Naming and reference

Rob Schoening rschoening at
Tue Jan 19 00:02:49 GMT 1999

  I am hoping that someone more knowledgeable than I am might be able to
answer this question:

  Is there a convenient way to identify a document by name?  For transient
documents, it occurs to me that it might be very difficult to maintain an
audit trail of documents without using application and domain specific
tools.  For e-commerce applications, this could be a serious shortcoming.
It seems to me that signing and encryption would necessarily be involved in
this scenario.

As a document passes between systems a->b->c->d, more than likely systems b
and c will have little interest in the contents of the document.  However,
it seems very likely that they would want to log a unique name for the
document (perhaps with its credentials) in order to cross reference it in
their system with some kind of annotation.  This is important if only to
preserve the integrity of the contents of the document.  Presumably, we
would like to know that the document at point A is the same document as the
one arriving at point d.  But if the only way we can refer to documents is
through a URL, I do not see how this will be possible since the URL is a
reference, not a name.

It seems to me that this will be absolutely critical for XML in EC
applications.  Any suggestions on where to look?

Rob Schoening

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