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Last modified: April 17, 2002
Tracker XML (TXML)

[October 04, 2001] Tracker Extensible Markup Language (TXML) is an XML specification which helps export authorities manage information and automate workflow related to export licensing.

"Tracker XML (TXML) is the standard format for exchanging data in all aspects of the import and export control process. Built into Tracker 2000, TXML provides a simple and portable mechanism for transferring data between different systems and users. Built on the Extensible Markup Language (XML), TXML represents the best way to exchange global trade information in a fast-paced, multi-lingual world. At its center, TXML defines a set of XML tags that help create data based on the Upper CYC Ontology, produced by CYCorp. TXML is compatible, wherever possible, with Commercial XML (cXML), a popular commerce implementation of the XML specification. TXML allows business and governments to store data associated with export control activities. TXML captures all information necessary to render legally binding trade decisions and to reconcile corporate policies with international control lists. Most contemporary databases including relational systems and object-oriented systems can take advantage of TXML. You can directly import and export TXML files according to well-documented formats." [description from FGM]

From the version 2 TXML specification: "tXML (commerce eXtensible Markup Language) is a type of XML designed specifically for export control transactions and international trade. tXML is an open, versatile language for the transaction requirements of: (1) Electronic product catalogs, (2) XML catalogs, (3) Procurement applications, (4) Internal Control Programs, and (5) National export control systems. tXML allows buyers, suppliers, aggregators, intermediaries, and governments to communicate using a single, standard, and open language. Successful business-to-business electronic commerce (B2B e-commerce) systems depend upon a flexible and widely adopted standard to exchange information in a timely and cost-efficient manner. tXML is key to providing the widest access to national export control systems and services, because it is a well-defined, robust language designed specifically for B2G e-commerce, and it is the choice of high volume buyers and suppliers. tXML transactions consist of documents, which are simple text files with a well-defined format and content. Most types of tXML documents are analogous to hardcopy documents traditionally used in business... tXML can be used by any e-commerce or export control application. tXML may be used by buying organizations, vertical and horizontal buying communities, suppliers, application vendors, and government authorities. The following subsections describe the main application types that currently use tXML. tXML enables users of export control, B2B, and other business applications to access export control information that resides within national governments. tXML allows industry to electronically communicate with national authorities to process export control applications and eliminates the need to coordinate via fax, mail, and other manual methods. Instead, tXML represents the fundamental definition of the information industry and governments need to be responsive and accurate." Chapter 3 documents the TXML Specification, expressed as XML DTDs. "Because tXML is an XML language and a set of Document Type Definitions (DTDs) thoroughly define it. These DTDs are text files that describe the precise syntax and order of tXML elements. DTDs enable applications to validate the tXML they read or write. tXML applications are not required to validate tXML documents, although it is recommended."

tXML and Tracker. Tracker is "a software application that helps you process license applications more easily and efficiently. Tracker's automated workflow replaces older, non-automated methods of processing license applications... Tracker is a network-based application that can help prevent the 'leaking' of sensitive materials and expertise. It provides a technological foundation for a sophisticated, real-time, national, regional, and global export control system." From the Tracker version 2.0 description. Seemless Import and Export: "How do you exchange international trade information among different governments and different companies? Tracker XML (tXML) is the standard format for exchanging data involving all aspects of the import/export control process. Built upon the Extensible Markup Language (XML), tXML represents the best way to exchange global trade information, in a fast-paced, multi-lingual world. So powerful is tXML that the format captures all information necessary to render legally binding trade decisions and reconcile corporate policies with international control lists. tXML also allows users to share data across disparate system and between Tracker versions..."


  • FGM Inc.
  • "Tracker 2001 TXML Specification." By Todd Harbour and Kathleen Yoshida. Version 2.0. April 2001. 48 pages. [cache]
  • TXML DTD, display version. See the TXML Specification for official copy.
  • Tracker XML description
  • "Paperless Export Control?" By Monique Albrecht, Tracker Labs; Glenn Golding, Department of Trade and Industry, United Kingdom; and Todd Harbour, Tracker Labs. From Tracker News [Newsletter] October 2001. "Paperless export control may be considered an ideal that seems unachievable, but Tracker will soon provide a means of bringing countries closer to this ideal than ever. While Tracker has already helped export authorities manage information and automate workflow related to export licensing on the government side, there is still a need to link exporters by allowing them to submit and track the status of their licenses on-line. To meet this need, plans are underway to expand the Tracker domain to accommodate electronic submission of license applications. It is envisioned that a new module will allow for seamless transfer of license information to the Tracker system using Tracker eXtensible Markup Language (tXML). To ensure the safety of the Tracker database, the module will allow for an air gap to deny unauthorized access. Using the system, an exporter will be able to submit, review, and check the status of his or her applications on-line, rather than using traditional snail mail or picking up the phone. This on-line status check will also offer significant benefits to the export licensing authority, by providing opportunities to reduce the administrative burden of phone calls, manual data entry, and paper file storage..."
  • Related: "FGM Inc. Awarded International Demining Contract. FGM Develop XML Specification for Mine Action Community." "FGM Inc. has announced [September 18, 2001] that the company was awarded a contract with the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining that will give humanitarian demining experts a more accurate picture of the world's landmine problem. FGM will develop an interchange format that will allow the various international mine action information systems to seamlessly share information. FGM's creation of this Extensible Markup Language (XML) specification will also facilitate information sharing between other relevant disciplines like mapping, international development, logistics, and medicine by creating a common language for those systems to communicate. The first phase of this effort is fully funded at $690K with two additional phases planned. International donors including the United States will fund the project..."
  • Contact: Todd Harbour (+1 703.478.9881) or Sarah Mills (703-478-9881).

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