Internaut: Justice XML effort is promising

Shawn P. McCarthy

One of the more interesting public-safety and homeland security efforts in recent months is a data reference model called Justice XML, officially known as the Global Justice XML Data Model.

Justice XML is evolving into a way for justice and public-safety groups to import and export data from multiple databases and publish it in various formats.

I've heard from a vendor and a state IT office that plan to adopt the model for sharing justice-related data.

The standard is a cooperative effort by the Justice Department's Office of Justice Programs, representatives of other agencies and the Georgia Tech Research Institute.

In simple terms, Justice XML is an object-oriented data model for populating databases and generating Extensible Markup Language data in a standard form for easy sharing.

I have long argued for a government-wide data reference model, or XML tag set, to standardize the way agencies publish and share information. That's a huge effort and difficult to coordinate among multiple agencies.

Rather than tackling the whole world, Justice XML started with just the kinds of data needed by justice and public- safety users. Organizations that want to learn more and possibly participate can plug into the Justice Information Sharing Initiative by going to www.gcn.com and entering GCN.com/231.

Justice-related data is a great place to start learning how to share with XML and push for a common data model.

Here are some other government XML initiatives under way:
  • A National Institute of Standards and Technology software quality group is working on an XML registry project, at xmlregistry.nist.gov.

  • XML.gov, an interagency group, has partnered with commercial and industry organizations to work out XML and data-transfer standards.

  • The CIO Council's XML Working Group posts messages and ongoing discussions about various governmentwide XML efforts. See GCN.com/232 at www.gcn.com for the link.

    Shawn P. McCarthy is senior analyst and program manager for government IT opportunities at IDC of Framingham, Mass. E-mail him at smccarthy@idc.com. .

About the Author

Shawn McCarthy, a former writer for GCN, is senior analyst and program manager for government IT opportunities at IDC.

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