Navy XML policy signed

Navy chief information officer David Wennergren has signed the Navy's Extensible Markup Language policy, setting the standard for how XML will be used within the service. XML facilitates information exchange among applications and systems because it enables agencies to tag data and documents.

"Interoperability is a cornerstone of [the Navy Department's] efforts to strengthen its independent operations and, subsequently, improve the warfighter's ability to find, retrieve, process and exchange information," Wennergren said in a Dec. 13 statement to Navy commanders. "The department, like many government and private-sector organizations, has increasingly looked to XML technology to meet its data-sharing needs." The policy's overall goals are to promote XML as a technology to help achieve interoperability throughout the Navy and serve as a guideline to support interoperability among the Navy and other DOD components.

Michael Jacobs, chairman of the Navy's XML Working Group, said five teams each would have a different responsibility in determining the best way to begin implementing the policy. However, a timeline has yet to be established for when XML deployment across the Navy would be completed.

The Navy's XML standard, which also applies to the Marine Corps, already has received high marks from other government XML leaders.

"I read their policy document and found it to be excellent and comprehensive — the best I have seen in the federal government, or anywhere for that matter," said Brand Niemann, a computer scientist and XML Web services solutions architect with the Environmental Protection Agency. Niemann also heads the XML Web Services Working Group established by the CIO Council.

"Successful XML implementation requires a firm commitment to coordination," Wennergren said. "I strongly encourage [the commanders] to review and adhere to the policy, which is crucial to our work to foster XML coordination among DON programs and commands."

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