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spacer Registries

The full benefits of XML will be achieved only if organizations use the same data element definitions and those definitions are available for partners to discover and retrieve. A registry/repository is a means to discover and retrieve documents, templates, and software (i.e., objects and resources) over the Internet. The registry is used to discover the object. It provides information about the object, including its location. A repository is where the object resides for retrieval by users.

In partnership with the General Services Administration (GSA), the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) has piloted the use of registry/repository software.  The proof-of-concept prototype was formerly available at http://xmlregistry.nist.gov/xml-gov/ A brief budget justification was prepared for the pilot.

GSA contracted Booz Allen Hamilton to compile the more detailed capital asset plan and business case (OMB Circular A-11, Exhibit 300) for the operational version of the registry, for consideration in the FY 2004 budget cycle. OMB invited other agencies to cosponsor the registry. (Mark Forman's August 26, 2002, memo containing that invitation was formerly available at http://www.feapmo.gov/feapmo_004.htm) The business case was discussed at the Open Forum on Metadata Registries in January 2003.

In support of the pilot, we formed a Registry/Repository Team. Formation of the team is documented on our listserv. Roy Morgan of NIST led the team. See his message and notes from the team's October 19, 2004, meeting.

The third generation of the proof-of-concept registry was available at http://xmlregistry.nist.gov:8080/index.jsp but was subsequently retired. OASIS' counterpart was initially at http://registry.oasis-open.org/index.jsp and subsequently at http://www.xml.org/xml/registry.jsp

The President's FY 2004 budget request for GSA included $2.1 million for the operational version of the registry. Fiscal Year 2004 funding for GSA was included in H.R. 2673, the omnibus appropriations signed by the President on January 23, 2004, but funding for the registry was not approved by Congress.

Lacking funding for the registry, GSA put up the CORE.gov site instead and had planned to store XSDs and other XML artifacts at http://xml.core.gov. However, in a more subsequent version of the CORE.gov site, the URL was changed and CORE.gov itself was subsequently retired. The XML schema hierarchy proposed for implementation at xml.core.gov is depicted here [HTML] | [PPT] along with the hierarchy for harmonization of data elements across agencies.

Many XML schemas posted on .gov Web sites can be discovered via a search of URLs indexed by Google or Yahoo. Many can also be discovered via USA.gov. However, those services do not effectively index and facilitate discovery of XML schemas based upon the elements they contain, much less the comparison and analyses of elements across multiple schemas. 

Moreover, although USA.gov's advanced search service enables selective searching of a number of file types, neither XML nor XSDs are among them, a shortcoming that should be corrected as soon as possible.

The following are registry efforts of which we are aware, but as far as we know, none of them have been federated to provide users the ability to discover relevant schemas and elements wherever they may reside on the Web:

If you are aware of additional XML registries that should be listed here, particularly those containing data elements and schemas that are "inherently governmental" in nature, please contact Owen Ambur.


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