There is a significant amount of work going on around the world in relation to sharing documents in an intelligent way between computer systems or applications. In order to maximise the utility of these services, participants need to agree on a number of mechanisms and related content. LIXI members are developing or working on agreements for specific standards in a number of areas including the document upload and download mechanisms; the so-called ‘metadata’ fields that categorise information about the file(s) being transferred; the lists of values for enumerated metadata fields; and the categorisation of types of documents as they relate to mortgage processing.
The original announcement of this agreement process was at the 2009 Annual LIXI Forum, where NextGen.Net presented an initial proposal for RESTful document sharing with an associated file/folder structure and metadata content, and this was followed by a more detailed Evening Series on the same subject. LIXI Members are encouraged to continue this process of standardisation and agreement, particularly as documents can now be attached within a number of other LIXI standards such as CAL applications and backchannel messages.
There is a substantial amount of relevant information on the internet which may be of interest to LIXI members regarding this subject. For instance:
- A W3C specification of an API for representing file objects in web applications, as well as programmatically selecting them and accessing their data.
- A description of interactive file uploads with Drag and Drop, FileAPI and XMLHttpRequest over the web
- The OASIS Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS), specifications for the use of Web services and Web 2.0 interfaces to enable information sharing across content management repositories from different vendors.
- A dissertation on the representational state transfer mechanism (REST) for sharing documents over the internet, and a layman’s interpretation thereof.
- The Dublin Core list of fifteen properties (or metadata elements) that are generally common among documents
- The closely-related AGLS Metadata Standard set of 19 descriptive elements that government departments can use to improve the visibility and accessibility of their web services. It has been mandated for use by Australian Government agencies.
- A simple, open, web-hook-based publish and subscribe protocol with an open source reference implementation.
From a business case perspective, LIXI Member organisations have expressed an interest in collaborative document exchange to support mortgage loan applications, particularly in areas such as customer documents to support the application, mortgage application documents, valuations, shared documents for mortgage insurance applications, and documents that suport the settlement process.
Document Sharing Working Group
All LIXI Members are welcome to participate in the Document Sharing working group email distribution list. Please contact email@example.com if you would like access or have an interest in following the discussions.
A key ‘next step’ for the working group will be to agree on some business requirements that are to be met with a document sharing API, within the contexts that are already under discussion and/or development. This would include metadata field names, lists of values for enumerated metadata fields, and the categorisation of types of documents as they relate to mortgage processing
The working group requires a Convenor and and Editor to coordinate the group as well as record meetings and related progress. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you or your organisation would like to play an active role in coordinating this working group.