The World Wide Web Consortium has created a group aimed at standardizing the rules that deliver data across the Web.
The RIF (Rule Interchange Format) working group is tasked with producing a standard means for exchanging rules on the Web, regardless of data format.
This, in turn, could boost integration of data from multiple sources or areas of the Internet.
Rules are a key element of the Semantic Web, a project geared toward creating a universal medium for information exchange among machines, currently under the direction of Web creator Tim Berners-Lee.
The Semantic Web is comprised of several standards and tools, including XML, RDF, and OWL.
A standardized RIF will provide a way to blend established and new rule languages, so rules written for one application can be published, shared, merged and used by in other applications.
This could affect how banks process loan applications, or how hospitals verify prescriptions and other medical data, for example.
The formation of the working group is a key step in joining together those in industry and in research, according to the W3C.
"Im pleased to see W3C members working to develop a Web-based rules standard," Berners-Lee said in a release.