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Using RDDL as a Distributed Registry Architecture

  • To: xml-dev@l...
  • Subject: Using RDDL as a Distributed Registry Architecture
  • From: "Roger L. Costello" <costello@m...>
  • Date: Mon, 07 Oct 2002 16:04:50 -0400
  • Cc: "Costello,Roger L." <costello@m...>
  • Organization: The MITRE Corporation

registry architecture
Hi Folks,

I have a client that is developing a large, ebXML-based registry that
will be deployed on the Web.  I am not a big believer in large,
centralized, heavyweight anything, especially if it's targeted for the
Web.  I would like to present to my client the idea of a distributed
registry based upon RDDL collections.  [A "RDDL collection" is a RDDL
document plus all the documents it references]

Below are some thoughts that are brewing in my mind to present to my
client.  All comments are welcome.

1. Key characteristics of the Web:
   - lightweight
   - distributed

2. The whole notion of my client's Registry is to create a centralized,
heavyweight data pool where clients go to find the who, what, and where
of services.  UDDI has the same centralized, heavyweight
mentality. This is not harmonious with the Web.

3. My client argues, "But we need a mechanism to store info about each
service.  The registry is the only way to accomplish this."  The former
is true.  The later is not.  There are alternatives...

4. RDDL (Resource Directory Description Language) is a lightweight,
distributed mechanism for storing information about a namespace. The key
notion of RDDL is to use namespaces in a dual role - both as an
identifier, and as a pointer to a RDDL document.  The RDDL document is a
directory for the namespace.  That is, it contains pointers to documents
that you wish to associate with the namespace.  Such documents include
schemas, stylesheets, dictionary, spec (all the things that my client
wants associated with a service in his registry).

5. My idea is that each client service be associated with a different
namespace, and each namespace point to a RDDL document.  Thus, the set
of client metadata is distrbuted across all the RDDL documents.  This
yields a lightweight, distributed metadata mechanism - which is
harmonious with the Web architecture.

6. "Since there is not a central registry to look for services, how do I
locate services in a RDDL-based architecture?"  Use a
search engine!  You may desire to create a search engine that is
customized to your domain (I have anticipated for years that the
use of generic search engines, such as google, will end, and
domain-specific search engines will prevail)

7. Just like the body will reject infectious viruses, so too the Web
will reject a centralized, heavyweight registry.

Well, that's my thinking.  Any comments?  /Roger


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