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Last modified: February 21, 2008
XML Daily Newslink. Thursday, 21 February 2008

A Cover Pages Publication
Provided by OASIS and Sponsor Members
Edited by Robin Cover

This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:

W3C Publishes SKOS Simple Knowledge Organization System Primer
Antoine Isaac and Ed Summers (eds), W3C Technical Report

Members of the W3C Semantic Web Deployment Working Group have published the First Public Working Draft for the "SKOS Simple Knowledge Organization System Primer." SKOS provides a model for expressing the basic structure and content of concept schemes such as thesauri, classification schemes, subject heading lists, taxonomies, folksonomies, and other types of controlled vocabulary. SKOS has been designed to provide a low-cost migration path for porting existing organization systems to the Semantic Web. SKOS also provides a light weight, intuitive conceptual modeling language for developing and sharing new KOSs. It can be used on its own, or in combination with more formal languages like the Web Ontology Language (OWL). SKOS can also be seen as a bridging technology, providing the missing link between the rigorous logical formalism of ontology languages such as OWL and the chaotic, informal and weakly-structured world of social approaches to information management, as exemplified by social tagging applications. In the library and information sciences, a long and distinguished heritage is devoted to developing tools for organizing large collections of objects such as books or museum artifacts. These tools are known generally as "knowledge organization systems" (KOS) or sometimes "controlled structured vocabularies", although no widely agreed definitions exist for these terms. The situation is complicated because several similar yet distinct traditions have emerged over time, each supported by a distinct community of practice and set of agreed standards. Different families of knowledge organization systems, including "thesauri", "classification schemes", "subject heading systems", and "taxonomies" are widely recognized and applied in both modern and traditional information systems. In practice it can be hard to draw an absolute distinction between "thesauri" and "classification schemes" or "taxonomies." SKOS aims to provide a bridge between different communities of practice within the library and information sciences involved in the design and application of knowledge organization systems. In addition, SKOS aims to provide a bridge between these communities and the Semantic Web, by transferring existing models of knowledge organization to the Semantic Web technology context, and by providing a low-cost migration path for porting existing knowledge organization systems to RDF.

See also: the SKOS Simple Knowledge Organization System Reference

Developing RESTful Web Services in Perl
Andrew Sterling Hanenkamp, O'Reilly

REST (Representational State Transfer) is a software architecture originally published by Roy Fielding in his dissertation. More specifically, this term has been used to define web service APIs for the management of resources that may be created, read, updated, and deleted (CRUD) over HTTP. This is the focus of this article... A resource in a RESTful web service is just some unit of data useful to your site. This is probably a record in your SQL database, but it could be an account on an LDAP server, a segment of an XML data file, or just about any other unit of data you want to share with others. The sample server, for example, will be reading from and writing to files on the disk... Essentially, there are three key concepts to REST: nouns, verbs, and content types. A noun is an identifier for a resource. This is generally a URL (link to GET the resource) when we talk about REST in HTTP. It might also be a URN (a name for a resource that can be used via HTTP or something else to identify the resource) or another kind of URI (URLs and URNs are often URIs when used as REST nouns). You probably want nouns that uniquely identify (a URI: Unique Resource Identifier) your resource or at least one noun that uniquely identifies the resource... CRUD is an acronym referring to the common changes made to data: Create, Read, Update, and Delete. This set of operations generally encompasses everything that can be done to a piece of data. In REST nomenclature, these are called the verbs of the architecture... The final piece of the triangle is the content type of your resources. The content types provide the format for the data that will take part in your RESTful discussion. You will specify these with the "Content-Type" header in the requests (client-side) and responses (server-side). If you are exchanging organized data, like the sample server and client included with this article, you will probably want a data interchange format like XML, YAML, JSON, or CSV. If your application deals with documents, you will probably want to use a document format related to that, such as HTML, DocBook, SGML, ODF, PDF, PostScript, etc. Your application might manipulate photos (JPG, PNG, BMP) or calendar information (iCal) or categorized links (OPML) or whatever else. You can use microformats or whatever you happen to like...

Healthvault Asks the Questions While Google Goes Beta
Dana Blankenhorn, ZDNet Blog

Microsoft is way ahead of Google in asking the questions which need answering before either company can demand everyone's health records. Over the last week Microsoft has put out specific promises on privacy and interoperability for the community to review... The privacy claims have already drawn a rebuttal from Fred Trotter. The interoperability claims, made by HealthVault chief architect Sean Nolan on his blog, will also be subject to sharp questioning. So far, Microsoft has put its HealthVault XML interface protocols under the Microsoft Open Specification Promise (OSP) and new HealthVault platform open source projects on its CodePlex system. These are all substantive moves which can be tested, critiqued, and implemented by other vendors. Google, meanwhile, has basically gone beta. The Cleveland Clinic will link to Google Health and try to interoperate with it. The pilot project is drawing more media attention than any of Microsoft's moves in this area have so far. One can argue that this is just how the two companies roll. Microsoft masters each step of the process methodically before delivering a product to market. Google throws something on a Web site and, like Tom Sawyer, lets its friends whitewash the fence. In the context of the medical market, however, Microsoft's process seems more reasonable. This is less about gaining the trust of consumers than it is about winning over doctors, hospitals, and payment processors. So far, advantage Microsoft.

See also: XML Standards in Healthcare

Oracle Unveils New Release of Oracle Identity Manager
Staff, Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Journal

Oracle has announced the immediate availability of a new release of Oracle Identity Manager. The latest release of Oracle Identity Manager addresses a number of growing concerns that organizations have regarding compliance and the time it takes to complete an audit with several new features... WS-SPML 2.0 Inbound Gateway is an industry standard based interface that enables rapid integration across heterogeneous environments, helping to accelerate deployment. Serving as the security backbone for Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle Identity Management helps customers and partners decrease security threats across diverse IT environments while helping address governance, risk and compliance needs. Oracle Identity Management was the market's fastest growing suite of Identity Management products in 2006, based on total software revenues worldwide. Oracle Identity Management's support of industry standards such as WS*, XACML, SAML, and SPML helps enable customers and partners to more easily integrate applications with the framework. The family of best-in-class software includes Oracle Identity Manager, Oracle Access Manager, Oracle Adaptive Access Manager, Oracle Enterprise Single Sign-On Suite, Oracle Identity Federation, Oracle Virtual Directory, Oracle Internet Directory, Oracle Management Pack for Identity Management and Oracle Web Services Manager; all of which can be used in its entirety or as individual components.

See also: the Oracle Identity Management Resource Library

Microsoft Announces New interoperability Principles and Actions
Staff, Microsoft Announcement

A Microsoft press conference that included Steve Ballmer, Ray Ozzie, Bob Muglia, Brad Smith, four new interoperability principles were announced that will apply to the company's high volume products: "Number one, we're committing to ensure open connections for our high volume products. Number two, we're committing to promote data portability for our high volume products. Number three, we're committing to enhancing Microsoft's support for industry standards. And four, we're committing to fostering a more open engagement with industry, as well as the open source software community." In the area of open connections "we will document all of the APIs and communication protocols that are used by other Microsoft products. We're announcing that developers will not need to take a license, or pay a royalty, or other fee to access any of that information. As an immediate first step to apply the principles today we're publishing to the Web over 30,000 pages of documentation for Windows client and server protocols that were previously available only under a 4D trade secret license. In addition, protocol documents for additional products like Office 2007 will be published in the upcoming months. Second, in the area of data portability, we recognize that different users definitely support different file formats for different reasons. And we have consistently supported multiple file formats and user choice. But, as part of today's announcement specifically, we're announcing that we're designing new APIs for Word, Excel and PowerPoint that will allow developers to plug in additional document formats, and enable users to set those formats as their default for saving documents. In the area of standards, we're also going to document how we support various standards, including documentation of extensions we make to the standards. This should allow developers to understand how a standard is used in a Microsoft product and foster improved interoperability for our customers."

See also: the InfoWorld analysis


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