Fabian Büttner talks about his work on “Model-driven Standardization of Public Authority Data Interchange” (to appear in the Science of Computer Programming journal, there is a (free) link to the full paper at the end).
Standardization is often hard, and standardizing web service interfaces is no exception. In an e-government context of de-centralized public administrations, with responsibilities heterogeneously distributed over the German federal and federal state governments, it does not get easier. But, at least, Model-driven engineering has helped us to cope with the complexity…
Starting in 2001, we have been involved for many years in the development of uniform web service interfaces between public authorities in Germany, for example, to automatically exchange data between its (approx.) 5400 municipal citizen registers, which run software solutions from many different vendors. While the technical layers of the web service stack could be taken off the shelf, we had to develop uniform data models for the various semantic components – which have to closely implement the (textual) requirements of the German legislation.
From the beginning, we have employed a model-driven approach to develop these semantic standards. Starting with a single pilot domain (the interchange between municipal citizen registers), the development method and its tools are now employed in 8 independent domains (e.g., data interchanges with vehicle registration registers, tax authorities). They provide the technical foundation for a `standardization of standards’ by employing a single, model-driven production chain (including UML profiles, OCL well-formedness rules, model validation and transformation tools, a central repository to share common semantic concepts among different semantic standards…).
If you want to learn more about this application field of MDE, please have a look at our upcoming article in the “Success Stories in MDE” issue of Science of Computer Programming (SCP).
 In German, this `standard for semantic standards’ is called XÖV, standing for XML in der Öffentlichen Verwaltung – XML in public authorities