A proposed specification based on XML (Extensible Markup Language) that will enable directory systems to share information. The Directory Service Markup Language (DSML) schema for XML provides mechanisms for accessing information in directories even if the format of the data is unknown.
The DSML working group is open; it includes IBM, Novell, and Oracle and is supported by other directory vendors, including Microsoft.
A related initiative is the Directory Interoperability Forum (DIF), whose aim is to establish a standard that will enable use of the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) for performing data queries across multiple directories.
DSML and DIF are separate initiatives, but they might eventually merge or be subsumed within a wider objective.