XML Schemas are Like Rabbits

CaseySoftware's biggest project right now involves the integration of numerous XML data sources into a single unified database. Each of the data sources consists of the same type of data, but each is in its own – sometimes proprietary – format. Please don't ask me how unencryped XML can be truly proprietary, but in the schema docs there are numerous “Confidential” and “Proprietary” warnings.

Therefore, I cannot find any examples of these documents online to do simple testing. I have dug deep into Google using the relevant terms and keywords and still nothing. The worst part is that there are actually a handful of public standards available in this domain, but nearly all of the big players have developed their own schemas. Therefore, you need a custom tool/process each and every schema.

I can't see the sense behind this.

XML is a powerful idea. Having a simple cross platform/language data structure that is human-readable goes a huge way towards making things simpler for everyone involved. This all goes out the window when you have every single player pulling in a different direction.

I worked at the Library of Congress and was involved in the creation of their XML Metadata Standards and they seem to have the right idea in terms of creating their XML Schemas by getting all of the major players together and attempting to address needs early in the process. Maybe part of this is because the LoC is the 300lb gorilla of the bunch, but sometimes someone must take the lead.

Otherwise you end up with more XML standards than there are developers to support them.