Schema for Object-Oriented XML 2.0

Andrew Davidson, Matthew Fuchs, Mette Hedin, Mudita Jain, Jari Koistinen, Chris Lloyd, Murray Maloney, Kelly Schwarzhof

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This document describes SOX 2.0, the second version of the Schema for Object-Oriented XML. SOX is a schema language (or metagrammar) for defining the syntactic structure and partial semantics of XML document types. As such, SOX is an alternative to XML DTDs and can be used to define the same class of document types (with the exception of external parsed entities). However, SOX extends the language of DTDs by supporting: 1. An extensive (and extensible) set of datatypes; 2. Inheritance among element types; 3. Namespaces; 4. Polymorphic content; 5. Embedded documentation; 6. Features to enable robust distributed schema management. All of these features are supported with strong type-checking and validation. A SOX schema is also a valid XML instance according to the SOX DTD, enabling the application of XML content management tools to schema management. SOX was initially developed to support the development of large-scale, distributed electronic commerce applications but is applicable across the whole range of applications of markup. As compared to XML DTDs, SOX dramatically decreases the complexity of supporting interoperation among heterogenous applications by facilitating software mapping of XML data structures, expressing domain abstractions and common relationships directly and explicitly, enabling reuse at the document design and the application programming levels, and supporting the generation of common application components. Although SOX 2.0 retains many of the features of SOX 1.0, it represents an additional year of actual implementation experience. Commerce One has a working implementation of this language and will be releasing products based on it. Our goals in releasing this second version are two-fold: 1. Ensure that the public record accurately reflects the evolution of SOX. Members of the community wishing to understand SOX, build tools using SOX, or interoperate with SOX applications, need access to the current version of the language. 2. Expose some of the fruits of our implementation experience to the general community, particularly to assist in the ongoing work at the W3C to develop an official XML Schema language. From the markup world, the SOX proposal is informed by the XML 1.0 specification as well as the XML-Data submission and the Document Content Description submission. However many of SOX' requirements come from the distributed computing world and SOX features have been heavily influenced by the Java programming language.

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Keywords: SOX (Schema for Object-oriented XML);

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