Working group tests tools for Web services

'One thing we're determined not to do is create our own standards. We want to use the commercial standards already out there.'

'Robert Haycock

Tom Fedor

BALTIMORE'XML Collaborator isn't yet a saleable product, but it's already part of a pilot.

The Extensible Markup Language development tool'from start-up Blue Oxide Technologies LLC of Charles Town, W.Va.'is one of six incubator projects fostered by a new CIO Council group.

The XML Web Services Working Group is counting on the half-dozen projects to inject Web services into the Office of Management and Budget's 25 e-government initiatives, said Brand L. Niemann, an Environmental Protection Agency computer scientist who chairs the new group.

Meanwhile, the Federal Enterprise Architecture Program Management Office expects to release drafts of two technology-related reference models early next year. The draft technical reference model (TRM) and service component reference model (SRM) will probably be launched together next month, acting program manager Robert Haycock said last week at the XML 2002 conference.

SRM will describe software components that agencies can quickly assemble into applications, Haycock said. TRM will identify interoperability and reuse technologies'down to the product level in some cases.

The working groups that are drafting the enterprise architecture models still have 'a lot of conceptualizing' to do on a draft data reference model for the architecture, Haycock said. Current plans call for a DRM repository of XML schemas and metadata describing data common to multiple agencies' business processes.

'One thing we're determined not to do is create our own standards,' Haycock said. 'We want to use the commercial standards already out there.'

The critical specifications are XML; Universal Discovery, Description and Integration; the Simple Object Access Protocol; and Web Services Description Language.

The enterprise architecture groups could use emerging Web services to share data and integrate business processes. For example, Haycock said, the Federal Asset Sales
e-government project could be integrated with the Treasury Department's component-based portal.

Results of the incubator pilots probably will be incorporated into a set of best Web services practices for other agencies to emulate, Niemann said.


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