XML Namespace for UNL Data

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Document Information

This RFC proposes a standard xml namespace document and schema to recommend how UNL data is communicated through XML.

Author(s) Information

  • Name: Brett Bieber
  • Email: brett.bieber@gmail.com


Our goal is to define standard communication protocols for exchanging common data at UNL. By defining an XML namespace, we can enhance communication between related services utilizing Service Oriented Architectures.

By standardizing how data is represented within extensible markup language, we will enhance and enable service oriented architectures at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Existing Work

It is unknown if other universities have tackled this issue yet.

Xiao Feng Chen with Information Services noted that an arbitrary XML format was created for exchanging information between the GAMES system. At the IdM meeting where this was initially discussed, it was requested that Xiao Feng share the xml format to see if it could be used as a model.


Useful SOA Data

This section identifies potential data for communication between services providing data.

  • People (public directory information, or public unique identifier/uid)
  • Places (buildings & codes, rooms, locations etc)
  • Departments and organizational structure
  • Courses/catalog information
  • Event information

Existing Namespaces

It is recommended that existing namespaces for information be used before adding elements to the UNL XML namespace. For these reasons, it is recommended that the following XML namespaces be used for course information and geographical information:

Proposed Elements

This section lists proposed xml elements to store data not accommodated within the Existing Namespaces section.

  • person
    • uid
    • unlsismajor
    • â�?�¦ see IdM documentation for additional attributes [1]
  • location
    • buildingcode

Proposed Namespace URI

The decision of a Namespace URI can be arbitrary or well defined.

Until the point that this RFC becomes widely accepted, it is suggested that the URI reference the specific interested parties, retaining the generic www.unl.edu namespace for more widely adopted namespaces.


See the W3C document on namespace URIs [2]


We recommend that the referenced namespaces and elements be used when publishing services using XML as a communication format.


All elements

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    <!-- one option is to have a person element, with child elements corresponding to the
         LDAP attributes -->
        <!-- See the attributes for People at:
             http://www1.unl.edu/wdn/wiki/Identity_Management#People -->
    <!-- But, I'd like a very simple way of referencing a person, so uid could be used
         outside of a person element. -->
    <!-- Location information could be communicated as follows -->
        <georss:point>40.817719, -96.701513</georss:point>
    <!-- Building codes could also be used outside of a location element -->
    <!-- Course information should use XCRI CAP: http://www.xcri.org/bindings/xcri_cap_1_1.xsd
         Here is a comprehensive example, provided by Tim Steiner. -->
        <xcri:title>Intermediate Accounting II</xcri:title>
            <xcri:courseCode type="home listing">
        <xcri:prerequisite>ACCT 313 with grade of C or better, or permission.</xcri:prerequisite>
            Continuation of ACCT 313 with emphasis on 
            contemporary accounting theory and practice regarding long-term liabilities, 
            corporate equities, and problem areas under study by professional accounting 
            organizations. Analysis of financial statements and the statements of cash flow 
            stressed and related to current controversial topics.


            <xcri:credit type="Single Value">3</xcri:credit>


Modifying an RSS Feed

The following seminar was given by a UNL faculty member. By adding the <unl:uid> element, we can identify the faculty member.

    <title>OLSON SEMINAR | Robert Oglesby </title>
    <itunes:author>Robert Oglesby </itunes:author>
    <description>Robert Oglesby, Professor of Climate Modeling, Department of Geosciences and School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln delivers a lecture titled, "Causes of Drought in the Great Plains."</description>
    <pubDate>Wed, 23 Apr 2008 15:32:00 -0600</pubDate>
    <enclosure url="http://www.unl.edu/ucomm/ucomm/av/audio/podcasts/20080409_olson_oglesby.mp3" length="46899801" type="audio/mpeg" />


  • Information Services
    • Identity Management Team
  • University Communications

Stakeholders Notified

This topic was initially discussed at the Identity Management meeting on November 20th, 2008 by Brett Bieber of University Communications. It was suggested that the proposed xml namespace be documented and circulated for review.

Other Relevant Information


  • 2008-12-01 First draft.
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