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Created: January 16, 2002.
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U.S. Federal CIO Council XML Working Group Issues XML Developer's Guide.

An initial Draft Federal XML Developer's Guide has been published for review by the U.S. Federal CIO Council XML Working Group. The version .1 draft document represents "an early deliverable of the overall US federal strategy for employing XML, designed to assist government activities in developing XML implementations in the short term, while lessons learned are collected. It provides general development guidance for the many XML initiatives currently taking place within US Departments and Agencies while the Working Group is in the process of developing a long-term strategy for aligning XML implementations with government business needs. The XML Developer's Guide is an adaptation of the updated consensus draft produced by the US Department of the Navy (DON)." The guidelines address a broad range of design methodologies and development practices, including the use of recommended XML specifications, XML component conventions, creating XML component names from ISO 11179 data elements, constructing XML component names, XML schema design, recommended schema development methodology, use of XML attributes and/versus elements, creating application specific metadata, document versioning, use of ebXML and UN/CEFACT specifications, and use of the US Federal XML registry.

Bibliographic information: Draft Federal XML Developer's Guide. By: U.S. Federal CIO Council, Enterprise Interoperability and Emerging Information Technology Committee, XML Working Group. Version .1 December 2001. 103 pages.

Background to the document:

The global economy is increasingly dependent upon creative solutions to escalating information technology demands. The potential advantages of Internet transmission of payloads of information have highlighted the need to integrate data across applications, systems, and organizations. With the Internet -- and particularly web-enabled exchange of data -- still in its relative infancy, we have a unique opportunity for governments, business, and industry to foster the cooperative international development of a standardized platform-independent syntax designed to facilitate identification, exchange, and display of data using web transfer protocols. Extensible Markup Language (XML) is emerging as the preeminent tool for developers interested in maximizing system interoperability.

In recognition of XML's significance as a web-based end-to-end solution for information interchange, the Enterprise Interoperability and Emerging Information Technology (EIEITC) committee of the U.S. Federal CIO Council created the Federal XML Working Group in June 2000. The Group's primary responsibilities are to partner with national and international standards organizations in the development of XML and to guide the U.S. Government's transition to XML for electronic data interchange (EDI). Integral to the Working Group's leadership is the promulgation of written guidelines promoting best practices and recommending federal standards for XML. The CIO Council submits this draft Federal XML Developer's Guide, version .1 for review by all federal agencies pending consideration by the Office of Management and Budget as future Federal Agency policy.

This version of the Guidelines is primarily written to assist developers in creating standardized schemas that describe XML payloads of information. It should be noted that payloads represent only one component required for secure, reliable information exchange. Other components include a specification for reliable messaging (including authentication, encryption, queuing, and error handling), business service registry and repository functions, and transport protocols. Emerging technologies and specifications are, or will shortly, provide XML-based solutions to many of these needs. Various committee's within the CIO Council as well as the architecture team within the Quicksilver Initiative are addressing these areas as part of the overall federal architecture. The XML Working Group will work with the Quicksilver Initiative to develop an XML Primer that will describe each of these components and bring together the overall strategy for capitalizing on XML as a tool for enterprise interoperability.

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