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HR-XML 3.0: New Architecture, New Opportunities. Chuck Allen, HR-XML Consortium, Inc. HR-XML in 2008. “The recognized authority on, and leading source of, global interoperability standards for human resources management.”

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HR-XML 3.0: New Architecture,

New Opportunities

Chuck Allen, HR-XML Consortium, Inc.


HR-XML in 2008

  • “The recognized authority on, and leading source of, global interoperability standards for human resources management.”
  • Now in its ninth year, but relatively young compared to peer organizations.
  • Global – Broad interest in HR-XML in North America, Europe, Asia.
  • Solid adoption across many sectors, but still much to be achieved.
  • Beginning far-reaching re-architecture (our last in 2002). Known as “HR-XML 3.0”.

HR-XML Scope

  • HR-XML covers diverse sub-domains.
  • 40+ nouns; 2500+ components in HR-XML 3.0
  • System Provisioning
  • User Account
  • Indicative Data
  • Recruiting
  • Candidate
  • Position Posting
  • Resume
  • New Hire
  • Staffing
  • Staffing Order
  • Assignment
  • Resume
  • New Hire
  • Assessments
  • Assessment Order
  • Assessment Result
  • Assessment Catalog
  • Catalog Query
  • Payroll
  • Payroll Benefits Contributions
  • Payroll Instructions
  • Indicative Data
  • Benefits
  • Enrollment
  • Savings Plan Enrollment
  • Stock Plans
  • Audits
  • Background Check
  • Screening Order
  • Screening Report
  • Credit
  • Drug Test Result
  • Time
  • Time Card
  • Time Card Configuration
  • Performance
  • EPM Result
  • Objectives Plan
  • Development Plan
roadmap where we re headed
Roadmap: Where We’re Headed
  • HR-XML 4.0:
    • Completely model-driven, syntax neutral?
  • HR-XML 3.0:
    • First major, non-backwardly compatible release since 2002.
  • HR-XML 1.0; 2.(*)
    • All the advantages and disadvantages of being by-passed by EDI.
    • Pioneering, ground breaking work. Captured a rich set of domain expertise.
long live hr xml 2
Long Live HR-XML 2.*!
  • 2.0 model was released in April 2002 (at our Atlanta meeting). The HR-XML library has grown tremendously since.
  • Current policy to protect our 2.5 adopters:
    • Continue to support members and certified organizations for 2.5 and earlier 2.* releases.
    • A company may newly certify against a release up to a year after that release has been superseded. If you have a 2.* certification, you may renew your certification.
    • No new work on 2.5, but HR-XML may publish a 2_6 for discrete requirements relating to existing specifications (small changes, bug fixes, regulatory changes, etc.).
    • Those who have made investments in 2.* are urged to contribute “test cases” for 3.0. This is a way for adopters to gain confidence that they will be able to migrate (not that they have to!).

Where Does 3.0 Stand

  • 1st Q 2009 Ballot
  • Oct. 13 Release of Candidate Specification at the Partnering and Integration Summit.
  • June. Initial analysis and conversion of library to new modularity model is nearly complete.
    • 2_5: 4882 Components
    • With 90 percent the library converted: 2400 Components.
hr xml 3 0 goals
HR-XML 3.0 Goals
  • Bring the large library we’ve developed over 8 years under a uniform architecture.
  • Support interoperability with the major ERP/HRIS vendors (ADP, Lawson, Oracle, SAP).
  • Align with approaches advanced by the Open Applications Group and UN/CEFACT.
  • Deliver component library that others will be able to reuse flexibly.
  • Prepare for more change.
past challenges to forward progress
Past Challenges to Forward Progress
  • Backward compatibility (eliminated in 3.0).
  • Lack of architectural framework. Too much heavy lifting put on the shoulders of our domain-oriented workgroups.
  • Dependencies on volunteers. Often difficult for a member to justify resources to advance the broader model if it just needs a slice.
  • Lack of the right expertise – good architects are a scarce resource. Aligning with OAGIS/UN/CEFACT gives us access to a brain trust that spans many .orgs.
  • Library design. 2.* had some nice documentation, but is large and brittle.
standards quality measures
Standards Quality Measures*
  • Can a subset of the standard be used or can the standard be used as a component of another standard?
  • Does the standard maximize use of pre-existing high quality standards?
  • Is the standard well-factored/allow modular implementation?
  • Does the standard adequately represent the semantics of the information encoded within it?
  • Are the methods for describing metadata based on high quality standards?

* Bob Sutor, IBM,

what does this mean
What Does This Mean?
  • HR-XML workgroups will be able to more easily build documents with a tighter correlation of content to use.
  • Better able to deliver on projects such as “talent management provisioning” begun last year.
  • HR-XML becomes more valuable as a resource for implementers to use in constructing their vocabularies. Better able to “snap in” HR-XML content directly rather than using HR-XML merely as a source of ideas.
  • Easier for implementers to re-use HR-XML components within UserArea extensions.
  • Not all content will be global, some left locally scoped within particular documents (that which has “composition” versus “aggregation” relationship – in other words, the stuff not likely to be reused elsewhere.)
hr xml 3 0


  • Messages (Verb-Noun Constructs)
HR-XML 3.0
  • i.e., modular. Also will have “Standalone” version


  • ProcessTimeCard.xsd (HR-XML target namespace)
  • Optional - ProcessOnlineOrder.xsd (OAGIS target namespace)

- Miss HR-XML 2.*? Look here for equivalent major schemas.


  • TimeCard.xsd (HR-XML target namespace)
  • Optional - OnlineOrder.xsd (OAGIS target namespace)


  • Resources from which “Nouns” / BODs are built
  • Globally available content




  • HR-XML is optionally installed with other verticals


  • Globally-scoped HR-XMLcontent here



  • OAGIS 9.2 content here (all or subset?)




  • OAGIS implementation of UN/CEFACT CCTS







EnumeratedValues, “Lists”


“Leaf-Level”Elements, SimpleTypes,

Complex Types With SimpleContent


  • HR reusable content will have the similar modularity model as OAGIS common components – Fields, Components, Codelists.
core components
Core Components
  • HR-XML’s won’t access “core-component types” directly – HR-XML fields will be built with “unqualified” and “qualified” data types.
  • Benefits:
    • No longer have to wrestle with technical nuances of a large number xsd:datatypes.
    • Most everything thing we need is there.
  • May use certain xsd:types.
unqualified data types
Unqualified Data Types
  • IdentifierType
  • IndicatorType
  • MeasureType
  • NumericType
  • PercentType
  • RateType
  • QuantityType
  • TextType
  • NameType


  • AmountType
  • BinaryObjectType
  • GraphicType
  • PictureType
  • SoundType
  • VideoType
  • CodeType
  • DateTimeType
  • DateType
  • TimeType
new model is not without complexities but promises improvement over the prior model
New model is not without complexities, but promisesimprovementover the priormodel.


A character string (letters, figures or symbols) that for brevity and / or language independence may be used to represent or replace a definitive value or text of a Property.

  • HR-XML 2.* did not have much organization under our lists – i.e., enumerated values.
  • HR-XML 3.0 gives us the opportunity to apply best practices, the OAGIS architecture, and to simplify/re-evaluate our content.


  • External:
    • Well-known, official, “standard” codelists for the particular value domain.
    • Proprietary codelists.
  • HR-XML Closed:
    • These are lists HR-XML develops and maintains. A closed list implies that the list will be implemented without restriction or extension.
  • HR-XML Open:
    • Provides a base or suggested list of values. No schema enforcement. No conformance requirements unless workgroups set business rules.
the queen s english
The Queen’s English
  • CCTS references the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) as the authoritative source for spellings/meanings.
  • 20+ volumes in print
  • Available by subscription online at
  • Has proven very helpful in solving “choose-a-word” debates.
  • In 3.0, we are aiming for business-meaningful, but concise “tag” names, paired with a formal “data element names.”
  • Data Element Name, developed in accordance with ISO 11179 and CCTS principles in our analysis and naming.
  • This approach moves us closer to our model-driven ideal. Also provides a way to keep tag names brief.
ccts iso 11179 naming
CCTS/ISO 11179 Naming

HR-XML 3.0 will involve analysis using CCTS and ISO 11179-5 concepts.

Under ISO 11179-5 sets out a model for data elements.

A data element name (DEN) is composed of (in order):

  • An Object class term
  • Property class term
  • Representation term

A DEN uses a period ( “.” ) to separate between terms.

ccts iso 11179 naming29
CCTS/ISO 11179 Naming
  • "Object Class" refers to concepts, abstractions, things in the real world that can be identified within clear boundaries and meanings and whose behavior follow the same rules (examples: person, organization, employer ...)
  • "Property" is a characteristic feature shared by all the instances of an object class (examples: age, income, address ...)
  • The "representation" describes the data type and its value range (examples: a date can be represented with date or datetime value domains).
iso 11179 ccts naming
ISO 11179/CCTS Naming


May be attached to object class terms, property terms, and representation terms to narrow or uniquely define a data element. DEN uses a underscore “_” appended to the end of a term to represent a qualifying term.


Person. Hire Date. Date

Person. Proposed_ Hire Date. Date (qualifies the property)

Organization. Name

Employer_ Organization. Name (qualifies the object class)

iso 11179 ccts naming31
ISO 11179/CCTS Naming
  • Multi-word object, property, and representation terms also are allowed.


      • Organization. Name. Name

(Organization object class, name property, name representation type)

      • Education_ Organization. Name. Name

(A profile or narrowed version of the broader Organization object class.)

      • Education Organization. Name. Name

(This is a different object class.)

naming property representation
Naming: Property Representation

Name Fields by “representation type”. Driven from UnqualifiedDataTypes for example:

    • IdentifierType – e.g., OrganizationID
    • CodeType – e.g., JobClassificationCode
    • IndicatorType (Boolean) – e.g., BillableIndicator
    • MeasureType (something requiring a unit code) -- e.g., HeightMeasure


  • When it is necessary to distinguish a component (aggregate) from a field use “Details” – E.g., EducationScoreDetails (not an EducationScore, which may be a field, a collection of data relating to an EducationScore)