XMLMap on Computing (1/4) - exploring XML
XMLMap on Computing
In this installment we will extend our XMLMap into the computing territory. While XML started out as a format for end user documents, its platform independence and low computing requirements allowed it to move into device and service configurations.
Directory Services and Provisioning
With public and private computer networks becoming larger and more diversified, directory services are needed to be able to locate machines and services. Directories themselves need to grow with the networks they describe, and need to interoperate with each others to share the load.
Directory Services Markup Language
Directory Services Markup Language version 2 is an XML application that provides a method for expressing directory queries, updates, and the results of these operations. While DSML version 1 provides a means for representing directory contents XML documents, DSML version 2 with bindings such as the SOAP Request/Response Binding, allows for directories to be manipulated via XML. DSMLv2 focuses on extending the reach of LDAP directories. Therefore, as in DSMLv1, the design approach is not to abstract the capabilities of LDAP directories as they exist today, but instead to faithfully represent LDAP directories in XML. The difference is that DSMLv1 represented the state of a directory while DSMLv2 represents the operations that an LDAP directory can perform and the results of such operations. Therefore, the design approach for DSMLv2 is to express LDAP requests and responses as XML document fragments.
The Directory Services Markup Language v1.0 provides a means for representing directory structural information as an XML document. DSMLv2 goes further, providing a method for expressing directory queries and updates (and the results of these operations) as XML documents. DSMLv2 documents can be used in a variety of ways. For instance, they can be written to files in order to be consumed and produced by programs, or they can be transported over HTTP to and from a server that interprets and generates them.
DSMLv2 functionality is motivated by scenarios including:
- A smart cell phone or PDA needs to access directory information but does not contain an LDAP client. A program needs to access a directory through a firewall, but the firewall is not allowed to pass LDAP protocol traffic because it isn't capable of auditing such traffic.
- A programmer is writing an application using XML programming tools and techniques, and the application needs to access a directory.
DSMLv2 is not required to be a strict superset of DSMLv1, which was not designed for upward-compatible extension to meet new requirements. However it is desirable for DSMLv2 to follow the design of DSMLv1 where possible.
DSMLv2 is defined in terms of a set of XML fragments that are used as payloads in a binding. A binding defines how the DSMLv2 XML fragments are sent as requests and responses in the context of a specific transport such as SOAP, SMTP, or a simple data file. DSMLv2 defines two normative bindings: (1) a SOAP request/response binding; and (2) a file binding that serves as the DSMLv2 analog of LDIF. Rules for defining other DSMLv2 compliant bindings are also defined.
DirXML is a bi-directional data sharing service that leverages Novell eDirectory (formerly NDS) to distribute new and updated information across directories, databases and critical applications on the network and across firewalls to partner systems. DirXML helps achieve uniform data integrity and automated efficiency by helping to eliminate the manual and repetitive tasks of creating and modifying user identities in all the different systems and applications within enterprises and partner systems. DirXML makes automatic changes based on business rules and preserves authoritative data sources. DirXML enables the universal flow of information across technical and organizational boundaries and makes public and private networks work as one. Novell submitted the DirXML DTD as a proposal for to DSML 2.0.
Next is service provisioning...
Produced by Michael Claßen
Created: Apr 28, 2003
Revised: Apr 28, 2003