XML/JSON Representation of Prowl Reports

In the current effort to prototype an accounting system with OCAUP and Prowl support, I have had to re-evaluate the  expected capabilites of reporter service providers. It seems appropriate to drop the expectation for reporters to parse published feeds or email for unmarked transaction records. Instead, an accounting system should be responsible for parsing record submissions through feeds, emails or http. The accounting system should then submit properly marked-up records to a reporter application.

This change implies that the earlier Blogger demo, which triggers a reporter ‘observer’ service through notification email, would not be supported by future Prowl versions. On the plus-side, Prowl reporters would become simpler and more flexible, especially in being able to accomodate different conventions, such as XML or JSON, when posting verified records into a report structure. Standard parsers for those report representations would make it easier to code auditor and evaluator features into reporter applications.

It is important to note that changes to query and report structures does not impact Prowl’s record publication syntax. A publishing platform such as Blogger would still be expected to publish records in a ‘canonical format’, which would simplify the cross-verification of matching copies from transactor domains.