In the Navy, XML is the Standard

The Department of the Navy has implemented a new policy for using XML throughout the service.

The Department of the Navy has implemented a new policy for using XML throughout the service. The Navys chief information officer, David Wennergren, signed off on the policy last Friday. The Navy first established a vision for using XML in its systems in March.

The Navys vision document said it would "fully exploit Extensible Markup Language as an enabling technology to achieve interoperability in support of maritime information superiority."

In his policy directive, Wennergren wrote: "Interoperability is a cornerstone of DON [Department of Navy] efforts to strengthen its interdependent operations and, subsequently, improve the war fighters ability to find, retrieve, process and exchange information. The Department, like many government and private sector organizations, has increasingly looked to XML technology to meet its data sharing needs."

Michael Jacobs, data architecture project lead in the Navys chief information office, said: "The Department of the Navy has been actively developing XML implementation plans since the stand-up of the DONXML Work Group in August 2001."

Jacobs said the Navys Work Group is comprised of five action teams: strategic vision and approach, standard implementation, enterprise implementation, marketing and outreach, and integration with existing DON processes.

Meanwhile, Jacobs named as some of the key elements of the new XML policy: direction on use of Voluntary Consensus Standards (VCS) from W3C, OASIS, and other internationally recognized standards bodies; direction on active DON participation on VCSs; direction on reuse of XML components and order of precedence for reuse, prior to development of new components.

Other policy directives include prohibition on using proprietary extension to XML specifications; adherence to DON XML Developers Guide; adherence to DoD [Department of Defense] XML Registration Policy; and designation and stand-up of DON XML Functional Namespace Coordinators (FNCs), who will be responsible for managing their functional piece of the DON Enterprise XML Namespace.

The Navys XML initiative is the latest in a series of government initiatives around XML. Last week at the XML 2002 Conference and Exposition in Baltimore, Md., Robert Haycock, manager of the Office of Management and Budgets E-Gov Office, called XML and Web services the "keys to the palace," and said OMB is working on a government-wide architecture based on XML.

Haycock said the OMB is developing the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA), a business-based framework for government-wide improvement and interoperability between systems in various government agencies. XML lies at the heart of the FEA.