May 25, 1999. Austin, TX.
Today OASIS announced the creation of XML.ORG, the first global XML industry portal to be operated by a non-profit corporation devoted to open information exchange. Over 23 industry-leading corporations, organizations and individual experts have rallied to voice their support for the formation of XML.ORG.
Central to XML.ORG will be an open industry XML registry and repository offering automated public access to XML schemas. The registry/repository will play a critical enabling role in the use of industry-defined XML applications for electronic commerce, business-to-business transactions, and tools and application interoperability.
The debut of XML.ORG signifies a major step in OASIS' ongoing registry and repository efforts, work that has been in progress for the last the 12 months. In keeping with its consensus-focused mission, OASIS will strive to ensure interoperability with existing and emerging XML initiatives, and will continue to actively solicit participation by any similar efforts.
The XML.ORG registry found immediate support from the Graphic Communications Association. The participation of the GCA is significant because of GCA's historic role in shaping XML and its recent work in the study of XML/EDI unification. "GCA is enthusiastic about working with OASIS on XML.ORG," said Marion Elledge, Senior VP, GCA. "As the principal supporter of XML and other markup language standards, we are pleased to see this application effort take place. XML.ORG is a giant step for the industry and GCA is proud to be a part of this initiative."
"We've received overwhelmingly positive initial reactions to the open registry concept from other industry groups planning to use XML for data exchange," said OASIS Program Manager Carol Geyer. "We expect many of them to announce their support for XML.ORG over the next few weeks."
Charles F. Goldfarb, the father of markup languages and a member of the Advisory Board for the founding of OASIS, said "This latest action by OASIS moves us even further toward the vision of universal information interchange that motivated the original creation of vendor-neutral structured information standards."
XML.ORG also received endorsement from the CommerceNet consortium. "This effort to establish an industry supported and open portal to exchange XML information is critical to the ongoing evolution of what is quickly becoming a mission critical component of electronic commerce," said Randall Whiting, President and CEO of CommerceNet. "CommerceNet will integrate XML.ORG into its member web site and use the shared environment to collaborate on key joint efforts in furthering interoperable electronic commerce."
OASIS Takes the Lead
A recent Forrester Research study on industry standards participation found that while 75 percent of IT executives are aware of standards groups in their industries, less than one-third of their companies participate. "This statistic shows that the market is waiting for an organization like OASIS to take the lead," said Bill Smith, Vice President of OASIS. "We will provide an environment in which all industry players will be able to help make the universal data exchange capabilities of XML a reality for their market."
As XML rapidly becomes the key data interchange format on the Web, customers and developers will turn to XML.ORG for direct access to key industry-specific XML specifications, while business and industry organizations will look to OASIS for assistance in designing these specifications.
"Customers are seeking an authoritative industry leader to advise them on how best to use XML in their business and industry. Some fear being locked into vendor-specific implementations and seek a trusted partner for the development of XML languages," said Laura Walker, Executive Director of OASIS. "OASIS has a six-year track record in the open, vendor-neutral development of specifications for structured data. XML.ORG is a natural extension of that work."
An XML Industry Portal
The industry portal at XML.ORG will provide a center for XML interoperability in five key areas.
First, XML.ORG will provide a registry and repository for the access and management of XML schemas and other public resources (DTDs, namespaces, stylesheets, public key certificates, etc.). Through XML.ORG, industry groups will be able to register their XML data exchange specifications, individuals will be able to look for specifications in their areas of interest, and applications will be able to access XML resources needed when acting on an XML document. For example, a software vendor or trade group might register a DTD for purchase orders, a developer might search the site registry for a purchase order DTD before writing supply-chain software, and a procurement application that receives a purchase order referencing that DTD but not finding it on its local system could automatically obtain the DTD from the repository to resolve the reference and continue processing. Through XML.ORG, OASIS will complement the work of other standards bodies by providing a central clearinghouse for access to XML-related specifications.
Second, the XML.ORG site will implement an architecture employing existing and emerging standards for XML registry/repositories, work that is currently under development as an OASIS technical initiative. This architecture will allow vendors to create interoperable versions of the registry for use within industry organizations, communities, and corporations. A registry/repository based on the common architecture might be used for a corporate intranet for ERP applications or by an industry organization for sharing information among its members. XML.ORG will maintain a "root" registry that will point to compatible registries and repositories maintained by participating organizations as well as to resources in its own repository.
Third, XML.ORG will serve as an information portal for the work of OASIS-hosted industry groups defining and extending domain-oriented XML specifications for industries that lack XML expertise or the ability to support and refine these specifications on an ongoing basis. OASIS has recently modified its membership structure to facilitate the participation of industry groups in the definition of XML specifications and other OASIS technical activities. Any OASIS participant may propose the formation of a working group to define or extend an OASIS-hosted industry standardization effort.
Fourth, XML.ORG will provide a public source for interoperability guidelines to ensure that XML can fulfill the vision of providing for the open exchange of structured data. This work extends an ongoing OASIS technical initiative to ensure XML conformance in cooperation with the U. S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
Fifth, XML.ORG will provide a public source for XML educational and training materials developed by OASIS. Initially, http://xml.org (http://220.127.116.11) will provide basic resources to the XML community such as Robin Cover's popular SGML/XML pages, details of various industry schema efforts, free XML software, a link to IBM's xCentral XML search engine, news and education relevant to the XML community.
As it evolves, XML.ORG will become the reference portal for XML developers, pointing them to available schemas and other XML industry specifications. Through the site, XML developers will be able to search for existing specifications used in their industry and to monitor the work of groups designing specifications for their particular market niche. When the registry/repository becomes fully functional later this year, the portal will serve as a mechanism for the automatic resolution of DTD, schema, and stylesheet references, providing an invaluable resource for XML-based e-commerce and serving as a model for the distribution of such services.
Open for Partnership
"The need for an XML registry has been recognized by a number of organizations," noted Jon Bosak, long-time OASIS supporter and the leader of the W3C working group that developed XML. "The problem has been how to build and maintain a site at the necessary level of service without putting it under the control of one dominant industry player. OASIS solves that problem by providing an established non-profit organization that can be trusted to operate a site funded by the big companies that need this service in order to make open e-business really work."
Companies with the vision to invest in the basic infrastructure of electronic commerce by funding the XML.ORG web site are called XML.ORG partners. Founding partners will be given the one-time opportunity to join the XML.ORG Steering Committee, which is responsible for setting XML.ORG priorities, defining the technical direction of the portal, and determining what kinds of XML specifications are in or out of scope for the XML registry. OASIS is currently engaged in discussions with several companies that have already expressed strong interest in becoming XML.ORG partners.
OASIS, the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (http://www.oasis-open.org), is a non-profit, international consortium of users and vendors founded in 1993 and dedicated to the promotion of open specifications for the interchange of structured data. Currently, OASIS is focused on the definition and implementation of XML-based vertical industry specifications. It also hosts CGM Open, an organization devoted to the deployment of the CGM vector graphics format.
Tim Bray, independent programmer and co-editor of XML 1.0, said "When we teach people about XML, one of the first questions they ask is always 'where do I go to find DTDs?' It's a good question, and I'm delighted to see OASIS going to work on building a good answer."
"Commerce One's XML specialists have been involved with OASIS since its inception, so we strongly endorse XML.ORG," said Bob Glushko, Director of Advanced Technology at Commerce One. "We're part of the XML specification efforts in both OASIS and CommerceNet so we can ensure interoperability among all commerce standards in our Marketsite(TM) products. We will contribute our expertise in the development of open XML electronic markets to XML.ORG in order to assist suppliers and buyers who want to use these specifications to "plug and play".
"For the first time, the applications of a standard are being held centrally and made available to all interested parties, not simply the standard itself. This advance will surely further the acceptance of XML within the business community and accelerate the development of XML-based initiatives," said Colin Mackenzie, Manager, Projects Business Unit, Database Publishing Systems Ltd.
"Historically, OASIS has been instrumental in ensuring interoperability in structured markup languages like XML," said DataChannel CTO Norbert Mikula. "DataChannel is very excited to participate in this groundbreaking XML work under the OASIS umbrella. Our XML Framework(tm) will benefit tremendously from this effort, as will the industry as a whole. We are 100% committed to supporting this work and providing conforming software."
"This OASIS-sponsored portal fills a void that no other site has been able to fill," notes Mary McRae, Principal XML Technologist for Document Management Solutions, Inc. "DMSi is pleased to be a part of this effort and looks forward to being able to recommend and implement standards-based solutions for their clients utilizing the XML.ORG portal."
"We believe XML.ORG will become the most important clearinghouse for industry standards," noted Amy Krane, Director of Global Alliances at Enigma. "We are excited to see OASIS take a leadership role to ensure the wide-spread adoption of XML."
"XML.ORG promises to provide vital infrastructure for the development and exchange of common vocabularies. These vocabularies lie at the heart of powerful new digital relationships connecting businesses of all sizes", said Lee Buck, CTO of Extensibility, a leading vendor of XML schema tools. "We look forward to contributing to the effort and providing integrated support for XML.ORG across our products."
"For XML to truly fulfill its potential in business-to-business electronic commerce, there need to be conventions for its use among trading partners," said F.R. Campagnoni, Chief Technology Officer of GE Information Services. "OASIS will serve a vital role in fueling trading communities' adoption of XML through interoperability guidelines and a registry infrastructure. We see XML.ORG as a significant resource in our efforts to XML-enable the world's largest electronic community of more than 100,000 trading partners and support sophisticated supply-chain interactions."
"IBM believes that a diversity of XML schemas within any given industry segment is a reflection of the industry itself. Broad access to this diversity will accelerate the creation of e-business solutions that take advantage of the universal data sharing capabilities of XML," said Marie Wieck, director of XML technology, IBM Corporation. "An open and industry-supported process to capture the rich diversity of XML resources like XML.ORG is a step in the right direction. In support of this work, IBM has provided access to our XML-specific search engine xCentral to XML.ORG."
"XML is rapidly becoming the language of web business, and web business needs a coordinated and open way to communicate. Novell is excited to participate in creation of XML.ORG as the industry portal for development and publishing of XML DTDs and schemas," said Chris Stone, SVP Strategy, Novell, Inc.. "XML-based integration of business applications with directory and identity services provided by NDS will benefit directly from the efforts of OASIS and XML.ORG."
"The Open Applications Group is pleased that OASIS is making this move to a repository of XML work," said David Connelly, President of the OAGI. "Our customers have indicated an interest in just such a resource and we are happy to contribute the XML definitions that the Open Applications Group has constructed."
"As strong believers in an open standards process, The Object Management Group (OMG) is delighted to work with XML.ORG," said William Hoffman, President and COO, Object Management Group. "The interest and use of XML shows that is important to developers building enterprise applications, and we believe that the goals of XML.ORG are very complimentary to the work being done by the OMG."
"XML support is a core technology in the Oracle e-business platform, and our customers are increasingly adopting XML for describing and storing structured data and integrating business applications," said Jeremy Burton, Vice President of Internet Platform Marketing at Oracle. At this point, there is a critical need for a vendor-neutral standards group to drive the definition and dissemination of DTD and schema standards for specific vertical industries. In establishing XML.ORG, Oasis is making a significant contribution to this area. We look forward to working with Oasis and other industry groups to establish a rich collection of open specifications for data interchange over the Internet."
"POET is pleased to see OASIS provide an open forum for XML information exchange" said Dirk Bartels, President and CEO of POET Software. "We believe in the value of XML as the foundation of the next internet and eCommerce revolution, and we believe that OASIS is providing an excellent environment to encourage, educate and promote XML adoption."
"XML.ORG is a significant step forward for the industry and Si2 endorses the efforts of OASIS", stated Don Cottrell, VP of Technology for the Silicon Integration Initiative (Si2). "The development of this information portal is a key step in building the momentum required to achieve wide-spread implementation of open XML-based component information standards such as the Electronic Component Information eXchange (ECIX) QuickData Specifications in the Electronic Design Automation (EDA) industry." NOTE: The ECIX program was formed at Si2 in the second half of 1996. The goal of the ECIX project sponsors, which have included DARPA, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi, IBM, Intel, Lucent Technologies, Motorola, National Semiconductor, Philips Semiconductors, and Texas Instruments, is to provide a seamless flow of component information in both computer and human sensible format from suppliers to end-use customers exploiting the latest media distribution technologies. Information on the ECIX project is available at www.si2.org/ecix.
"As a founding member and active participant of OASIS, and the creators of XMetaL the first native XML content authoring tool, SoftQuad wholeheartedly endorses the creation of XML.ORG," says Roberto Drassinower, President and CEO, SoftQuad Software Inc. "This initiative eliminates many of the barriers that threaten the wide scale acceptance of XML as an industry and enterprise wide data sharing standard."
"We at STEP have practiced the implementation of open standards - especially SGML, the "mother" of XML - since the 1980s in numerous consulting and software development projects," said Tibor Tscheke, Managing Director, STEP Electronic Publishing Solutions GmbH. "With the rise and striking success of XML, the need for industry standards has become an imperative in order to fulfill XML's promise of being the exchange standard for data. We from STEP commit ourselves thoroughly to OASIS' XML industry portal which we consider crucial for the success of XML - because structured data is what we believe in."
"XML is at the core of our dot com architecture and product initiatives," said Jonathan Schwartz, Vice President and General Manager, Internet Development Products, Sun Microsystems. "Sun has long supported the efforts of OASIS in promoting vendor-neutral standards for structured data exchange, and we applaud the establishment of XML.ORG as a natural and much-needed extension of the consortium's mission."
"Since its inception two years ago the XML/edi Group has vigorously promoted the broad adoption of interoperable XML Repositories with integral Glossaries. The OASIS XML.ORG initiative is the now set to deliver on that vision for the industry," said David RR Webber of The XML/edi Group (http://www.XMLedi.org). "This is a crucial piece that will underpin business acceptance of XML, and provide cross-domain interoperability. The OASIS XML.ORG portal focus, including the outreach through training and certification, shows the depth of the work needed. We are looking forward to working closely with OASIS to make XML.ORG a success."
"At Xyvision Enterprise Solutions, we have long recognized the need for publicly available and agreed-upon DTDs, schemas, and vocabularies," says Kevin Duffy, President and CEO of Xyvision Enterprise Solutions. "Not only will the XML.ORG effort by OASIS significantly enhance the value of the solutions we provide for our customers, it will also enhance the integration of XML and XML-related tools in numerous industries including telecommunications, aerospace, publishing, product documentation, and the Internet/Intranet arena. We applaud OASIS and XML.ORG for this initiative."