re Naming and reference

Terry Allen tallen at
Tue Jan 19 00:33:49 GMT 1999

Rob Schoening wrote:

|   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?

For CBL (see URL in my sig) I've used URNs to identify documents.
In the scenario you describe, every party that may need to find the
document by its URN has already received a copy of it, so the only
resolution of the URN required is to look in the system's local 
registry of URNs and find the local identifier under which the
document has been stored.


regards, Terry Allen

Terry Allen				Veo Systems, Inc.
Business Language Designer              2440 W. El Camino Real
tallen[at]                     Mountain View, Calif., 94040
Common Business Library - available at

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