Members Approve XML Catalogs as OASIS Standard

Debian, PTC (Arbortext), Sun Microsystems and Others Define Specification for Resource Mapping

Boston, MA, USA; 29 November 2005 -- OASIS, the international e-business standards consortium, today announced that its members have approved XML Catalogs version 1.1 as an OASIS Standard, a status that signifies the highest level of ratification. XML Catalogs defines mechanisms to facilitate machine processing of XML entities associated with external identifiers, allowing references to web resources, such as files, images, stylesheets, and schemas, to be mapped to other resources.

"XML Catalogs play an important role in processing XML, enabling the use of known, trusted, and available resources under circumstances in which this would otherwise not be possible," said Lauren Wood of Sun Microsystems, chair of the OASIS Entity Resolution Technical Committee. "The standard is stable and has been widely implemented."

Entity resolution refers to the procedure used by an XML processor to locate a resource or external file on the web. The processor applies the file's labeling information (such as its system identifier and possibly a name, public identifier, etc.) to determine the actual location of the external file. This determination process, which 'maps' the known labeling information into an actual location, is referred to as entity resolution. The file that contains the specific mapping information is known as the XML catalog.

"As a way to help systems work in practice, XML catalogs are such an essential part of the XML infrastructure that they predate XML itself," said Jon Bosak, organizer and chair of the original XML Working Group and a Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems. "Catalogs were one of the first and most important specifications released by SGML Open, the organization now known as OASIS. It's great to see this foundational part of the infrastructure brought up to date with web-oriented processing and XML features."

"The XML Catalogs OASIS Standard is essential, because XML itself does not specify entity management in any detail," noted Patrick Gannon, president and CEO of OASIS. "By enabling intelligent mapping, XML Catalogs allows machine processing to deal with realities encountered on the Web today. External identifiers may require resources that are not always available, protocols may not be accessible to different types of software on a single computer. XML Catalogs is a big step forward for interoperability of XML documents."

All interested parties are encouraged to exchange information on implementing XML Catalogs via the xmlcatalogs-dev mailing list ( As with all Consortium projects, archives of the OASIS Entity Resolution Committee's work are accessible to both members and non-members, and OASIS hosts an open mail list for public comment on the standard.

Support for XML Catalogs OASIS Standard

"As a long-time supporter of XML and related standards, PTC welcomes this new catalog standard to the fold," said PG Bartlett, vice president product management for Arbortext solutions, PTC. "Easing customer implementations and information sharing remains one of our top priorities."

About OASIS:

OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) is a not-for-profit, international consortium that drives the development, convergence, and adoption of e-business standards. Members themselves set the OASIS technical agenda, using a lightweight, open process expressly designed to promote industry consensus and unite disparate efforts. The consortium produces open standards for Web services, security, e-business, and standardization efforts in the public sector and for application-specific markets. Founded in 1993, OASIS has more than 5,000 participants representing over 600 organizations and individual members in 100 countries. Approved OASIS Standards include AVDL, CAP, DITA, DocBook, DSML, ebXML CPPA, ebXML Messaging, ebXML Registry, OpenDocument, SAML, SPML, UBL, UDDI, WSDM, WS-Reliability, WSRP, WS-Security, XACML, XCBF, and XML Catalogs.

Additional information:

OASIS Entity Resolution Technical Committee

XML Catalogs OASIS Standard FAQ

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