Certification - Easy as pie

by Joyce Dillon (railML.org) (comments: 0)

As an exchange format for railway data, railML® depends on the correct use by railway-IT applications and so the process of certification concludes in a mutual benefit for both railML.org and our partners. The main aspects of this are quality assurance and easy interoperability for our partners and end-users. The evaluation of a railML interface is based on the review of the results of export and import using such applications. Even if parts of the certification can be done automatically (like syntactic checks of the correct use of the schemes) there is a significant part of the work to be done manually (semantic checks).

Experiences thus far

It is pleasing to say that, contrary to some less than rosy expectations, the certifications thus far have been accomplished without major setbacks and been very fruitful to all involved. This has helped us to develop the standard further and allowed companies to better learn about the right way to use railML. 

Of course, this process is not perfect and there are still some things that could be improved. For example, the amount of work that is required for a certification is too high and therefore before very time-consuming. There has also been feedback with respect to the clarity and intelligibility of the process (and by extension the manual).

With this in mind, railML.org decided on a cooperation effort with the railML partner “NEAT” for reworking the certification manual. An updated version is expected by the end of Autumn 2020. This version shall reflect all necessary changes since the original manual was released in 2017.

Call for feedback

With this said, we would like to invite all our partners to contact us as soon as possible with comments, questions or concerns pertaining to the certification process and manual. Your thoughts are very important to both railML.org and NEAT, as it will help to guide the reworking process so that users can benefit from it. Only in this way will the process be able to reflect the users’ needs. Please direct your feedback to manual@governance.railml.org until June 30th, 2020.

How do we certify?

railML is about seamless data transfer and common understanding in the railway IT field. During this transfer, the end-user expects a smooth and effortless process without mistakes in the result. Just like when you open the faucet and expect water to flow!

Obtaining an official certification comes with a price of 2.225 € per cycle. It should be needless to say that railML.org does not seek monetary gain through this fee but this concern has been raised in the past. The fee solely serves to cover the expenses originating from the time and effort that must be invested into the process of certification.

If you would like to know more about the exact process (and maybe get started with it), please refer to the certification page. Here you will also find more detailed information about the reworking process and a list of changes. A consultation explaining the certification steps in greater detail and how your company should go about it can be offered by railML.org or an official railML.org Foreign Consultant.

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