Thursday, September 6, 2012


"A key to addressing the data heterogeneity issue is the adoption and enforcement of standards across information systems. While XML is clearly emerging to be the lingua franca for databases and internet systems, it is encouraging to see the enforcement of standards even at the level of Microsoft® Word and Microsoft® Powerpoint® documents"
-- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

XML is so wonderful that I created this blog to tell you about it. You don't need to be a Rocket Scientist to understand how powerful XML is but apparently it doesn't hurt. Recently I Googled "NASA Business Intelligence" and found an article posted on titled, The NASA Program Management Tool: A New Vision in Business Intelligence. So, what technology sits at the core of Business Intelligence (BI) at NASA? An elite team of Data Scientists from MIT, Berkeley, Cornell and Stanford determined that only XML would do. Of course. Below is a link to the article but let me share a few highlights:

This paper describes a novel approach to business intelligence and program management for large technology enterprises like the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Two key distinctions of the approach are that 1) standard business documents are the user interface, and 2) a “schema-less” XML database enables flexible integration of technology information for use by both humans and machines in a highly dynamic environment. The implementation utilizes patent-pending NASA software called the NASA Program Management Tool (PMT) and its underlying “schema-less” XML database called Netmark.

...a 'schema-less' XML database enables integration and query-based document composition, eliminating the need for database administration by automating the integration of information that have diverse schemas.

...Netmark supports the XML standard for metadata and information interchange thus making it an open system that is interoperable with a wide variety of other information systems and tools.

It is worth noting that NASA uses the Xalan XSLT processor to transform their XML. Nice.


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