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Created: May 02, 2002.
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Open Forum 2003 on Metadata Registries Highlights Data Semantics and Registry Interoperability.

A call for participation has been issued in connection with the Sixth International Open Forum on Metadata Registries. Open Forum 2003 on Metadata Registries will be held January 20-24, 2003 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. It is sponsored by the US Federal CIO Council's XML Working Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the Metadata Working Group (WG2) from the ISO/IEC JTC1 Subcommittee 32 on Data Management and Interchange (ISO/IEC JTC1/SC32/WG2). Forum participants will explore the capabilities, uses, content, development, and operation of registries and related technologies, with special emphasis on management of data semantics. The forum "brings together standards developers, software developers and practitioners with a goal of introducing various registries, showing how they are used, and describing the related standards; a major topic will be cooperation between the registries to manage semantics. Topics include (1) ISO/IEC 11179 Metadata Registries; (2) Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration [UDDI]; (3) XML Registries/Repositories; (4) Database Catalogs; (5) CASE Tool Repositories; (6) Software Component Registries; (7) Ontological Registries. Special attention will be given to XML aspects of these registries." A 'Concept Presentation' document on the forum website surveys existing registry standards. ISO/IEC 11179 is "primarily aimed at semantics management and will be the focus of demonstrations in some of the practitioner tracks; special emphasis will be given to interoperation between 11179 registries, UDDI registries, XML registries/repositories, and database catalogs."

The Open Forum 2003 meetings are being hosteed by the Federal CIO Council's XML Working Group, The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

From the 'Concept Presentation':

The conference is intended to describe the registries, demonstrate their use, encourage progress toward cooperation between registries, and showcase progress made.

The registries have some common, overlapping content, which is extended and utilized in different ways. The registries vary according to the intended purpose, granularity of contents, the level of semantics management.

Users work with several of these registries simultaneously, since the registries perform different functions. There is a need for the registries to cooperate/interoperate, since they contain related and sometimes overlapping information. The data must be kept updated and synchronized with a minimum of effort.

The conference organizers will work with standards developers, software developers and practitioners to encourage progress toward cooperation and interoperability. The conference is intended to showcase progress made. The conference will have separate tracks for various communities of interest.

A Status Report of 2002-04-17 from the Federal CIO Council XML Working Group reports on 'Registry Standards Harmonization' in conjunction with the upcoming Open Forum. As part of this WG task there is ongoing effort to harmonize ISO/IEC 11179 metadata registries with OASIS/ebXML Registry/Repositories. Team members are working "with ISO/IEC committees, the OASIS XML Registry Technical Committee, and other standards bodies to identify points of articulation between the emerging XML registry and ISO/IEC 11179 standards. They will develop material to help and encourage the standards efforts develop interoperable (or at least cooperating) specifications... [they are working] with NIST prototype XML registry efforts (e.g., NIST -- EPA National Environmental Information Exchange Network) to test and demonstrate interoperability between 11179 metadata registries and XML registries... a proof of Concept XML registry is becoming operational at NIST. XML Schemas are being registered in both the XML Registry (an OASIS/ebXML registry) and in the EPA Environmental Data Registry (an ISO/IEC 11179 registry). The EDR will record the XML tags and data elements that are included in the XML schemas. Both EPA and states agencies are beginning to register XML artifacts into the registry..."

From the NIST report of Judith Newton on NIST/ITL collaboration with several federal government agencies: "... Information quality is enhanced by documenting all aspects of data elements and related metadata constructs in a web-enabled registry. Registries allow aspects of data models, classification schemes, terminology systems, naming conventions, and standardized definitions to be easily accessed by users of information systems... By using a product-independent registry to describe metadata, and by basing those descriptions on a format defined in an international standard, users can be assured that the meaning of their information is consistent with that of their information-sharing partners. The growth of XML, a data description language for the Internet without an intrinsic mechanism for insuring semantic conformance, makes the use of metadata registries even more important... [we report on] participation of NIST in ANSI and ISO efforts to develop standards addressing various aspects of metadata registries. We have produced ISO 11179, Metadata Registries (MDR), several technical reports, and ANS X3.285, Metamodel for the Management of Shareable Data... Both national and international committees have liaisons and cooperative efforts with industry groups, consortia, and international organizations. For instance, members of ANSI L8 are developing an XML tag set for the Metamodel, as well as serving on the W3C XML Registry/Repository working group. NIST is working with the EPA to study ways to best use XML and 11179 together... The popularity of the metadata registry concept has led to the formation of a user group, the Metadata Registry Implementers Coalition (MDRIC).

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