels, from business and policy to implementation, covering the possibilities, problems and practicalities of a web of open data." [Full context]

  • [January 04, 2005]   OASIS Releases OpenDocument 1.0 Committee Draft Specification for Public Review.    OASIS has announced the release of Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) 1.0 Committee Draft Version 2 for public review prior to consideration of the specification for approval as an OASIS Standard. The second revision of the OASIS OpenDocument CD specification, previously called the Open Office Specification, contains revised definitions in response to new developments in the office application space, as well as error corrections and clarifications. The 723-page Committee Draft includes three embedded Relax-NG schemas. The OASIS TC was chartered to define an XML-based file format specification for office applications that would be compatible with the W3C Extensible Markup Language (XML) v1.0 and W3C Namespaces in XML v1.0 specifications. According to the TC's requirements, this format should "(1) retain high-level information suitable for editing the document, (2) be suitable for office documents containing text, spreadsheets, charts, and graphical documents, (3) be friendly to transformations using XSLT or similar XML-based languages or tools; (4) keep the document's content and layout information separate such that they can be processed independently of each other, and (5) borrow from similar, existing standards wherever possible and permitted." Public review of the OASIS Committee Draft is invited from potential users, developers and other stakeholders. It constitutes "an important part of the OASIS process to assure interoperability and quality. Comments are therefore solicited from all interested parties." The 30-day public review period ends on February 3, 2005. [Full context]

Earlier News 2004

  • [December 31, 2004]   Science Commons Develops Legal and Technical Tools for Sharing Scientific Innovation.    The Creative Commons Project has announced the January 1, 2005 launch of the Science Commons as an exploratory project to "apply the philosophies and activities of Creative Commons in the realm of science." Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization building technical and legal tools that that offer a flexible copyright for creative work. Building upon the legal principles of traditional copyright which know only about "all rights reserved," Creative Commons licenses and tools support an alternative "some rights reserved" framework for authors, artists, and scientists to share resources on the Internet and to search for shared resources based upon encoded metadata. The Creative Commons open source tools for embedding licenses, publishing resources, and searching for shared resources are based upon XML and RDF standards. The licensing and distribution model makes it unnecessary to involve commercial intermediaries and proprietary DRM software. The mission of the new Science Commons is "to encourage scientific innovation by making it easier for scientists, universities, and industries to use literature, data, and other scientific intellectual property and to share their knowledge with others. Science Commons works within current copyright and patent law to promote legal and technical mechanisms that remove barriers to sharing." Creation of the Science Commons endeavor is based upon the recognition that the sciences "depend on access to and use of factual data. Powered by developments in electronic storage and computational capability, scientific inquiry is becoming more data-intensive in almost every discipline. Whether the field is meteorology, genomics, medicine, or high-energy physics, research depends on the availability of multiple databases, from multiple public and private sources, and their openness to easy recombination, search and processing." [Full context]

  • [December 29, 2004]   Last Call for W3C Web Services Choreography Description Language (WS-CDL).    W3C has published a Last Call Working Draft for Web Services Choreography Description Language Version 1.0, inviting public comment and discussion through 31-January-2005. WS-CDL is "an XML-based language that describes peer-to-peer collaborations of parties by defining, from a global viewpoint, their common and complementary observable behavior, where ordered message exchanges result in accomplishing a common business goal. The specification is targeted for composing interoperable, peer-to-peer collaborations between any type of party regardless of the supporting platform or programming model used by the implementation of the hosting environment." The W3C Web Services Choreography Working Group addressed two issues in connection with the Last Call WD but "does not believe that the resolution will result in a substantive change: (1) no recommendation can now be given for accessing and modifying members of lists and arrays; (2) a proposal for extending choreographies (specifying a choreography by defining how it is based on another choreography) is not yet finalized, but this is not expected to have a major impact on the architecture. A key notion in the W3C Web Services Choreography specification is that a contract contains a "global definition of the common ordering conditions and constraints under which messages are exchanged is produced that describes from a global viewpoint the common and complementary observable behavior of all the parties involved. Each party can then use the global definition to build and test solutions that conform to it. The global definition approach separates the process being followed by an individual business or system within a 'domain of control' from the definition of the sequence in which each business or system exchanges information with others. This means that, as long as the 'observable' sequence does not change, the rules and logic followed within the domain of control can change at will." The WS-CDL specification depends upon other W3C Recommendations, including XML 1.0, XML-Namespaces, XML-Schema 1.0, and XPath 1.0. Support for including and referencing service definitions given in WSDL 2.0 is also a normative part of the Web Services Choreography Description Language specification. [Full context]

  • [December 24, 2004]   OASIS Technical Committee Advances Business Transaction Protocol (BTP) Specification.    OASIS has announced the approval of its Business Transaction Protocol Version 1.1 as a Committee Draft. BTP Version 1.1 represents a revision of the Version 1.0 specification in the light of feedback and implementation experience. The Business Transaction Protocol (BTP) is a carrier-neutral protocol designed "to allow coordination of application work between multiple autonomous, cooperating participants. It defines protocol exchanges to ensure the overall application achieves a consistent result. This consistency may be defined a priori: all the work is confirmed or none is (an atomic business transaction or atom); or it can be determined by application intervention in the selection of the work to be confirmed (a cohesive business transaction or cohesion)." The OASIS Business Transaction Protocol specification defines the protocol "in terms of abstract messages schematized in XML. It defines communications protocol bindings to SOAP, but also allows the transport of BTP messages over other communication protocols. BTP is based on a permissive and minimal approach where constraints on implementation choices are avoided. The protocol also tries to avoid unnecessary dependencies on other standards, with the aim of lowering the hurdle to implementation." BTP "provides the means to associate and coordinate the requests, responses, and outcomes for distributed applications elements. At a most simple level BTP allows a set of remote calls to be grouped together and the outcomes tied together. It allows for all or nothing outcome, mixed outcome, service alternative recognition and selection, time qualification, and exception reporting." [Full context]

  • [December 21, 2004]   W3C Launches Patents and Standards Interest Group With Patent Policy Activity.    The World Wide Web Consortium has announced the creation of a new W3C Patents and Standards Interest Group as part of its re-chartered Patent Policy Activity. The Patents and Standards Interest Group (PSIG) is the successor to the W3C Patent Policy Working Group (PPWG) which was active during the formation of the W3C Royalty-Free Patent Policy. The goal of the Patent Policy Activity is to "enable W3C to implement and successfully operate the W3C Patent Policy which was put into place in February 2004." This Patent Policy "governs the handling of patents in the process of producing Web standards. The goal of the policy is to assure that Recommendations produced under this policy can be implemented on a Royalty-Free (RF) basis." While the work of developing and implementing the W3C Patent Policy is complete, the W3C Team believes "it is important that the W3C community have an organized way to monitor application of the Policy as well as remain informed about relevant development in the legal and standards environment." Background to the formation of the W3C PSIG is provided in the Charter, which activates the Interest Group through 1-December-2007: "In May 2003, the W3C Director, on the advice of the W3C Membership, approved the W3C Patent Policy as the governing document for patent matters in W3C Recommendations. The policy affirms and strengthens the basic business model that has driven innovation on the Web from its inception. The availability of an interoperable, unencumbered Web infrastructure provides an expanding foundation for innovative applications, profitable commerce, and the free flow of information and ideas, on a commercial and non-commercial basis." The W3C Patent Policy Working Group "which developed the policy over a more than three year period completed its work by assisting the W3C Team with the implementation of the policy. This Patents and Standards Interest Group is [now] formed in order to provide an ongoing forum for discussion of general issues regarding implementation of the policy and to exchange views of other related matters of importance." The PSIG "issues neither Recommendations nor other binding policy documents. The PSIG may be called upon to offer advice on patent policy matters, but not on issues related to specific W3C Recommendations or individual Working Groups." It is scoped to "exchange views and flag issues regarding the W3C Patent Policy [and] may recommend to the W3C Team and Advisory Committee any actions that it feels are worthy of consideration." The W3C Patents and Standards Interest Group (PSIG) and Patent Policy Activity are organized as part of the W3C Technology and Society Domain, which provides "technical building blocks that help address critical public policy issues on the Web." [Full context]

  • [December 20, 2004]   XML Inclusions (XInclude) Version 1.0 Published as a W3C Recommendation.    The World Wide Web Consortium has announced the release of XML Inclusions (XInclude) Version 1.0 as a final W3C Recommendation. Produced by members of the W3C XML Core Working Group, XInclude "provides a generic method for merging XML documents into a single composite document. Using existing XML constructs (elements, attributes and URI references), XInclude contributes to efficient content management at the enterprise level." The W3C announcement describes XInclude 1.0 as useful "in environments without DTD (Document Type Definition) support, which are more common since the adoption of XML schemas. Unlike the mechanism used in DTDs, i.e., XML external entities, XInclude gives the content author a fallback mechanism in cases where the external document cannot be retrieved, for whatever reason. XInclude allows an application to leverage the syntax in existing XML constructs... and allows an author to choose how to include another XML document in new composite content, either as markup or text. In addition, no XML entity declarations, which were required in the older method when using DTDs, are required for XInclude." XInclude 1.0 takes advantage of the XML Information Set (Infoset), published as a Second Edition W3C Recommendation in February 2004. Because it merges XML information sets, XInclude "can be used with any version of XML, as well as other existing XML-related specifications, such as the XML-family components XML Schema and XSLT, as well as with XML applications such as the popular Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) and VoiceXML 2.0 specifications. XInclude 1.0 also takes advantage of the XPointer Framework and can be used to include sub-resources, such as fragments of XML documents, that are identified by a separate xpointer attribute." XInclude "differs from the linking features described in the W3C's XML Linking Language (XLink), which "specifically links with the attribute value show='embed'. Such links provide a media-type independent syntax for indicating that a resource is to be embedded graphically within the display of the document. XLink does not specify a specific processing model, but simply facilitates the detection of links and recognition of associated metadata by a higher level application. XInclude, on the other hand, specifies a media-type specific (XML-to-XML) transformation; it defines a specific processing model for merging information sets. XInclude processing occurs at a low level, often by a generic XInclude processor which makes the resulting information set available to higher level applications." [Full context]

  • [December 17, 2004]   IDA eProcurement XML Schemas Initiative Announces Review of Data Models and Schemas.    The IDA (Interchange of Data Between Administrations) has announced a public survey tool for an eProcurement XML Study related to the revision of data models and XML schemas for e-procurement systems. Evaluation of the IDA XML schemas by eProcurement experts follows publication of IDA working documents earlier in 2004, where four phases were covered: ordering, invoicing, tendering, and awarding. IDA intends to produce another release of the data models and XML schemas, and solicits public input that will affect major design decisions. A posting from Pim van der Eijk (OASIS) reports that "there is an ongoing dialogue between IDA and some people in OASIS/UBL. We are encouraging organizations in the IDA community and their contractors to work with(in) the UBL TC to make sure the UBL schemas meet European requirements for public procurement. Several of the leading European public e-procument systems already use UBL and are eager to see it more widely adopted." In keeping with the IDA's requirements for an integrated information model, "the structure of the current XML schemas is extensible. Other phases that have not yet been modelled, such as eCatalogue exchanges, harmonisation and modelling of administrative information, may easily be integrated in a second step." In order to test the XML schemas and data models across European Member States, "pilot projects at national level are under consideration, involving Member States as well as software vendors. Moreover, in cooperation with CEN/ISSS and UN/CEFACT, the XML schemas are currently being reviewed by eProcurement experts to make these compatible with international standards and further improve and enhance their scope for standardisation. This process should involve constant exchange and feedback with national initiatives." IDA is a "European programme using information and communication technologies to support exchange of information between administrations. Its objective is to improve Community decision-making, facilitate operation of the internal market and accelerate policy implementation. In the public procurement area, interactive services have been identified as key to reducing borders and contributing to the enforcement of the single European Market and the competitiveness of European businesses." In 2003 and 2004 IDA funded an eProcurement XML Schemas Initiative as a study "in order to define and promote pan-European guidelines for data exchange in the public e-procurement domain, using common and standard data description syntax (XML schemas). This study is in line with the new legislative framework for electronic public procurement in the European Union." [Full context]

  • [December 15, 2004]   'Architecture of the World Wide Web, Volume One' Released as a W3C Recommendation.    The World Wide Web Consortium has announced the publication of Architecture of the World Wide Web, Volume One as a W3C Recommendation. The document was developed by the W3C Technical Architecture Group (TAG), edited by Ian Jacobs (W3C) and Norman Walsh (Sun Microsystems). The W3C Technical Architecture Group began its work in 2001, chartered to "document and build consensus around principles of Web architecture and to interpret and clarify these principles when necessary." According to Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director, and co-Chair of the TAG the document "emphasizes what characteristics of the Web must be preserved when inventing new technology, [taking] notice where the current systems don't work well, and as a result show weakness." The TAG's charter understands "Web architecture" to refer to "the underlying principles that should be adhered to by all Web components, whether developed inside or outside W3C. The architecture captures principles that affect such things as understandability, interoperability, scalability, accessibility, and internationalization." The Architecture of the World Wide Web is presented in seven principal sections. Individual entries are categorized as belonging to Principles, Constraints, or Good Practice Notes. Following an Introduction, the section on 'Identification' discusses Benefits of URIs, URI/Resource Relationships, URI Comparisons, URI Schemes, URI Opacity, Fragment Identifiers, and Future Directions for Identifiers. Section 3 on 'Interaction' covers Using a URI to Access a Resource, Representation Types and Internet Media Types, Inconsistencies between Representation Data and Metadata, and Safe Interactions, and Representation Management. The Architecture document's Section 4 on 'Data Formats' treats Binary and Textual Data Formats; Versioning and Extensibility; Separation of Content, Presentation, and Interaction; Hypertext; XML-Based Data Formats, and Future Directions for Data Formats. The final Sections 5-7 contain General Architecture Principles (Orthogonal Specifications; Extensibility Error Handling Protocol-based Interoperability), Glossary, and References. The TAG has also prepared a standalone Summary of 'Architecture of the World Wide Web, Volume One', which presents the Architecture Document's principles, constraints, and good practice notes in an abbreviated format. Each entry has a title, the type of entry (principles, constraints, or good practice note), designation of the section of the Architecture Document where it is discussed, followed by the entry text. [Full context]

  • [December 13, 2004]   OASIS WSDM TC Approves Web Services Distributed Management Specs for Public Review.    Committee drafts for OASIS Web Services Distributed Management (WSDM) TC specifications have been released for public review. Comments are solicited from all interested parties through January 10, 2005. The public review is open to all potential users, developers and stakeholders, intended to improve the interoperability and quality of the WSDM specifications. The WSDM Technical Committee has produced two companion specifications for Web Services Distributed Management. Management Using Web Services (MUWS) defines how management of any resource can be accessed via Web services protocols. Management of Web Services (WSDM-MOWS), based on the concepts and definitions expressed in MUWS, addresses the management of the Web services endpoints using Web services protocols. The Management Using Web Services (MUWS) 1.0 specification, in two parts, "defines how to express the following manageability capabilities: identity, metrics, resource state, status, configuration, name correlation, and relationships. MUWS defines standard descriptive techniques for each of these including required base properties, operations, and notifications, as well as required metadata for each of these to aid introspection. MUWS 1.0 also defines standard management event formats to enhance interoperability and correlateability. It defines how to provide secure management. In addition MUWS 1.0 defines recommendations and interfaces for advertising and discovering resources." OASIS sponsor level members supporting development of the specification through representation on the WSDM Technical Committee include: Actional Corporation; BEA Systems, Inc; BMC Software; Computer Associates; Dell; Fujitsu; Hewlett-Packard; Hitachi; IBM; Novell; Oracle; Tibco; and webMethods, Inc. [Full context]

  • [December 10, 2004]   New National Weather Service Policy Supports Open Internet-Based Standards.    On December 1, 2004, the U.S. NOAA National Weather Service published a Final Version of the Policy on Partnerships in the Provision of Environmental Information, providing formal basis for distribution of weather information, climate information, forecasts, and warnings in XML format to the public. The National Weather Service (NWS) operates under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) within the U.S. Dept of Commerce. The new NOAA Policy responds to recommendations contained in the National Research Council's Fair Weather: Effective Partnerships in Weather and Climate Services document and to terms specified in OMB Circular No. A-130, "Management of Federal Information Resources." The new Policy takes into account 1,473 comments on the provisional Policy draft released in January 2004. Section 5 of the NOAA Policy, "Commitment to Open Internet-Based Standards for Information Sharing," addresses the need to move away from "community-unique data formats" used previously to distribute NOAA environmental information: "for those not already using them, learning and developing programs to access these community-unique formats is a formidable task, both in learning about the formats and in creating custom code to process them, since few resources are available. The use of Extensible Markup Language (XML) and other open standards lowers the barriers to entry in the commercial marketplace, as pointed out in [the] comment from the Center for Democracy and Technology." NWS "provides access to gridded forecasts of sensible weather elements (e.g., cloud cover, maximum temperature) through the National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD). NDFD contains a seamless mosaic of digital forecasts from NWS field offices working in collaboration with the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP)." Experimentally, NWS now publishes data conforming to the National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD) Extensible Markup Language (XML). NDFD XML "provides users the ability, using a machine-to-machine paradigm, to retrieve the XML-wrapped data via the Internet. This web service is provided using the SOAP protocol. The weather parameters contained in NDFD XML are the same as those in the NDFD." These features, some further parameterized, include: Maximum Temperature; Minimum Temperature; 3 hourly Temperature; Dewpoint Temperature; 12 hour Probability of Precipitation; Liquid Precipitation Amounts - Quantitative Precipitation Forecast; Snowfall Amounts; Cloud Cover Amounts; Wind Direction; Wind Speed; Sensible Weather; Wave Heights. A Digital Weather Markup Language (DWML) Specification provides a new XML language which is being developed "to initially support the exchange of the National Weather Service's (NWS) National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD) data. However, the specification has been written with enough flexibility to accommodate other environmental science applications. Appendix E provides a definition of DWML types based on restrictions appropriate to NDFD data. [Full context]

  • [December 08, 2004]   W3C Publishes Three Initial Working Drafts for Web Services Addressing.    The W3C Web Services Addressing Working Group has released its first three Working Drafts for the Web Services Addressing specification, which provides transport-neutral mechanisms to address Web services and messages. W3C chartered the new Web Services Addressing Working Group in October 2004 as part of the W3C Web Services Activity, under the W3C Architecture Domain. In August 2004 a revised Web Services Addressing (WS-Addressing) specification was presented to W3C as a Member Submission by BEA, IBM, Microsoft, SAP AG, and Sun Microsystems. WS-Addressing "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." In keeping with terms of the WG Charter, the Member Submission document has been separated into three separate specifications: Core, SOAP Binding, and WSDL Binding. The new Web Services Addressing Core "defines a set of abstract properties and an XML Infoset representation thereof to identify Web service endpoints and to secure end-to-end identification of endpoints in messages." In this version the dependency upon on WS-Policy has been removed, along with references to WS-Trust and WS-SecurityPolicy. The Web Services Addressing - WSDL Binding specification "defines how the abstract properties defined in Web Services Addressing Core are described using WSDL." Part 3, the Web Services Addressing SOAP Binding, defines the binding of the abstract properties defined in Web Services Addressing Core to SOAP Messages. "When a message needs to be addressed to the endpoint, the information contained in the endpoint reference is mapped to the message according to a transformation that is dependent on the protocol and data representation used to send the message. Protocol-specific mappings (or bindings) will define how the information in the endpoint reference is copied to message and protocol fields." [Full context]

  • [December 06, 2004]   IDA Releases European Interoperability Framework for Pan-European E-Government Services.    The European Commission's Interchange of Data Between Administrations (IDA) released a Final Version 1.0 of its European Interoperability Framework for Pan-European E-Government Services, approved by the Telematics Between Administrations Committee (TAC) Steering Committee. Publication of the EIF document follows a ten-month period of review and feedback by Members States, industry representatives, and stakeholders within the institutions. 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 European Interoperability Framework document "provides recommendations and defines generic standards with regard to organizational, semantic, and technical aspects of interoperability, offering a comprehensive set of principles for European cooperation in eGovernment. EIF augments regional and national interoperability programs: "national administrations have developed or are in the process of developing Governmental Interoperability Frameworks for efficient communication between themselves as well as with citizens and businesses; IDA is complementing this work by adding the pan-European dimension." The European Interoperability Framework "supports the European Union's strategy of providing user-centred eGovernment services by facilitating, at a pan-European level, the interoperability of services and systems between public administrations, as well as between administrations and the public (citizens, businesses). It is an action of the eEurope 2005 Action Plan, under the eGovernment heading." The EIF document considers "interoperability" in three dimensions, and categorizes the seventeen Recommendations according to this taxonomy: organizational interoperability, semantic interoperability, and technical interoperability. The "semantic" Recommendation 9 identifies XML as playing a key role in formalizing definitions for exchange of data elements: "Initiatives at pan-European level [designed] to develop common semantics on the basis of XML should be performed in a coordinated way and should consider cooperation with the existing standardisation bodies. In particular, the XML vocabularies should be developed whilst taking into account the agreed core/specific eGovernment data elements. Specific European schemas and definitions should be made available to all pan-European stakeholders through common infrastructures." Basic principles for ICT interoperablity are sketched in Recommendation 2: "The following principles, of a general nature, should be considered for any eGovernment services to be set up at a pan-European level: Accessibility; Multilingualism; Security; Privacy; Subsidiarity; Use of Open Standards; Assess the Benefits of Open Source Software; Use of Multilateral Solutions." [Full context]

  • [December 02, 2004]   Sun Microsystems and Microsoft Provide Progress Report on Technical Collaboration Agreement.    On December 1, 2004, Microsoft Corporation and Sun Microsystems held a joint on-the-record open teleconference to report on the status of collaborative efforts toward interoperable computing solutions based upon terms of a Technical Collaboration Agreement concluded by the two companies in April 2004. The companies confirmed their commitment to address the needs of their mutual customers, endeavoring to improve "interoperability across product lines, which in turn will reduce costs, improve reliability and enable customers to focus more on their core business instead of on IT integration initiatives." The meeting was opened with a statement from by With Greg Papadopoulos (Chief Technology Officer, Sun Microsystems), who has provided a summary Question and Answer document on the Sun web site. He was joined by Hank Vigil (Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Consumer Strategy and Partnerships), Andrew Layman (Director of Distributed Systems Interoperability, Microsoft), and John Shewchuck (Distributed Systems Architect, Microsoft). "Through outreach and dialogue with customers, the companies recognize that accelerating the use of Web services for interoperability between our platforms is a top customer request. To that end, working with other partner companies, Sun and Microsoft have co-authored four important Web services specifications in the last six months. These are WS-Addressing (submitted to W3C), WS-Eventing, WS-MetadataExchange and WS-Management." [Full context]

  • [December 01, 2004]   OWL Web Ontology Language for Services (OWL-S) Specification Submitted to W3C.    W3C has acknowledged receipt of a multi-part OWL-S Member Submission from France Telecom, Maryland Information and Network Dynamics Lab at the University of Maryland, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Network Inference, Nokia, SRI International, Stanford University, Toshiba Corporation, and University of Southampton. The OWL Web Ontology Language for Services (OWL-S) specification represents "the first W3C member Submission in the area of Semantic Web Services, where Semantic Web technologies are applied to the challenges offered in the Web services arena." The submitters have requested that W3C consider OWL-S as input for work in a new Semantic Web Services working group at W3C. The W3C OWL Web Ontology Language, approved as a W3C Recommendation in February 2004, 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." An earlier version of the OWL-S specification was released for public review by members of the OWL Services Coalition in January 2004. Previous releases of this language were known as DAML-S, and were built upon DAML+OIL , the predecessor of OWL. The OWL-S Member Submission proposes a framework based on the W3C OWL Web Ontology Language, designed "to help users and agents search, discover, invoke, compose and monitor Web services. It includes eight (8) ontologies written in OWL as an extensible core. In OWL-S, information used for Web service automation is exchanged in RDF — the same language the rest of the web is beginning to use for expressing data. Details of the OWL-S work have already been discussed extensively in the W3C Semantic Web Services Interest Group and the Semantic Web Services Initiative (SWSI)." OWL-S, according to the Submission abstract, is "an OWL-based Web service ontology, which supplies a core set of markup language constructs for describing the properties and capabilities of Web services in unambiguous, computer-intepretable form. OWL-S markup of Web services will facilitate fuller automation of Web service tasks, such as Web service discovery, execution, composition and interoperation." [Full context]

  • [November 30, 2004]   RM4GS Open Source Middleware Supports Reliable Messaging for Grid Services.    Messaging software which implements the OASIS WS-Reliability 1.1 Standard has been released for public use by the joint developers, Fujitsu Limited, Hitachi, Ltd., and NEC Corporation. The software may be downloaded from the website of the Information-Technology Promotion Agency, Japan. RM4GS (Reliable Messaging for Grid Services) has been made publicly available in a desire to "help speed the widespread adoption of software products that incorporate the [WS-Reliability] reliable messaging function, thereby making it possible for customers to develop highly reliable web services systems in shorter time frames and at lower cost." RM4GS, as a reliable messaging implementation for web services, is compliant with WS-Reliability 1.1 and supports reliability functions specified in that specification. It has been developed entirely with "100% pure Java," and provides interworking with EJB: "RM4GS is implemented as a resource adapter defined in JCA (J2EE Connector Architecture) specification and can work with EJB; received messages can be handled by MDB (Message Driven Bean)." RM4GS also supports extensibility: it "adopts a layer structure with internal interface [so] its functions can be extended by adoption or change of components in every layer." Software documentation says that each RM4GS instance supports the following components and functions: (1) P2P Asynchronous Communication API Adapter; (2) MSM [Message Service Manager] for asynchronous messaging functions; (3) MSH [Message Service Handler], which provides a packaging function for specific communication protocol format. MSH is located at the lowest layer and work with an underlying protocol handler such as SOAP handler. The P2P component "provides an API for asynchronous communication, with both sending message functions and receiving message functions. Since it provides asynchronous semantics, the sending application can work independently from the receiving application. Thus the API call from the sending application for sending a message will complete before the receiving application receives the message." [Full context]

  • [November 24, 2004]   CommerceNet Proposes Collecting Contributions to Purchase Key Web Services Patents.    The CommerceNet Consortium held a meeting at its Mountain View, California office on November 22, 2004 to discuss the CommerceOne bankruptcy auction of patents that cover key facets of commerce related Internet transactions. A proposal was discussed for collective acquisition of CommerceOne patents on Web Services technology, announced by Commerce One on November 17, 2004. A number of technologists and legal experts have expressed concern that the winner of the auction "might use the patents mainly to impede other companies or to press competitors to pay licensing fees for practices already common in Internet commerce" in what Jack Russo, an intellectual property attorney in Palo Alto, calls "patent terrorism." Commerce One, a "provider of solutions for automating and integrating business processes across networks of customers, suppliers, and partners," filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in October 2004. The company announced that it would "conduct an auction to sell its patents and patent applications relating to Web services." CommerceNet asserted that the patents "cover basic technology for facilitating network transactions by identifying a transaction in terms of input and output documents. If obtained by an intellectual property licensing organization, it is expected that the patents would likely be broadly asserted against companies completing transactions using web service interface descriptions (WSDL), service registries (UDDI), and documents composed from XML building blocks." According to some. this would be contrary to the original purpose of CommerceOne which was to provide an open framework to facilitate transactions. The proposal for CommerceNet to acquire the CommerceOne patent portfolio out of bankruptcy was discussed by a number of attorneys at the November 22, 2004 meeting. The core idea would be for companies potentially threatened by aggressive "patent terrorism" to pool resources thorough the leadership of CommerceNet or some other non-profit entity to enable successful bidding for the patents against competitors having no natural or historical interest in the patented technology. [Full context]

  • [November 23, 2004]   IBM, Microsoft, and Sun Respond to TAC Recommendation on Open Document Exchange Format.    The Telematics Between Administrations Committee (TAC) reports that it has received positive responses from Sun, Microsoft, and IBM relative to the IDA Expert Group recommendations on adoption of an Open Document Exchange Format. In May 2004 the Telematics Between Administrations Committee of the EC's IDA Community Programme announced its approval of the 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." IDA said the positive responses from the three companies "represent a significant step on the way to establishing fully interoperable and seamlessly connected public administrations throughout Europe and enable seamless and transparent transactions between EU public administrations, citizens and businesses." A White Paper from OpenForum Europe on "Open Document Formats for Public Administrations across Europe" has also been published on the IDA web site. The OFE recommends in this document that "the European Commission and member states move towards the use of open document formats as a matter of principle; that support should be required in the tendering process for such open formats in software procured by public administrations; that software vendors should define the open format as a user default in software used by public administrations; and that administrations should ensure that vendors implement ODF as defaults in their applications sold to government." The document further recommends that "public administrations across Europe evaluate the OASIS OpenOffice XML formats as a standard", and that Microsoft should be "encouraged to consider the donation of schemas to OASIS." [Full context]

  • [November 19, 2004]   W3C Mobile Web Initiative (MWI) Workshop Addresses Web Access from Mobile Devices.    A W3C "Mobile Web Initiative" Workshop is being held November 18-19, 2004 in Barcelona, Spain. The Workshop has been sponsored by W3C Members HP, Orange, Vodafone and Volantis, and is colocated with an OMA (Open Mobile Alliance) meeting. W3C has published the full program for the "Mobile Web Initiative" Workshop, together with a collection of forty-some position papers submitted for presentation and discussion. Workshop attendees will discuss "how a W3C initiative could help to make Web access from a mobile device as simple, easy and convenient as Web access from a desktop device." The Workshop program reflects W3C's recognition that "even though many of today's mobile phones include Web browsers, accessing the Web from a mobile device has not become as popular as expected. Users often find that their favorite Web sites are not accessible or not as easy to use on their mobile phone as on their desktop device. Content providers sometimes are not able to build Web sites that work well on all types and configurations of mobile phones offering Web access." W3C is therefore considering a proposal to start a "Mobile Web Initiative" (MWI) to address these and related issues. The purpose of the Barcelona Workshop is to get community input and feedback on the MWI proposal, looking at current issues concerning mobile Web access and how they should be addressed. Some initial ideas for achieving W3C's goal include "developing best practices documents, providing support infrastructures for mobile developers, organizing training programs for Web content providers, and creating validation and conformance testing services for Web-access from mobile devices. These activities would complement current W3C efforts in developing Web standards that support the expanding Web, including mobile devices (e.g., multimodal interaction, mobile profiles, device independence). [Full context]

  • [November 15, 2004]   WS-Reliability Version 1.1 Approved as an OASIS Standard.    The OASIS membership has voted to ratify WS-Reliability 1.1 as an OASIS Standard. Other approved OASIS Standards include AVDL, CAP, DocBook, DSML, ebXML, SAML, SPML, UBL, UDDI, WS-Reliability, WSRP, WSS, XACML, and XCBF. The WS-Reliability specification has been produced by members of the OASIS Web Services Reliable Messaging (WSRM) Technical Committee. OASIS Sponsor Member companies supporting development of the WSRM specification include Booz Allen Hamilton; Cyclone Commerce; Fujitsu; Hewlett-Packard; Hitachi; NEC Corporation; Novell; Oracle; SeeBeyond Technology Corporation; Sun Microsystems. WS-Reliability "provides a method to guarantee message delivery over the Internet, enabling companies to conduct reliable business-to-business trading or collaboration using Web services. It defines a SOAP-based protocol for exchanging SOAP messages with guaranteed delivery, no duplicates, and guaranteed message ordering. WS-Reliability is defined as SOAP header extensions and is independent of the underlying protocol, but the specification also provides a binding to HTTP." WS-Reliability defines reliability "in the context of current Web Services standards and is designed for use in combination with other complementary protocols. It builds upon previous development experiences, for example, the ebXML Message Service Specification (ebMS)." WS-Reliability also defines how to use reliability in compliance with WS-I Basic Profile 1.1. Both WS-Reliability and ebMS "have same messaging reliability contracts as objectives: guaranteed delivery, no duplicate delivery, ordered delivery, and combinations of these. However, WS-Reliability has improved on scalability and performance by generalizing the use of sequence numbers, and can accommodate different security and access conditions on each party, as this is more frequently the case with a Web service and its clients, compared to more symmetrical access conditions in messaging. The reliability contract is more application-oriented in WS-Reliability, where acknowledgment is on final delivery, in contrast to 'on receipt' by the message handler in ebMS." A Web Services Reliable Messaging Protocol (WS-ReliableMessaging) specification from BEA, IBM, Microsoft, and TIBCO Software covers much of the same territory as WS-Reliability. [Full context]

  • [November 10, 2004]   Election Markup Language (EML) Recommended to Member States by Council of Europe.    The Council of Europe Committee of Ministers has issued a Recommendation to its forty-six (46) member states on standards for e-voting. The Recommendation of the Council includes reference to Legal Standards, Operational Standards, and Technical Requirements. It "emphasises the need for new voting methods to meet the principles of universal and equal suffrage, free and secret ballots and for the systems to be secure, transparent and accountable. It covers issues such as electoral lists, information to voters, and vote counting." Among the Technical Requirements articulated in Appendix III of the Recommendation, "Interoperability" (Clauses 66-68) the document stipulates that "Open standards shall be used to ensure that the various technical components or services of an e-voting system, possibly derived from a variety of sources, interoperate. At present, the Election Markup Language (EML) standard is such an open standard and in order to guarantee interoperability, EML shall be used whenever possible for e-election and e-referendum applications. The decision of when to adopt EML is a matter for member states. The EML standard valid at the time of adoption of this recommendation, and supporting documentation are available on the Council of Europe website. In cases which imply specific election or referendum data requirements, a localisation procedure shall be used to accommodate these needs. This would allow for extending or restricting the information to be provided, whilst still remaining compatible with the generic version of EML. The recommended procedure is to use structured schema languages and pattern languages." The Election Markup Language referenced in the Recommendation is being developed within the OASIS Election and Voter Services Technical Committee. The OASIS EVS TC was chartered in May 2001 to "develop a standard for the structured interchange of data among hardware, software, and service providers who engage in any aspect of providing election or voter services to public or private organizations." Election Markup Language in Working Draft Version 4 has been aligned with the work of the Council of Europe (CoE) Working Group on e-voting. According to a communiqué from John Borras (e-Government Unit, UK Cabinet Office), the EML version 4 draft "accommodates all the perceived requirements" from the forty-some CoE countries, "including referenda, as well as lots of lessons learnt from the UK pilots," so this version meets a very comprehensive set of requirements. [Full context]

  • [November 09, 2004]   Final Committee Draft of ISO Schematron Released for Public Review.    A communiqué from Rick Jelliffe describes the availability of a ISO FCD (Final Committee Draft) for ISO/IEC 19757-3 Document Schema Definition Languages (DSDL) — Part 3: Rule-Based Validation — Schematron. Schematron is a language for making assertions about patterns found in XML documents, and serves as a schema language for XML. As Part 3 of the multi-part ISO/IEC 19757 (DSDL) standard, it defines "requirements for Schematron schemas and specifies when an XML document matches the patterns specified by a Schematron schema." This Final Committee [Review] Draft of ISO Schematron incorporates feedback from national standards bodies and from implementers. It is available online in PDF, HTML, and RTF formats. Improvements "include an annex on multilingual schemas, further treatment of abstract patterns, and validated schemas. The predicate logic used to specify Schematron formally has also been reworked. The specification remains very small, at about 35 pages including front matter, schemas and non-normative annexes." This FCD draft has been made publicly available for comment, for identification of spelling errors, and as an aid implementers and users until the final International Standard is published in paper by ISO and other nations that adopt Schematron as a national standard, expected in 2005. This text is suitable as the interim reference for organizations adopting Schematron. The editors encourage all Schematron implementers to check the draft standard and to add support for it for 2005. According to the Overview, "the Schematron differs in basic concept from other schema languages in that it not based on grammars but on finding tree patterns in the parsed document. This approach allows many kinds of structures to be represented which are inconvenient and difficult in grammar-based schema languages. If you know XPath or the XSLT expression language, you can start to use The Schematron immediately. It allows you to develop and mix two kinds of schemas: (1) Report elements allow you to diagnose which variant of a language you are dealing with; (2) Assert elements allow you to confirm that the document conforms to a particular schema." [Full context]

  • [November 08, 2004]   Universal Business Language (UBL) Version 1.0 Approved as an OASIS Standard.    OASIS has announced the approval of the Universal Business Language (UBL) Version 1.0 as an OASIS Standard. UBL "defines a common XML library of business documents, such as purchase orders and invoices, as well as reusable data components from which an unlimited number of other documents can be constructed. UBL is the first standard implementation of the ebXML Core Components Technical Specification." Developed within the OASIS Universal Business Language Technical Committee and numerous subcommitteees, UBL "is the product of an international effort to define a royalty-free library of standard electronic XML business documents. UBL is designed to plug directly into existing business, legal, auditing, and records management practices, eliminating the re-keying of data in existing fax- and paper-based supply chains and providing an entry point into electronic commerce for small and medium-sized businesses." The UBL Library has been designed "as an implementation of ebXML Core Components Technical Specification 2.01, based on a conceptual model of information components known as Business Information Entities (BIEs). These core 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 this 1.0 release. UBL schemas thus are modular, reusable, and extensible in XML-aware ways." Jon Bosak, Co-Chair of the OASIS UBL TC, cites "agreement on a common set of business-to-business document standards" as an essential element in successful electronic commerce: "UBL provides the world with standard electronic versions of traditional business documents designed to integrate with established commercial and legal practices. Using UBL, businesses of all sizes can enjoy the benefits of electronic commerce." According to TC Co-Chair Mark Crawford, the core components methodology implemented in UBL "is embodied in the soon to be announced ISO 15000-5 ebXML Core Components Standard. This methodology, in addition to being used by UBL, is also being followed by other international standards bodies such as UN/CEFACT. This approach has also been adopted by the Department of the Navy and several Presidential Management Agenda initiatives." UBL design benefited from liaison relationships with many collateral standards efforts and industry groups. It was "developed in harmony with ebXML OASIS Standards and in light of recommendations and standards issued by ISO, IEC, ITU, UNECE, W3C, IETF, and other relevant standards bodies and organizations. Industry groups including ACORD (insurance), ARTS (retail sales), CompTIA EIDX Leadership Group (electronics), HL7 (health care), NACS (convenience stores), RosettaNet (supply chain), UIG (utilities), VCA (prescription eyewear), and XBRL (accounting) all provided input on UBL." [Full context]

  • [November 05, 2004]   W3C Publishes Updated XSLT 2.0, XPath 2.0, and XQuery Working Draft Specifications.    Six revised working drafts have been published by the W3C XSL Working Group and XML Query Working Group as part of the W3C XML Activity. The XSL Transformations (XSLT) Version 2.0 specification of 2004-11-05 has been published "to mark the conclusion of the Last Call process for XSLT 2.0," addressing some 109 comments received in response to the Last Call version of 2003-11-12. The XSL Working Group believes that the development of XSLT 2.0 is now complete, and has released the new working draft to ensure that the agreed-upon changes have been made correctly. Following the current Last Call review period, the specification is expected to advance to a Candidate Recommendation, though modifications "may be required to align this document with the specifications on which it is dependent, notably the XPath and Serialization specifications." XSLT Version 2.0 defines the syntax and semantics of the XSL Transformations language designed for transforming XML documents into other XML documents. "XSLT 2.0 is designed to be used in conjunction with XPath 2.0 and shares the same data model as XPath 2.0, which is defined in XQuery 1.0 and XPath 2.0 Data Model. XSLT Version 2.0 uses the library of functions and operators defined in the XQuery 1.0 and XPath 2.0 Functions and Operators Working Draft. XSLT 2.0 also includes optional facilities to serialize the results of a transformation, by means of an interface to the serialization component described in XSLT 2.0 and XQuery 1.0 Serialization. A transformation in the XSLT language "is expressed in the form of a stylesheet, whose syntax is well-formed XML conforming to the Namespaces in XML Recommendation. A stylesheet generally includes elements that are defined by XSLT as well as elements that are not defined by XSLT. The term stylesheet reflects the fact that one of the important roles of XSLT is to add styling information to an XML source document, by transforming it into a document consisting of XSL formatting objects, or into another presentation-oriented format such as HTML, XHTML, or SVG. However, XSLT is used for a wide range of transformation tasks, not exclusively for formatting and presentation applications." The XML Path Language (XPath) 2.0 Working Draft produced jointly by the W3C XSL Working Group and the XML Query Working Group defines "an expression language that allows the processing of values conforming to the data model defined in XQuery 1.0 and XPath 2.0 Data Model. The data model provides a tree representation of XML documents as well as atomic values such as integers, strings, and booleans, and sequences that may contain both references to nodes in an XML document and atomic values. The result of an XPath expression may be a selection of nodes from the input documents, or an atomic value, or more generally, any sequence allowed by the data model. The name of the language derives from its most distinctive feature, the path expression, which provides a means of hierarchic addressing of the nodes in an XML tree." [Full context]

  • [November 03, 2004]   First Public Working Draft for Timed Text Distribution Format Exchange Profile (DFXP).    W3C has published a First Public Working Draft for Timed Text (TT) Authoring Format 1.0 — Distribution Format Exchange Profile (DFXP). The draft has been produced by members of the Timed Text (TT) Working Group as part of the W3C Synchronized Multimedia Activity. The W3C Timed Text Working Group was chartered in January 2003 to "develop an XML-based format used for the representation of streamed text synchronized with other timed media, like audio and video. A typical application is real time captioning of movies on the Web (e.g., integrated in SMIL)." The W3C Timed Text specification is intended to cover "all necessary aspects of timed text on the Web. Typical applications of timed text are the real time subtitling of foreign-language movies on the Web, captioning for people lacking audio devices or having hearing impairments, karaoke, scrolling news items or teleprompter applications." The Timed Text (TT) authoring format is a "content type that represents timed text media for the purpose of interchange among authoring systems." Goals for W3C design activity are presented in the second version of the Timed Text (TT) Authoring Format 1.0 Use Cases and Requirements document. Timed text is there defined as "textual information that is intrinsically or extrinsically associated with timing information." The authoring format "simplifies the creation and distribution of synchronized text for use with a multitude of devices, such as multimedia players, caption, subtitle, and teletext encoders and decoders, character generators, LED displays, and other text display devices." The Distribution Format Exchange Profile (DFXP) Working Draft document specifies a vocabulary and semantics for a distribution format exchange profile (DFXP) of the timed text authoring format. The distribution format exchange profile is intended to be used for the purpose of transcoding or exchanging timed text information among legacy distribution content formats presently in use for subtitling and captioning functions. It provides a standardized representation for a particular subset of textual information with which stylistic, layout, and timing semantics are associated by an author or an authoring system for the purpose of interchange and potential presentation." A posting from the WG Chair clarifies that the primary intent of the DFXP is "to support interchange among the common features of certain existing distribution formats, such as 3GPP Timed Text, QuickText (Apple), RealText (RealNetworks), SAMI (Microsoft), World Standard Teletext (WST), EIA-608, and EIA-708. Although the DFXP is designed as an authoring format, it is not precluded from being used as a distribution format in its own right, e.g., by implementing native support for the DFXP in a SMIL or other multimedia user agent." [Full context]

  • [October 29, 2004]   Digital Artefacts Europe Contributes Open Source Implementation for ebXML Core Components.    An announcement from Diego Ballve of Digital Artefacts Europe describes the donation of an ebXML Core Components vocabulary management implementation to the open-source community through the freebXML initiative. The freebXML CC project on SourceForge includes a set of tools developed to facilitate the work of domain experts managing data dictionaries. The the project is now available under LGPL terms for use by the open-source community, and will be further developed under the freebXML umbrella. Core Components are defined in the UN/CEFACT Core Components Technical Specification as Part 8 of the ebXML Framework. The UN/CEFACT Plenary voted in May 2004 to submit the ebXML Core Components Technical Specification to ISO TC154 as Part 8 of ISO 15000. The specification is now in process for ISO fast track approval, and will join other parts of ISO/TS 15000 Electronic business eXtensible Markup Language (ebXML), including Collaboration-protocol profile and agreement specification (ebCPP), Message service specification (ebMS), Registry information model specification (ebRIM), and Registry services specification (ebRS). The ebXML Core Components technical specification (CCTS) "presents a methodology for developing a common set of semantic building blocks that represent the general types of business data in use today and provides for the creation of new business vocabularies and restructuring of existing business vocabularies. It provides a way to identify, capture and maximize the re-use of business information to support and enhance information interoperability across multiple business situations." Several organizations and standards bodies now base their data structures and information exchanges on the syntax-neutral Core Components model. The The freebXML CC implementation "is based on the ebXML Core Components specification and comprises a developer API as well as an end user GUI. Where the freebXML CC API gives the developer a chance to use Core Components without concern for the implementation itself, the freebXML CC GUI will allow domain experts with reasonable awareness of the Core Components specification to model their vocabularies and manage their data dictionaries using this methodology with minimum effort." freebXML CC "uses the ebXML Registry to store vocabulary data. More specifically, it uses the freebXML Registry through the Java API for XML Registries (JAXR). Currently the freebXML CC API is in production use state, while the GUI is still a prototype. The API maps Core Component concepts to ebXML Registry Information Model concepts through JAXR API, abstracting details about the Registry itself and providing simplified query and life cycle management features focused on Core Components and Vocabularies." [Full context]

  • [October 29, 2004]   Microsoft Releases Revised Version of Web Services Dynamic Discovery (WS-Discovery).    Microsoft has published an updated version of the Web Services Dynamic Discovery (WS-Discovery) specification initially released in February 2004. The revised version includes webMethods, Inc. as a named Co-Developer, joining BEA Systems, Canon, Intel, and Microsoft. The revised IPR declaration deviates from a recent trend under which the WS-* specifications are licensed Royalty-Free. The updated WS-Discovery specification states that the Co-Developers "each agree to grant you a license, under reasonable, non-discriminatory terms and conditions, to their respective essential Licensed Claims, which reasonable, non-discriminatory terms and conditions may include, for example, the payment of royalties and an affirmation of the obligation to grant reciprocal licenses under any of the licensee's patents that are necessary to implement the Specification." WS-Discovery belongs to the WS-* suite of 'Composable Architecture' specifications which "relies on other Web service specifications to provide secure, reliable, and/or transacted message delivery and to express Web service and client policy." The revised version of WS-Discovery incorporates changes based upon a WS-Discovery Feedback Workshop held in San Jose on May 19, 2004. The WS-Discovery specification "defines a multicast discovery protocol to locate 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." The term "discovery" is used by the WS-Discovery specification in reference to advertising and finding devices or services on a network. This is in contrast to "discovery" in the sense of accessing a directory (e.g., UDDI) or inspection of a device or service (e.g., WS-MetadataExchange). It offers a "flexible, scalable, extensible, and lightweight mechanism for service discovery based upon simple messaging (Hello, Bye, Probe, Probe Match, Resolve, Resolve Match)." [Full context]

  • [October 28, 2004]   W3C Announces Last Call Working Draft for Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.2.    The W3C SVG Working Group has released a Last Call Working Draft for Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.2 and invites public comment through November 24, 2004. After examining feedback on this draft, the Working Group plans to submit the specification for consideration as a W3C Candidate Recommendation. The SVG language "delivers accessible, dynamic, and reusable vector graphics, text, and images to the Web in XML. The SVG Version 1.2 Working Draft document also describes a set of APIs for building graphics-based applications. Key features include shapes, text and embedded raster graphics, with many different painting styles. It supports scripting through languages such as ECMAScript and has comprehensive support for animation. SVG is used in many business areas including Web graphics, animation, user interfaces, graphics interchange, print and hardcopy output, mobile applications and high-quality design." SVG Version 1.1 "is a W3C Recommendation and forms the core of the current SVG developments. W3C has also developed SVG Mobile Profiles: SVG Basic and SVG Tiny are targetted to resource-limited devices and are part of the 3GPP platform for third generation mobile phones. SVG Print is a set of guidelines to produce final-form documents in XML suitible for archiving and printing." SVG 1.2 represents an "extension to SVG 1.1 that provides features requested by the implementor and content design communities, believed to be in conformance with the Architecture of the World Wide Web. It is a modularized XML language for describing two-dimensional graphics with animation and interactivity. Validation for SVG 1.2 is supported through use of the RelaxNG schema presented in WD Appendix F. The SVG version 1.2 Last Call Working Draft does not present a complete language description, but documents the changes from SVG version 1.1. It covers, for example: Flowing text and graphics; Multiple pages; Text enhancements; Streaming; Progressive rendering; Vector effects; Rendering model; Painting enhancements; Media; Animation; Extended links; Application development; Events and Scripting; Non-graphical enhancements. [Full context]

  • [October 27, 2004]   Trusted Mobile Platform Specifications Released for Industry Review.    A set of Trusted Mobile Platform specifications defining security features for mobile devices has been released for public review by the authors and promoters from IBM, Intel, and NTT DoCoMo. Trusted Mobile Platform (TMP) is described as a comprehensive end-to-end security architecture for mobile wireless platforms. The specification "can help make advanced mobile-commerce services such as electronic tickets and e-wallets for online purchases more secure and help protect against viruses and other software attacks." The Trusted Mobile Platform has been published as a set of three separate specifications. The Protocol Specification Document defines a set of protocols that enable the Trusted Mobile Platform to communicate with other platforms more securely. The TMP Software Architecture Description "identifies security-related elements in the software stack that enable the underlying security hardware and would be common across all platforms based on the Hardware Architecture Description." The Hardware Architecture Description document "defines a set of essential hardware components required to build mobile platforms that support a rich set of services for enhancing the platform's trust." The TMP specifications address a number of security and privacy concerns: "(1) How can data exchanged over the air be protected from eavesdropping? (2) How can the user be certain that information received from a service is authentic and has not been changed since it was created? (3) How is the device protected from malicious downloaded programs such as viruses?" According to the announcement, components defined in the TMP specifications "function together to limit the potential damage from malicious applications and to enable a rich set of security services. Through tamper-resistant modules and by enabling domain separation, a trusted platform will be able to protect data from potential viruses spreading from one application to the next. In addition, the authorization and management protocols provide companies with higher levels of security for wireless delivery of new software to employees." The TMP Protocol document does not define a new collection of mobile security protpcols per se, but "investigates available and emerging open standards by identifying specific areas that are currently missing to support trusted mobile devices. Trusted Mobile Platform builds on well established, strong security techniques and applies them to the hardware and software architectures to define a trusted execution environment that protects the device both at boot time and during runtime." The 103-page Trusted Mobile Platform Protocol Specification Document "describes protocols that allow the security state of a device to be shared with other devices in the network, enabling device level trust to be extended into the larger network." [Full context]

  • [October 22, 2004]   ASHRAE Releases BACnet Web Services Interface Specification for Public Review.    A public review draft has been released for the BSR/ASHRAE Web Services Addendum to the ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 135-2004 (BacNet). The Building Automation and Control Networks (BACnet) specification is an American national standard (ANSI), a European pre-standard, and an ISO global standard. The BACnet data communication protocol provides a set of rules governing the exchange of data over a computer network. The rules govern, for example, "what kind of cable to use, or to how to form a particular request or command in a standard way. What makes BACnet special is that the rules relate specifically to the needs of building automation and control equipment, i.e., they cover things like how to ask for the value of a temperature, define a fan operating schedule, or send a pump status alarm." According to the ASHRAE announcement, potential uses of the Addendum's Web Services technology include "simplifying access to building energy and performance data for inclusion in spreadsheets and other management reports; accessing equipment run-time data for use by maintenance management systems; allowing tenant control of space temperature setpoints; coupling of room scheduling with ventilation and comfort control, etc." Creation of the new Web Services Interface Addendum was motivated by a recognition that Web services "is emerging as the predominant technology for the integration of a wide variety of enterprise information. The addendum therefore defines a standard means of using Web services to integrate facility data from disparate data sources, including BACnet networks, with a variety of business enterprise applications." The BACnet XML Working Group "is working on defining applications of the Extensible Markup Language (XML) relevant to BACnet systems. It is also working on Web service definitions that will allow data exchange between building automation and control systems and various enterprise management systems. In June 2004, after months of intense effort by the Web Services Task Team of the BACnet/XML Working Group, SSPC 135 unanimously voted to recommend public review of the WS addendum to BACnet-2004. [Full context]

  • [October 21, 2004]   Liberty Alliance Federated Identity Consortium Gains Momentum with New Members.    The Liberty Alliance Project has announced the addition of eight new members, including Adobe Systems, DAI-Labor, Deny All, International Business Machines (IBM), M-Tech Information Technology, OpenNetwork Technologies, Senforce Technologies, and Telewest Broadband. There are now 162 active Liberty Alliance members. Liberty Alliance is a global consortium developing an open federated identity standard and business tools for implementing federated identity and identity-based Web services. The Liberty Alliance federated network identity solution "supports all current and emerging network devices, offering businesses, governments, employees and consumers a convenient and secure way to control identity information as a key component in e-commerce, personalized data services, and web-based services." The new members include leading identity management, application security, mobile and wireless security, telecommunications and research companies, as well as a world-leading digital imaging, design and document technology company. Adobe Systems, joining the Liberty Alliance as a sponsor member, "plans to bring Liberty's benefits down to the document level. Working with the Liberty Alliance, Adobe will strengthen document security by adding federated identities, making it easier for businesses to employ document services for meeting compliance and regulatory mandates to protect individual privacy." IBM's decision to join the Liberty Alliance is of special significance given the company's prominent identity management software solutions, including the Tivoli Identity Manager. In June 2004 IBM announced that it had successfully passed the Liberty Alliance conformance test with support for the Liberty 1.1 standards in the Tivoli Access Manager software family. The Liberty Alliance has also announced the appointment of Donal O'Shea as the consortium's Executive Director. The Executive Director position "has been created to focus on three areas: (1) to ensure that Liberty's purpose is clearly and widely communicated; (2) to broaden Liberty's global membership; (3) to increase end-user participation in the development of future specifications and business guidelines." [Full context]

  • [October 20, 2004]   Open Standards Alliance Formed at Inaugural Meeting on Open Source and Open Standards.    A new organization called the Open Standards Alliance became active on September 14, 2004 at the close of an inaugural meeting convened under the title "Open Source, Open Standards: Maximising Utility While Managing Exposure." Organized by John Terpstra and underwritten by Sun Microsystems, the "Open Source, Open Standards" conference brought together "a team of open source experts, standardization consultants, and information and communications technology specialists to discuss practical strategies for strengthening open source growth." Some seventy-five people attended the event, where invited presentations were given by "prime movers from standards-setting organisations such as W3C, ECMA, ETSI, and OMG, along with representatives from a broad spectrum of industry, including banking and finance, software development, manufacturing, public service, government, universities, law, and representatives from key Open Source organisations such as OSSI and the Free Standards Group." According to the published conference report, "the meeting placed great importance on the necessity of collaboration between the open source software community and bodies that have a vested interest in open public standards. The meeting coalesced around Lawrence Rosen's observation that traditional IP protective measures, including licensing, are based on an underlying notion that a consumer or user is always a licensee. The Open Source paradigm challenges that traditional perception with the principle that every licensee is a potential licensor. Therefore, a successful standardisation process for Open Source software must accommodate this fact. Potential sub-licensing is the principle that lies at the heart of the value proposition that open source software provides to the end user." The Conference Wrap-Up presented by Conference Chair John H. Terpstra reinforced the notion of sub-licensing as the most significant value proposition of Open Source: sub-licensing is a key determinant and central principle. Therefore "an Open Standard must guarantee entitlement to sublicense to a new licensor under terms of original license." Conference attendees reached a consensus that "open standards are the natural concomitant of Open Source software, and a necessary preservative of the ability of organisations to use Open Source and proprietary software." The Open Standards Alliance launched at the conclusion of the conference is being constituted as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization "aimed at bridging the gap between standards bodies, software developers and software users (consumers)." Funding is being sought to create a reference base for open standards and software applications that meet the definition of "open" as determined by members in a subsequent meeting. [Full context]

  • [October 15, 2004]   W3C Releases Revised Web Services Choreography Description Language Version 1.0 (WS-CDL).    W3C has issued a second published Working Draft of Web Services Choreography Description Language Version 1.0, produced by the Web Services Choreography Working Group as part of the W3C Web Services Activity. This release is expected to be the last version before Last Call Working Draft. The Web Services Choreography Description Language (WS-CDL) is "an XML-based language that describes peer-to-peer collaborations of parties by defining, from a global viewpoint, their common and complementary observable behavior; where ordered message exchanges result in accomplishing a common business goal." The Choreography specification is motivated by a recognition that "the future of E-Business applications requires the ability to perform long-lived, peer-to-peer collaborations between the participating services, within or across the trusted domains of an organization. The Web Services Choreography specification is targeted for composing interoperable, peer-to-peer collaborations between any type of party regardless of the supporting platform or programming model used by the implementation of the hosting environment. The WS-CDL specification depends upon other W3C Recommendations, including XML 1.0, XML-Namespaces, XML-Schema 1.0, and XPath 1.0. Support for including and referencing service definitions given in WSDL 2.0 is also a normative part of the Web Services Choreography Description Language specification. Web Services Choreography Description Language as a choreography language is not an executable business process description language nor an implementation language, as a choreography language meeting the W3C model definition does not depend on a specific business process implementation language. A WS-CDL document as defined in the Web Services Choreography Description Language specification is "simply a set of definitions: each definition is a named construct that can be referenced; there is a package element at the root, and the individual Choreography type definitions inside. A WS-CDL Choreography Package aggregates a set of Choreography type definitions, provides a namespace for the definitions and through the use of XInclude, syntactically includes Choreography type definitions that are defined in other Choreography Packages." [Full context]

  • [October 13, 2004]   Open Applications Group Publishes WS-I Compliant WSDL Files for OAGIS.    An announcement from the Open Applications Group (OAGi) describes the release of a complete library of OAGIS WSDL files, including WSDL for all of the XML definitions in OAGIS Version 8.0 and in the XML Schema version of OAGIS 7.2.1. The WSDL (Web Services Definition Language) files are described as non-normative, but can be can be used with OAGIS for deployment in a Web services environment. The Open Applications Group is a "non-profit consortium focusing on best practices and processes based on XML content for eBusiness and Application Integration." The principal notion in OAGIS is the BOD (Business Object Document), supporting a common horizontal message architecture. BODs are "the business messages or business documents that are exchanged between software applications or components; between companies; across supply chains; and between supply chains. BODs are used widely for business-to-business and application-to-application integration in e-commerce, purchasing, manufacturing, logistics, human resource management, and financal services. The BOD Message Architecture is independent of the communication mechanism: it can be used with simple transport protocols such as HTTP and SMTP, but it also can be used in more complex transport protocols such as SOAP, ebXML Transport and Routing, or any other Enterprise Application integration system." The Open Applications Group Integration Specification (OAGIS) Version 8.0 release contains some 200 XML BODs, with over 300 XML schemas and over 400 example XML instances. It includes a set of example scenarios, each of which describe the choreography or business process that OAGIS maybe used. Complete with hyperlinked HTML documentation, OAGIS v8.0 adds support for long tag names, XML Schemas, XSL, and XPath. XSL (specifically XPath) is used to capture the required fields and other constraints that can be applied to the BODs; XPath is also used to apply the action of the Verb on particular Components of the Noun with in the BOD. The new WSDL distribution for OAGIS Version 8.0 is a standalone ZIP archive containing 60 WSDL files that are intended to be loaded into the main OAGIS 8.0 SP3 file system. The OAGIS 7.2.1 distribution as a zip file contains an enhanced version of the OAGIS 7.2.1 BODs in XSD format in addition to sample WSDL schemas for OAGIS 7.2.1. The OAGIS WSDL definitions are intended to conform to the WS-I Basic Profile 1.0. [Full context]

  • [October 11, 2004]   Genomic Messaging System Language (GMSL) Supports Unified Clinical and Genomic Record.    A novel use of XML is being used in IBM's Genomics Messaging System (GMS) research as part of the Integrated Medical Records (IMR) middleware project. The focus of the GMS design is the "representation, transmission, and storage of patient genomic information, particularly in the construction of the unified clinical and genomic record, and exploring the standards required. GMS is a proposed specification for an approach with an emphasis on a specific language for embedding supporting information and management functions in streams of DNA data." According to the project description from IBM Haifa Labs web site, "the core function of the GMS software is to prepare the genomic information, compress and encrypt it, transmit (or store) it, and decompress and decrypt on receipt (or recovery from storage). This core function, however, is merely the underlying data-representation structure of a larger system, which has the potential to cover many features of clinical bioinformatics. The Genomic Messaging System Language (GMSL) defines a data stream for information storage and transmission. This language "is highly condensed using Shannon-information-theoretic principles: each command and data element is represented by an 8-bit byte, including bytes that represent the bases of the DNA itself, at various optional levels of compression, down to four base pairs per byte. The language provides basic support features for annotation of the DNA by the clinical genomicist." The primary function of the Genomic Messaging System Language (GMSL), as discussed in a recent issue of the Journal of Proteome Research includes: (1) retaining content of the source clinical documents as are required, and to combine patient DNA sequences or fragments; (2) allowing the expert to add annotation to the DNA and clinical data prior to its storage or transmission; (3) enabling addition of passwords and file protections; (4) providing tools for levels of reversible and irreversible scrubbing (anonymization) of the patient ID; (5) preventing the addition of erroneous DNA and other lab data to the wrong patient record; (6) enabling several forms of compression and encryption at various levels, which can be supplemented by standard methods applied to the final files; (7) selecting methods of portrayal of the final information by the receiver, including choice of what can be seen; (8) allowing a special form of XML-compliant staggered bracketing to encode DNA and protein features which, unlike valid XML tags, can overlap." [Full context]

  • [October 08, 2004]   AMD, Dell, Intel, Microsoft, and Sun Release Web Services for Management (WS-Management).    A new Web Services for Management (WS-Management) specification edited by Alan Geller (Microsoft) has been published. This initial joint publication of the specification names Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Dell, Intel and Sun Microsystems as co-developers. The WS-Management specification describes a general SOAP-based protocol for managing systems such as PCs, servers, devices, Web services and other applications, and other manageable entities. According to Microsoft's announcement, WS-Management "reshapes the concept of distributed management. A key distributed application area is the management of systems and devices. Web services offer a strong foundation for building robust and interoperable systems management solutions. Designed to scale from small footprint controllers to enterprise class servers while maintaining security, WS-Management will help to create a common way of surfacing management-related operations and events within connected systems." Key terms in the WS-Management systems management model include a System as a top-level managed entity composed of one or more Resource Instances; a Resource Instance, also called a Resource or an Instance, is a single manageable item such as a disk drive or a running process. A Resource Service is a Web service that provides access to a single category of manageable items, such as disk drives or running processes, that share the same operations and representation schema. An Agent is application that provides management services for a System by exposing a set of Resource Services. A Manager is a Web service that is used to manage one or more Systems by sending messages to and/or receiving messages from an Agent for that System." The WS-Management specification is designed to satisfy basic requirements of systems management in terms of web services. It is intended to "(1) constrain Web services protocols and formats so Web services can be implemented in management agents with a small footprint, in both hardware and software; (2) define minimum requirements for compliance without constraining richer implementations; (3) ensure composability with other Web services specifications, such as WS-ReliableMessaging and WS-AtomicTransactions; (4) minimize additional mechanism beyond the current Web service architecture." Namespaces are declared in the WS-Management document for other WS-* specifications, including WS-MetadataExchange, WS-Addressing, WS-Eventing, WS-Enumeration, and WS-Transfer. [Full context]

  • [October 07, 2004]   W3C Announces Formation of New Web Services Addressing Working Group.    W3C has chartered a new Web Services Addressing Working Group as part of the W3C Web Services Activity, under the W3C Architecture Domain. The TC Chair is Mark Nottingham (BEA), while Hugo Haas and Philippe Le Hégaret have been designated as W3C Team Contacts. The charter extends through 28-February-2006. The goal of the new Working Group is to produce a W3C Recommendation for Web Services Addressing by "refining the W3C Member Submission WS-Addressing based on consideration of the importance of this component in the Web Services architecture, implementation experience, and interoperability feedback. WS-Addressing defines how message headers direct messages to a service or agent, provides an XML format for exchanging endpoint references, and defines mechanisms to direct replies or faults to a specific location." In particular, the Web Services Addressing Working Group has been chartered to "standardize the mechanisms for referencing and addressing Web services by refining WS-Addressing, which includes four principal components of the W3C's Web Services Architecture specification. These referencing and addressing mechanisms are (1) a means by which message headers are used to direct messages to a Web service or agent; (2) abstract message properties (message identifier; a URI for the destination address; a URI designating the action to be taken at the destination; correlation with other message[s]; the nature of the relationship with those messages) (3) an appropriate XML Infoset definition; (4) abstract properties to identify subsequent destinations in the message exchange, including the reply destination and the fault destination." The XML Infoset required for "communicating the information necessary to generate appropriate headers to direct messages to a service or an agent includes a URI designating the destination address; service specific message headers; interaction specific message headers; WSDL definitions relevant to this service; additional metadata as required." According to the WG Charter, these components "must be extensible to enable other mechanisms such as new kinds of relationships between correlated messages, policies, or service semantics to be built upon Web Services Addressing. The components must also be usable independently of the SOAP or WSDL version in use." Additionally, the WG will define SOAP 1.1 and WSDL 1.1 bindings (defined for backward compatibility only). It will define (1) a binding of all abstract message properties to SOAP 1.1 and SOAP 1.2 headers, (2) the use of these abstract message properties in the context of all WSDL 1.1 or WSDL 2.0 Message Exchange Patterns, including the asynchronous use of these MEPs; in particular, the relationship between message properties and WSDL 1.1 and WSDL 2.0 service descriptions will be provided if applicable, and (3) a security model for using and communicating these abstract properties." [Full context]

  • [October 06, 2004]   Legal Information Institute Releases Complete United States Code in XML Format.    Cornell Law School's Legal Information Institute has announced the release of a new online edition of the United States Code, including all the Federal law passed by Congress currently in force. For the first time, the project team is also releasing the underlying XML version as a dataset for use in research. The data set has been generated from the most recent official version made available by the US House of Representatives. The United States Code "is the official compilation of the Federal statutes of a general and permanent nature; by Federal statute, the Law Revision Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives is the publisher and compiler of the Code, and the Counsel is an appointee of the Speaker of the House." Thomas R. Bruce, Director of the Legal Information Institute (LII), suggests that this edition of the United States Code represents perhaps the largest body of legislation ever made available online in XML format for use by researchers interested in legal text. One of the goals of the US Code project is to stimulate interest on the part of the research community in working with legal text, and to survey the uses to which people put XML versions of legislation. According to the LII's USC Bell Code Browsing Environment User Guide, the Institite is sponsoring a "continuing effort to render the United States Code as an open-source multi-use XML data set. An important part has been to develop an environment to make the raw data, and emerging interpretations of it, as visible as possible in an analytical mode. As this is primarily a laboratory artifact, not many user friendliness features have been implemented; the emphasis has been utility for someone who knows the project." The US Code supplied to the Legal Information Institute "is marked up for typesetting; the project team uses this specialized markup to help discover the structure to motivate more generalized XML elements. In a preliminary micro-translation, the control-code based input is rendered in a quite literal readable format, which is then stored as a file with the same scope as the input (title or appendix) as well as fragmented along data-natural boundaries and rendered as static HTML for easy viewing." The U.S. Code XML data is licensed under a Creative Commons License. [Full context]

  • [October 05, 2004]   OASIS Extensible Access Control Markup Language TC Approves XACML 2.0 Specifications.    Members of the OASIS Extensible Access Control Markup Language (XACML) Technical Committee have approved several Version 2.0 documents as Committee Drafts. The approved CD documents are available for public review through November 4, 2004. The motivation behind XACML is to express the well-established ideas in the field of access- control policy (e.g., rules, policies, policy sets, subjects, decision requests, authorization decisions,) using an extension language of XML. According to the Core specification, "there is a pressing need for a common language for expressing security policy. If implemented throughout an enterprise, a common policy language allows the enterprise to manage the enforcement of all the elements of its security policy in all the components of its information systems. Managing security policy may include some or all of the following steps: writing, reviewing, testing, approving, issuing, combining, analyzing, modifying, withdrawing, retrieving and enforcing policy." The XACML specification thus "enables the use of arbitrary attributes in policies, role-based access control, security labels, time/date-based policies, indexable policies, 'deny' policies, and dynamic policies — all without requiring changes to the applications that use XACML. Adoption of XACML across vendor and product platforms should provide the opportunity for organizations to perform access and access policy audits directly across such systems." The XACML 2.0 Specification Set includes a normative subset of eleven documents, including four XML Schemas and seven prose specifications. The complete distribution for public review is a ZIP archive with sixty-some files, including non-normative formats and examples. Version 2.0 provides profiles for SAML 2.0, XML Digital Signature, Privacy Policy, Hierarchical/Multiple Resources, and Role Based Access Control (RBAC). The principal features of XACML are documented in the core Extensible Access Control Markup Language (XACML) Version 2.0 specification, supported by the Core Policy Schema and Core Context Schema. This document provides the model descriptions for data-flow, XACML context (canonical representation of a decision request and an authorization decision), and policy language (rule, policy, policy set). [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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