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E-Government, XML Messaging, and Interoperability

E-Government, XML Messaging, and Interoperability

Reach is an agency established by the Government of Ireland to develop a strategy for the integration of public services and to develop and implement the framework for electronic government.

In particular, Reach is mandated to procure and build the Public Services Broker (PSB), which is an integrated set of processes, systems and procedures designed to provide a standard means of access to public services

Technically speaking, the PSB is a hub based, asynchronous XML messaging infrastructure. Some people would call it a Services Oriented Architecture. Others wouldn't.

Anyway, XML messaging is a critical part of the PSB and interoperability across systems and platforms is a major concern in the architecture.

To that end, Reach have created a Web site dedicated to XML messaging and interoperability known as the Services and Data Exchange Catalog (SDEC):

Guidelines for XML interoperability are known as RIGs (Reach Interoperability Guidelines). The current RIGS are published on the SDEC at this URI:

Of particular interest to XML developers:

RIG 12 is an overview of the interoperability rationale that underpins the other RIGs. ( and would be a good RIG to read first.

The RIGS are maintained as OpenOffice documents. PDF and Word versions are exported from the OpenOffice source. We are working on a down-translate from the OpenOffice to nicely hyperlinked HTML.

For more information about the PSB, see

Comments/bug reports on RIGs are welcome.

If you wish, you can send comments directly to Reach. Each of the RIGS has e-mail addresses in the front matter.

Also, a mailing list has been set up for public discussion (


More Stories By Sean McGrath

Sean McGrath is founder and CTO of Propylon, one of Ireland's fastest growing software companies. Headquartered in Dublin, with development centers in Sligo, Ireland and Mumbai, India, Propylon delivers what it terms "industrial strength XML" and XML consultancy services to its service and product partners in Europe and the United States.

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