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Re: XML Schemas for Organizational Structures

From: Light, Michael <mlight@state.pa.us>
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2001 18:29:50 -0500
Message-ID: <82FAA6B51F18D511A4B400D0B7E8CF62019A9F3E@hbgpri15>
To: "'www-xml-schema-comments@w3.org'" <www-xml-schema-comments@w3.org>
To the WC3 community,

Our organization is looking at clarification when defining XML schemas.  Our
support database structure is comprised of 4 different database management
systems; 2 Unisys mainframe legacy database architectures DMS the other
RDMS, Microsoft Sql 2000, and finally Oracle 8i.  85% of our business
resides within the Unisys DMS/RDMS data management systems.

Is there a best practice rule defining XML schemas built  to represent data
formats of the legacy systems?  Or are we to embrace data formats of the new
technology and build transformation services?  In example, our DMS / RDMS
legacy systems have character data and numeric formats.  It has been our
practice to use numeric values for fields even if they were not
computational.  Examples would be zip code numeric 5  zip code extended
numeric 4.  Provider number numeric 10, client number numeric 10.  These
values would be compressed via Unisys definitions to save space.

There is a move by some within our organization to create a blanket
statement "All non-computational data be character in XML schema
definitions".  I do not disagree with motives to generalize, however; I find
this would place a large workload on business rules to validate all data.

My thoughts are, a well defined schema could be used to express our
interface to our business partners and resolve integration issues to the
legacy data management systems.  This will not take the place of validation
rules, however it may expose an understanding of our legacy systems to those
less familiar.

My staff are responsible for data integration through the use of middleware
products.  Your response will help us prepare for our role in this

Your thoughts on this subject would be greatly appreciated,

Michael E. Light  

Application Support Division, Bureau of Application Development & Delivery
Office of Information Systems, PA Dept. of Public Welfare

Phone: (717) 772-7941
Email: mlight@state.pa.us
Received on Thursday, 29 November 2001 18:29:28 UTC

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