I am an architect on a redesign of an old software system into a new system. One of the big problems of this older vendor based system is that it only communicated out on its interfaces in the vendors proprietary format. Many other systems and vendor systems interfacing to this were tightly coupled to the vendor product because they were programmed to talk in a proprietary format. One of the design principles I am adhering to here is that interfacing systems not talk in any proprietary format to the new system.
Related: Is it legal to write software to convert data from a proprietary format? I was told from management that Legal has in writing, explicit permission from the new vendor that we are allowed to convert their proprietary XML formats into another data format.
The new software system is also a vendor product which in turn has its own vendor proprietary formats. The project is not doing so hot at the moment and we are not likely to meet our dates. Project managers are trying to convince me and the developers that they can save time by simply removing the namespace declarations of the proprietary XML formatted messages, and that by doing so that the document no longer declares its namespace thus cannot actually be considered in the proprietary format.
I don't have the authority to say for sure that the PM is incorrect, however I know for a fact the PM has no authority to make that assertion. I do have the authority to say that XML messages they transform from proprietary must have a declared namespace meaning that they have to transform the message into some format that is distinctly different.
The PM is now trying to ask me what are the minimum possible changes and transformations required to where we can no longer consider the resulting message to be proprietary.
Is there in fact a black and white answer for these sorts of things or is it like most things in Law where it is incomprehensibly a gray area? I don't want to have to raise the flag for legal help on a trifle like this because that would be an expenditure of what little political capital I have on an increasingly stressful and chaotic project.