Key Concepts

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Metadata Registry

Listpoint.co.uk is a shared [metadata registry] that transcends organizational boundaries. It holds information about other IT applications and the standards that constrain them. Its purpose is to help computer systems communicate effectively both when they are first introduced and over their working life. It is of little value to a system that has no interfaces but almost all systems these days do.

CLMS is the first subsystem of Listpoint.co.uk. It holds information about how business data is categorized. It does not hold any real business data itself, such as details of people or places, events that have occurred or things that exist. Thus, it can be exposed on the internet as it is not subject to the same security constraints as the systems it supports.

Version control

The business world is constantly changing. The environment in which a computer system operates necessitates continual changes in its configuration. Incoming messages may change shape or contain new codes. Outgoing messages may also need to change shape or contain new codes in order to be acceptable to the target system. Listpoint.co.uk provides a robust version control structure that is applied consistently to all types of administered item in which content is frozen once published and where all versions of an item remain available for reference.

Templates and Contents

Listpoint.co.uk holds three types of content:

All of these Admin Items are structured as a template and a collection of contents that should conform to the template. The template typically holds various rule settings that are used in validation. The contents (which vary according to each type of item) are checked against the template before the Item can be published. This ensures that a known level of data integrity is maintained in published content.

Distributed Administration

Listpoint.co.uk embodies several Web 2.0 principles of which the most significant is Distributed Administration (O'Reilly's "Harnessing Collective Intelligence"). There is no central team that controls the content that is published. Content is managed by the people who are closest to it. We trust our user community to maintain the content for which they are responsible and by so doing they benefit and enable others to benefit in a [symbiotic relationship]. Listpoint.co.uk provides a basic framework of rules and tools within which content can be expressed and shared in a consistent fashion by a wide community.

Listpoint Users are granted membership of one or more Teams. These Teams can be within one Organization or potentially several. Teams are either Owner teams or Steward teams and can thus Own or Steward a collection of Admin Items. Owning allows a team member to view the contents of draft Admin Items. Stewarding allows a team member to edit a draft Admin Item (subject to further User Roles).

Active alerting

One of the chronic problems faced by system administrators of public sector application systems is keeping on top of reference data changes. Frequently new codes will be introduced by some distant government department and the first the system administrator knows of this is when data is received that fails to load in their application. Listpoint provides email alerts whenever a new version of a Code List is published. System Administrators can effectively 'sign-up' to receive alerts by creating a Context representing their application in which they reference all the Code Lists they wish to track. When a new version of one of their Code Lists is published they will be told allowing them to consider whether their system needs to be updated to use the new list as well. Similarly, where an application has an interface with another application that has a Context on JUS they can receive an alert when the configuration of the other application is changed. Although JUS will not make any changes it provides a timely prompt to relevant users who can then make whatever consequent changes are appropriate both to the records on JUS and to the application system itself.

Other Concepts

A list of all the concepts described in this wiki is here

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