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   Re: [xml-dev] [Updated] A Categorization of Data Interoperability Proble

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This is very helpful - thanks. 

I was recently asked by a colleague to advise them on the "Different
Format" problem. The issue involved a very large U.S. Federal Agency
with multiple sub-agencies, and the need to collect measurements that
may be of different units due to how each sub-agency represents those
measurements. The data is being submitted to a central "hub" for
intergration into a portal. Each measurement is required to be
represented in a single common unit for that "category" of item, or item
itself (the units per item/category will be determined at some point in
the near future). All data will be sent in XML format.

[I'd like to stress that this information only represents a conversation
between myself and a colleague at my company, and doesn't represent the
direction that any U.S. federal agency/sub-agency is currently taking.]

So the question was: Where should the unit conversion take place in the
process of transmitting to the central hub? We discussed several
approach (in a brainstorming way, without regard to the feasibility of
each approach):

(1) Require all senders to provide measurements in "standard" (i.e.
agreed-upon) units. So this places the "conversion burden" on the

(2) All senders can provide measurements in "their" units, and they must
specify the units for each value in the transmitted XML documents.
Conversion burden is on the receiver.

More on (1):

We discussed how it would be best that a unit is provided in the
transmitted XML document for each value (even though they would be
"standard") so there is no ambiguity, and so that any process downstream
(such as an XSLT transformation) has this information.

More on (2): 

We talked about the possibility of a "conversion gateway" that would
perform the necessary conversions before the ultimate receiver receives
the data. This "gateway" need not be a separate server (i.e. hardware
configuration is transparent for our purposes here) - it could simply be
a conversion program on the server that receives the transmissions. I
believe that OWL could play a role here.

We spoke of this "conversion gateway" being a permanent solution, or a
temporary solution while the sub-agencies update their systems to
accomodate the "standard" units of measurement. 

Kind Regards,
Joe Chiusano
Booz | Allen | Hamilton

"Roger L. Costello" wrote:
> Hi Folks,
> A while back I started on categorizing data interoperability problems.
> I have updated it.  Here is the URL:
>     http://www.xfront.com/DataInteroperabilityCategorization.html
> /Roger
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tel;work:(703) 902-6923
org:Booz | Allen | Hamilton;IT Digital Strategies Team
adr:;;8283 Greensboro Drive;McLean;VA;22012;
title:Senior Consultant
fn:Joseph M. Chiusano


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