Category Archives: Uncategorized

#iDIDit: What’s more important? …the name of something or the something?

Thoughts to think about:

  • What’s more important? …the name of something or the something?
  • Under what conditions might the relative importance change?
  • What is the difference between a name, an identifier (see below for a definition), and a label?

Here’s a few examples to ponder. The discussion follows at the end of this article.


Apple (A-p-p-l-e) and Apples

Name: apple (a-p-p-l-e)



Figure 1. Somethings: (a) real apple, (b) ceramic apple, (c) apple candle, and (d) a bad apple ūüėČ

House Numbers and Houses

Name: A specific house number



Figure 2. Somethings: (a) house with a specific numeric house number, and (b) house with script house number with a specific value

Addresses and Houses

Name: A specific address



Figure 3. Somethings: (a) house with specific numbered street address, (b) property with a specific numbered street address, and (c) house specific numeric house number and a specific numbered street address

Domain Names and DNS Resource Records

This (and the following) example are important because they represent 2 completely different, independent databases indexed/keyed by the same name: an Internet domain name.

Name: Domain name





DNSQUery-org1Figure 4. Somethings: DNS Resource Records for
(top) single “A” record (default), (middle) all “A” records, and (bottom) all resource records

To learn more about DNS, read DNS (Domain Name Service): A Detailed, High-level Overview.

Domain Names and WHOIS Database Records

This (and the previous) example are important because they represent 2 completely different, independent databases indexed/keyed by the same name: an Internet domain name. Thank you goes to Daniel Hardman for suggesting this one.

Name: Domain name


Figure 5. Somethings: WHOIS Database Record for

Github Project Respository Names


Read Git repository internal format explained  for a detailed explanation of the structure of the .git folder that is created in the local file system when a GitHub project repository is cloned using, for example:

git clone

Several additional references (links) are also included in the article.


Figure 6. Somethings: GitHib Project Repository .git Local Folder



Roles of a Name

  • noun: a-p-p-l-e
  • a partial identifier/address: a house number
  • a more complete identifier/address: the address of a house
  • a more complete identifier/address of a related entity: the address of a property that has house
  • a unique identifier: a domain name (although domain names can be used to index completely different collections – e.g. DNS Resource Records and WHOIS Database Records)


What a name is, what it is interpreted to be, and what it actually is can be are completely different things.

Possession of a something vs. control of something aren’t necessarily the same thing.


What is an “identifier”?


Figure 6. Identifier: Definition




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DNS (Domain Name Service): A Detailed, High-level Overview

How’s that for a confuding title?¬† In a recent email discussion, a colleague compared the Decentralized Identifier framework to DNS …suggesting they were similar.¬† I cautiously tended to agree but felt I had an overly simplistic understanding of DNS at a protocol level.¬† That email discussion led me to learn more about the deeper details of how DNS actually works – and hence, this article.

On the surface, I think most people understand DNS to be a service that you can pass a domain name to and have it resolved to an IP address (in the familiar format).

domain name =>


  1. If you click on Google DNS Query for, you’ll get a list of IP addresses associated with the Microsoft’s corporate domain name
  2. If you click on Google DNS Query for, you’ll get a list of IP addresses associated with the Microsoft’s corporate web site¬†

NOTE: The Google DNS Query page returns the DNS results in JSON format. This isn’t particular or specific to DNS. It’s just how the Google DNS Query page chooses to format and display the query results.

DNS is actually much more than a domain name to IP address mapping.¬† Read on…

DNS Resource Records

There is more to the DNS Service database than these simple (default) IP addresses.¬† The DNS database stores and is able to return many different types of service-specific IP addresses for a particular domain.¬† These are called DNS Resource Records. Here’s a partial list from

Most APIs only support the retrieval of one Resource Record type at a time (which may return multiple IP addresses of that type). Some APIs default to returning A records; while some APIs will only return A records. Caveat emptor.

To see a complete set of DNS Resource Records for, click on query results for¬†and scroll down to the bottom of the results page …to see the complete response (aka authoritative result). It will look something like this:


Figure 1. DNS Resource Records for Authoritative Result

NOTE: The Resource Record type is listed in the fourth column: TXT, SOA, NS, MX, A, AAAA, etc.

DNS Protocol

The most interesting new information/learnings is about the DNS protocol.¬† It’s request/response …nothing new here.¬† It’s entirely binary …to be expected given its age and the state of technology at that time. Given how frequently DNS is used by every computer on the planet, the efficientcy of a binary protocol also makes sense. The¬†IETF¬†published the original specifications in¬†RFC 882¬†and¬†RFC 883¬†in November 1983.

The new part (for me) is that an API typically doesn’t “download” the entire authoritative set of DNS Resource Records all at once for a particular domain, the most common API approach is to request the list of IP addresses (or relevant data) for a particular Resource Record type for a particular domain.

The format of a sample DNS request is illustrated in the following figure:

messages-requestFigure 2. Sample DNS Request [CODEPROJECT]

It’s binary. The QTYPE (purple cells on the right side) defines the type of query. In this case 0x0F is a request for an MX record; hence, this is a request for the data that describes’s external email server interface.

NOTE: The “relevant data” isn’t always an IP address or a list of IP addresses. For example, response may include another domain name, subdomain name, or, in some cases, simply some unstructured text (as far as the DNS specification is concerned).

Here is a typical response for the above sample request:

messages-responseFigure 3. Sample DNS Response [CODEPROJECT]

The response in turn is also binary. In this case, DNS has responded with 3 answers; that is, 3 subdomain names: mailc, maila, and mailb – each with a numerical preference (weight).

The ANY Resource Record Type

There is also a “meta” Resource Record Type called ANY that, as you might guess, requests a collection of all of the different Resource Record type records.¬† This is illustrated in Figure 1 above.

Best regards,
Michael Herman (Toronto/Calgary/Seattle)


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#iDIDit: Trusted Digital Web: Architecture Reference Model v0.4

Michael Herman (Toronto/Calgary/Seattle)
Hyperonomy Business Blockchain Project / Parallelspace Corporation
December 2018

Draft document for discussion purposes.
Update cycle: As required ‚Äď sometimes several times in a single day.

Trusted Digital Web: Architecture Reference Model

The key components of the Trusted Digital Web: Architecture Reference Model (TDW ARM) include:

  • Trusted Digital Assistant
  • Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) and DID Resolution Protocols
  • DID Entities: Actors and Things
  • Wallet Subledgers
  • Cloud Wallets
  • Cloud Agents

Click the figure to enlarge it.

Trusted Digital Web 0.4

HBB-Trusted Digital Web v0.4

Trusted Digital Web 0.3

Trusted Digital Web v0.3.png

Trusted Digital Web 0.2

Trusted Digital Web v0.2.png


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#iDIDit: [OLD] Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) Architecture Reference Model (ARM)

IMPORTANT:¬†Don‚Äôt read this version of this article about the ‚ÄúDID‚ÄĚ ARM.¬† This is an old article but it remains here as a tombstone for the many places where this URL has been posted.¬† Please read:¬†Hyperledger Indy/Sovrin Comprehensive Architecture Reference Model (ARM).¬†(click¬†here).

Michael Herman (Toronto/Calgary/Seattle)
Hyperonomy Business Blockchain Project / Parallelspace Corporation
December 2019

Draft Versions for Discussion Purposes Only

QUESTION: Are these diagrams precise, accurate, and complete? In particular, are the components and relationships in the Technology/Infrastructure Architecture layer precise, accurate, and complete? Please add a comment to the end of this article or email me at


The Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) architecture reference model diagrams that follow were created to support the following discussion…

From: Michael Herman (Parallelspace)
Sent: December 20, 2018 10:01 AM
Subject: Review of the current draft DID specification

I’ve recently started a detailed review of the current draft DID specification document and to be direct, I have found even the first few sections to be quite imprecise and confuding.

I’ve started creating a new GitHub issue every time I’ve encountered a problem. 11 issues so far and I’m barely into section 2.

I’m reviewing the draft spec from the perspectives of an Enterprise Architect and experienced blockchain developer. Most of the issues relate to a lack of precision in the use of key concepts and terminology …as well as unnecessary IMHO overloading of these key concepts/terms …things that should be prohibitive in a spec document.

That’s a bit of a brutal introduction… But those who have met me (in Basel for example) understand my proper passion around these topics.

I also understand there is a rush to advance this document from a Community draft specification to something with a more formal status. I honestly don’t think the document is ready …but I don’t know what the “bar” is.

What’s the best way to proceed? I’m not sure… …keep creating new issues? …write a lengthy position paper? … create a new PR?

Your thoughts?

Architecture Reference Model Diagrams

These diagrams are part of a larger effort to create an architecture reference model for the entire Hyperledger Indy software platform and Sovrin governance model.¬† The achieve this goal, a deep and precise of the draft Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) specification is required.¬† I appreciate all of your help and input.¬† …Michael

p.s. These diagrams will be updated regularly – sometimes a couple times per day.

p.p.s. The Open Group’s ArchiMate 3.0 visual design notation for Enterprise Architecture was used to create these diagrams using Archi, the open source ArchiMate modeling tool.

Click on any of these diagrams to enlarge them.

Version 0.14 – January 1, 2019

Relative to version 0.11, version 0.14 recognizes Software Agents as Actors. Scroll down to Version 0.11 – December 30, 2018 for the most complete set of architectural principles.

DID Logical Architecture v0.14Figure 0.14 Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) – Architecture Reference Model (ARM) v0.14 – January 1, 2019

Version 0.11 – December 30, 2018

The updates in version 0.11 of the Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) ARM (architecture reference model) are limited to the Business Architecture Layer; more specifically, clarifying to roles and relationships between:

  • Actors (Persons and Organizations), and
  • Things (Pets, Cars, Houses, Business Documents, Products, Assemblies and Parts).

The role of Actor in the model is a key learning that came out of the Basel workshop.

I’ve taken the idea a step further to find a proper “place and set of relationships” for the Sovrin concept of “Things”.¬† I believe I’ve (successfully?) done that but am looking for feedback/consensus about these ideas.¬† They are presented visually in the diagram below.

The new Business Architecture basic principles are:

  1. An Actor is either a Person or an Organization.
  2. Each Person or Organization has one or more SS Digital Identities associated with it.
  3. Actors (Persons and Organizations) participate in Processes.
  4. A Process acts on/accesses Things (e.g. Pet, Car, House, Business Document, Product, Assembly, Part) to perform work.
  5. Business Documents, Products, Assemblies and Parts are different from the traditional or generic Sovrin concept of a Thing (e.g. Pet, Car, House).
  6. Each Thing has one or more SS Digital Identities associated with it.

To bridge from previous versions of the ARM (see below), the following Application Architecture basic principles also apply:

  1. A DID Document is a JSON-LD serialization of a DID Entity.
  2. A DID Entity is the in-memory, application-specific object that represents a de-serialized DID Document.
  3. A DID Entity is what application developers work with (program against) at the Application Architecture level of an app.
  4. DID Entities have a set of attributes such as the following:
    • id (DID)
    • service (endpoints)
    • authentication
    • publicKey
    • @context
    • etc.
  5. “id (DID)” exists as an attribute of a DID Entity (and by implication, as an attribute of DID Document, the JSON-LD serialization of the corresponding DID Entity).
  6. The “id (DID)” attribute is given the nickname “DID” (aka Decentralized Identifier) for convenience; but more importantly, to clarify what a DID specifically refers to (as well as to clarify what the term DID specifically does not refer to).¬† “DID” should only be used to refer to the “id (DID)” attribute of a DID Entity (or DID Document).
  7. DIDs are used to index, find, and retrieve DID Documents from the Technology/Infrastructure Architecture layer.
  8. DID Documents represent the primary object type that is exchanged between the Application Architecture layer and the Technology/Infrastructure layer.

DID Logical Architecture v0.11Figure 0.11 Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) – Architecture Reference Model (ARM) v0.11 – December 30, 2018


Version 0.10 – December 21, 2018DID Logical Architecture v0.10Figure 0.10 Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) – Architecture Reference Model (ARM) v0.10 – December 21, 2018


Version 0.9 – December 21, 2018

DID Logical Architecture v0.9.pngFigure 0.9 Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) – Architecture Reference Model (ARM) v0.9 – December 21, 2018


Best regards,

Michael Herman (Toronto/Calgary/Seattle)


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Confuding, Confuded, and Confudsion

: synonyms confusing. Result of spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt in the minds of new project participants. “The specification was confuding to most new developers.”

: synonyms confused. An adjective describing the feelings of fear, uncertainty and doubt about a topic or concept. “The developers became confuded while trying to decipher the meaning, intent and practical application of the specification”.

: synonyms confusion. A state of mind resulting from having feelings of fear, uncertainty and doubt about a topic. “The document created a lot of confudsion with respect to the meaning, intent and practical application of the specification”.



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Refactoring UBL 2.2 business documents for enacting business processes on the blockchain [WIP]

Michael Herman (Toronto/Calgary/Seattle)
Hyperonomy Business Blockchain Project / Parallelspace Corporation
December 2018 (completed January 2019)

The purpose of this article is to describe the background and rationale for set of proposed extensions to the UBL 2.2 business document specification to make UBL schema better suited for  creating distributed business applications on the blockchain. The proposed set of extensions is referred to as the Universal UBL Extensions.

Hyperonomy Business Blockchain (HBB)

Hyperonomy Business Blockchain (HBB) is a horizontal software applications platform for supporting standards-based, end-to-end, general-purpose, trusted business processing on a global scale.

HBB Standards

A key characteristic of HBB is its reliance on prevailing standards for:

  1. Business document definitions (business document schema)
  2. Executable business process definitions (workflow template definitions)
  3. Digital identity
  4. General-purpose, programmable blockchain platforms
  5. Microsoft .NET Core Common Language Runtime (CLR) for virtual machine support

For business document schema, HBB is reliant on the UBL 2.2 (Universal Business Language) specification from the OASIS group.

For defining workflow templates, HBB is reliant on the BPMN 2.0 specification from the Object Management Group (OMG).

For digital identity support, HBB is leveraging:

Hyperledger Indy is a distributed ledger, purpose-built for decentralized identity. It provides tools, libraries, and reusable components for creating and using independent digital identities rooted on blockchains or other distributed ledgers so that they are interoperable across administrative domains, applications, and any other ‚Äúsilo.‚ÄĚ [INDY]

Sovrin is a decentralized, global public utility for self-sovereign identity.¬†Self-sovereign¬†means a lifetime portable identity for any person, organization, or thing. It‚Äôs a smart identity that everyone can use and feel good about. Having a self-sovereign identity allows the holder to present verifiable credentials in a privacy-safe way. These credentials can represent things as diverse as an airline ticket or a driver’s license. [SOVRIN]

Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) are a new type of identifier for verifiable, “self-sovereign” digital identity. DIDs are fully under the control of the DID subject, independent from any centralized registry, identity provider, or certificate authority. DIDs are URLs that relate a DID subject to means for trustable interactions with that subject. DIDs resolve to DID Documents ‚ÄĒ simple documents that describe how to use that specific DID. Each DID Document contains at least three things: cryptographic material, authentication suites, and service endpoints. Cryptographic material combined with authentication suites provide a set of mechanisms to authenticate as the DID subject (e.g., public keys, pseudonymous biometric protocols, etc.). Service endpoints enable trusted interactions with the DID subject. [DID]

[Sovrin] DIDs are created, stored, and used with verifiable claims. [The Sovrin DID Method Specification] covers how these DIDs are managed. It also describes related features of Sovrin of particular interest to DID owners, guardians, and developers. [SOVRINREGISTRY]

For general-purpose, programmable blockchain platform support, HBB is reliant on:

  • Stratis Platform for creating highly composable, performant, reliable, and trustworthy custom blockchain platforms, and
  • .NET Core Common Language Runtime (CLR) for virtual machine support.

The Stratis Full Node is the engine that powers the Stratis blockchain network. A future-proof and environmentally sustainable consensus protocol, which uses a Proof-Of-Stake (PoS) algorithm, drives each Full Node in the network.

.NET Core¬†is an¬†open-source, general-purpose development platform maintained by Microsoft and the .NET community on¬†GitHub. It’s cross-platform (supporting Windows, macOS, and Linux) and can be used to build device, cloud, and IoT applications.

UBL (Univeral Business Language) Specification

UBL documents are conceived for the purpose of interchange between disparate systems to replace existing trade documents. [HOLMAN1]

UBL is an OASIS specification that defines schema for the 81 most common digital business documents used in supply chain or other online commerce scenarios. The current version of the UBL specification is known as OASIS Universal Business Language version 2.2.

The OASIS Universal Business Language (UBL) is intended to help solve these problems by defining a generic XML interchange format for business documents that can be restricted or extended to meet the requirements of particular industries. Specifically, UBL provides the following [UBL22]:

  • A suite of structured business objects and their associated semantics expressed as reusable data components and common business documents.
  • A library of XML schemas for reusable data components such as ‚ÄúAddress‚ÄĚ, ‚ÄúItem‚ÄĚ, and ‚ÄúPayment‚ÄĚ‚ÄĒthe common data elements of everyday business documents.
  • A set of XML schemas for common business documents such as ‚ÄúOrder‚ÄĚ, ‚ÄúDespatch Advice‚ÄĚ, and ‚ÄúInvoice‚ÄĚ that are constructed from the UBL library components and can be used in generic procurement and transportation contexts.

A key premise of a UBL business document schema is that is complete, standalone, physical representation of the underlying conceptual business or application object. The primary intended purpose of documents conformant with the UBL specification is: electronic document exchange and rendering/printing.

An example receiver application is a print facility that can print any instance of a given UBL document type without having to perform any calculations nor need even know the underlying calculation model.

For the purposes of this article, the following UBL Invoice schema serves as the primary use case. The first page of  the UBL Invoice schema looks like the following.

UBL-InvoiceFigure 1. UBL Invoice Schema Example (Partial)

Each one of the 81 UBL business document schema is a complete, holistic representation of a particular business document (e.g. Invoice, Business Card, Bill of Lading, Order, Request for Quotation, Forwarding Instructions, etc.).

Blockchain Requirements for UBL Business Documents

To represent UBL Business Documents more effectively and more efficiently for use in blockchain-based distributed business applications, the following requirements are important:

  1. Extremely compact and efficient binary serialization of each entity (and subentity)
  2. Refactoring/normalization/decomposition of large aggregated entities into small, separate, external subentities (e.g. 5-10 properties per entity) aggregated together by-reference (vs. by-value)
  3. Re-use of existing (non-fungible) subentities wherever and whenever possible to conserve space and eliminate replication and redundancy wherever and whenever possible
  4. Secure, permanent, immutable, and trusted (“trusted in a trust-less way”)

Detailed Requirements

Universal UBL (UUBL) is a set of extensions to (or superset of) the UBL 2.2 specification that provides enhanced support for storing and interacting with digital business documents on a digital identity/general-purpose blockchain hybrid applications platform.  The UUBL extensions are an answer to the 4 blockchain requirements outlined in the previous section.

Requirement 1. Compact and Efficient Binary Serialization

The requirement for extremely compact and efficient binary serialization of each entity (and subentity) can be fulfilled by various software serialization solutions including SerentityData Variable-byte, Statistically-based Entity Serialization. The SerentityData project can be found on Github. SerentityData is the author’s preferred solution.

Requirement 2. Refactoring/Normalization/Decomposition

By definition the UBL schema definitions are both complete and monolithic – they completely description a particular digital business document in its entirety.

For storage on a blockchain and for direct reference by (a) code running in a traditional smart contact or (b) a new generation of business process workflow templates running directly on a workflow-engine-based virtual machine, the potentially large size of a typical, monolithic UBL business document makes them prohibitively large and prohibitively expense to store, process, and manage on a typical general-purpose programmable blockchain.

A replicable solution for refactoring/normalizing/decomposing each UBL document schema into a collection of subentity schema is need.  A solution is proposed by the author in the section Universal UBL: Extensions for the Blockchain.

Requirement 3. Re-use of Subentities

Closely couple with Requirement 2, is the re-use of existing subentities wherever and whenever possible to conserve space and eliminate replication and redundancy wherever and whenever possible. Backing this requirements is the knowledge that most every-day business documents (i.e. those representable by the 81 UBL business document schema) are in fact permanent (subject an organization’s retention policies), immutable, constant-valued documents once they are created.¬† The simplest example is Waybill.¬† Once you have created your (Federal Express or DHL) Waybill, it is a permanent, immutable, constant-valued business document once it has been created and printed (and is not destroyed before it is used).

Given these characteristics of business document in general (and UBL business documents in particular), business documents represent a proper subset of a broader class of entities called Non-Fungible Entities (or NFEs).¬† Another significant class of NFEs are NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) …of which, the Ethereum-based CryptoKitties are the penultimate example.

The author’s thesis is that, given business documents stature as NFEs, business documents (and NFEs generally) can be implemented and best managed using the emerging digital identity, in particular the self-sovereign identity (SSI) platforms, that are “coming to market”.

The best platform, from amongst these, in the author’s opinion, is the Hyperledger Indy SSI software platform operated under the stewardship of the Sovrin SSI governance framework.

Requirement 4. Secure, Permanent, Immutable, Trusted and Friction-less

This set of adjectives, plus a few others, symbolize and capture the essence of the intersection between the world of digital business documents and the world (sometimes what I call the religion) of the blockchain.

It is in this intersection between digital business documents and the blockchain that the greatest opportunities lie for supporting friction-less, trusted, standards-based end-to-end business process on a global scale.

Universal UBL: Extensions for the Blockchain

The following sections detail the envisioned solution for each of the above 4 requirements.

Requirement 1. Compact and Efficient Binary Serialization

Solution: SerentityData Variable-Byte Entity Serialization

The goal of the serentitydata project is to provide support the design and development of enterprise and Internet class distributed applications using blockchain technologies. This includes tools and libraries (code), frameworks, how-to documentation, and best practices for enterprise distributed application development. The serentitydata project has a specific focus on the robust and efficient design and management of immutable, historized, and auditable data stored on a blockchain.


Requirement 2. Refactoring/Normalization/Decomposition

Solution: Refactoring/Normalization/Demposition of UBM 2.2 Schema into Subentities Supported by the W3C DID (Decentralized Identifiers) Specification.


UUBL-InvoiceFigure 2. UUBL Invoice Schema Example


UUBL-AccountingSupplierPartyFigure 3. UUBL Accounting Supplier Party Schema Example



UUBL-PartyFigure 4. UUBL Party Schema Example


UUBL-PostAddressFigure 5. UUBL Postal Address Schema Example


Requirement 3. Re-use of Subentities


Requirement 4. Secure, Permanent, Immutable, Trusted and Friction-less




Appendix A – Ken Holman – Personal Communication – December 2, 2018 6:38 PM

From: G. Ken Holman <>
Sent: December 2, 2018 6:38 PM
To: Michael Herman (Parallelspace) <>; William Olders <>;
Cc: Michael Blanchet <>; Larry Strickland <>
Subject: RE: Introduction by Ken between Michael and Bill – Business Document “Facts”

At 2018-12-02 14:13 +0000, Michael Herman (Parallelspace) wrote:
Ken, Bill and Stephen, I do have a question…

I’ll take on the answer … this is the area of my contribution to the project.¬†I’ve copied Michael and Larry just for their curiosity as I think they’ll find this discussion interesting.

In the¬†<> example, if the value of the <cac:AccountingSupplierParty. cac:PostalAddress component/subelement of an Invoice already exists as a “separate document” somewhere addressable by a URL (or indirectly locatable via a URN)…

* Is there a standard/recommended/off-the-wall way for a specific Invoice to specify the value of AccountingSupplierParty. PostAddress by reference …instead of “by value” (i.e. instead of the long-hand, replicated approach seen in the example)?

No. That isn’t the UBL way. In UBL all values must be manifest and redirecting selective components to copies found elsewhere in the document is not accommodated:

Of course it is necessary to point out to other documents, but there is, say, no XPath or other addressing mechanism built into the UBL serialization to accommodate shared fragmentation.

The UBL committee has been standardizing a semantic library of the business documents and their business objects, and a number of syntactic serializations of those semantics have been specified, XML being the only normative one.
Others in ASN.1 and JSON are available, but they are not normative.

* What does/would an acceptable XML “syntax” look like/might look like?

I would use XPath for addressing a point into an XML document. XPointer would be used if you wanted to point to a range of items found in an XML document. Within an XML document I would use ID/IDREF, but those properties are not available in UBL.

Not many people realize that UBL was not built using XML/XSD, it was built using CCTS. CCTS doesn’t have ID/IDREF concepts.

* Is there standard terminology for referring generally to a subcomponent/subelement of an Invoice (or any other) UBL document? I’m currently using the term Fact to refer to each of the subcomponents (applied recursively if necessary)?

No such terminology is used within the committee … such a concept isn’t leveraged because the syntax is but a straightforward manifest serialization of the semantic components. This is best for interchange between independent platforms and also for things such as rendering.

A recipient of a UBL document should have everything they need without needing to calculate anything … the calculus of the values cannot be assumed to be known by the recipient.

UBL documents are conceived for the purpose of interchange between disparate systems to replace existing trade documents.





Appendix C – SerentityData Variable-byte, Statistically-based Entity Serialization

The SerentityData Entity Serialization and Field Encoding library fulfills Blockchain Requirement 1 for the Universal UBL (UUBL) extensions to the UBL 2.2 business document schema specification.

The SerentityData Entity Serialization and Field Encoding description has been moved to its own article located here: SerentityData Variable-byte, Statistically-based Entity Serialization & Field Encoding.

Best regards,

Michael Herman (Toronto/Calgary/Seattle)

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Are Canadian banks trafficking in the digital identities of millions of Canadians?

In light of the recent Zuckerberg testimony in front of the U.S. Congress, the May 2018 deadline for organizations to implement General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) data privacy regulations[7], and the imminent release of the SecureKey digital identity system, an important question is:

Are Canadian banks guilty of trafficking in, monetizing, and profiting from the digital identities of millions of Canadians, with the support of IBM and SecureKey as their key technology partners?

On October 18, 2016, SecureKey Technologies Inc., a Toronto-based provider of identity and authentication solutions, announced that it has raised:

“$27 million CAD in growth capital to fund the commercial rollout of a privacy-enhancing digital identity network. Teaming up with SecureKey on this initiative and participating in the funding round are leading financial institutions: BMO Bank of Montreal, Bank of Nova Scotia, CIBC, Desjardins, Royal Bank of Canada and TD.”[1]

On March 20, 2017, IBM and SecureKey announced that they were:

“working together to enable a new digital identity and attribute sharing network based on IBM [Hyperledger Fabric] Blockchain.”[2]

Subsequently in early 2018, SecureKey released two additional documents[4][5] that describe both the business model and technology platform for the¬†digital identity system. is SecureKey’s IBM Hyperledger distributed ledger (blockchain) based digital identity system supported by Canada’s largest 5 banks (as well as other institutions):

  • The Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD Bank)
  • Bank of Montreal (BMO)
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
  • Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank)
  • Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)

Additional details on the digital identity system were also presented at the Australian Payments Network conference in August, 2017[3].

The Business Model

The most concerning part of this partnership between SecureKey, IBM, and the Canadian banks is the partnership’s intent to monetize and profit from the trafficking of digital identities of individual Canadians based on the following and similar excerpts from¬†[4][5]:

The Business Model-Healthcare

Figure 1. SecureKey Business Model

The SecureKey documents’ rationale for SecureKey and the Canadian banks to pursue this business model was driven by a perceived threat by the banks from many fronts including encroachment by non-banking businesses into the domain of the Canadian banks and pending new regulations (e.g. PSD2).

Monetization of data was clearly important

Figure 2. Banking industry rationale for monetizing customers’ digital identites

The Technology Platform

IBM is providing SecureKey with the Hyperledger products, technologies, services, and know-how to create what is, in effect, a digital identity dark web¬†[8] for the Canadian banking industry to engage in trade of their customers‚Äô digital identity information with SecureKey and SecureKey’s digital identity requester clients.

The primary technology platform is the open source Hyperledger Fabric v1.0 project Рan open-source distributed ledger project used almost exclusively for private and consortium applications[6].

The following diagram represents a consolidation of the information presented in the SecureKey references mentioned at the end of this article.

Figure 3. SecureKey Digital Identity Dark Web

SecureKey brokers digital identity information requests (claims) from Digital Identity Information Requesters.  SecureKey satisfies these claims (requests for digital identity information) by using the SecureKey digital identity dark web it has implemented with its banking partners (Digital Identity Information Providers) using the Hyperledger technology.

Information and Privacy Risk

SecureKey’s February 2018 documents highlight initial set of digital identity information (digital assets) that will be provided by the Digital Identity Information Providers as illustrated in the following diagram[4][5].

SecureKey-Digital Assets

Figure 4. Information and Privacy Risk

Without adequate governance and government regulation, once in place, the digital identity system can be used to satisfy any digital identity claim from any requester including health information, additional financial information, and other personal data.  A lot is at stake for individual Canadians.


Why are the Canadian banks and SecureKey being allowed to monetize and profit from individual Canadians’ digital identity information? A person’s digital identity is like their digital heart and digital soul. Individual Canadians need to own and control both of these – all of their digital identity data.¬† The role of industry and government should be to act as validators of each person’s digital identity …and no more.¬† Who is watching out for the future of Canadians?


[1] SecureKey Technologies Inc., “Press Release: SecureKey Completes $27 Million Strategic Investment Round”,¬†, October 18, 2016.

[2] SecureKey Technologie Inc., “Press Release: IBM and SecureKey Technologies to Deliver Blockchain-Based Digital Identity Network for Consumers”,, March 20, 2017.

[3] Australian Payments Network, “Digital Identity” Session,, slides 41-59, August 2017.

[4] SecureKey Technologies Inc., “Identity Now (Banking Edition)”,¬†, February 2018.

[5] SecureKey Technologies Inc., “Identity Now (Telcom Edition)”,¬†,¬†¬†February 2018.

[6] Wikpedia, “Hyperledger”,¬†, Last edited on 12 April 2018, at 16:12.

[7] European Commission, “Data protection: Rules for the protection of personal data inside and outside the EU”,, January 2018.

[8] Wikipedia, “Dark Web”,¬†, Last edited on 21 April 2018, at 15:12.


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#Graphitization of the Amazon Leadership Principles (introducing Personal Leadership Principle Maps) – Iteration 1

COPYRIGHT © 2016-2017 by Michael Herman, Toronto, Canada. All rights reserved.

[Click on any figure to enlarge it to its full, original size.]

The motivation and goals for Iteration 1 of this project are simple:

  1. Make the Amazon Leadership Principles visually more understandable and more memorable
  2. Introduce the concept of a Personal Leadership Principles Map where one’s personal career and personal belief system is mapped to each of the Amazon Leadership Principles
  3. Promulgate the use and application of #Graphitization beyond its traditional roots in Enterprise Architecture.

This article is structured as follows:

  • Appendix B – Amazon Leadership Principles is copy of the original text (non-graphitized) version of the Amazon Leadership Principles from the Amazon Jobs website.
  • Appendix A – Amazon Leadership Principles (and Subprinciples) contains an ArchiMate enterprise architecture model that depicts the (and then decomposes) the 14 Amazon Leadership Principles into multiple levels of subprinciples. Scroll down to the bottom of this article to check it out.
    NOTE: The underlining in Appendix A attempts to highlight the individual Subprinciples and Relationships found in the text description of each of the 14 Principles.
  • The first real section Amazon Leadership Principles, Core Entities, and Relationships presents a¬†new innovative way to learn, remember, understand, and apply the Amazon Leadership Principles as highly visual web (or mesh or graph) of principles, concrete entities, abstract entities, and relationships.
  • The last section (just before Appendix A), entitled Personal Leadership Principle Maps, depicts how the experiences and accomplishments of one person’s career (mine) can be (formally) mapped the Amazon Leadership Principles.

Let’s start the journey. If you’re not familiar with the Principles, start by reading:

  • Appendix B – Amazon Leadership Principles; then
  • Appendix A – Amazon Leadership Principles (and Subprinciples)

All of the figures in this article represent different¬†graphitized views of the Amazon Leadership Principles¬†(click here) …all built from a single underlying graph model (which, in total, is referred to as the #Graphitization of the Amazon Leadership Principles).

Visually, the model is expressed using the ArchiMate 3.0 visual language standard for enterprise architecture. The model was built with the latest version of Archi 4.0, the open-source, free enterprise architecture modeling platform.

If you would like to work directly with the ArchiMate model for the Amazon Leadership Principles,

This article concludes with a list of possible Next Steps for Iteration 2.


Amazon Leadership Principles, Core Entities, and Relationships

The text of the Amazon Leadership Principles references specific:

  • Roles
  • Concrete entities,
  • Abstract Entities, as well as, more importantly,
  • Relationships between these entities

These are collectively referred to as the Core Entities. Roles include:

  • Leader
  • Owner
  • Customer
  • Competitor
  • Partner
  • etc.

Concrete Entities include:

  • The Amazon Organization (presented by an employee directory or org chart)
  • Employee Team (same including virtual teams documented in project documents)
  • Standards (assuming they are written down or, in other words, documented)
  • Products
  • Services
  • Processes
  • etc.

Abstract Entities include:

  • Speed
  • Calculated Risks
  • Decisions
  • Actions
  • Inputs
  • Results
  • Bold Directions
  • Capabilities
  • etc.

Relationships include:

  • Leaders obsess over Customers
  • Leaders pay attention to Competitors
  • Leaders earn and keep Customer Trust
  • Constraints breed Resourcefulness
  • Constraints breed Self-Sufficiency
  • Constraints breed Invention
  • etc.

All of the entities and relationships are depicted in Figure 1 below (assuming none or only a few have been overlooked). (Click the figure to enlarge it.)

The entities and relationships were deduced by inspection and analysis of each of the 14 Amazon Leadership Principles (classic business analysis, more or less).

Parallelspace-Amazon Leadership Principles, Roles, and Relationships-P00-Core Entities v1.30

Figure 1. Amazon’s Principles, Core Entities, and Relationships: The Core Model

The existence, enablement, creation and/or execution of each group of relationships gives rise to (or realizes) one or more of the 14 Principles (and/or their Subprinciples). When these realization relationships are added to the Core Entities depicted in Figure 1, ¬†Figure 2., the “Complete Model”, is the result. (Click to enlarge.)

Parallelspace-Amazon Leadership Principles, Roles, and Relationships-P00-All v1.30

Figure 2. Amazon’s Principles, Core Entities, and Relationships: The Complete Model

To simplify the understanding of the model, 14 new views were created – one for each of the 14 Principles – each overlayed on the original Core Model (Figure 1). Figure 3 is an example drawn from one of these 14 views: Principle 1. Customer Obsession.

Parallelspace-Amazon Leadership Principles, Roles, and Relationships-P01 v1.30

Figure 3. Amazon’s Principles, Core Entities, and Relationships: Principle 1. Customer Obsession

Located in the lower-left side of Figure 3, the Customer Obsession Principle is realized by:

  • a) a Leader’s focus or “obsession over Customers”, and
  • b) a Leader’s “attention to the Competition”.

Figure 4. below is an animation of the Complete Model overlayed, principle-by-principle, against the Core Model.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Figure 4. Amazon’s Principles, Core Entities, and Relationships:¬†Principle-by-Principle Animation overlayed against the Core Model

The individual views of the 14 Amazon Leadership Principles can be downloaded from here:

So far, we’ve addressed the “what” of the Amazon Leadership Principles depicted as a #Graphitization model projected as a number of different views.

In the next section, the Amazon Leadership Principles are used as a framework for cataloging one’s lifetime experiences and accomplishments. Personal Leadership Principle Maps is an Amazon Leadership Principles application – it’s the Amazon Leadership Principles put into action.

Personal Leadership Principle Maps

Have you been living an Amazon Leadership Principled career/faith/life?

Figure 5. is a copy of my Personal Leadership Principle Map (PLPM).

  • ArchiMate Assessment entities are used to model specific experiences and accomplishments.
  • ArchiMate Outcome entities are used to model specific evidence, learnings, or proof that one has been able to apply the specific principle in their career, faith and/or life.

Parallelspace-Amazon Leadership Principles-Personal Leadership Principle Map-Michael Herman v1.30

Figure 5. Amazon’s Principles: Michael’s Experiences and Accomplishments

In my case, for Principle 7. Insist on the Highest Standards, I have specific experiences related to the recent Toronto Salesforce 2017 Tour, working at Parallelspace Corporation, the IBM Canada Toronto Software Lab, and at Microsoft.

Specific evidence includes:

  • Parallelspace trust framework (Relationships-Reputation-Trust)
  • Working as an ISO-9000 Quality Analyst and a certified Quality Assurance Auditor
  • A concept I call focusing on the success of an Individual Individual
  • Various and diverse experiences working for Microsoft as a full-time employee (blue badge) and as a Microsoft partner

Next Steps for Iteration 2

Possible next steps include:

  • Federation of Personal Leadership Principle Maps – at the Employee Team, business unit, or Organization level to discover the aggregates collective experiences and accomplishments for the purpose of rebalancing hiring objectives (Principle Gap Analysis), accumulating customer as well as competitive intelligence, etc. to support Customer Obsession, Ownership, Invent and Simplify, etc. goals and objectives. Identifying the best sources of experiences and accomplishments for specific Principles based on a Team’s or Organization’s previous roles, education, or training.
  • Use of both the Core Model and the Complete Model as well as the Federate Personal Leadership Principle Maps to create a graph database repository to real-time query analysis and visualization (e.g. using the Neo4j graph database).
  • To support Amazon’s operational data analysis needs (e.g. Amazon Marketplace 3rd Party Retail Data).
  • Apply the Parallelspace principles


  1. Continuous Transformation and Transformative Change are key principles of the Total Enterprise Architecture Model (TEAM) (click here)
  2. To dig deeper, check out Graphitization of the Enterprise (click here)
  3. [Enterprise Architecture, Big Data, CRM, ERP, …] Tools and Methods Don’t Generate Business Value (click here)

Appendix A – Amazon Leadership Principles (and Subprinciples)

Below is an ArchiMate enterprise architecture model that depicts (and then decomposes) the 14 Amazon Leadership Principles into multiple levels of subprinciples (as appropriate/as required).

These are based on the text-based defintions of the 14 Principles found in Appendix B – Amazon Leadershp Principles.

Parallelspace-Amazon Leadership Principles (and Subprinciples) v1.30

Figure 6. Amazon’s Principles (and Subprinciples)

Appendix B – Amazon Leadership Principles

The following Leadership Principles are taken directly from the Amazon Jobs website.

  • The sequential numbering (in parenthesis) was added by me.
  • The underlining attempts to highlight the individual Subprinciples and Relationships found in the text description of each of the 14 Principles.

Leadership Principles

Our Leadership Principles aren’t just a pretty inspirational wall hanging. These Principles work hard, just like we do. Amazonians use them, every day, whether they’re discussing ideas for new projects, deciding on the best solution for a customer’s problem, or interviewing candidates. It’s just one of the things that make Amazon peculiar.

Customer Obsession (1)

Leaders start with the customer and work backward. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers.

Ownership (2)

Leaders are owners. They think long term and don‚Äôt sacrifice long-term value for short-term results. They act on behalf of the entire company, beyond just their own team. They never say ‚Äúthat‚Äôs not my job”.

Invent and Simplify (3)

Leaders expect and require innovation and invention from their teams and always find ways to simplify. They are externally aware, look for new ideas from everywhere, and are not limited by ‚Äúnot invented here”. As we do new things, we accept that we may be misunderstood for long periods of time.

Are Right, A Lot (4)

Leaders are right a lot. They have strong judgment and good instincts. They seek diverse perspectives and work to disconfirm their beliefs.

Learn and Be Curious (5)

Leaders are never done learning and always seek to improve themselves. They are curious about new possibilities and act to explore them.

Hire and Develop the Best (6)

Leaders raise the performance bar with every hire and promotion. They recognize exceptional talent and willingly move them throughout the organization. Leaders develop leaders and take seriously their role in coaching others. We work on behalf of our people to invent mechanisms for development like Career Choice.

Insist on the Highest Standards (7)

Leaders have relentlessly high standards – many people may think these standards are unreasonably high. Leaders are continually raising the bar and driving their teams to deliver high-quality products, services, and processes. Leaders ensure that defects do not get sent down the line and that problems are fixed so they stay fixed.

Think Big (8)

Thinking small is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Leaders create and communicate a bold direction that inspires results. They think differently and look around corners for ways to serve customers.

Bias for Action (9)

Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. We value calculated risk taking.

Frugality (10)

Accomplish more with less. Constraints breed resourcefulness, self-sufficiency, and invention. There are no extra points for growing headcount, budget size or fixed expense.

Earn Trust (11)

Leaders listen attentively, speak candidly, and treat others respectfully. They are vocally self-critical, even when doing so is awkward or embarrassing. Leaders do not believe their or their team’s body odor smells of perfume. They benchmark themselves and their teams against the best.

Dive Deep (12)

Leaders operate at all levels, stay connected to the details, audit frequently, and are skeptical when metrics and anecdote differ. No task is beneath them.

Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit (13)

Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. Leaders have conviction and are tenacious. They do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion. Once a decision is determined, they commit wholly.

Deliver Results (14)

Leaders focus on the key inputs for their business and deliver them with the right quality and in a timely fashion. Despite setbacks, they rise to the occasion and never settle.

Best regards,

Michael Herman
Enterprise Architect and Data Scientist
Parallelspace Corporation
M: 416 524-7702
Skype: mwherman2000

Living at the intersection of Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Knowledge, and Data Science


Filed under ArchiMate, Architecture Reference Models, Business Value, continuous transformation, Definitions, Enterprise Architecture, graph database, Graphitization, How do we think, ModelMate, Process, Product Management, Uncategorized

Why Would You Prefer to Work for Amazon (or Facebook) over Microsoft (or Salesforce)? [WIP]

COPYRIGHT © 2016-2017 by Michael Herman, Toronto, Canada. All rights reserved.

This article is a work-in-progress [WIP] placeholder.

Why would you prefer to work for Amazon (or Facebook) over Microsoft (or Salesforce)?

Scenario 1:¬†These are organizations with an¬†unrelenting, unbelievable, and successful focus on happy customers. …a true, genuine, deliberate focus on building and maintaining positive relationships with their customer and partners? Would you choose to work for a Scenario 1 organization? …maybe.

Scenario 2:¬†These are the other companies that really need your help and are willing to hire you¬†to help make the important changes necessary to develop the same sort of unrelenting focus on building and maintaining positive customer and partner relationships Would you choose to work for a Scenario 1 organization? …maybe.

I have the option (luxury) to consider all 4 types of opportunities and in each case, work with some brilliant people. Which organization(s) would you pick?

With a Scenario 2 company, you’re starting work working for an organization in a net deficit position with respect to customer happiness, respect, and trust. Job¬†one is to move the organization from a net negative position to a net neutral or, hopefully, positive position in the marketplace; then build of there. If you know or deeply understand the Scenario 2 company, you’re likely being asked “to return and to help” as a trusted soldier. You likely know and understand the root causes that have landed the organization at the bottom of the ladder of customer satisfaction.

With a Scenario 1 company, you’re starting work working for an organization in a net positive position with respect to customer happiness, respect, and trust. There is no Job one because the organization already has a great positive report with its customer and partners – not just its largest revenue-generating customers but all customers; from

  • Individual individuals

up through

  • Single-person corporations,
  • Two-person partnerships,
  • Small businesses/enterprises,
  • Medium size businesses/enterprises,
  • Large businesses/enterprises, and
  • Extra large businesses/enterprises.

Scenario 1 organizations are already at or near the top of the customer satisfaction mountain and are only striving to be even better. They and yourself are not starting work each day working in a negative hole. Thriving is thriving …thriving to be your best from a positive starting position of customer and partner happiness, respect, and trust.

Scenario 2 organizations start work each day in a negative hole. Yes, there may be places where, on some days, you can stand on something to see over the top of the hole and things don’t look so dreary …but it’s not guaranteed …and it’s neither fun nor enjoyable to work there every day. Thriving is equivalent to surviving. ¬†#NotFun



#Graphitization of the Amazon Leadership Principles (introducing Personal Leadership Principle Maps) ‚Äď Iteration 1








Best regards,

Michael Herman
Enterprise Architect and Data Scientist
Parallelspace Corporation
M: 416 524-7702
Skype: mwherman2000

Living at the intersection of Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Knowledge, and Data Science

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High-Velocity Service Packages and Envelopes [WIP]

COPYRIGHT © 2016-2017 by Michael Herman, Toronto, Canada. All rights reserved.

This article is a work-in-progress [WIP] placeholder.














High-Velocity Service Envelopes (HVSE)


High-Velocity Service Packages (HVSP)




Next Steps




Best regards,

Michael Herman
Enterprise Architect and Data Scientist
Parallelspace Corporation
M: 416 524-7702
Skype: mwherman2000

Living at the intersection of Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Knowledge, and Data Science

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