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"Interoperability" is a technical term that means the ability to work across systems.
Interoperability is an essential requirement especially in e-government, where the main activity is exchange of information, data and documents. Here, the ability to work across systems allows administrative procedures to be carried out with new technology. Diverse institutions, their various people and machines, where specific procedures are carried out, must all speak the same language and must agree on the steps for carrying out each part of the administrative procedure.
This rule must apply at all levels:
Interoperability is "like a chain that allows information and computers to be linked both within the organization and between diverse organizations, administrations, enterprises and citizens".
There are three important aspects:
One particular approach to planning interchange of data is by marking the types of documents by XML standards. XML is gaining importance as a useful tool for integration and interoperability between public information systems through:
The aim is to realize a Semantic Web.
"The Semantic Web is an extension of the current web in which information is given well-defined meaning, better enabling computers and people to work in co-operation." -- Tim Berners-Lee, James Hendler, Ora Lassila, The Semantic Web, Scientific American, May 2001
Another definition states that "the Semantic Web is the representation of data on the WWW. It is based on the Resource Description Framework (RDF), which integrates a variety of applications using XML for syntax and URIs for naming." http://www.w3c.org/2001/sw
The prototype opens the road to this goal. It is constructed in XHTML, the new standard language for building Web pages. XHTML is a reformulation of HTML as an XML application and is the transition towards XML. This offers two main advantages: