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Last modified: October 31, 2008
XML Daily Newslink. Friday, 31 October 2008

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

This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:
Oracle Corporation

Proposed Charter for OpenID Trust Exchange (TX) Extension Working Group
Nat Sakimura, Posting to OpenID Spec List

A "Trust Exchange (TX) Extension WG Charter" has been submitted to the OpenID Specification Council for consideration. The purpose of this Working Group is to produce a standard OpenID extension to the OpenID Authentication protocol that enables arbitrary parties to create and exchange a mutually-digitally-signed legally binding "contract". This protocol extension aims to be both broadband and mobile friendly by defining appropriate bindings for each use case. Although this specification defines one default protocol for transfering data based on the contract, the data transfer portion is intended to be pluggable so that other protocols may also be used for this purpose. The extension is not intended to be a general method for defining attributes; the scope is limited to a specific set of attributes necessary for contract semantics. The extension will also define a contract signature based on public key cryptography. When used with a digital certificate signed by a third party, the contract and signature can be used as an assertion of conformance to an applicable assurance program. It is anticipated that the "OpenID Trust Exchange Extension 1.0" (Draft 1) specification will be contributed to the Working Group. From the Abstract: "This extension to the OpenID Authentication protocol enables arbitrary parties to negotiate and create the mutually digitally signed legally binding 'contract' that include the purpose and terms of use of the data being transfered from a party to another based on this contract. The digital signagure is public key cryptography based so that it will give 'non-repudiation' in addition to 'confidentiality' and 'integrity'. Also, this protocol extension aims to be 'mobile friendly' by being very light weight on the indirect communication and most transaction happening as the direct communications. Although this specification defines one default protocol for transfering data based on the contract, the data transfer portion is intended to be pluggable so that other protocols such as OAuth or JSON can be used for this purpose. The extension will not define the general method of defining identifiers for attributes but only for a small set of bootstrapping information. Since this extension defines a public key cryptography based signing on the contract, when used with the certificate that is signed by a third party that provide the conformance to an assurance program, the contract can be used as an assertion that shows a conformance to a certain assurance program as well." Update 2008-11-13: Nat Sakimura published a modified version of the WG charter based on discussions at the Internet Identity Workshop (IIW)(November 2008); "Contract Exchange" was selected instead of "Contract Negotiation" since detailed negotiation is out of scope. The new proposed WG name was "Contract Exchange Working Group."

Alfresco Enterprise Edition 3.0 Supports Implementation of Draft CMIS
Staff, Alfresco Announcement

Alfresco Software, Inc. has announced the release of Alfresco Enterprise Edition 3.0. The latest certified build adds Alfresco Share, a new collaborative content solution, a draft implementation of CMIS specification, and Microsoft Office SharePoint Protocol support to Alfresco's innovative Enterprise Content Management (ECM) platform. Alfresco Share functionality includes a draft CMIS (Content Management Interoperability Services) specification implementation provides users with a platform for developing and testing applications. A download trial of Alfresco Enterprise Edition 3.0 is available. On September 10, 2008, Enterprise Content Management vendors EMC Corporation, IBM Corporation, and Microsoft Corporation announced the publication of Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS), distributed as a ZIP archive with four prose documents and a collection of schemas, WSDLs, and XML instances. According to the published Introduction, the CMIS standard is intended to "define a domain model and set of bindings, such as Web Service and REST/Atom that can be used by applications to work with one or more Content Management repositories/ systems. On October 06, 2008, OASIS issued a public call for participation in a new technical committee chartered to define specifications for use of Web services and Web 2.0 interfaces to enable information sharing across content management repositories from different vendors. The OASIS Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) TC will build upon the existing CMIS draft specifications. As of November 1, 2008, the CMIS technical work had received broad support through analyst opinion and declarations of interest from major companies. Some of these include Alfresco, Day Software, EMC, FatWire, IBM, Microsoft, Nuxeo, Open Text, Oracle, SAP, Saperion, and Vamosa. Early commentary from industry analysts and software engineers is positive about the value proposition in standardizing an enterprise content-centric management specification.

See also: CMIS references

IBM alphaWorks Releases CMIS Prototype for FileNet P8 Content Manager 4.0
Al Brown and Jay Brown, IBM Technology Contribution

IBM alphaWorks recently released technology that provides support for REST/Atom binding of the CMIS specification for IBM FileNet P8 Content Manager. "This technology provides support for the Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) specification that is currently being standardized at OASIS. The prototype consists of a CMIS servlet packaged as a WAR (Web Archive) file, a configuration file, and a Web services run-time environment... The prototype uses a servlet container to provide REST services expressed in the CMIS specification. The servlet translates these services at run time to Java API calls to the IBM FileNet P8 Content Manager. These calls are then remotely transferred over either EJB (Enterprise Java Bean) or WSI (Web Service Interface) transport to the P8 Content Manager. The prototype is implemented in Java and uses Java Architecture for XML Binding (JAXB) for the XML serialization and deserialization, and the P8 Java APIs for access to the native repository..." The software requires WebSphere Application Server 6.1 or (open source) Jetty 6.1.

Seven Forms of Business Process Management With JBoss jBPM
Tom Baeyens, Javalobby

From Tom Baeyens, founder and lead of JBoss jBPM, a leading open source BPM system: " This article explains Business Process Management (BPM) in terms of seven distinct use cases for JBoss jBPM. By giving more insight in those use cases, you'll get a better understanding of the different forms of BPM and workflow and when a BPM engine like jBPM makes sense in your project. We'll also highlight the specific jPDL process language features related to those use cases. The term BPM is highly overloaded and used for many different things resulting in a lot of confusion. These use cases give concrete descriptions for the different interpretations of the term BPM. The individual nature of these use cases is important. BPM software vendors often take a mix of different aspects and concerns into account when developing their products. That often results into BPM products that are suitable only for a specific purpose in a specific environment. This is in my opinion the reason why there are so many different BPM products which only serve a small niche market. It also explains why new products and standards in this space keep appearing, don't get enough momentum and then get pushed aside by yet another new product or standard... JBoss jBPM is a flexible and powerful BPM engine. In essence, BPM systems allow for execution flows to be specified graphically. A key capability of BPM systems is that processes steps can be wait states. For example in the business trip process above, nodes 'manager evaluation' and 'ticket purchase' are human tasks. When the execution of the process arrives in those nodes, the system executing the process should wait till the assigned user completes the task. From a software technical point of view that capability is a big deal. As the alternative is a bunch of methods that are linked by HTTP requests, Message Driven Beans (MDB), database triggers, task forms, etc. Even when using the most applicable architectural components available in Java today, it is still very easy to end up in a bunch of unmaintainable hooks and eyes. Using an overall business process makes it a lot easier to see and maintain the overall execution flow, even from a software technical perspective. JBoss jBPM does exactly that... Todays most known standards in the space of BPM are BPEL and BPMN. Those two standards have a completely different background... All of the seven use cases have at least a technical side. That is understandable as all the use cases here target some form of software automation at some point. And other use cases target solely technical aspects. That is why the embeddability of jBPM is so important. Monolithic BPM engines have a high treshold to be incorporated into a typical software development project. jBPM has a big focus on delivering solutions for these distinct use cases to developers in a way that is easy for them to consume and integrate into their own software development project.

See also: Boris Lublinsky's summary

Making SOA Leaner and Cleaner to Maximize Profits
Mohamad Afshar and David Chappell, ebiz Technical Article

In this article the authors discuss the difference between what you can do with SOA vs. what you should do with SOA, and what that distinction means to the bottom line. At the superficial level, SOA is somewhat green because it encourages reuse of existing capabilities as services. What about recycling? And what about reducing waste and inefficiencies? Reducing the impact on the surrounding environment and systems? A successful SOA project usually results in driving more traffic to backend systems that will need to be scaled out, taking more hardware resources not less. In some sense, a service consumer is naturally akin to a greedy consumer that hogs resources of backend systems and drives traffic through them grinding the CRM, finance applications, legacy systems and databases to the edge—a re-incarnation of the free-rider problem if you like... Taking a high level view of the application unearthed the following characteristics that lead to wasteful consumerism: (1) Multiple Calls to Legacy Systems; (2) Hitting Backend Data Stores with Constantly Updating State Information; (3) Multiple Read... All these wasteful interactions put undue stress on the backend systems. The solution to these ills is a mid-tier data caching / grid solution that enables you to save on service invocations by caching results, allowing you to manage state in the mid-tier in a scalable way. A critical part of a grid-enabled SOA environment is a mid-tier grid layer. This layer provides a JCache-compliant, in-memory, data grid solution for state data that is being used by services in a distributed service-oriented application. In a data grid-enabled, stateful service-oriented environment (one that makes use of this mid-tier caching layer), all the data objects that an application or service puts in the grid are automatically available to and accessible by all other applications and services in the grid, and none of those data objects will be lost in the event of a server failure. The key to this approach is in ensuring that a primary owner and an additional backup server always manage each piece of data. This data can be anything from simple variables to complex objects or even large XML documents... One of the questions that you may ask is how do you ensure that the cached data within the data grid is up to date, especially in cases in which a data grid front-ends a database or transactional system. You can ensure data is fresh through policy-based cache expiry rules that are defined in the data grid or use an event-driven mechanism in which changes to data are propagated to the data grid at the same time as they are pushed through to backend databases... What's the big deal with data grids? The data grid simultaneously provides performance, scalability and reliability to in-memory data.

Hierarchy Extensions to Atom Feeds
Colm Divilly and Nikunj Mehta (eds), Proposed IETF Internet Draft

An initial [private] draft of a personal I-D has been published for "Hierarchy Extensions to Atom Feeds." This specification defines a mechanism to create and remove AtomPub collections using the AtomPub protocol as well as to express hierarchies of feeds within the Atom Syndication Format. Many applications provide their data in the form of syndicated Web feeds using formats such as Atom (RFC 4287 = Nottingham, M., Ed. and R. Sayre, Ed., The Atom Syndication Format, December 2005) in order to enable application integration. Applications may also manipulate the contents of these data feeds using protocols such as AtomPub (RFC 5023 = Gregorio, J. and B. de hOra, The Atom Publishing Protocol, October 2007). A key requirement for application data feeds is the ability to dynamically create new Collections and identify relationships among such feeds and Collections. This specification defines a mechanism for identifying hierarchical master-detail relations among data feeds so that consumer applications can perfrom standard AtomPub operations on them. A hierarchical master-detail relation of an Entry to a Feed implies the detail Feed is created when the master Entry is created and the Feed is removed when the Entry is removed. The Entry is called the "master entry" and the Feed is called "detail feed". This relationship allows a client to use AtomPub to create a new Collection by posting an Entry to an existing Collection..." Editors' note: "We'd like to discuss the draft below that introduces extensions for Atom and AtomPub to deal with hierarchies of feeds and the programmatic creation and removal of AtomPub Collections. This draft defines a mechanism for identifying hierarchical master-detail relations among data feeds so that consumer applications can perform standard AtomPub operations on them. A hierarchical master-detail relation of an Entry to a Feed implies the detail Feed is created when the master Entry is created and the Feed is removed when the Entry is removed. The Entry is called the 'master entry' and the Feed is called 'detail feed'. This relationship allows a client to use AtomPub to create a new Collection by posting an Entry to an existing Collection..."

See also: Atom Publishing Format and Protocol


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