OASIS XRI Data Interchange (XDI) TC

The original Call For Participation for this TC may be found at http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/tc-announce/200401/msg00002.html

The TC charter was further revised by vote of the TC ending 1 May 2008, as recorded at http://www.oasis-open.org/apps/org/workgroup/xdi/ballot.php?id=1456

The charter for this TC is as follows:


OASIS XRI Data Interchange (XDI) Technical Committee

Statement of Purpose

As the Internet increasingly becomes the common data interchange platform for most devices, domains, and networks, there is a growing need for a simple, standard way to share data that is common to multiple applications, directories, databases, Web services, and XML schemas while at the same time permitting the authorities for this data to secure, protect, and control its use.

The purpose of the OASIS XDI TC is to define a simple, generalized format and protocol for sharing, linking, and synchronizing data over the Internet and other data networks using XRIs (Extensible Resource Identifiers), a URI-compatible scheme for abstract structured identifiers defined by the OASIS XRI Technical Committee. The overall goal of XDI is to enable data from any data source to be addressed and linked into a machine-readable "dataweb" just as content from any content source can be addressed and linked into the human-readable Web today.

A further purpose of XDI is to allow the controls needed to mediate access and usage of shared data to also be expressed as XDI documents called "link contracts". A link contract can govern authorization, access control, usage control, synchronization, and rights management. Integrating these controls into a standard, generalized data-oriented service can enable true data portability and provide a new platform for trusted data sharing networks and applications.

In no event shall this Technical Committee finalize or approve any technical specification if it believes that the use, distribution, or implementation of such specification would necessarily require the unauthorized infringement of any third party rights known to the Technical Committee, and such third party has not agreed to provide necessary license rights on perpetual, royalty-free, non-discriminatory terms.

Scope of Work

As a data sharing service, XDI is intended to be very simple and generalized, so it can be bound to any transport protocol offering basic primitives like HTTP or SMTP. Similarly, the XDI graph model is intended to be very simple and generalized, so it can carry data directly (serialized in XML, JSON, or other formats) or reference it externally (much as XML or HTML documents can carry content directly or reference it externally). Such a "lingua franca" for data interchange can solve many problems related to mapping and sharing of data and metadata across domains, directories, schemas, ontologies, applications, and languages (both human and machine).

Though the potential uses of XDI are very broad, the scope of the OASIS XDI TC work is limited to defining the specifications required for it to interoperate successfully. This includes:

  • Defining the XDI graph model for describing and linking XRI-identified resources and data.
  • Defining concrete serialization formats for this graph model.
  • Defining rules for XRI addressing of XDI documents and the graphs they contain independent of serialization format.
  • Defining an abstract XDI API consisting of logical operations on the XDI graph.
  • Defining bindings of this abstract API to concrete transport protocols such as HTTP, SMTP, SIP, and XMPP, and to invocation protocols such as SOAP, REST, and RMI.
  • Defining the semantics of XDI dictionaries — self-describing ontologies for use in XDI data sharing.
  • Defining the semantics of XDI link contracts — XDI documents used to govern the terms of XDI data sharing relationships.
  • Defining the semantics of other types of XDI graphs that fulfill general interoperability requirements of XDI infrastructure, e.g., context discovery, versioning, queries, etc.
  • Maintaining additional versions of these specifications as they evolve over time.

The OASIS XDI TC may also publish white papers, implementation guides, and other resources that support XDI implementation and adoption.

List of Deliverables

The initial deliverables of the OASIS XDI TC and their completion dates are:

  • XDI Overview and Conformance 1.0 — October 2008
  • XDI RDF Graph Model 1.0 - October 2008
  • XDI Serialization 1.0 - October 2008
  • XDI REST-Based API 1.0 - April 2009
  • XDI Asynchronous API 1.0 - April 2009
  • XDI Context Discovery 1.0 - April 2009
  • XDI Dictionaries 1.0 - April 2009
  • XDI Versioning 1.0 - April 2009
  • XDI Link Contracts 1.0 - April 2009
  • XDI Queries 1.0 - April 2009

Anticipated Audience

The work of the OASIS XDI TC is equally applicable to developers and implementers of conventional Web sites, Web services, and Semantic Web applications. It is also relevant to distributed directories, federated identity and profile management systems, enterprise application integration (EAI) systems, dictionary and ontology services, blogging and content syndication services, social networks, and other cross-domain data sharing systems and services.


All meetings (both face-to-face and phone meetings) as well as official correspondences amongst OASIS XDI TC participants will be conducted in English.