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XML at Work. John Arnett, MSc Standards Modeller Information and Statistics Division NHSScotland Tel: 0131 551 8073 (x2073) mailto:[email protected] http://isdscotland.org/xml. Contents. XML Usage Enabling Technologies XML Applications XML Messaging and Web Services

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Xml at work

XML at Work

John Arnett, MSc

Standards Modeller

Information and Statistics Division


Tel: 0131 551 8073 (x2073)

mailto:[email protected]



  • XML Usage

  • Enabling Technologies

  • XML Applications

    • XML Messaging and Web Services

    • XML in Presentation

    • XML in Application Logic

    • XML Data Storage and Content Management

Xml usage
XML Usage

  • Human readable

  • Structured and searchable

  • Separates data from presentation

  • Self-describing

  • Extensible – any number of tags allowed

  • Meta-markup language

  • Key features

Xml usage1
XML Usage

  • Open standard, promoted by many vendor-neutral organisations, incl.

    • W3C

    • OASIS (Organization for Structured Information Standards)

    • HL7 (Health Level 7)

    • OMG (Object Management Group)

    • UK Government

Xml usage2
XML Usage

  • Widely supported by software vendors and open source groups, incl.

Enabling technologies
Enabling Technologies

  • Language for locating parts of a document

  • Provides a syntax for navigating XML document trees

  • Designed for use by XSLT and XPointer

  • XPath (XML Path Language)

Enabling technologies1

  • Simple (unidirectional) links



  • Extended (multidirectional) links




Enabling Technologies

  • XLink (XML Linking Language)

  • Language for linking resources

Enabling technologies2
Enabling Technologies

  • Language for referencing specific points in a document

  • Uses XPath

  • May be used with XLink to reference specific points in linked documents

  • XPointer (XML Pointer Language)

Xml applications

Application Logic


Messaging & Web Services

Application Logic





Application Logic

XML Applications

Data Storage & Content Management

Xml messaging
XML Messaging

  • Ideal for data interchange

    • Text based

    • Open

    • Self describing

    • Extensible

  • Exchanged between applications on the same network or over the Internet/Extranet

  • XML Messages

Xml messaging1
XML Messaging

  • Health Care

    • Health Level 7, v3

  • Government

    • UK GovTalkTM schemas

  • B2B transactions

    • ebXML

  • Financial Services reporting

    • XBRL

  • XML Business Vocabularies, e.g.

Web services
Web Services

  • Allow systems to communicate over the internet using XML messages

  • Used for

    • remote lookups and service calls

    • enterprise application integration

    • electronic B2B exchange

  • Set of emerging standards, incl. SOAP, WSDL and UDDI

Web services1
Web Services

  • Lightweight, XML–based protocol for exchanging information over the internet

  • Language, platform and transport independent

  • v1.2 W3C Recommendation

  • SOAP (“Simple Object Access Protocol”)

Web services2
Web Services

  • XML-based language for describing services available on the internet

  • WSDL (Web Services Definition Language)

Web services3
Web Services

  • Information Services

    • business details (white pages)

    • business categories (yellow pages)

    • available services (green pages)

  • Operations

    • service registration

    • finding and using services

  • UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration) directory services

Xml for presentation
XML for Presentation

  • Developed by WC3 as XML-based successor to HTML

  • Written using well-formed XML

  • Backwards compatible

  • Current version (1.1) designed to be extended using modules

  • XHTML (Extensible HTML)

Xml for presentation1
XML for Presentation

  • Enables XML to be presented in other XML or non-XML formats – esp. as HTML

  • v1.0 W3C Recommendation

  • Can be used to create dynamic web-forms, e.g. WSDL to HTML

  • XSL (Extensible Stylesheet Language)

Xml for presentation2
XML for Presentation

  • WML (Wireless Markup Language) for mobile devices

  • SVG (Scaleable Vector Graphics)

  • Scientific vocabularies

    • CML (Chemical Markup Language)

    • MathML (Mathematical Markup Language)

  • Other XML presentation technologies

Xml in application logic
XML in Application Logic

  • DOM (Document Object Model)

    • API for in-memory document manipulation using a node-based tree structure

Xml in application logic1
XML in Application Logic

  • SAX (Simple API for XML)

    • Alternative, event-driven API, used for parsing large documents

Xml data storage
XML Data Storage

  • Web and file servers

  • XML enabled databases

  • Native XML repositories/databases

  • Document storage solutions incl.

Xml data storage1
XML Data Storage

  • Enables SQL-like querying of XML documents using XPath

  • W3C Working draft

  • XQuery

Xml content management
XML & Content Management

  • W3C recommendation for describing information contained in web resources

    • i.e. anything that can be addressed with a URL

  • Dublin Core is an RDF vocabulary for describing web pages

  • RDF (Resource Description Framework)

Xml content management1
XML & Content Management

  • Used to automatically send (or push) web content to subscribers

    • e.g. subscibers can obtain regular news updates from a news website

  • RSS (Rich Site Summary) is a smilar application developed by Netscape

  • Microsoft CDF (Channel Definition Format)

Xml content management2
XML & Content Management

  • Framework for indexing data and document resources using URI’s

  • Consist of:

    • topics

    • associations

    • occurences

  • XML Topic Maps (XTM) 1.0 Specification – ISO Standard 13250

  • Topic Maps

The xml standards family















XML Core



XML Schema (XSDL)

The XML Standards Family




Adapted from http://www.idealliance.org/XMLRoadmap/WEB/xmlstdill.htm

In summary
In Summary…

  • Open standard, widely supported by many organisations

  • Applications include

    • Messaging and web services

    • Presentation and application logic

    • Data storage and content management

Find out more
Find Out More

  • World Wide Web Consortium

    • www.w3.org

Messaging and web sevices
Messaging and Web Sevices

  • W3C Web Services Activity

    • www.w3.org/2002/ws/

  • Web Services Interoperability

    • www.ws-i.org

  • XMethods

    • www.xmethods.org/

  • Enterprise Integration Patterns

    • www.enterpriseintegrationpatterns.com

Xml vocabularies
XML Vocabularies

  • Scottish Health and Community Care XML Steering Group

    • www.isdscotland.org/xml

  • GovTalk Schemas and Standards

    • www.govtalk.gov.uk/schemasstandards/schemasstandards.asp

  • Health Level 7

    • www.hl7.org

Xhtml and xsl

  • W3C HyperText Markup Language (HTML) Home Page

    • www.w3.org/MarkUp/

  • The Extensible Stylesheet Language Family (XSL)

    • www.w3.org/Style/XSL/