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Open Applications Group


The Open Applications Group Releases XML Application

The Open Applications Group publishes XML Document Type (DTDs) on their web site.

Chicago, Illinois, USA - January 18, 1999

The Open Applications Group, Inc. (OAGI), a non-profit industry consortium comprised of many of the most prominent stakeholders in the business software component interoperability arena in the world, today announced publication of a full set of Extensible Markup Language (XML) Document Type Definition (DTD) files that define interoperability APIs for Financials, Human Resources, Manufacturing, Logistics, and Supply Chain components.

"We believe that the publication of these DTDs will decrease costs and complexity for organizations that are wrestling with the problem of tying together their business applications," said David Connelly, President of the Open Applications Group.

Interoperability model expressed in XML DTDs.

The Open Applications Group, Inc. members have built a common model for business software application component interoperability over the last three years. The model is described in their Open Applications Group Integration Specification (OAGIS). OAGIS describes the major components, their integration dialogs, and the content of those dialogs for many key enterprise business applications, including financials, manufacturing, human resources, supply chain, and logistics.

Now, the content of the OAGIS specification has been expressed in a machine readable format in the form of XML Document Type Definitions (DTDs) for all of the currently defined Open Applications Group Business Object Documents. The machine-readable Document Type Definitions (DTDs) necessary to define this integration content in XML have been published on the OAGI website and are available for public access at: <http://www.openapplications.org>.

The DTDs will be free of charge to download and use, but a license agreement will be enacted to maintain ownership of intellectual property.

The Open Applications Group has done extensive prototyping with the XML language to successfully validate its applicability for large and small-scale business software application component interoperability and is very pleased with the results. In fact, the Open Applications Group has been working for over a year with emerging software tools and associated vendors to ensure a high quality implementation of the OAGIS specification in XML.

XML is an exciting World Wide Web Standard

Extensible Markup Language is an exciting, evolutionary, meta-data language, approved as a standard by the World Wide Web Consortium in February 1998. XML evolved from the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) as a compromise between the complex SGML and the simple, but non-extensible HTML. It has been described as providing 80% of the benefit of SGML with 20% of the effort and it is being embraced by a broad cross-section of the industry as the right language for defining the APIs necessary to make business software components talk to each other.

XML is actually a language for creating markup languages that describe data and rules about the data. It requires applications to be defined to it before it can become truly useful. The process of defining applications is done through the use of the Document Type Definition, which defines the tags and rules within XML for a well-formed XML document. The Open Applications Group, Inc. has defined the tags and rules for business software component interoperability in this application.

Since XML is data base-neutral, operating system-neutral, and device-neutral, it is an effective tool for defining heterogeneous interoperability. This is also in complete alignment with the Open Applications Group stated technology strategy, which is to be technology aware, but not technology specific.

Release of DTDs is applauded

The reaction from customer organizations to the publication of the XML Document Type Definitions demonstrates their anticipation of improved interoperability through the use of this exciting new capability. "I’m very pleased that the Open Applications Group has decided to publish the DTDs for the integration of business applications", said Ed Harter, Ph.D. a manager of developmental computing programs within Boeing’s Phantom Works. "I’m looking forward to working with the Open Applications Group more closely in the future. Their approach is very practical and I believe it has considerable potential for easing the burden of integrating both commercial off the shelf and legacy applications."

Vendors as well as customers see this as a major step forward and demonstrates the extent to which the Open Applications Group is fostering an environment of cooperation among stakeholders in this effort. "DataChannel is very excited about the Open Applications Group providing their DTDs for public consumption. We are certain that this will further extend the visibility of the groundbreaking work of the Open Applications Group and engage various industry segments to participate in the wide-spread adoption of XML - based integration.  The Open Applications Group and their work on the OAGIS specification is an essential part in DataChannel's technology vision of an XML - based architecture for enterprise - wide information exchange,"  said Norbert H. Mikula, Director of Architectural Services at DataChannel, Inc.

About the Open Applications Group, Inc.

The Open Applications Group, Inc. is the leading business software interoperability association in the world. It advances industry awareness of issues and solutions regarding interoperability of software business components and strives to evolve those solutions into a best practices model while providing an impartial forum for all of the stakeholders in the industry to further improve the model and learn.

OAGI membership is comprised of many of the most prominent application vendors and associated organizations in the world, and includes American Software, Inc., CODA, Component Software, Computer Associates, CrossWorlds Software, DataChannel, DATEV eG, EnvisionIt, Extricity Software, Fortress Technologies, GloTech Solutions, IBM Adv. Mfg. Solutions Unit, Indus International, Integrated Systems & Services, J. D. Edwards & Company, Marcam Solutions, Inc., NEC Corporation, Oracle Corporation, PCS, PeopleSoft, Inc., PricewaterhouseCoopers, PSDI, Inc., QAD, Inc., Robocom Systems Intl., SAP AG, Teklogix, TSI, Vitria, and webMethods.

For Further Information

For further information, please visit our web site at www.openapplications.org or contact OAGI Headquarters, 401 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA; telephone +1 404 627 4454; Fax: +1 404 627 7771; or e-mail: info@openapplications.org.


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