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14 Integrating Airport Information Systems documents. IATA and the Air Transport Association (ATA) are global aviation industry leaders in developing Recommended Practices, technical requirements, resolutions, and general busi- ness requirements, specifically for airlines, airports, and aviation service providers. Common-Use Passenger Processing Systems Together, IATA and the Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) began the complete overhaul of the Common Use Terminal Equipment (CUTE) systems still used in many airports today. The CUTE Recommended Practice relied on standardized equipment, rather than using a standardized technology, and had not been updated since 1984. As a result of a 3-year collaborative effort of aviation industry groups, CUPPS, using XML technology, emerged as a Recommended Practice in the fall of 2007 as specified in the following documents: International Air Transport Association Recommended Practice 1797, Air Transport Association Recommended Practice 30.201, and Airports Council International Recommended Practice 500A07. CUPPS, as a technology, is more flexible and can be used in many different types of equip- ment and software systems that drive the FIDS, dynamic signage, airport messaging, kiosks, and display boards. The architecture lifecycle illustrated by CUPPS is evolving with input from many organizations, developers, and vendors. As the technology continues to develop, compliance tests certify that specifications are met until finally the technology becomes a standard that gives users, vendors, and developers consistent and reliable access to the technology. Moreover, CUPPS provides a common foundation on which airports and vendors can build customized software--as long as the software uses the CUPPS Recommended Practice. CUPPS can be used in an airport to integrate all passenger data; airports that do not have a common-use environment can translate data from many airline systems into the CUPPS Recommended Prac- tice to use in a common software system. These types of standards will facilitate the following benefits for airports: Flexibility around peripheral deployment and updates, Ease of platform deployment, Support for added security and remote management, and Defined network requirement documents. Airport Operational Databases Aviation software vendors have developed a strategy for integration using XML technology, airport operational databases (AODB) that act as a sort of clearinghouse for data from other soft- ware solutions, allowing for data to stream from one system to another. These types of airport operational databases use various strategies for collecting, storing, and transmitting information. Extensible Markup Language XML is a technology used for tagging, interpreting, and transmitting data between applica- tions. Most standards for industry and government use XML to transfer data between hardware and software systems. Data are stored in plain text, which does not depend on software or hard- ware. XML is also a way to describe and display data in a common language for standardized data exchange. Translators using these standards can also help pull information from legacy systems. System developers do not have to purchase XML or any standards based on XML, just as writers do not have to purchase English to write a handbook. Electronic business XML, commonly known as e-business XML or ebXML, is a family of XML- based standards that translate data into data packets that can be transferred via the Internet.