Navy forms first XML council

Navy's XML policy

The Navy Department has formed a new council to help guide the Navy in applying the Extensible Markup Language policy released last year, David Wennergren, the Navy's chief information officer, announced March 10.

Next week, he will lead activities to help kick off the new XML Business Standards Council (BSC), the first of four groups that will form the working-level tier of the Navy's XML governance structure.

The council will focus on XML business standards, which promote the use of common data elements and objects that make it easier for systems to exchange information. It will coordinate XML component usage within and across functional areas, as well as among the Navy, other Defense Department entities and federal agencies.

"With the creation of the BSC, we're taking another important step toward realizing our vision of a formal XML governance structure that will provide both short- and long-term benefits to the department as it employs this innovative technology," Wennergren said.

Three additional groups — Technical Standards, Policy Procedures, and Training and Education — eventually will join the BSC to form the Navy XML governance structure's working core.

When complete, the structure will succeed the Navy's XML Work Group, active since August 2001, in coordinating the department's XML implementation activities.

The Navy has also completed its work to designate XML Functional Namespace Coordinators for each of the Navy's 23 functional areas. Those areas basically are divisions within the Navy Department. They include acquisition, finance, administration, logistics, command, control, communications and information (C3I) warfare, and science and technology testing and evaluation.

The coordinators will be responsible for helping develop, manage and coordinate Navy XML vocabularies within their functional areas and across the enterprise. Wennergren said lack of coordination in developing vocabularies often can hinder a large organization from implementing a working, comprehensive XML policy.

The coordinator designations and the BSC's creation are part of a comprehensive XML implementation strategy set forth in the Navy's XML policy.

The Navy CIO signed the policy Dec. 13, 2002, setting the standard for how XML will be used within the service so that XML-tagged data is fully interoperable servicewide. The policy outlines how the Navy will implement XML to better find, retrieve, process and exchange data.

"The Department of the Navy deals with thousands of contracts from different companies that will be producing a majority of the XML content," said Michael Jacobs, chairman of the Navy's XML Work Group. "It will be up to us to manage its implementation, governance, structure and procedures."

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