Wednesday, July 20, 2005

How It Works: XML & Justice Integration

Tod Newcombe, Public CIO

Some Definitions
XML is a programming language that marks the meaning of content within a document or form. Unlike another markup language known as HTML, which has to do with the appearance of documents and forms on the Web, XML specifies what the information is with tags that identify categories of information.

These categories are called objects and consist of tagged data elements. A "person" object may contain elements that are physical descriptors (eye and hair color, weight, height, etc.), biometric descriptors (DNA, fingerprints) and social descriptors (marital status, occupation). A vehicle object would contain other types of elements, such as make, model, registration number or title. XML can then address the relationship between the objects (Is the person the owner of the vehicle?).

The key to XML is that objects have their own vocabulary -- described in a data dictionary -- making it possible to identify and exchange the information objects from one computer to another without having to use the same operating systems or application software.

Because the justice community is riddled with incompatible legacy systems, it has embraced XML as a basis for quick and inexpensive document exchange. For the first time, various justice and public safety agencies can develop a common vocabulary so documents and information can be exchanged quickly and efficiently.

Global Justice XML Data Model
Global JXDM allows different agencies to organize a justice-based data dictionary within their separate databases, which identifies content and gives it meaning. Besides the dictionary, Global JXDM is also a data model that defines structures and a repository of reusable software components.

By making the standard independent of vendors, operating systems, storage media and applications, JXDM is fast emerging as a key technology for assisting how criminal and judicial organizations exchange information.

Why can’t we share?

No comments: