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XML in the Wild Blue Yonder: A Survey of USAF XML Implementations and Implications

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Technical Report

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The MITRE Corp McLean United States

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A recent survey of XML implementations found that many United States Air Force USAF communities are incorporating XML as a foundational step in their migration to a net-centric vision. Although the survey was limited to publicly available resources and thus only a partial view of total USAF efforts thoughtful analysis of the survey results nonetheless reveals both strengths and weaknesses in the approaches inspected. In this paper we summarize the survey results and what it implies for how the USAF is progressing towards net-centricity. We note potential positive impacts XML technologies could have on USAF business practices, and some potential shortfalls. We discuss some strategies that may help favorably impact the nature and progress of USAF XML adoption. This discussion supports our position that XML technologies can be an essential part of an overall interoperability solution and the migration to net-centricity, but like other technologies that have gone before them they are still no silver bullet. Technologies, however expedient, must be embedded in an overarching framework that supports sustainment, divestiture, standardization, harmonization, fallback, redirection, synchronization and re-implementation as needed and when appropriate to meet the visionary goals set by an enterprise. We briefly look at the Federal Enterprise Architecture FEA Data and Information Reference Model DRM as one enterprise-scale solution with an XML implementation that may be a blueprint for USAF success. We note there are outstanding issues for community consideration, and we hope this paper stimulates further discussion of them.

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  • Computer Programming and Software

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