|By Ram Kumar||
|October 24, 2002 12:00 AM EDT||
The greatest benefit of XML lies in its potential for managing "islands of data" locked into proprietary tools, systems, applications, and technologies through the use of a common data format that's understandable to any process and system that use it for data representation, data exchange, and application integration. In fact, if XML doesn't achieve this potential, there is little point in using it at all.
Following a trend all too familiar to the IT industry, XML is being seen as a silver bullet that will magically solve all the problems of data integrity, instantly remove islands of data, and disentangle the spaghetti of data interfaces across the enterprise. Typically, those who have willingly embraced this "Next Big Thing" approach will be sadly disappointed, and another real opportunity to move forward could be lost.
XML's greatest strength is also its biggest weakness. It is so flexible that different vocabularies and structures can be written to define the same type of data. Left unchecked, this can lead to a confused set of fragmented, point-to-point XML formats that simply move the problems of data islands and integration around, instead of actually addressing them. Evidence from early (and very expensive) XML implementations confirms this problem. Many software vendors are implementing proprietary layers of XML that can give the appearance of providing a common format for data exchange, but in fact are designed to lock users into proprietary platforms. As a result, eXtensible Markup Language is fast becoming the "eXtensively Misused Language."
XML will only succeed when businesses truly embrace the principles of openness, transparency, and reusability that XML can support. This will require moving away from point-to-point negotiations for exchanging data toward an agreement on standard ways of defining and expressing XML vocabularies, and on common guidelines for the implementation and ongoing use of these standards.
The Need for an XML Clearinghouse
The effective application of XML to overcome the "islands of data" problem requires proper implementation strategies to ensure consistent exchange and reuse of information assets using XML. All projects using XML should have uniform access to appropriate XML documents and their related metadata, which can be only be achieved through the development and deployment of an XML Clearinghouse (also known as XML registry and repository) for the enterprise that provides a single location to store and manage the common XML standards and vocabularies used in the enterprise.
An enterprise XML Clearinghouse allows users to:
1. Discover and use pertinent XML components in the enterprise
2. Register additional XML components that can be reused (e.g., projects, applications) by other projects within the enterprise
What is an XML Clearinghouse?
An XML Clearinghouse is a software model that consists of two key components:
1. Registry: Stores relevant descriptive information, or metadata, about registered information components and their associated objects, and allows the metadata to be operated on in various ways.
2. Repository: Stores the registered information components and their associates. It also provides interfaces to retrieve and use registered information components and associated objects.
Registered information components and their associated objects provide users with the information necessary to effectively use them. The key information components registered in the Clearinghouse are the XML Schemas and XML DTDs that can be reused within the enterprise by XML developers, projects, applications, etc. Other information components may also be registered.
Examples of associated objects of registered information components include:
- XML documents
- XML specifications
- XML specifications usage
- UML models
- Other projects that use the information components and the implementation details
- XML design and implementation guidelines
- Usage conflicts and collisions, including details of their resolution
- Business process descriptions
- Trading partner agreements
The XML Clearinghouse can store different XML-specific files: XML, XSL, XSLT, XSD, and many others from the XML family. The main goal of the registry and repository is to share XML vocabularies between interested parties so they can discover and understand each other's vocabulary. The XML Clearinghouse ensures consistency, quality, and compatibility among XML projects within the enterprise and also helps to ensure that the XML standards used are controlled and monitored effectively.
Using the XML Clearinghouse
The following step by step example illustrates how the XML Clearinghouse works:
Note that the registry should also provide facilities to store multiple versions of the same XML vocabulary. However, it is up to each project to decide which versions of the XML vocabulary it will support.
Figure 2 shows how an XML developer can hypothetically use an XML Clearinghouse in a government environment consisting of many agencies and business units.
Benefits of an XML Clearinghouse
The XML Clearinghouse is an essential part of the infrastructure that supports the reuse of common information components across business applications. It has four main benefits:
1. Helps protect enterprise information assets: The information assets represented in the form of XML Schemas and DTDs that are commonly and consistently used across the enterprise are preserved, maintained, and protected from being locked into proprietary or custom-built applications that result in new data islands.
2. Promotes cross-project activities: The XML Clearinghouse stores information on the use of the XML Schemas and DTDs by different projects, which gives projects insight into XML-related activities and provides opportunities for collaboration.
3. Promotes a common understanding of information components: Storing the information models and metadata for subject areas (such as customer, product, etc.) as XML Schema in a single location promotes a common understanding of the purpose of the registered information components.
4. Facilitates B2B communication: External business partners can access the XML Clearinghouse so they can exchange data with the enterprise in the same standard ways used by internal business systems. This can expedite B2B communication and greatly reduces the cost of supporting it.
The main thrust of the XML Standards Clearinghouse work is to provide visibility and awareness of XML data elements in use within various functional areas across an enterprise. This awareness is important to application integrators and system interfaces.
Use of an XML Clearinghouse needs governance
Despite the benefits of having an XML Clearinghouse for an enterprise, if the XML Clearinghouse were left uncontrolled, every point-to-point XML vocabulary would be registered, each reflecting the narrow interests of application areas. This would result in the proliferation of many diverse data formats within an enterprise to represent the same piece of data. New data islands of information would be created, resulting in new and expensive one-off formatting problems. This would seriously threaten the credibility and integrity of the XML Clearinghouse and defeat the purpose of using XML in the first place.
An XML Clearinghouse will only be effective if policies are set, usage guidelines established, and a management and funding process put in place for effective operation. Policies and procedures should include:
Benefits of a governance model
The benefits of a governance model to manage XML Clearinghouse use in an enterprise are numerous. Some of the key benefits are listed below:
Potential XML-Related Work in an Enterprise and the Importance of Governance
This section describes the different types of XML-related work experienced implementing XML strategies for enterprises and the importance of governance for such projects.
Projects that use existing XML standards
Projects could be using existing industry XML standards. It's therefore important for the enterprise to monitor and govern this type of project for the following reasons:
Projects that need to extend or develop XML standards
There will be situations where existing industry XML standards don't meet the requirements of a project. In such circumstances the project may decide to cover identified gaps by extending existing standards, or by developing a new standard. It's important for an enterprise to monitor and govern this activity in order to:
Developing enterprise XML standards
Projects in an enterprise may be building an enterprise XML standard for a subject area not addressed by existing standards, and the enterprise must govern this type of activity. It's important to:
Turn locally developed XML into open industry standards
There may be times when an enterprise decides to submit an XML standard it has developed to a global XML standards body or a local (e.g., national) standards body to ratify it as an "open" XML standard. For example, our organization submitted three XML standards for customer information management to OASIS to develop and promote them as open industry standards free of royalty and IP issues:
- NAML: Name and Address Markup Language
- CIML: Customer Identity Markup Language
- CRML: Customer Relationships Markup Language
- xNL: Extensible Name Language
- xAL: Extensible Address Language
- xNAL: Extensible Name and Address Language
- xCIL: Extensible Customer Information Language
- xCRL: Extensible Customer Relationships Language
The XML Standards Governance model will enable enterprises to form closer relationships with global/local standards bodies and provides the opportunity to establish business relationships with other organizations involved in the standards initiative and those who are using the standards.
XML allows the specification of an arbitrary set of nonbinary tags for representing information components. This offers an open, independent, and low-cost platform for representing information for a multitude of purposes. However, left uncontrolled, the introduction of XML results in the proliferation of many diverse data formats that represent the same piece of information. This would create new islands of information and result in a new version of the expensive one-off formatting problems that most enterprises are looking to solve.
Information components can be shared, exchanged, and reused through the deployment of an XML Clearinghouse for the enterprise that provides a single, common, sharable location to store and manage the XML standards and vocabularies used in the enterprise. However, the technical solutions used to implement an effective XML strategy need to be managed properly. It is therefore important for an enterprise to establish an XML Standards Governance Model for the XML Clearinghouse to oversee the effective development and deployment of an integrated set of XML standards to represent, share, and exchange enterprise information components.
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 29, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,078
ReadyTalk has expanded the capabilities of the FoxDen collaboration platform announced late last year to include FoxDen Connect, an in-room video collaboration experience that launches with a single touch. With FoxDen Connect, users can now not only engage in HD video conferencing between iOS and Android mobile devices or Chrome browsers, but also set up in-person meeting rooms for video interactions. A host’s mobile device automatically recognizes the presence of a meeting room via beacon tech...
Jul. 29, 2016 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 217
On Dice.com, the number of job postings asking for skill in Amazon Web Services increased 76 percent between June 2015 and June 2016. Salesforce.com saw its own skill mentions increase 37 percent, while DevOps and Cloud rose 35 percent and 28 percent, respectively. Even as they expand their presence in the cloud, companies are also looking for tech professionals who can manage projects, crunch data, and figure out how to make systems run more autonomously. Mentions of ‘data science’ as a skill ...
Jul. 29, 2016 11:46 AM EDT Reads: 268
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
Jul. 29, 2016 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 673
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
Jul. 29, 2016 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,337
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
Jul. 29, 2016 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,130
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
Jul. 29, 2016 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,031
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
Jul. 29, 2016 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,468
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
Jul. 29, 2016 07:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,645
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
Jul. 29, 2016 06:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,370
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
Jul. 29, 2016 04:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,572
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
Jul. 29, 2016 04:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,684
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
Jul. 29, 2016 02:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,617
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device.
Jul. 29, 2016 02:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,470
Large scale deployments present unique planning challenges, system commissioning hurdles between IT and OT and demand careful system hand-off orchestration. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Smith, Senior Director and a founding member of Incenergy, will discuss some of the key tactics to ensure delivery success based on his experience of the last two years deploying Industrial IoT systems across four continents.
Jul. 29, 2016 02:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,700
Basho Technologies has announced the latest release of Basho Riak TS, version 1.3. Riak TS is an enterprise-grade NoSQL database optimized for Internet of Things (IoT). The open source version enables developers to download the software for free and use it in production as well as make contributions to the code and develop applications around Riak TS. Enhancements to Riak TS make it quick, easy and cost-effective to spin up an instance to test new ideas and build IoT applications. In addition to...
Jul. 29, 2016 12:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,015
Identity is in everything and customers are looking to their providers to ensure the security of their identities, transactions and data. With the increased reliance on cloud-based services, service providers must build security and trust into their offerings, adding value to customers and improving the user experience. Making identity, security and privacy easy for customers provides a unique advantage over the competition.
Jul. 28, 2016 11:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,281
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 28, 2016 10:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,454
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
Jul. 28, 2016 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,109
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
Jul. 28, 2016 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,735