HS XML Work Group Meeting
February 3, 2010 4:00pm EST
Alisa W. Cahill
April Rose (on TokBox)
1. Try out new communication interface
• The group decided to continue to explore the use of TokBox for one additional meeting.
o Members are asked to prepare one piece of media (ie. a document, slide show, PDF, etc)
to attempt a demonstration of how the site can be utilized for meetings.
o The committee will re-evaluate at the next meeting.
• Please note that posted documents are publically accessible when posed in TokBox.
o Do not post confidential materials.
2. Building support within the human services community
a. Welcoming new members - Ted Kelleher, Jim Pingel, and Chris Holmes
b. Vendor reporting of standards survey – REPORT Jahmal, Eric, Nancy
• Nancy reported that the survey was sent out on NHSDC letterhead and was enthusiastically
approved by NHSDC.
o Nancy will act as the signatory, and return the documents to the subcommittee to review
when ready to send, as there are a number of finalizations for the subcommittee’s review.
• The next subcommittee meeting has not been set, and will be determined by the next group
3. Pursue connections to related efforts
a. Conformance with NIEM
i. Technical side – Eric
ii. Governance – Gabe
• Nancy noted that she received info from NIEM via Jim Pingel, and he continues to think that
this is a good option to pursue. There was a meeting with the rural services sub group, and
they are discussing involvement as well.
• There was a request for additions to this report:
o Eric Jahn delivered Jim Pingle’s update: Jim is no longer the IJIS NIEM Contact (who did
NIEM training in Balitmore). This functionality has folded, and Jim is now working with
Cyberlink a private company that does NIEM integration; New NIEW Business
Architecture Manager Michelle Vidanes (permanent federal appointee) will be present at
the NBAC meeting next month; Jim will mention HS XML at this meeting, or offered that the
group can get in touch with Christina Babst, communication director for NIEM, directly; Jim
works in human services integration and is interest in working with us and NIEM “new
b. Identify related state/federal data standards - Barb
• Barb was not available for the call to deliver this report.
4. Identify/support data exchange initiatives
a. Disaster – Nancy and Cristina
• Nancy discussed taking the disaster client data standard and making it conformant with NIEM.
o The standards should be put under an existing domain, or a new domain should be
• The subcommittee is in the process of conducting a final review, which is due to the Department
of Homeland Security at the end of the month.
o The Dept. of Homeland Security should return information in 30-45 days to let the group
know if they are interested in seeing a pull propose.
• Nancy and Christina will continue to keep the group updated.
b. Messaging - Eric
• There are no updates regarding messaging at this time.
• Eric was able to find a lot online about how messaging is done in NIEM, and remarked how
there are other vendors working on similar ideas.
o He expressed the hope to standardize the messaging process before independent agents
set a precedent of doing the same thing many different, unconnected ways.
• Nancy posed the question of the CAM (?) itility
o Eric was in an (AIRS?) meeting and discussed changes to schema.
AIRS is in the phase of making an AIRS 3.1, as all agree changes need to be
made to allow for more functionality.
Tino Paz has a link to content assembly mechanism, an XML schema that tries to fix
some of the XML problems.
The community is not sure if they want to go with schema 1.1, or go with a new
templating mechanism via a new vendor.
The government uses XML schema, and there is a lot of debate surrounding CAM,
as well as XML schema, and many do note see a need to go out on a limb and
Tino suggested we go with “what we got,” although not perfect, it is good enough
to start the integration process.
There are new tech developments; David Weber developed CAM, promoting it on
www.openvotingsolutions.net and with NIEM.
c. Community-based (place-specific) – any new initiatives to report?
• Laura McClain informed Alisa that she would try to attend this call but was unable to; In the
next month she will provide an update
o (Minnesota, complement the info that Eric Gremdal provided)
• Barb will provide the white paper on Muskegon
• Report/update from Abby – continue to work with program staff, still trying to in put
• Patrick has been the ServicePoint point-person working directly with Barb and the vendor to
reach client solutions…
Q: “Data integration people” want to know if they are using any standards, noting that messaging
will have to be homegrown as there is no standard, how will they reach a decision on using
A: We have encouraged the use of HMIS HUD standards, whether or not they structure it that way
will be interesting…
5. Describe HS XML vision and successful data exchanges through web and conferences
a. White papers/PowerPoint – Muskegon on deck
• To date, the group has been working on the website, presentations at conferences (talk about
next NHSDC conference at next meeting and what info we want to present).
• Feb 11/12th FLAIRS conference: data integration panel.
o Will talk about various data standards and encourage participation in this group.
o Eric will post the power point to the website if developed
• American Public Human Services Org
o We have not been successful penetrating this group
David Canavan and Michelle Hayes did not get much response from them; David
became a member and said he would monitor.
We were able to peripherally monitoredAPHSO at the NIEM conference; they
mentioned a NIEM participant that they knew, but identity unknown (Eric will try to
check in with Jim regarding this connection);
The APHSO Spring conference is in March
• Potential fall conference we could get in on?
• Alisa will follow up on this.
• Nancy noted that the Spring conference might be the primary conference
group, and then there are off season sub-conferences for interest groups.
o We will continue to try to break into this group…
o There may be a data standards work group associated with APHSO.
• Abt Associates is implementing the Homelessness Data Exchange.
o This will probably require the use of HS XML, and will be the first full-blown use of a client
data standard (nationwide use).
o The Homelessness Data Exchange utilizes aggregate data, HMIS XML format, and is due to
come become available April.
o Regarding the Data Exchange: it’s a HUD site that will collect aggregate data.
The AHAR XML site had hundreds of source sites, and aggregate XML data was
being reported to HUD via that gateway; that was a separate XML schema called
AHAR XML, similar to HMIS XML but using the same tree structure as HMIS 3.0;
There are no client parts, only agency and inventory parts, that will be collectible;
Those that use HMIS can report directly to HUD via an aggregate data report,
meaning XML straight from one system to another, which will most likely be file
based, not necessarily web based;
It is aggregate client data, but not personal identifying information;
People will be using the Homelessness Data Exchange in addition to the AHAR
HIC is HUD specific, and includes how much of your community’s total beds are
inside/outside the HMIS;
• There is break out information by site, by type, chronic homelessness etc;
• There are templates available online;
HMIS XML serves a different purpose than AHAR;
• In the future, they hope to fold AHAR into the HMIS XML;
• We already have the HIC and the PIT built into HMIS 3.0, we can include
AHAR to complete the package.
6. Identify funding opportunities
a. Funding and opportunities to sustain day-to-day work of the HS XML Work Group
• Feb 23rd at 12 EST next meeting
b. Wild brainstorming group met January 26 and will meet again to prioritize and report back
(Jen, Butch, Barb, Alisa, Eric, Nancy)
• Topics discussed included:
o funding for IT work needed, thinking about outcomes, implementation, all over the board,
anything that would support the pursuit of electronically exchanging HS data, from a
technical standpoint to changing the life experience of those we are serving;
• Also to think about:
o Alisa, who is supported by a TA contract, manages this group by keeping it on track,
organizing meetings, and maintaining communication, however that funding is coming to
o Think about building in the costs of sustaining the group wherever possible…
o Alisa will follow up on what kind of money commitment funding a similar role would
• Canavan Associates offered a creative idea for a student intern who might be interested in the
project, who could be tasked to maintain momentum;
o Other options were an interested organizational staff member or a practicum student;
o Think about this for the fall semester…
o The intern/student will require about 4 hours of supervision time per week;
o Think if that could work with any of our organizations. Contact Alisa for follow up
7. Next Meeting: March 2, 2010 4:00EST
• Getting vendor survey workgroup back together to tie up loose ends.
o Alisa will email to follow up with workgroup.