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Developing open business information exchange documents

From: G. Ken Holman <gkholman@CraneSoftwrights.com>
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2017 21:42:25 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: xmlschema-dev@w3.org
Not all XML-ers enjoy committee work.  Imagine!

It happens that I do, and I have had the privilege to volunteer in a 
number of standardization committees over the years related to SGML 
and XML projects of different kinds, from markup technology 
committees to markup user committees.

A business document interchange specification governs the structure 
and expression of information to be exchanged between members of an 
industry or economic sector.  I have come to believe that the burden 
of developing such a specification is on the users and not on the 
technical people supporting them.  Accordingly, these user groups 
need processes, techniques and tools to enable subject matter experts 
to lead the development of open standardized work products.

I've written an essay on how the Organization for the Advancement of 
Structured Information Standards (OASIS) technical committee process 
supports a group of members from an industry or economic sector in 
creating business exchange document specifications.  The essay is an 
adaptation of a response I wrote last year for an RFP for the 
development of such an open document standard in XSD for XML.  I 
ended up no-bidding the contract because the constraints were not 
loose enough to accommodate my proposal.  But my proposal should be 
of interest to those just embarking on a project to develop exchange 
specifications without pre-conceived constraints.

I illustrate my points using my experience with the OASIS Universal 
Business Language Technical Committee that produced the OASIS UBL 2.1 
Standard that was subsequently ratified globally as ISO/IEC 
19845:2015.  The two normative components of the specification are 
the semantics of the information items and the XSD schemas for XML 
syntax.  Non-normative deliverables include UML models, ASN.1 schemas 
and JSON schemas.

Those not interested in committee work will find this essay an 
excellent treatment for insomnia.  But for those of us XML-ers who 
are approached by their management or clients regarding the "big 
picture" of developing document exchange specifications, maybe even 
with the goal of developing an ISO standard for such, I hope you find 
this interesting:


. . . . . . . . Ken

cc: XML Dev, XML-L, W3C XML Schema, UBL Dev

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Received on Wednesday, 22 February 2017 02:49:47 UTC

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