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XrML

Updated: June 1, 2008

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

The RMS technology uses an XML vocabulary to express digital rights, the eXtensible rights Markup Language (XrML), version 1.2.1.

Microsoft believes in the benefits of industry standards and well-documented technical specifications, such as HTTP, TCP/IP and XML, which have been tested and reviewed by a standards organization. Industry standards must show technical competency. Therefore, standards organizations, such as the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG), review proposed standards to ensure that their developers have followed correct guidelines. In addition, standards organizations test proposed standards in numerous independent and networked scenarios.

Voluntary adherence to a standard rights-expression language will develop critical rights management interoperability benefits that are currently latent. The emerging standard, XrML (which has been recognized by MPEG), offers many innate interoperability benefits. XrML provides digital properties with a simple-to-use, universal method for expressing rights that are linked to the use and protection of digital information, including Web services. Developers can integrate new and existing rights management systems easily with XrML. Moreover, XrML is currently the only rights-expression language that is used to implement rights management solutions. Microsoft, which has employed XrML since its inception, looks forward to the many important benefits that rights management interoperability (based on the XrML standard) will bring.

How XrML works

XrML specifies a rights-expression language that trusted systems that are in a trusted environment can use to express digital information policies. You can apply XrML licenses to trusted information that is in any format, such as e-mail, office productivity tools, database contents, e-commerce downloads, line-of-business programs, and customer relationship management systems, to name a few. You can then enforce XrML licenses through any trusted rights management system that uses the XrML standard.

The rights to be managed are expressed in an XrML publishing license that is attached to the file. The publishing license is an expression of how the information owner wants it to be used, protected, and distributed. The publishing license and the user's identity are passed to the rights management system, which builds a license.

These licenses are easily interpreted and managed by various interoperable rights management systems because they all use the XrML standard. Managing information online by using licenses provides ease-of-access from any location. After the license is downloaded, rights management is effective both online and offline because the rights persist with the file wherever it goes.

XrML supports an extensive list of rights. In addition, applications can define additional rights to meet particular needs. By defining additional rights, enterprises can build many business, usage, and workflow models to meet their specific requirements.

For more information about XrML, see the XrML Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=6347).

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