Bowstreet Software, Inc. announced that it will lead work to define an industry standard for describing directory service information in XML. The effort to develop a Directory Services Markup Language (DSML) builds upon work performed by Bowstreet while creating its Web Services Architecture. The DSML effort will be supported by industry leaders IBM, Microsoft, Novell, Oracle, and the Sun-Netscape Alliance to provide customers more flexibility in using and sharing directory information in XML-enabled applications. DSML provides a way to use directory information without knowing the specific data formats of each directory. End users will benefit because Web-based applications can be aware of their directory policy and profile information and adapt accordingly. Additionally, DSML enables “friction-free” eCommerce value chains to be integrated across corporate boundaries based on directory information. This capability provides an essential building block as directories play a more significant role on the Internet. Furthermore, DSML complements the goals of the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) and helps to extend the power of LDAP to web-based applications. Bowstreet and supporting companies plan to submit a proposal to appropriate standards bodies. There is an information Web site at Additional group members are expected to be added in the future.