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Slide 1 - PESC

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									5th Annual Conference
on Technology &
Standards
April 28 – 30, 2008
Hyatt Regency Washington
on Capitol Hill
www.PESC.org


             Considerations for Future XML Development
                                   Methodologies
                                  Steve Margenau
                           Chair, PESC Technical Advisory Board
              Systems Analyst, Great Lakes Educational Loan Services
5th Annual Conference
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 • We can’t talk about where we’re going in
   the future without describing how we got
   where we are.
5th Annual Conference
on Technology &
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 • Early 2001

    – The Core Components Workgroup

    – The Technology Workgroup
5th Annual Conference
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 • The Technology Workgroup

    – Weekly calls selecting Best Practices for the
      Higher Education community

    – Provided advisory and instructional services
      to the Core Components workgroup as well
      as to other PESC members
5th Annual Conference
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 • Early 2002

    – The Technology Workgroup
       • Technical Specifications


    – The Core Components Workgroup
       • Data Dictionary

    – An Enthusiastic Membership
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 • But what are we going to do?

    – No one was going to change all of their
      systems to match the PESC definitions.

    – How are we going to support community-wide
      data items that have the same name, but
      which must have differences in their
      definitions, until the time all members migrate
      to the common definition?
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 • At a PESC meeting at the University of Miami in
   February of 2002

    – We referenced a whitepaper prepared for PESC in
      March of 2001, in which an architecture of multiple
      schemas and namespaces was described that could
      solve the very issue we were faced with.

    – This architecture was tested, implemented, and is in
      use to this day.
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 • We developed a “Core” schema that contains element
   definitions that have no differences across PESC
   members.

 • We developed “Sector” schemas that contain element
   definitions that are specific to a given sector of the higher
   education community.

 • Application schemas choose which definition they use by
   Importing the schema and namespace in which the
   definition resides, and using the namespace prefix when
   specifying the element definition.
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 •   This architecture is easy for people to
     understand, and works perfectly from an
     XML definitions perspective.

 •   But we now know that it’s not the best
     approach from an applications and
     systems environment perspective.

 •   Here is why……………………
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             Sector 1     Sector 2




 Core                                       First
                                  Middle    Name
                   Last           Initial
                   Name


                           Last Name
                           First Name
                          Middle Initial
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             Sector 1     Sector 2




 Core                                       First
                                  Middle    Name
                   Last           Initial
                   Name


                           Last Name
                           First Name
                          Middle Initial
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 • The Technical Advisory Board has been working on
   moving away from this structure for the past year.

 • How do we do this?

    – By hand? This means managing the XML definitions for
      individual elements, both simple and complex, and putting them
      together to create schemas - and managing versions of all of
      them. Then send the schemas out for multiple reviews to be
      sure we’ve got it right. Will this work? I don’t think so.

    – Our most experienced PESC Schema Author tried this as an
      experiment. It got real tedious real fast.
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 • Once this alternative was turned down, we
   thrashed for quite awhile. What to do?

 • At our January face-to-face meeting a member
   of the Technical Advisory Board mentioned a
   tool his company was evaluating for managing
   their internal XML components. Our interest
   was piqued. Are there tools available to make
   managing components and building schemas
   less tedious and less prone to manual error?
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 • With a good number of Technical Advisory
   Board members present in Washington,
   we began developing a set of evaluation
   criteria for what we have come to refer to
   as “repository management tools”.
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 • Be sufficiently robust as to support the creation and
   maintenance of PESC schemas based on components
   contained in the tool’s repository

 • Have the ability to import existing schemas, both PESC
   schemas and schemas from other sources

 • Be able to create schemas from repository-based
   components that are backward-compatible with existing
   PESC schema definitions
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 • Be able to store schemas in separate namespaces to
   accommodate existing PESC schema definitions, which
   provide like-named elements and types that exist in
   separate namespaces

 • Be able to create a new schema file and namespace
   from Repository-based components

 • Provide the ability to move a component to a new
   namespace
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 • Provide the ability to create new components from
   subcomponents whose definitions exist in different
   namespaces

 • Be able to conduct an Impact Analysis of a change to a
   definition contained in the repository and its affect on
   other components and schemas

 • Provide the ability to see parent/child associations and
   relationship history across components and schemas
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 • Be able to support multiple versions of the same
   definition (concurrent versions as well as those in
   various development stages) for components and
   schemas

 • Have the ability to publish/deploy definitions within the
   repository in multiple formats such as plain text and
   Comma Separated Values (CSV)
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 •   Provide a means to publish contents of the repository
     to a Component Registry such as Federal Student
     Aid’s XML Registry and Repository for Higher
     Education, the ebXML Registry and Repository, etc

 •   Have the ability to identify elements and components
     that are not used within another component or schema
     definition

 •   Provide a means to track changes made to
     components and other artifacts (such as a sample
     instance document) stored in the repository
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 • Provide a means to store supporting information (sample
   instance documents, change history, documentation,
   etc) and tie it back to the corresponding component

 • Provide the ability to generate a report that details the
   results of an Impact Analysis. This report could serve as
   evidence of due diligence by a PESC workgroup that is
   adding or changing an element, component, or schema

 • Be able to generate instance documents based on a
   schema definition residing in the repository
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 • Next came the search for tools that might
   provide at least some of the capabilities
   enumerated on the previous slides.

 • There aren’t many. In fact, we have found
   one. But it is very promising.
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 • We’re excited about this tool, but we are
   proceeding cautiously in order to make the
   best decision for PESC and the
   Community.

 • Being a volunteer force also constrains the
   amount of time that we can devote to our
   evaluation as well.
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 • We will deliver schemas that allow
   software tools to generate what they need
   to produce PESC XML – not the extra
   baggage that is created today.

 • We want to get the word out that this issue
   is being addressed, and provide an update
   on our progress.
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 • Questions?
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 • Thank you for attending and participating
   in today’s session.

 • Stay tuned for further updates!
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 • The Technical Advisory Board is an
   EOEO. Suggestions, as well as new
   members, are always welcome!

    smargenau@glhec.org

 • You may also contact Michael Sessa or
   Jennifer Kim, and they will get the
   information to us.

								
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