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OASIS Examines New Markup Language

Boston's OASIS, an XML interoperability consortium, Tuesday revealed that its members have formed a new group to define a language for exchanging user, resource and service provisioning information.

The new OASIS Provisioning Services Technical Committee (PSTC) will develop the Provisioning Services Markup Language (PSML), a specification for provisioning, which is the automation of user or system access and entitlement rights to electronic services. Broadly, provisioning is a key component of Web services, whether it be for ASPs or trading exchanges. OASIS argues that a standardized approach is needed because without one, it places a greater onus on companies' administrations.

Darran Rolls, chair of the new PSTC, explained the need for such a spec.

"Today, provisioning vendors and enterprise systems resource vendors use proprietary APIs and data models for security administration," Rolls said. "Our goal at OASIS is to open the interfaces between multiple provisioning systems -- as well as between the provisioning system and the resources being managed."

The news is significant enough to have drawn praise from an analyst, too.

Phil Schacter, vice president and director of the Burton Group, said the group eliminates a major obstacle to the deployment of effective account management strategies.

"It's only through broadly supported collaboration that we can achieve convergence on a single standard which the industry can leverage to deliver truly effective solutions to customer provisioning problems," Schacter said.

As with its other factions with in OASIS, the new Provisioning Services Technical Committee will consider relevant contributions from other groups and companies. The XRPM (eXtensible Resource Provisioning Management) Working Group, the Active Digital Profile (ADpr) Initiative and developers of the Information Technology Markup Language (ITML) all said they plan to submit specs to the new technical committee.

Companies endorsing the PSTC include Access360, Business Layers, Jamcracker, Novell, Oblix and OpenNetwork Technologies. Those interested may join OASIS here.

OASIS will host an open mail list, pstc-comment@lists.oasis-open.org, for public comment on Provisioning Services.

Boulton writes for Internet News, an internet.com site.