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XBRL, HL7 and the rise of domain data models

Been reading several items relating to the new proposal to require the use of XBRL for financial reporting. Indeed, Kurt Cagle has an extensive post, saying "this should be interesting." He suggests that this development should have a number of effects, including an increased need for Xml skills. Even Alexander Falk of XmlSpy (actually the company name is Altova but their flagship app is xmlspy) has commented on his company's product native support for both XBRL and HL7.

While I haven't worked intimately with XBRL, I have looked at their library from a design / best practice perspective as it relates to the other Xml Consortia for whom I have consulted. Its ontological nature is interesting and I think has something to say about that kind of data model.
The reason I group HL7 in there is because of the new administration's effort to push for electronic records in health care. This doesn't name HL7 by name, but one can't help but connect the two. Now having worked with a number of Xml Consortia, from human resources to supply chain management to media to research administration, I have always been amazed at the contrast between how technologically advanced the product is (medical care) and how *under*-automated the infrastructure is.

So I'll end the post by saying that I hope the trend is for the better. There is so much really good work being done in these domain Consortia and I'd love to see them have a broader impact. Yes, they each have their quirks (and not all of them are worth implementing), but the promise of domain data models has always been good. And there are many of us out there who are working to make these Consortia adopt common design patterns. Now we need to roll up our shirt sleeves and make them more of a reality.
© Copyright Paul Kiel.

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