It is possible that new requirements may be identified during the implementations, and implementers will be constrained by the SwO Standard release lifecycle, which will, in turn, slow down the adoption. The augmentation point structure is provided to support these types of scenarios and provide implementers with an interim solution so as to avoid hindering the pace of adoption. At the same time Augmentation points usage is highly discouraged on a longer-term basis – it is not aligned with the overall standardization efforts and creates grounds for multiple bilateral variations of the implementations. It is expected that implementers will produce corresponding change requests to the SwO Standard to include required functionality, managed through Augmentations in the interim, for the next available release cycle. The objective is to enhance the SwO Standard for the benefit of the industry and to avoid the multiplication of its bilateral variations. Therefore, valid business requirements should be covered by amendments to the SwO Standard.
SwO Standard schemas will primarily be used as a payload mechanism for web services and accordingly it may be anticipated that there will be additional information required for processing that has not yet been defined in the schemas. To accommodate this scenario, the SwO Standard schemas include support for the specification of implementer-proprietary data structures from non SwO Standard namespaces that are wrapped in SwO Standard conformant types so they may be used in an SwO Standard schema. The main construct available for wrapping non-SwO Standard-conforming types is an Augmentation point structure.
The augmentation point structure can contain:
a) Attributes from external namespaces
b) Elements from external namespaces
Augmentations are not considered to be a part of the SwO Standard functionality and therefore may be ignored if not recognized/understood/implemented by consuming systems. In most cases, the usage and exact specifications of such augmentation points would need to be agreed upon bilaterally amongst integrated parties.