OASIS Launches XML.ORG

Industry Registry/Repository to Enable XML for E-Business

May 25, 1999, Austin, TX -- Today OASIS announced the creation of XML.ORG, the first global XML industry portal to be operated by a non-profit corporation devoted to open information exchange. Over 23 industry-leading corporations, organizations and individual experts have rallied to voice their support for the formation of XML.ORG.

Central to XML.ORG will be an open industry XML registry and repository offering automated public access to XML schemas. The registry/repository will play a critical enabling role in the use of industry-defined XML applications for electronic commerce, business-to-business transactions, and tools and application interoperability.

The debut of XML.ORG signifies a major step in OASIS' ongoing registry and repository efforts, work that has been in progress for the last the 12 months. In keeping with its consensus-focused mission, OASIS will strive to ensure interoperability with existing and emerging XML initiatives, and will continue to actively solicit participation by any similar efforts.

The XML.ORG registry found immediate support from the Graphic Communications Association. The participation of the GCA is significant because of GCA's historic role in shaping XML and its recent work in the study of XML/EDI unification. "GCA is enthusiastic about working with OASIS on XML.ORG," said Marion Elledge, Senior VP, GCA. "As the principal supporter of XML and other markup language standards, we are pleased to see this application effort take place. XML.ORG is a giant step for the industry and GCA is proud to be a part of this initiative."

"We've received overwhelmingly positive initial reactions to the open registry concept from other industry groups planning to use XML for data exchange," said OASIS Program Manager Carol Geyer. "We expect many of them to announce their support for XML.ORG over the next few weeks."

Charles F. Goldfarb, the father of markup languages and a member of the Advisory Board for the founding of OASIS, said "This latest action by OASIS moves us even further toward the vision of universal information interchange that motivated the original creation of vendor-neutral structured information standards."

XML.ORG also received endorsement from the CommerceNet consortium. "This effort to establish an industry supported and open portal to exchange XML information is critical to the ongoing evolution of what is quickly becoming a mission critical component of electronic commerce," said Randall Whiting, President and CEO of CommerceNet. "CommerceNet will integrate XML.ORG into its member web site and use the shared environment to collaborate on key joint efforts in furthering interoperable electronic commerce."

OASIS Takes the Lead

A recent Forrester Research study on industry standards participation found that while 75 percent of IT executives are aware of standards groups in their industries, less than one-third of their companies participate. "This statistic shows that the market is waiting for an organization like OASIS to take the lead," said Bill Smith, Vice President of OASIS. "We will provide an environment in which all industry players will be able to help make the universal data exchange capabilities of XML a reality for their market."

As XML rapidly becomes the key data interchange format on the Web, customers and developers will turn to XML.ORG for direct access to key industry-specific XML specifications, while business and industry organizations will look to OASIS for assistance in designing these specifications.

"Customers are seeking an authoritative industry leader to advise them on how best to use XML in their business and industry. Some fear being locked into vendor-specific implementations and seek a trusted partner for the development of XML languages," said Laura Walker, Executive Director of OASIS. "OASIS has a six-year track record in the open, vendor-neutral development of specifications for structured data. XML.ORG is a natural extension of that work."

An XML Industry Portal

The industry portal at XML.ORG will provide a center for XML interoperability in five key areas.

* First, XML.ORG will provide a registry and repository for the access and management of XML schemas and other public resources (DTDs, namespaces, stylesheets, public key certificates, etc.). Through XML.ORG, industry groups will be able to register their XML data exchange specifications, individuals will be able to look for specifications in their areas of interest, and applications will be able to access XML resources needed when acting on an XML document. For example, a software vendor or trade group might register a DTD for purchase orders, a developer might search the site registry for a purchase order DTD before writing supply-chain software, and a procurement application that receives a purchase order referencing that DTD but not finding it on its local system could automatically obtain the DTD from the repository to resolve the reference and continue processing. Through XML.ORG, OASIS will complement the work of other standards bodies by providing a central clearinghouse for access to XML-related specifications.
* Second, the XML.ORG site will implement an architecture employing existing and emerging standards for XML registry/repositories, work that is currently under development as an OASIS technical initiative. This architecture will allow vendors to create interoperable versions of the registry for use within industry organizations, communities, and corporations. A registry/repository based on the common architecture might be used for a corporate intranet for ERP applications or by an industry organization for sharing information among its members. XML.ORG will maintain a "root" registry that will point to compatible registries and repositories maintained by participating organizations as well as to resources in its own repository.
* Third, XML.ORG will serve as an information portal for the work of OASIS-hosted industry groups defining and extending domain-oriented XML specifications for industries that lack XML expertise or the ability to support and refine these specifications on an ongoing basis. OASIS has recently modified its membership structure to facilitate the participation of industry groups in the definition of XML specifications and other OASIS technical activities. Any OASIS participant may propose the formation of a working group to define or extend an OASIS-hosted industry standardization effort.
* Fourth, XML.ORG will provide a public source for interoperability guidelines to ensure that XML can fulfill the vision of providing for the open exchange of structured data. This work extends an ongoing OASIS technical initiative to ensure XML conformance in cooperation with the U. S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
* Fifth, XML.ORG will provide a public source for XML educational and training materials developed by OASIS. Initially, http://xml.org (http://209.41.125.73) will provide basic resources to the XML community such as Robin Cover's popular SGML/XML pages, details of various industry schema efforts, free XML software, a link to IBM's xCentral XML search engine, news and education relevant to the XML community. As it evolves, XML.ORG will become the reference portal for XML developers, pointing them to available schemas and other XML industry specifications. Through the site, XML developers will be able to search for existing specifications used in their industry and to monitor the work of groups designing specifications for their particular market niche. When the registry/repository becomes fully functional later this year, the portal will serve as a mechanism for the automatic resolution of DTD, schema, and stylesheet references, providing an invaluable resource for XML-based e-commerce and serving as a model for the distribution of such services.

Open for Partnership

"The need for an XML registry has been recognized by a number of organizations," noted Jon Bosak, long-time OASIS supporter and the leader of the W3C working group that developed XML. "The problem has been how to build and maintain a site at the necessary level of service without putting it under the control of one dominant industry player. OASIS solves that problem by providing an established non-profit organization that can be trusted to operate a site funded by the big companies that need this service in order to make open e-business really work."

Companies with the vision to invest in the basic infrastructure of electronic commerce by funding the XML.ORG web site are called XML.ORG partners. Founding partners will be given the one-time opportunity to join the XML.ORG Steering Committee, which is responsible for setting XML.ORG priorities, defining the technical direction of the portal, and determining what kinds of XML specifications are in or out of scope for the XML registry. OASIS is currently engaged in discussions with several companies that have already expressed strong interest in becoming XML.ORG partners.

About OASIS OASIS, the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (http://www.oasis-open.org), is a non-profit, international consortium of users and vendors founded in 1993 and dedicated to the promotion of open specifications for the interchange of structured data. Currently, OASIS is focused on the definition and implementation of XML-based vertical industry specifications. It also hosts CGM Open, an organization devoted to the deployment of the CGM vector graphics format.

ENDORSEMENTS

CONTACT:
Executive Director, OASIS
460 Boston Road
Post Office Box 455
Billerica, MA 01821
+1-877-645-7352
www.oasis-open.org
xml.org

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