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Subject: Re: MIME vs pure XML ebXML structure

Someone on the list asked me the benefits of the two approaches. I
figured I would answer to the whole list. Here is a quick stab at it.
Any other points I left off?

Benefits of MIME envelope:
 - If you are using e-mail, it falls out automatically.
 - If you want to parse the header but don't want to parse the body
(content), XML parsers aren't able to arbitrarily stop in the middle of
a document. (e.g., if you have an ebXML envelope around a huge document
content and don't want the overhead of parsing the whole thing.) MIME
allows the header to be a separate attachment from the body, so they can
be parsed separately.
 - If you have an XML parsing error anywhere in the document, the parser
fails. Thus an error in the content will kill parsing of the envelope,
if it is all XML.

Benefits of pure XML solution (no MIME envelope):
 - It is a pure XML solution, which meets the possible "ebXML
requirement" of our solution being W3C-compliant.
 - You don't have to do special processing to strip the MIME envelope
before feeding the XML stuff to the XML parser.
 - If you have a web server and a user fills out and submits a web form,
I suspect it is easier for the server back end to generate pure XML,
rather than having to generate a MIME envelope as well.

So I don't lean one way strongly over the other way. Both sides have
their benefits.

> Hey Kit,
>         Can you explain what some of the perceived benifits to using
> MIME (say .vs. something like the all xml example you layed out)?

    _/    _/             Kit C. J. Lueder       
   _/   _/         _/   The MITRE Corp.         Tel:  703-883-5205
  _/_/_/    _/  _/_/_/ 1820 Dolley Madison Bl  Cell: 703-577-2463
 _/   _/   _/    _/   Mailstop W658           FAX:  703-883-3383
_/    _/  _/    _/   McLean, VA 22102        Mail: kit@mitre.org
Worse than an unanswered question is an unquestioned answer.

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