Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Halcyon joins HR-XML Consortium - 04/2001


Halcyon Internet plc has recently joined the HR-XML Consortium, an independent American, non-profit organisation dedicated to the development and promotion of a standardised XML vocabulary for human resources purposes.

Extensible Mark-up Language (XML), cousin to Hypertext Mark-up Language (HTML), is the World Wide Web Consortium's recommendation for developing descriptive mark-up languages for use in the delivery of information across the Internet, offering industries with conflicting data formats a way of converting information to a single common standard.

Heather Kenny, co-founder and communications director at Halcyon, explains: Human resources related e-commerce - or any inter-company exchange of HR data - requires an agreement among participants about how the transaction or data exchange will be accomplished. Incompatible systems and data standards is an issue faced across many industries and large commercial organisations, by joining the Consortium we can transact with other companies without having to establish and implement separate interchange mechanisms.

The Government's proposed corporate IT strategy will see an enforcement of a common e-commerce language with XML as the standard, providing a culture of interoperability between companies. In preparation of this the Government is advising that all businesses make the change to XML or make sure that their systems are XML compatible. Commercial pressures demand that institutions embrace new technologies, sooner rather than later so that they are not left behind.

XML is fast becoming the technology choice for inter-company data exchanges. We have been working closely with BASDA (Business and Accounting Software Developers Association) to ensure that the needs of the recruitment industry are met, so that an XML vocabulary is agreed upon that will benefit everyone. We have been advising recruitment companies to act upon this new universal language, as a lack of knowledge about this issue will result in the services they provide becoming increasingly incompatible with those of the businesses they service, concludes Kenny.