U.S. Federal Government XML Efforts in 2004

This page includes a separate table with descriptions and contact information for each of the 13 XML efforts that were submitted to Ken Sall (SiloSmashers), based upon an informal (unofficial) call for input announced on the GSA-hosted listserv of the XML Working Group of the CIO Council in July and August 2004. Although contributions were received from a limited number of federal agencies, one should not conclude that this reflects the only agencies using XML. Other agencies wishing to announce (or update) their efforts may contact Owen Ambur [and/or Ken Sall] providing information that is analogous to that which is shown in these tables.

Note: This information was excerpted with permission from Ken Sall's XML 2004 Conference and Exhibition paper, How the U.S. Federal Government is Using XML: One Year Later, also available from the XML 2004 conference proceedings.

Index of XML Efforts in 2004

 

 

Component Organization and Registration Environment


Component Organization and Registration Environment
Acronym: CORE
URL: https://www.core.gov/
Year Effort Began: 2003
Point of Contact: Lee Ellis
Contact E-mail: Lee.Ellis@gsa.gov
Major Participants: GSA, CollabNet, SAIC
Community of Interest: Government Project Mangers and Program Managers; US Federal agencies and also state and local agencies.
How to get involved: Follow the Contacting CORE.GOV link
Submitted by: Lee Ellis, GSA

Description:

CORE.gov, the Component Organization and Registration Environment, is the government source for business process and technical components. The site provides a collaborative environment that encourages consistent use and reuse of business processes and Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) components within and across Federal Agencies. CORE.gov is the place to search for and locate a specific component, or to find components that can customized to meet unique requirements. Components can also be recommended for inclusion in CORE.gov.

 

 

Emerging Technology Life-Cycle Management Process


Emerging Technology Life-Cycle Management Process
Acronym: ET.gov
URL: http://xml.gov/cop.asp#et
Year Effort Began: 2003
Point of Contact: Owen Ambur
Contact E-mail: Owen_Ambur@ios.doi.gov
Major Participants: CIO Council, Emerging Technology Subcommittee, XML Working Group, Industry Advisory Council (IAC), Booz Allen Hamilton
Community of Interest: Any community of practice (CoP) that chooses to form around any emerging technology component for potential use by any government agency.
How to get involved: When the ET.gov site is operational, register proposed ET components and/or subscribe to components proposed by others, thereby self-identying yourself as part of the CoP to move the proposed component to higher levels of maturity in the ET process.
Submitted by: Owen Ambur, Co-Chair, XML Working Group

Description:

The U.S. federal CIO Council's Emerging Technologies Subcommittee has been charged with developing a process whereby the information technology innovation life-cycle can be managed on a Governmentwide basis. The driving force is the inability of agency chief information officers (CIOs) to respond effectively to myriad vendors and other proponents of technology components, particularly those that are new, innovative, and perhaps untested and unproven in practical application. The expectation is that the process will help to structure such input for better coordinated and more productive response, in support of the eGov initiatives and within the framework of the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA). The desired outcome is the well-coordinated acquisition of logically separable technology components for potential Governmentwise usage.

 

 

Department of Education's Federal Student Aid XML Framework


Department of Education's Federal Student Aid XML Framework
Acronym: FSA XML Framework
URL: http://fsaxmlregistry.ed.gov
Year Effort Began: 2003
Point of Contact: Holly Hyland
Contact E-mail: holly.hyland@ed.gov
Major Participants: Education's Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA), Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council (PESC). PESC has members across the education community, including schools, sevicers, and vendors.
Community of Interest: n/a
How to get involved: Members of the education community can get involved with PESC by contacting them, information is on their website, http://www.pesc.org.
Submitted by: Andrew Smalera, Accenture, working with Federal Student Aid (FSA) U.S. Department of Education

Description:

The FSA XML Framework has 2 major areas: the XML Core Component Dictionaries and the XML Registry and Repository. The XML Core Components are reusable pieces of business information that provide a standard definition for key data entities across FSA's enterprise and the Education Standards Community. These standard definitions will enable FSA to better access and compare data between its systems for mapping and analysis. Additionally, by referencing and exchanging data in a common format, the common set of data definitions and XML modeling will help FSA improve data quality and integration services between systems. These definitions will also provide the starting point for defining a common Education Community data dictionary that can be used to help ensure consistent definitions and simplify data exchange between trading partners. The FSA XML Registry and Repository provides a central access point for FSA's XML Core Components, XML Schemas, and supporting documentation. The XML Registry and Repository provides FSA and the Education Community with a common set of enterprise data definitions that can be used to exchange data between FSA and other systems. Users can access the Registry and Repository to search, view, upload, and download the XML Core Component definitions and documentation. Note: The FSA XML Registry and Repository site has a planned public launch date of September 2004. It will become a central access point for XML Core Components, XML Schemas, and supporting documentation for the Education Standards Community.

 

 

GSA Integrated Acquisition Environment


GSA Integrated Acquisition Environment
Acronym: IAE
URL: Visit egov.gsa.gov and click "Integrated Acquisition Environment"
Year Effort Began: 2002
Point of Contact: Teresa Sorrenti (Program Manager) or Earl Warrington (Deputy Program Manager)
Contact E-mail: teresa.sorrenti@gsa.gov or earl.warrington@gsa.gov or integrated.Aquisition@gsa.gov
Major Participants: All agencies subject to the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990 [The 24 CFO Act agencies are: Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of the Interior, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Department of State, Department of Transportation, Department of the Treasury, Department of Veterans Affairs, Agency for International Development, Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Science Foundation, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Office of Personnel Management, Small Business Administration, and Social Security Administration.]
Community of Interest: Federal acquisition community
How to get involved: Phone Teresa Sorrenti (703-872-8610) or Earl Warrington (703-872-8609)
Submitted by: Lisa Cliff, SiloSmashers

Description:

The Integrated Acquisition Environment creates a secure business environment that will facilitate and support cost-effective acquisition of goods and services by agencies, while eliminating inefficiencies in the current acquisition environment. For in-depth coverage, see the IAE case study in Sall's paper.

 

 

GSA Project and Program Information Exchange


GSA Project and Program Information Exchange
Acronym: xPPRL and OPX (extensible Project and Program Reporting Language and Open Project Exchange file format)
URL: n/a
Year Effort Began: 2001
Point of Contact: Stephen R Hagan FAIA, Thomas Graves
Contact E-mail: stephen.hagan@gsa.gov, thomas.graves@gsa.gov
Major Participants: Currently GSA PBS only, but interest expressed by National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI), FIATECH, Federal Facilities Council (FFC), and 26 member agencies responsible for capital construction and capital asset management for both DOD and Civilian portions of the Public Sector Construction Users Roundtable, Stanford CIFE.
Community of Interest: The U.S. Design and Construction Industry, owner's focused on capital construction and life cycle real asset management, both public sector as well as the federal marketplace.
How to get involved: Email stephen.hagan@gsa.gov
Submitted by: Stephen R Hagan, GSA Public Buildings Service (PBS)

Description:

The Public Buildings Service (PBS) Project Information Portal (PIP) has been the enterprise system for communicating the PBS capital construction (totaling over $10 billion and nearly 200 projects), to GSA executives, project managers, and customers since 2001. In addition to an information portal, it is also an integration platform, accessing information from numerous internal sources, and integrating with other data and applications. XML data exchange is currently underway between the PIP and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Civil Engineering Research Laboratory and its application DrChecks. Other efforts for XML interchange are planned, in development, or actively underway. Most importantly to this XML effort, however, is that the information architecture and schema developed in the PIP user interface and navigation, represents what could be considered the default XML for an owner's view of capital construction. This includes major focus areas of: Basics, Scope, Schedule, Financial, Condition, Team Partners, Gallery, Documents and Customers. The navigation also provides rollups of information for program-wide and geo-graphic wide views (in this case GSA regions, but in other cases could be departmental, topical, or other geographic). Consensus building about the major focus areas, portions of this schema, nomenclature, and taxonomy will dramatically improve the opportunity for applications, individuals, organizations, agencies, and even outside team members to communicate and exchange need, relevant and accurate information. The recently released NIST study on the cost of lack of interoperability in the US Construction industry (estimated at over $13 billion annually), provides further stimulus for this standards development and consensus building effort.

 

 

IRS Modernized e-File


IRS Modernized e-File
Acronym: MeF
URL: http://www.irs.gov/efile/article/0,,id=103797,00.html
Year Effort Began: 2002
Point of Contact: Joan Barr
Contact E-mail: joan.barr@irs.gov
Major Participants: IRS, States and commercial partners
Community of Interest: Enterprise wide (corporations, small businesses, tax-exempt organizations, and political organizations)
How to get involved: Send request to Sol Safran, sol.safran@irs.gov
Submitted by: Sol Safran

Description:

Modernized e-File (MeF), a scalable new system for processing corporate and exempt organization returns, was developed through unique partnership with software developers and tax practitioners. The XML format for returns and SOAP transmissions utilize industry standards rather than proprietary formats. MeF provides real-time transaction processing, filing of returns via a secure Internet connection, and the ability to attach third party documents to the return, thereby eliminating all barriers voiced by industry that previously inhibited the growth of electronic filing. For in-depth coverage, see the MeF case study in Sall's paper.

 

 

IRS XML Bulk Load


IRS XML Bulk Load
Acronym: n/a
URL: http://www.irs.gov/irb, http://www.irs.gov/instructions, http://www.irs.gov/publications, and http://www.irs.gov/irm
Year Effort Began: 2003
Point of Contact: Gary B. Snyder and David W. Heiser
Contact E-mail: Gary.B.Snyder@irs.gov and David.W.Heiser@irs.gov
Major Participants: IRS Electronic Tax Administration, IRS Media and Publications, Accenture, Management System Designs, Inc., Mitre, Inc.
Community of Interest: U.S. taxpayers
How to get involved: n/a
Submitted by: David W. Heiser, Internal Revenue Service Media and Publications

Description:

The goals of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) XML Bulk Load project are standardization of the annual delivery of more than 20,000 pages of static content (authored using a suite of SGML/XML DTDs) to the public IRS website, as well as to reduce the HTML transformation time from several weeks to several hours. The challenge was to significantly increase the delivery of structured content (i.e., tax form instructions, publications, the Internal Revenue Manual, and the weekly Internal Revenue Bulletin) to the public website while simultaneously streamlining processing, standardizing on presentation and implementing Section 508 accessibility compliance. The stakeholders selected DocBookX (DocBook XML DTD) as the standard delivery format to the preproduction server hosted by Accenture. The various content owners use transformation standards (COM or XSLT tools) to transform the documents from their source SGML or XML format to DocBook 4.2. Accenture transforms the DocBook XML to HTML using the standard XSLT stylesheets available for DocBook. Using the tagging information, the vendor generates a comprehensive hyperlinked index to enhance navigation of these somewhat large documents. Government stakeholders quality reviews the resulting pages before they are published on the production website.

 

 

IRS SCORM Learning Registry Solution


IRS SCORM Learning Registry Solution
Acronym: n/a
URL: http://www.digitalconcepts.com/case_studies.html and http://www.digitalconcepts.com/metasoft_irs/
Year Effort Began: 2002
Point of Contact: Claude Mathews
Contact E-mail: N/A
Major Participants: Digital Concepts, Inc, IRS Web Services, IRS Human Capital Office, Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Co-Lab
Community of Interest: IRS E-Learning and IRS XML Communities, some response from Carnegie Mellon and other learning institutions. Major involvement from the ADL Co-Lab.
How to get involved: Visit the Web site, or find the component on https://www.CORE.gov
Submitted by: Claude Mathews, IRS

Description:

The IRS Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) Learning Registry Solution involves meta-data tagging of e-learning content and other knowledge resources to maximize their re-use. Metasoft uses an XML Schema to organize the information, making it highly searchable and discoverable. Objects are located and re-used using an XML manifest imported into the Enterprise Learning Management System. All content is controlled by an overriding Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) schema. Efforts are underway currently to extend the model to a general data model to organize IRS knowledge content.

 

 

Global Justice XML Data Model and Global Justice Data Dictionary


Global Justice XML Data Model and Global Justice Data Dictionary
Acronym: GJXDM and GJXDD
URL: http://www.it.ojp.gov/topic.jsp?topic_id=43
Year Effort Began: 2001
Point of Contact: John S. Morgan; J. Patrick McCreary; Paul Embley
Contact E-mail: john.morgan@usdoj.gov; james.p.mccreary@usdoj.gov; pembley@mstar.net
Major Participants: Joint Task Force on Rap Sheet Standardization, the Regional Information Sharing System (RISS), OASIS LegalXML, American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA), SEARCH, the National Consortium for Justice Statistics, National Council of State Legislatures, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division, Integrated Justice Information Systems Working Group (representing 120 companies), Global Justice XML Structure Task Force, National Center for State Courts (NCSC); Law Enforcement Information Technology Standards Council (LEITSC) representing the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the National Sheriff Association (NSA), the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement (NOBLE); Corrections Technology Association (CTA)
Community of Interest: Local, state, federal and international justice practitioners seeking to implement Web services for secure information sharing
How to get involved: Visit the site and/or join the list serv
Submitted by: Patrick McCreary, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice

Description:

What began in March 2001 as a reconciliation of data definitions evolved into a broad three-year endeavor to develop an XML-based framework that would enable the entire justice and public safety community to effectively share information at all levels - laying the foundation for local, state, and national justice interoperability. Developed by the Global Justice Information Sharing Advisory Committee and OJP, the GJXDM is an object-oriented data model comprised of a well-defined vocabulary of approximately 2,500 stable data objects, or reusable components, that facilitate the exchange and reuse of information from multiple sources and multiple applications. From the first prerelease version in April 2003 to the current operational release in January 2004, the GJXDM has undergone an intensive review and validation process that included an open public comment period, pilot validation projects, an online feedback and error-reporting mechanism, and a listserv for sharing expertise and support. As a result, the current operational release incorporates more than 100 modifications. Today, more than 50 law enforcement and justice-related projects have been implemented utilizing the GJXDM, further demonstrating the flexibility and stability of the GJXDM. For in-depth coverage, see the GJXDM case study in Sall's paper.

 

 

NASA XML Project and NASA XML Working Group


NASA XML Project and NASA XML Working Group
Acronym: n/a
URL: http://xml.nasa.gov
Year Effort Began: 2003
Point of Contact: Bob Benedict
Contact E-mail: rbenedic@hq.nasa.gov
Major Participants: All NASA centers and JPL.
Community of Interest: Includes managers, developers and users of mission, engineering, and administrative applications.
How to get involved: Contact Bob Benedict. Membership in the NASA XML Working Group is open to NASA employees and contractors.
Submitted by: Bruce Altner, SAIC

Description:

The major goal of the NASA XML Project is to advance the productive use of XML technology within NASA. The scope of the Project includes all aspects of XML usage within NASA, including planning/policy, standards, security, and outreach activities. Specific goals include to:

 

 

NASA Launch Vehicle Language


NASA Launch Vehicle Language
Acronym: LVL
URL: http://xml.nasa.gov/xmlwg/presentations/2003/XMLinAEE_XMLWorkingGroup.ppt
Year Effort Began: 2001
Point of Contact: Jeremy Vander Kam
Contact E-mail: Jeremy.C.VanderKam@nasa.gov
Major Participants: NASA, Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)
Community of Interest: Engineering analysis communities and engineering management communities.
How to get involved: The LVL is in the process of registration with the DISA.
Submitted by: Jeremy Vander Kam

Description:

The LVL consists of a set of XML Schemas that define data structures for describing launch vehicle hardware, missions and lifecycle data. Instance documents capture software analysis tool inputs and outputs. Disciplinary analysis tools progressively populate a LVL instance document as an engineering assessment proceeds. Project goals include providing a common set of terms for engineering data, providing a common format for data sharing amongst software tools, and enabling automated data exploration, reporting and transfer. In addition to XML Schema, XSLT Stylesheets, Apache Xerces and Xalan Java modules are used. From fall of 2001 to the present, the major project milestone has been the use of LVL as the primary data transfer mechanism in the NASA Space Launch Initiative (SLI) and Next Generation Launch Technology (NGLT) engineering assessment activites.

 

 

NASA Materials and Processes Technical Information System II


NASA Materials and Processes Technical Information System II
Acronym: MAPTIS-II
URL: http://maptis.nasa.gov
Year Effort Began: 2002
Point of Contact: Richard T. Wegrich
Contact E-mail: richard.t.wegrich@nasa.gov
Major Participants: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC): ED35, Morgan Research Corporation, Centor Software Corporation, Granta Design, LTD.
Community of Interest: Materials Engineers; Flight hardware designers
How to get involved: n/a
Submitted by: Peter Allison, Materials, Process and Manufacturing Department: Project Engineering Group (ED35)

Description:

MAPTIS is a materials information database, originally implemented as an Oracle database hosted on a VAX that was not Web accessible. The goal of the new system, therefore, is to provide a Web accessible, single repository for Materials Properties and Test Information via a COTS database engine (to facilitate migration). Technologies used on MAPTIS include a database is stored in XML format, XSLT, HTML, Javascript, and ASP. XSLT stylesheets are used to render the XML data into HTML with Javascript targeted for Web browsers. The first major milestone was the release of initial Production System on October 1, 2003. It is believed to be the first XML/XSLT based system deployed at MSFC.

The database engine is a COTS package called Materials X-Sight that includes a DTD. Data is stored in the database as XML conforming to the DTD. Interaction with the database is through the X-Sight server which is sent XML-based queries together with a reference to an XSLT stylesheet. The database server applies the stylesheet to the XML data resulting in HTML that is delivered to the Web browsers. XSLT stylesheets are used for data maintenance as well as for display.

 

 

DON Automated Manuals and Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals


DON Automated Manuals and Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals
Acronym: IETM
URL: http://www.dt.navy.mil/tot-shi-sys/tec-inf-sys/etm/ and http://acc.dau.mil/simplify/ev.php?ID=38276_201&ID2=DO_TOPIC and possibly http://navysgml.dt.navy.mil/ietm/ietm.html and http://navycals.dt.navy.mil/mid/ietms.html,
Year Effort Began: 2003
Point of Contact: Piper Conrad
Contact E-mail: piperc@wbworldwide.com
Major Participants: Dept. of Navy, Software AG, X-systems
Community of Interest: n/a
How to get involved: Contact Piper Conrad
Submitted by: Piper Conrad, Software AG

Description:

Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) recently finished a pilot program that XML-enabled thousands of pages of operation manuals that they were previously unable to be shared while at sea. The Fleet Combat Systems Operational Sequencing System (CSOSS) Development and Implementation Team (FCDIT) needed a way to allow these ships to share real-time information on "best-practices" while supporting the considerable variations even among ships of the identical type and class. XML supports single source publishing, which facilitates content management by keeping all versions of a document in one file. Editors modify a single file to implement updates rather than individually updating scores of files. For a library of 100 technical manuals each with 5 versions and 10 changes per year, the Navy has realized savings totaling $370,000 per year in editing staff costs. Single Source Content Infrastructure for CSOSS is expected to allow a 30% reduction in product delivery effort and equates to a 25% increase in industrial capacity ($1.4M capital value per year for FCDIT alone). The increased industrial capacity will allow a product to be delivered earlier and with greater quality.

As a result of the success of the program detailed above, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) began looking at XML as a way to more effectively send maintenance and operations information to ships directly from vendors. The result is Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals (IETM), that contain updated information obtained directly from the vendors of the equipment. When the IETM CD is inserted into any computer, it displays the necessary information and once removed, there is no footprint left on the machine; no one else will know that information was accessed at that terminal. The IETM's are currently focusing on radar, weapons, and propulsion systems. Each CD is created specifically for a particular vessel. CDs will be shipped to approximately 400 vessels (every vessel in the supply ship fleet) and will arrive in three to five days of being burned.

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