Owen Ambur

Co-Chair, xmlCoP

Project Manager, ET.gov

June 8, 2005

Dear Owen,

Thanks you for your interest in the XML Registry and Repository for the Education Community (XML R&R). I appreciate your continued support on this topic.


Federal Student Aid (FSA) has been using XML schemas in production since 2002 when two major systems were merged. XML was used to respond to a business request to streamline student aid data. Since that time, FSA has worked with the higher education community, through the Postsecondary Electronics Standards Council (PESC), to work on an idea called the Common Record – one schema that streamlined data packet submission between schools and FSA. Over time, the scope of this effort expanded to creating an XML higher education taxonomy. The XML R&R is a central location where four years worth of collaborative work is stored and available to anyone who is interested in XML higher education meta-data. FSA, with the higher education community has developed and documented:


          a higher education XML taxonomy


          an XML R&R which stores all collaborative work https://www.fsaxmlregistry.ed.gov


          four schemas in production and seven in development – all based on the same set of community developed core components


          XML R&R Users Guide http://www.pesc.org/info/policies/XML-R-R-User-Guide.doc


          Policies and Procedures outlining governance processes http://www.pesc.org/info/policies/Manual-Finalv1-0-0.doc


          Guidelines for XML Architecture and Data Modeling http://www.pesc.org/info/policies/PESC-Guidelines-for-XML-Architecture-and-Data-Modeling-v3-0.doc

The XML R&R for the Education Community is a web-based application written in Java running on IBM Websphere 5.1. It uses Jakarta Struts and JSPs for the user presentation. The object relational data binding is Torque, and the database is Oracle 9i located at the Virtual Data Center (VDC). The XML R&R conforms to ebXML Registry and Repository 2.5 specifications.

FSA recognized that internally, an application would be needed to store XML meta-data so that information could be used by future XML development efforts to encourage standardized and high quality schemas. Therefore, FSA developed an XML Framework. The XML R&R was a deliverable from the XML Framework 2.0 Initiative at a cost of $290,000. The cost for use of the database on the VDC is less than $2.00 per month.

When it was obvious that the community based standard organizations would also need a meta-data repository, it seemed a natural step for FSA to donate its XML meta-data repository to PESC for community and school use.

FSA is actively looking to share information, lessons learned, and deliverables (including source code for the XML Registry and Repository) with other federal and state agencies. The XML Registry and Repository for the Education Community won the PESC Best Practices Competition for 2004.

XML R&R Overview:

The following pages highlight a few features of the XML R&R.


Log-On Page

While there is a security log-on to make updates to the XML R&R, all information (except the notes page) is available to view and download by the community.


Welcome Page

The Welcome Page describes the goal of the standards effort and how to navigate through the XML R&R.

Classifications Page



Core Components Base Properties Page

Core Components Details Page




Additional Information Page


The Additional Information page serves as a knowledge management section.