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48 schema development efforts; (b) have a personal or profes- Broaden the Business Area Focus sional interest in the development of data interchange stan- NCHRP Project 20-64 was designed to focus specifically on dards; and (c) have the time and resources to commit their four business areas within the much broader surface trans- efforts to a project such as TransXML. Communications to portation domain. As noted above, some (though not all) of these groups must have a very different emphasis. the impetus and support for the project was related to the desire to enhance data interoperability for existing and pro- Role of AASHTO posed AASHTOWare products, which correspond to the A final observation is the recognition of the key role four selected business areas. The project was designed to of AASHTO in the genesis of TransXML, and the logic of identify and fill gaps in these business areas in which schema AASHTO continuing to play a key role in this effort. The were required but did not yet exist. This proved to be an AASHTOWare Standards and Guidelines Notebook includes effective means for concentrating the initial project efforts an "AASHTOWare XML Implementation and Migration" on well-defined application areas and user communities. specification. This specification has the objective of provid- At the same time, this approach limited the topical breadth ing a framework to (1) develop XML schema for incorpora- of NCHRP 20-64, and concentrated work in technical areas tion into AASHTOWare products and (2) participate in in which there were a limited number of participating ven- joint development and maintenance of XML schemas with dors. As a result, adoption of the initial XML schemas is public and private sector partners. It states that XML schema expected to be somewhat limited in breadth. While future can facilitate data exchange between AASHTOWare products, TransXML efforts should certainly continue to support and between AASHTOWare products and third-party products, enhance the value of AASHTOWare product investment in and between other products utilized by AASHTO member these four business areas, the TransXML Project should also organizations. It also recognizes the ongoing schema devel- attempt to opment efforts at LandXML, aecXML and OGC, and states that "AASHTOWare task force members, contractors, and 1. Address data exchanges and overlaps with other well- AASHTO staff will participate in these consortiums, where established standardization efforts such as those pursued appropriate, and support the development and enhancement by FMCSA in the commercial vehicle information systems of these schemas." area, and those pursued in the ITS community. This will help to broaden the scope of TransXML and start the process 6.4 Goals and Mission Statement of building working relationships with these other vital for the TransXML Project communities. 2. Play a proactive role with new or proposed AASHTOWare Goals of the TransXML Project efforts, to ensure that data exchange and support for inter- Based on the above observations, the following goals are operability are fundamental to the initial releases of new proposed for the future TransXML Project. AASHTOWare products. 3. Identify and address other major transportation topic areas which are not covered by AASHTOWare or other existing Establish Needs and Demonstrate Value standardization efforts. Many standards bodies, such as NCHRP 20-64 has established a process for developing OGC, ISO TC211, and ANSI L1 have been focused on consistent, coherent XML schemas in predefined business foundation issues, and are only now getting involved in areas. Several schemas have been developed accordingly, and transportation-specific applications on top of those foun- the process is repeatable for future schemas. However, the key dations. TransXML can provide transportation expertise to the long-term success of TransXML is ensuring that the to support them in these efforts. schemas are actually used. The best way to do this is to focus 4. Promote the importance of data interchange and inter- schema development on areas where they are most needed. operability to other agencies that sponsor research in soft- Interoperability must start with a practical understanding of ware and information technology (including, for example, what data needs to be shared, and how sharing of these data the NCHRP and SHRP II research programs). will benefit the transportation community. The criteria stated in Section 4.1 of this report for what constitutes a good can- Formally Embrace Coordination with Other didate for an XML schema can provide high-level guidance XML Schema Efforts for this. Specific opportunities need to be carefully evaluated to establish a clear vision of where interoperability is most NCHRP Project 20-64 incorporated an effort to identify and needed and where it could generate the greatest benefits. evaluate existing XML schema development and other stan-