I frequently encounter the following questions (or their variants)
· How is SML related to CIM?
· How is SML related to DCML?
These questions stem from the misconception that SML is limited to the domain of IT services management. I do realize that some of my earlier posts may have contributed to this misconception by failing to clearly demarcate the use of SML in management-specific scenarios from the features of SML. SML is a domain-neutral language and the two SML specifications do not define any management-specific (or any other domain-specific) feature. SML is based on XML Schema 1.0, XPath 1.0, and Schematron and is as generic and domain-neutral as these XML standards. It defines the following features (all of which are generic and applicable across a variety of domains):
· Typed inter-document references
· Built-in constraints on inter-document references
· deref() – an XPath extension function for navigating inter-document references
· Identity constraints across inter-document references
· Mechanisms for binding Schematron constraints to types, element definitions, and instance documents
That’s it. There are no management specific models or interfaces (like CIM) or a standard schema for representing entities in a data center (like DCML). Sure, SML can be used to define models for entities in data center, web services, deployed software, network routers, etc., but none of this is defined in the SML specifications. The SML specifications focus on defining a what is a valid SML model, how should the constraints and Schematron rules be evaluated, and how the contents of an SML model can be packaged into a single XML document without any loss of fidelity for exchanging SML models across implementations. The domain-neutral nature of SML coupled with its strong alignment with existing XML standards was a major reason for submitting the SML specifications to W3C.