FIRST NOTE: My associate, Mr. Pratul Dublish, recently spoke at Microsoft TechEd Developers conference in Barcelona, Spain. His full-room session provided a background on the SML Specification and highlighted Microsoft's implementations of model-based management in current and future products. You can read more from Pratul's blog: http://blogs.technet.com/pratul
INTERCHANGE: A new specification draft document, from the SML Working Group, has been published at http://ServiceML.org. This spec is called the "SML Interchange Format" or SML-IF, and defines a single XML document that can be used to exchange SML models across SML validators or between other consumers of SML models (such as by configuration management software applications).
The SML-IF spec defines how an SML model (XML Schema documents and SML extensions; Schematron documents containing rules; the XML instance documents) can be packaged in a single SML-IF document -- without loss of model fidelity.
INTEROPERABILITY: To support model-based management early adopters, the SML Specification Working Group is hosting a SML Interop Workshop during January 16-17, in Austin, Texas, USA. Workshop attendees can conduct interoperabilty testing between their own SML [validator] implementation and other implementations.
Details on workshop attendance and feedback requirements are posted at the http://ServiceML.org website.
CONFIGURATION MANAGEMENT: In a recent eWEEK article (http://www.eweek.com/article2/0%2c1895%2c2055284%2c00.asp), Microsoft announced participation in the multi-vendor Configuration Management Database Federation (CMDBF). Also announced is the private beta of the Microsoft Service Desk product. Both items are strongly connected to SML and SML-IF and the SML Interop Workshop: