Several leading vendors are expected to back Extensible Markup Language (XML) as a standard way to implement the Common Information Model (CIM) object-description schema, according to the Desktop Management Task Force (DMTF).
Tivoli, Novell, Cisco Systems and others are among those expected to voice their support.
CIM has been widely adopted because it is a universal model for describing status information about the performance of networked devices and applications.
Some vendors already adhere to CIM, but use proprietary encoding and transport. XML fulfils the need for an open, interoperable standard, said Winston Bumpus, president of the DMTF.
Tivoli, for instance, already supports CIM in several products, including NetView Application Development Environment, and Cross-Site.
Support for XML as the delivery mech-anism should appear in the next versions of these applications, expected in 1999, according to Ray William, director of standards at Tivoli.
Additional specific product announcements or development schedules from a variety of vendors are expected soon.
Implementations of CIM over XML may take the form of specialised servers that receive proprietary-format data and then repackage data into XML for sharing, or it may be embedded into smart devices.
Routers under development by at least two undisclosed vendors will have their own HTTP servers built in so that they can transmit state-of-being data prepackaged into XML, according to several officials at the DMTF.
Impact on Novell
Mike MacKay, vice president of corporate architecture for Novell, indicated that this adoption of XML would impact Novell Directory Services going forward, but declined to add any specifics.
CIM is part of the larger Web Based Enterprise Management, or WBEM, initiative that was begun by a consortium of Intel, Microsoft, Cisco and others, and was recently turned over to the more neutral DMTF to help gain an industry-wide acceptance of Web-based management tools.