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Last modified: June 21, 2010
XML Daily Newslink. Monday, 21 June 2010

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

This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:
ISIS Papyrus

Revised Draft: iCalendar Message-Based Interoperability Protocol (iMIP)
Alexey Melnikov (ed), IETF Internet Draft

A revised version -09 of the IETF Standard Track specification iCalendar Message-Based Interoperability Protocol (iMIP) has been published for review. The iCalendar standard (Internet Calendaring and Scheduling Core Object Specification) defines a data format for representing and exchanging calendaring and scheduling information such as events, to-dos, journal entries, and free/busy information, independent of any particular calendar service or protocol. It allows for the capture and exchange of information normally stored within a calendaring and scheduling application; such as a Personal Information Manager (PIM) or a Group-Scheduling product. The iCalendar format is suitable as an exchange format between applications or systems.

The companion iMIP specification (iCalendar Message-Based Interoperability Protocol) defines a binding from the iCalendar Transport-independent Interoperability Protocol (iTIP) to Internet email-based transports. Calendaring entries defined by the iCalendar Object Model (iCalendar) are wrapped using constructs from RFC 5322, RFC 2045, RFC 2046, RFC 2047 and RFC 2049, and then transported over SMTP.

The IETF Calsify working group was chartered "to: (1) Revise the Calendaring and Scheduling Standards to advance the state of interoperable calendaring and scheduling by addressing the known interoperability issues, errata, and problems found based on implementation experience; (2) Clarify the registration process for iCalendar extensions (i.e., the current core object specification only provides a template to register new properties); (3) Provide a means to ease transition from, and to co-exist with, the earlier iCalendar standards to the new ones..."

A parallel effort is dedicated to the creation of an XML format for iCalendar data. The Internet Draft "xCal: The XML format for iCalendar" provides for iCalendar data conversion to XML, and then back to iCalendar, without losing any semantic meaning in the data. Anyone creating XML calendar data according to this specification will know that their data can be converted to a valid iCalendar representation as well.

See also: the xCal Internet Draft

Apache Xerces-J v2.10.0 Supports XML Schema 1.1 Structures and Datatypes
Michael Glavassevich, Apache Xerces Project Announcement

Members of the The Apache Xerces Development Team have announced the Version 2.10.0 release of the Xerces2 XML Parser from the Apache XML Project. Xerces2 is "the next generation of high performance, fully compliant XML parsers in the Apache Xerces family. This new version of Xerces introduces the Xerces Native Interface (XNI), a complete framework for building parser components and configurations that is extremely modular and easy to program...

This release introduces experimental support for the XML Schema 1.1 Structures and Datatypes, December 2009 W3C Working Drafts. It also contains an implementation of the parser related portions of JAXP 1.4, including partial support for StAX 1.0 ( only) and a complete implementation of the DOM Element Traversal API. It contains fixes for several bugs which were present in Xerces-J 2.9.1, as well as a few other enhancements and performance improvements. It implements a property for starting schema assessment from a specific element declaration and enhanced the existing property for starting schema assessment from a type definition to accept a 'javax.xml.namespace.QName' as a value. This version adds a property for specifying the locale to use when reporting error and warning messages, adds support for matching multi-digit back references in regular expressions, and adds a method to the ItemPSVI interface in the XML Schema API to expose error messages corresponding to the error codes that were already available in the PSVI...

Xerces2 also provides a complete implementation of the Document Object Model Level 3 Core and Load/Save W3C Recommendations and provides a complete implementation of the XML Inclusions (XInclude) W3C Recommendation. It also provides support for OASIS XML Catalogs v1.1.

Xerces2 is able to parse documents written according to the XML 1.1 Recommendation, except that it does not yet provide an option to enable normalization checking as described in section 2.13 of that specification. It also handles namespaces according to the XML Namespaces 1.1 Recommendation, and will correctly serialize XML 1.1 documents if the DOM level 3 load/save APIs are in use...."

See also: the Apache Xerces2 Java Parser web site

Last Call Review: SRV Records for Locating CalDAV and CardDAV Services
Cyrus Daboo (ed), IETF Internet Draft

On June 18, 2010, the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) acknowledged receipt of a request to consider Use of SRV Records for Locating CalDAV and CardDAV Services [draft-daboo-srv-caldav-05.txt] as an IETF Proposed Standard. The IESG plans to make a decision in the next few weeks, and solicits final comments on this action. Please send substantive comments to the IETF mailing lists by 2010-07-16. The specification describes how SRV records and well-known URIs can be used to locate Calendaring Extensions to WebDAV (CalDAV) or vCard Extensions to WebDAV (CardDAV) services.

From the document Introduction: "IETF RFC 4791 defines the CalDAV Calendar Access protocol, based on HTTP, for accessing calendar data stored on a server. CalDAV clients need to be able to discover appropriate CalDAV servers within their local area network and at other domains, e.g., to minimize the need for end users to know specific details such as the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) and port for their servers. The Internet Draft 'vCard Extensions to WebDAV (CardDAV)' defines the CardDAV vCard Access protocol based on HTTP, for accessing contact data stored on a server. As with CalDAV, clients also need to be able to discover CardDAV servers. RFC 2782 defines a DNS-based service discovery protocol that has been widely adopted as a means of locating particular services within a local area network and beyond, using DNS SRV Resource Records (RRs).

This specification defines new SRV service types for the CalDAV protocol, and gives an example of how clients can use this together with other protocol features to enable simple client configuration. SRV service types for CardDAV are already defined in Section 11 of 'vCard Extensions to WebDAV (CardDAV)'...

Another issue with CalDAV or CardDAV service discovery is that the service may not be located at the 'root' URI of the HTTP server hosting it. SRV RRs by themselves only provide a FQDN and port for the service, not a path. Since the client 'bootstrapping' process requires initial access to the 'context path' of the service, there needs to be a simple way for clients to also discover what that path is... This specification makes use of the 'well known URI' feature of HTTP servers (RFC 5785) to provide a well known URI for CalDAV or CardDAV services that clients can make use of. The well known URI will point to a resource on the server that might be the actual 'context path' of the CalDAV or CardDAV service, or it might simply be a 'stub' resource that provides a redirect to the actual 'context path'..."

See also: the vCard Extensions to WebDAV (CardDAV) specification

The Future of Cloud Connectivity for Building Automation Systems (BAS)
Nirosha Munasinghe,

"Cloud computing has the potential to be the next major driver of business innovation across all industries allowing more dynamic, resilient and cost effective information technology systems to organizations. Over the last few years the concept of cloud computing has gain widespread of interest in research institutions and businesses to debate the implications to formulate a path to use the technology as a business enabler to gain competitive advantages for organizations. However, as with any technology it is difficult to distinct the reality from the hype to form a clear strategy to capitalize on the technology...

The building automation industry has generally been a slow player when adopting new technology. Over the decade emergence of open system protocols such as BACnet and LonWorks and worldwide emphasis on energy management and sustainability, the rate of adoption of new technology and rate of continual improvement by BMS vendors has increased dramatically. Most vendors are using web technology and open system architecture to integrate and converge with IT networks to create new features at a more cost effective and time efficient manner. The paper analyses the basic concepts of cloud computing, the implications it has in the BAS value chain in manufactures, system integrators and end user and an example to outline the operation of cloud in the BAS market.

The cloud computing concept must be driven by the BAS manufacturers. The manufacturers must begin to transform their current software applications into a fully web enabled architecture. The implication for the manufacturers is the investment in the R&D process to transform their existing products into a fully web enabled model... The system integrators benefits from cloud computing from cost reduction in application support and more opportunity to integrate with other business services to provide turnkey solutions to the end customer... In a cloud computing environment, the controls networks is installed at each branch and one instance of software with a database installed at one location, which saves real estate and power consumption. The executives and facility managers accesses the required data from web browser from their local destination.

The cloud computing model benefits BAS manufactures, system integrators and end customers to streamline their current business models and open up new ventures. However, the BAS industry must be proactive in developing strategies to manage the model change and not fall behind other industries during the transition period..."

See also: Building Automation and Control Networks (BACnet)

WatchGuard Launches Cloud-Based Security for Reputation Enabled Defense
Staff, WatchGuard Technologies Announcement

"WatchGuard Technologies has announced the launch of Reputation Enabled Defense—an innovative cloud-based security services solution for web security. Coupled with WatchGuard XTM or XCS security appliances, Reputation Enabled Defense gives businesses and their employees superior protection against viruses, malware, spyware, keyloggers, botnets and other web-based threats, in addition to faster, more productive web surfing experiences.

The WatchGuard Reputation Enabled Defense delivers highly secure web browsing experiences via a cloud-based reputation lookup that scores URLs as either good, bad or unknown. The lookup leverages a dynamic global database that aggregates data from multiple feeds, including industry-leading anti-virus engines. URLs with bad reputations are immediately blocked. URLs with unknown reputations are scanned by WatchGuard XTM or XCS appliances to ensure that they are malware free, and URLs with good reputations are accelerated through the WatchGuard appliances.

This significantly boosts web traffic performance over the network while keeping employees safe from drive-by-downloads and other web-based attacks. WatchGuard gives administrators the ability to configure reputation thresholds, which allows businesses to optimize and control IT risk management... Up to 50 percent of URL scanning can be avoided without compromising security, resulting in greater throughput at the gateway and more efficient use of appliance resources..."

Note: related technical work may be found in the IETF Internet Draft for Reputation Reporting Protocol which specifies a protocol for reporting various events associated with IP addresses; these events can be collected and aggregated to form a database containing information about the reputation of IP addresses... Several organizations (Project Honeypot, Spamhaus, RepuScore, etc.) maintain databases detailing the reputation of various IP address. These organizations use various ad hoc methods to collect the reputation data. There is no standard for reporting events to reputation-collectors; this makes it hard to instrument a large number of systems to be data gatherers in a standard way. This draft proposes a standard for reporting events back to a reputation-collecting system. A standard way to report events will make it easy to instrument systems to collect data and report it to one or more reputation-collection systems..."

See also: the IETF Reputation Reporting Protocol draft

SIP APIs for Communications on the Web
Henry Sinnreich and Alan Johnston (eds), IETF Internet Draft

Members of the IETF Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Working Group have published a specification SIP APIs for Communications on the Web. The document describes "a standards based approach to enable web based interactive multimedia communications. Only two standard application layer protocols are required: HTTP for signaling data communications such as in SIP and/or XMPP and UDP for real time media transport. The specification considers replacing SDP with metadata about media, displays, and user controls...

The proposed SIP API does not necessarily require SIP protocol expertise by web developers for basic multimedia communications though it can be extended to port complex VoIP services to the web. The SIP API can also support the transition from network infrastructure based VoIP to rich web based communications. The benefits of the formal REST architecture of the web are extended to real time communications."

From the Introduction: 'Rich Internet Applications (RIA) are based on data only and until now could not support real-time communications, since two protocols are required for interactive voice, video and other interactive applications such as games... This memo is motivated by the following objectives: (1) Enabling rich multimedia communications on the web; (2) Support of familiar tools for web developers, without requiring SIP protocol expertise; (3) Extensibility for support of complex VoIP applications; (4) Design for interoperability with and migration from network based VoIP...

After porting SIP transport to HTTP, the problem remains how to preserve the core SIP request-response messages as a standard and still avoid a dedicated network application layer protocol or extensions. It is well known that platform dependent APIs are not as long lived as protocols are. The answer consists in porting the main SIP 2.0 request-response messages to XML scripts that replicate the SIP 2.0 messages in basic call flows. The resulting SIP XML scripts will be available under a registered XML name space. All Web development tools can work with XML documents and as mentioned there is support for XML scripts in the emerging HTML5 standard. The mapping of SIP 2.0 request-response messages to XML scripts represent a trivial way for building gateway functions that can reside either in RIA user agents (UA) or in Web feature servers. XML scripts can be built using existing, well-deployed SIP call flows. This is incidentally also a more appropriate method for making SIP an 'extensible' protocol; since entities that desire extended functionality can easily define their own private namespaces for other XML based SIP messages, without burdening the proposed base for the core SIP API for a RIA interoperability best practice..."

See also: the IETF Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Working Group

Oracle BPM Upgrades Look to Boost Project Simplicity, Effectiveness
Vance McCarthy, Enterprise Developer News

"Oracle's just-announced Business Process Management Suite 11g aims to simplify and improve effectiveness of enterprise-wide BPM projects with key upgrades. Oracle BPM Suite 11g sports a unified process foundation, a user-centric design and collaboration tools to put IT and business stakeholders on the same page...

Notably, for CIOs and IT architects working on BPM projects, Oracle BPM Suite 11g's unified process foundation aims to leverage core SOA-based architecture features to simplify BPM lifecycle tasks, including process development, deployment, monitoring and execution..."

According to the Oracle announcement: "Unified process foundation of Oracle Business Process Management Suite 11g simplifies process development, deployment, monitoring and execution. New components include a Unified process engine which executes BPEL and BPMN 2.0 processes, human workflow and rules, and is integrated with Oracle SOA Suite, Oracle Business Activity Monitoring and Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition Plus. Oracle Universal Content Management is included for document-centric processes. End-to-end management unifies the management and monitoring of business processes to extend problem management beyond the process boundary...

Oracle Business Process Management Suite 11g delivers a user-centric design approach, simplifying the process management lifecycle with tools that address user role requirements and enable both IT and business process participants. Key components include: (1) BPM Studio: for role-based modeling and design; (2) Process Composer: for web-based process modeling and deployment; (3) Process analysis and reporting: for business visibility, process status and operational reporting; (4) A single 'What-you-see-is-what-you-execute' process model: supports the entire BPM lifecycle and eliminates synchronization problems between process design, simulation, execution and monitoring..."

See also: the Oracle announcement


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