XML Goes to Washington

I recently brought up somewhat of a "Haters gonna Hate" scenario when discussing the disdain that the general JSON and XML camps have towards each other. That article spurred from some key online APIs removing XML support in favor of JSON. However, before that, Taylor Gillespie discussed the Securities and Exchange Commission’s reform of laws in order to standardize various XML formats for financial records here. In the event that you are one of those JSON or XML haters and enjoy keeping score, chalk another few points up for XML.

It looks like XML may find its way into more government regulations via the health care industry. The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) have made a formal recommendation to the White House regarding implementation of technology into the health care industry. Specifically, the report focuses on the benefits of implementing XML standards into the Health Information Systems industry.

The 90+ page report, entitled "Realizing the Full Potential of Health Information Technology to Improve Healthcare for Americans: The Path Forward", was submitted to the President in early December 2010. In it’s Executive Summary, PCAST states the report focuses "on the technical ability to exchange data in uniform ways", and then goes on to list several advantages of doing so. Over the next 90 pages, the report goes into greater detail of these various advantages and how the current health care industry is failing with uniform data exchange.

The greatest benefit of the report, however, is as a resource for making a pro-XML argument. Although it may be common knowledge and understanding the IT world that standardized data formats are necessary, presenting the same to non-technical decision making bodies is not always cut and dry. Changing existing data structures and implementing news systems costs money, and thus is not always easily welcomed by those who authorize programs and spending. This report is a great framework for anyone attempting to accomplish a similar task of standardizing data in their workplace.

Find the full report here.

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Categorized as XML

By Michael Marr

Michael Marr is a staff writer for WebProNews

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