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Last modified: November 17, 2010
XML Daily Newslink. Wednesday, 17 November 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

OASIS Public Review: Energy Market Information Exchange (EMIX) Version 1.0
Toby Considine (ed), OASIS TC Public Review Draft

Members of the OASIS Energy Market Information Exchange (eMIX) Technical Committee have released an approved Committee Specification of Energy Market Information Exchange (EMIX) Version 1.0 for public review through December 17, 2010. This OASIS TC was chartered to define information models for exchanging prices and product definitions in energy markets, where characteristics of energy, such as quantity and units, generation source, carbon trading or tracing, power quality and reliability, and the schedule on which energy is available constitute information needed to make decisions in a market. This document was prepared in response the the NIST SMart Grid Roadmap and the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) Prioirity Action Plan 03 (PAP03). It is based upon WS-Calendar for the common communication of time and schedule (PAP04) and is used extensively in Energy Interoperation (PAP09). The eMIX TC welcomes interested parties to join the TC as it continues to further development of its specifications.

Overview: "Energy markets have been characterized by tariffs and embedded knowledge that make decision automation difficult. Smart grids introduce rapidly changing products and product availability, with associated dynamic prices. Lack of standardized of messages conveying market information has been a barrier to development and deployment of technology to respond to changing market circumstances. Price and product definition are actionable information. When presented with standard messages conveying price and product, automated systems can make decisions to optimize energy and economic results.

In regulated electricity markets, price and products often are defined by complex tariffs, derived through political processes. These tariffs convey the price and product information to making buying and selling decisions easier. The same information can be derived from market operations in non-tariffed markets.

EMIX defines the information for use in messages that convey this actionable information. An essential distinction between energy and other markets is that price is strongly influenced by time of delivery. Energy for sale at 2:00 AM, when energy use is low, is not the same product as energy for sale at the same location at 2:00 PM, during the working day. EMIX conveys time and interval by incorporating WS-Calendar into tenders, contracts, and performance calls. Not all market information is available in real time. Present day markets, particularly wholesale markets, may have deferred charges (e.g. balancing charges) that cannot be determined at point of sale. Other markets may require additional purchases to allow the use of the energy purchased (e.g. same-time transmission rights or pipeline fees when accepting delivery on a forward contract). EMIX is useful for representing available price and product information..."

See also: the OASIS announcement      [TOC]

UBL and Disruptive Innovation: Out-of-the-box Business XML
Hugh Chatfield, IBM developerWorks

"All companies typically have to set up a supply chain and manage it. A company usually has to buy goods and services from suppliers to carry out their business. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of applications to assist in this process. Many of these applications support electronic invoices and other business documents, and some may even support XML, but most of the business documents exchanged between companies are still paper-based.

The OASIS Universal Business Language (UBL), an XML-based technology (not an application) is designed to plug into existing business, legal, auditing, and record management practices. In this article, we examine UBL to illustrate its usefulness, and explore how emerging UBL services in this problem domain can be a disruptive innovation.

UBL is an XML markup language aimed at business documents being exchanged between companies on the Internet. The UBL effort is meant to fuel global e-commerce by simplifying the currently paper intensive exchange of business information. UBL 2.0 defines an open, royalty-free library of thirty-one (31) standard electronic XML business documents such as purchase orders, invoices, and dozens of other standard business documents that can be used globally. UBL 2.1 (in development) has over 60 documents. UBL's design objective is to plug directly into existing business, legal, auditing, and records management practices, to eliminate the re-keying of data in existing fax and paper-based supply chains, and to provide an entry point into electronic commerce for small and medium-sized businesses.

UBL is built on existing standards. For example, UBL uses the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) Core Components as defined in Part 8 of the Core Components Technical Specification. This specification defines a Core Component solution as 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. A core component is a semantic building block that can be used for all aspects of data and information modelling and exchange. Core components are the linchpin for creating interoperable business process models and business documents. Core components are conceptual in nature and are used for creating context-specific Business Information Entities (BIEs)..."

See also: the OASIS Universal Business Language (UBL) TC      [TOC]

W3C Last Call Review for WOFF File Format 1.0
Jonathan Kew, Tal Leming, Erik van Blokland (eds), W3C Technical Report

A Last Call Working Draft has been published for the WOFF File Format 1.0 specification, with invitation for public feedback through 14-December-2010. The document was developed by members of the W3C WebFonts Working Group, who expect to advance this Working Draft to Recommendation Status. A complete list of changes to this document relative to the previous publication is available online. This version of the document contains editorial changes and clarifications to the First Public Working Draft, and a new Media Type appendix. It was initially developed by contributors to the public mailing list. After trial implementation, it became the WOFF Submission and is being further developed at W3C.

Specification overview: "This document specifies a simple compressed file format for fonts, designed primarily for use on the Web and known as WOFF (Web Open Font Format). Despite this name, WOFF should be regarded as a container format or "wrapper" for font data in already-existing formats rather than an actual font format in its own right. The WOFF format is a container for the table-based sfnt structure used in e.g., TrueType, OpenType. and Open Font Format fonts, hereafter referred to as 'sfnt fonts'. A WOFF file is simply a repackaged version of a sfnt font with optional compression of the font data tables. The WOFF file format also allows font metadata and private-use data to be included separately from the font data. WOFF encoding tools convert an input sfnt font into a WOFF formatted file, and user agents restore the sfnt font data for use with a Web document.

The structure and contents of decoded font data exactly match those of a well-formed input font file. Tools producing WOFF files may provide other font editing features such as glyph subsetting, validation or font feature additions but these are considered outside the scope of this format. Independent of these features, both tools and user agents are expected to assure that the validity of the underlying font data is preserved.

The primary purpose of the WOFF format is to package fonts linked to Web documents by means of CSS @font-face rules. When using such fonts, user agents MUST implement a 'same-origin restriction' on the downloading of WOFF files using the same-origin matching algorithm described in the HTML5 specification. The origin of the stylesheet containing '@font-face' declarations is not used when deciding whether a WOFF file is same-origin or not, only the origin of containing document is used. User agents must also implement the ability to relax this restriction using Cross-Origin Resource Sharing. Thus, sites can explicitly allow cross-site downloading of WOFF files using the Access-Control-Allow-Origin HTTP header..."

See also: the initial W3C Member Submission      [TOC]

Open Geospatial Consortium Forms Publish/Subscribe Standards Working Group
Staff, OGC Announcement

"The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) has announced the formation of an OGC Web Services (OWS) Publish/Subscribe (PubSub) Standards Working Group (SWG). In many geospatial applications it is important to provide notification of events such as a sensor reading falling below a certain threshold or new data becoming available at a service. Often the events need to be known as soon as possible—for example in emergency management, early warning and monitoring applications. In these cases it is useful if clients can subscribe to a service that automatically sends a notice when an event of interest occurs.

Event publication and subscription has been the subject of considerable investigation in OGC testbeds, interoperability experiments and committee discussions. Various use cases have been studied that require the combination of OGC Web Service (OWS) standards and Information Technology (IT) standards that support publish/subscribe service functionality, such as OASIS Web Services Notification (WS-N) and ATOM.

Building upon a considerable body of experience and familiarity with the work that has been ongoing in other standards development organizations, the OWS PubSub SWG will develop an OGC standard that supports requirements for publication of and subscription to events in systems that implement OWS standards. The new OGC PubSub standard will define how established IT standards are to be used to enable publish/subscribe functionality in OGC services.

Project Charter Members include: International Geospatial Services Institute (iGSI) GmbH, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Spot Image, University of Muenster - Institute for Geoinformatics (IfGI), Spacebel s.a., Botts Innovative Research Inc. (BIRI), METEO-FRANCE, UK Met Office, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, CubeWerx Inc., Galdos Systems Inc., and Northrop Grumman Corporation... The OGC is an international consortium of more than 400 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards. OGC Standards support interoperable solutions that 'geo-enable' the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. OGC Standards empower technology developers to make geospatial information and services useful with any application that needs to be geospatially enabled..."

See also: the OASIS Web Services Base Notification specification      [TOC]

Java Web Services: Understanding WS-Policy
Dennis Sosnoski, IBM developerWorks

"WS-Policy provides a general structure for configuring features and options that apply to a web service. You've seen it used for WS-Security configurations in this series, and perhaps elsewhere for other extension technologies such as WS-ReliableMessaging. In this article, we explain the structure of WS-Policy documents and the ways you can attach policies to services in Web Service Description Language (WSDL), with security-configuration examples tried on Apache Axis2, Metro, and Apache CXF." [Apache CXF is "an open source services framework that helps you build and develop services using frontend programming APIs, like JAX-WS and JAX-RS. These services can speak a variety of protocols such as SOAP, XML/HTTP, RESTful HTTP, or CORBA and work over a variety of transports such as HTTP, JMS or JBI."]

"WS-Policy defines a simple XML structure consisting of four different elements and a pair of attributes. These elements and attributes, as interpreted by WS-Policy, provide a way to organize and combine policy assertions of any level of complexity. To define the actual assertions that make up a policy, you use domain-specific extensions such as WS-SecurityPolicy, rather than WS-Policy per se.

For convenience, WS-Policy defines both a normal-form expression of a policy and a set of rules you can use to create more-compact policy expressions. The normal form can be somewhat verbose, so (despite the WS-Policy recommendation stating that "the normal form of a policy expression should be used where practical") most writers of policy documents tend to use at least some portions of the compact-expression rules to make the documents more human-friendly... The normal-form expression of a policy can be lengthy, especially if it involves nested alternatives. WS-Policy defines options you can use to create policy expressions that are more concise than the normal form permits, making the policies easier for humans to understand...

External policies can be especially useful for SOA-type environments, where a set of common policies can be set up for use throughout the organization and each service can reference the policies appropriate to its needs. Even though this feature is not supported at present by all the open source Java web services stacks (with only Apache CXF handling it properly), larger organizations may wish to make use of the feature anyway and restrict web service implementations to using one of the stacks (whether open source or commercial) that supports it. You may also be able to get the same effect by other means, such as by the use of WSDL includes..."

See also: the Apache CXF Open-Source Services Framework      [TOC]

Asia Cloud Computing Association Formed to Drive Industry Collaboration
Staff, Asia Cloud Forum Announcement

"APAC-based open collaboration forum Asia Cloud Computing Association (Asia Cloud) was formed yesterday, with the aim to address issues and challenges of cloud computing in the region. The not-for-profit and vendor-neutral organization aims to address imminent issues related to cloud computing, including privacy and security concerns, compliance and regulatory mandates, licensing models, service levels, and other market risks.

Asia Cloud will evaluate global cloud standards produced by other industry associations and determine which can be adapted or advocated regionally. Initial working groups include those for public policy and regulatory issues, security, taxonomy, and carrier-grade applications.

Anticipated deliverables for 2011 include best practices, a cloud-readiness index, development of a taxonomy, and the establishment of formal relationships with other organizations in cloud computing. Founding members of Asia Cloud include Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco Systems, EMC Corporation, Microsoft, NetApp, Nokia Siemens Networks, PLDT/Smart, Rackspace, Reach, Telenor, and Verizon Business...

Within Asia Cloud, working groups address the most pressing issues. These currently include: (1) Public Policy and Regulatory Working Group, which will work to ensure that the interests of the cloud computing industry are represented and to contribute to public policy. (2) Security Working Group, formed to develop and promote cloud-friendly security governance and best practices to enterprises and policymakers. (3) Taxonomy Working Group, designed to support standardization and to develop a cloud computing framework. (4) Carrier-Grade Cloud Group, whose members will identify and promote requirements for cloud computing solutions for carrier-grade applications..."

See also: Asia Cloud      [TOC]

DASH7 Alliance Launches DNA Initiative for Standardized Network Interface
Staff, DASH7 Alliance Announcement

"The DASH7 Alliance has launched the DASH7 Network Access (DNA) initiative to create a standardized interface to communicate with DASH7 devices from any application or cloud computing platform. DASH7 DNA will allow software vendors to leverage existing code developed for passive RFID readers and expand their capabilities to include DASH7 events. With DNA, software developers and systems integrators will add connectivity to DASH7 devices faster and more cheaply than ever before.

Products with DASH7 wireless sensor networking capability simplify the way we connect wirelessly with the people, places and things around us. Operating in the license-free 433.92 MHz spectrum, DASH7 offers multi-kilometer range, multi-year battery life, sensor and security support, as well as tag-to-tag communications. DASH7 is the brand given to the ISO 18000-7 standard for active RFID similar to the use of the WiFi brand for IEEE 802.11 communications. Encryption over-the-air or within the tag is not currently part of ISO/IEC 18000-7, but DASH7 will address encryption. Due to the power of modern silicon, both private key (i.e. AES 128) and public key (i.e. ECC, RSA) techniques are viable options.

DASH7 is an aggressively low power RF technology-set best suited to uses that have bursty, asynchronous communication between devices. In other words, you go in, you get the data you need, and you get out. Examples of DASH7 applications include supply chain management, inventory/yard management, manufacturing and warehouse optimization, hazardous material monitoring, self-replicating light data networks. The goal of DASH7 technology is to be simple, elegant and reliable for handling bursty, light-data, asynchronous, transient usage models. We call this 'BLAST' and it means that DASH7 is tightly tuned for dealing with inherently mobile devices that need to upload small bits of information reliably. However, DASH7 is also a viable technology for non-mobile fixed devices as well.

The DASH7 Alliance was formed to advance the use of DASH7 wireless data technology by developing extensions to the ISO 18000-7 standard, ensuring interoperability among devices, and educating the market about DASH7 technology. Formed in 2009, the Alliance now has more than 50 members. Manufacturers, systems integrators, developers, regulators, academia, and end-users all work together to promote the use of DASH7 technology in a wide array of industries and applications..."

See also: the DASH7 Feature Comparison with ZIGBEE, WiFi, Bluetooth, Low Power UWB      [TOC]

FTC Appoints Cool Hacker as First Chief Technologist
Ms. Smith, NetworkWorld

"The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has appointed Edward Felten as FTC's first Chief Technologist. This might mean the FTC is about to dive deeper into digital privacy issues facing consumers. There is a great deal to like about the accomplished computer scientist, hacker, and security researcher. He's taken on some big names with some pretty impressive hacks, despite attempts to intimidate him.

Felten is a former EFF board member and a Princeton professor of computer science and public affairs. He is also the founding Director of the Center for Information and Technology Policy at Princeton University.

Felten and his team defeated the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) watermarks. Yet when Felten was about to present a scientific paper explaining how, he was threatened with legal action. In 2001, Felten and the EFF sued the RIAA and the (SDMI) in a case that challenged the constitutionality of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

In 2005, after Sony had come up with a scheme to prevent people from copying CDs, Felten's Freedom to Tinker blog played a role in exposing the Sony rootkit scandal... In 2006, Felten and graduate students hacked a Dielbold voting machine and then published their security analysis... In 2008, Felten and eight security researchers demonstrated how cold reboot attacks could defeat disk encryption systems such as TrueCrypt, FileVault, BitLocker, and dm-crypt. Their findings proved that RAM continues to store data even after the computer has been turned off..."

See also: the FTC announcement      [TOC]


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