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XML Repository Working Group
The goal of the group is to create a proposed standard on global XML repositories
for submittal to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Object Management Group (OMG), and UN/EDIFACT.
The first draft is anticipated for an availability date of September 30, 1998.
NOTE: For the purposes of this discussion group, the term "EDI" shall include business-to-business,
business-to-consumer, and consumer-to-business exchanges of XML formatted and structured data or information.
- Define the essential components of a global XML repository specification, such as:
- DTD's for content structures, both for simple and complex content. An example "simple"
DTD is a business address which contains relatively static elements. A "complex" DTD is one in which
the data can contain objects such as Heart Monitor Diagnostics and the associated interpretations. Another complex
DTD example would be a multi-item purchase order, with items that can have substitution alternatives (for instance
electronic components) and which might need to interact with an ERP system to determine an expected delivery date.
- Guidelines for creating and maintaining the content. (This does not necessarily mean guidelines
for metamodel/DTD design. Those are separate activities. Content within an XML Repository is focused more at the
content level and ensure unique meaning and clear business definitions. Where multiple interpretations occur, these
should be supported and 'see also' mechanisms implemented).
- The requirements for a Repository API to allow software vendors to create compliant products
that are fully inter-operable with the repository. (The API is completely independent and not driven by metamodel/DTD
considerations. It can however be used to retrieve element and process definition content to be used during a metamodelling
- End user interaction interfaces such as directed searches and agent based access tools. These
are designed to make it fast and easy to accurately locate the specific content for an end user.
- Object definition structures that are compatible with OMG metadata tag models.
- Define UML compliant exchange formats which allow Repository content as defined in item 1 above
to be directly interchangeable with UML modelling tools. (Note: work is already being done by experts of UML modeling
vendors and commercial repository vendors based on OMG MOF specs. The repository APIs (in CORBA IDL) are already
adopted technology. The XML mappings are in design stage with initial proposals available. These same tools should
be readily adaptable to also support XML Glossary constructs).
- Create linkages in the Repositories so that elements can be directly tied into taxonomy based
models such as UDEF and BSR, using Unique ID's to support multiple relationships and versions. (Note: versioning
and linking(association/relationship) issues are lesser problems for the established EDI dictionaries. Experience
has shown that less than 5% of such content is subject to change once adopted).
- Add into Repositories the ability to define process flows so as to support both flow logic and
object models such as the HealthCare RIM and UML use case modelling.
Based on the above objectives, the following topics for discussion have so far been identified:
Develop a concept of operations for global XML repositories - using the latest "Position
Statement on Global Repositories for XML" as a starting point.
Address topics such as:
|* Domains of discourse - what are they, who determines the scope boundaries
|* DTD ownership and maintenance responsibilities - who and how
|* The process for determining and recording semantic equivalence - who and how?
|* The process for creating and registering a unique identifier with each registered XML tag
Develop examples of possible repository content
|* Basic business XML tags that are relatively static such as <EnterpriseName>
|* UML schema
|* STEP schema
|* UDEF taxonomy
|* BSR taxonomy
|* Java applets
|* Unique ID's
Identify common metadata threads between XML and existing data standards that are relevant
to business. (Define metadata requirements that are common across these seemingly disparate standards).
|* XML and MOF
|* XML and UML
|* XML and STEP
|* XML and EDIFACT
|* XML and X12
|* XML and other data standards applicable to conducting business
Define the functional requirements for a global repository:
|* Object oriented versus relational and why
|* Access control procedures
|* Back-up and recovery procedures
|* Data accuracy and integrity procedures
|* Content registration procedures
|* Repository API requirement
|* Version control and configuration management
|* Managing distributed repositories
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