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DENVER - Oct. 13, 1998 - - At its Professional Developers Conference today, Microsoft Corp. demonstrated the latest Extensible Markup Language (XML) technologies it will add to Microsoft® Internet Explorer 5 and the Windows® operating system, including XML 1.0, XSL, XML DOM and XML Namespaces. With these new technologies, Microsoft becomes the first major software vendor whose browser incorporates support for many of the latest XML specifications coming out of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Now, the integration of these XML technologies into the Windows platform promises to make designing multitier applications for heterogeneous information systems faster and easier than ever.
"Microsoft provides the most complete XML implementation in the industry," said Ben Meiry, director, private client architecture group at Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc., which is using XML to improve development time, usability, data mining and software distribution. "We're excited about Microsoft's leadership on XML. This gives users, programmers and IT shops the ability to start planning, building and demonstrating real-world XML solutions. They can start preparing themselves for a future in which XML will be the standard language of data."
Microsoft Leading the XML Charge
Microsoft is actively involved in defining the emerging XML standard and will continue to implement XML as defined by the World Wide Web Consortium. W3C is a platform- and vendor-neutral global organization that oversees standardization of World Wide Web technologies, including XML. A co-founder of the W3C's XML Working Group, Microsoft enjoys broad support for its efforts from many participants in the open W3C process.
"XML holds great promise for customers who need universal data communications with anyone, anywhere," said J. Allard, general manager of Windows DNA infrastructure at Microsoft. "XML is an important part of Windows DNA, and Microsoft is committed to offering the industry's best XML technologies with Windows."
Microsoft will support the following key features in the next update to the Windows operating system and its Internet Explorer browsing software:
Direct viewing of XML. The Microsoft XML implementation lets users view XML using XSL or Cascading Style Sheets with their Web browser, just as they view HTML documents.
High-performance, validating XML engine. The XML engine familiar to Internet Explorer 4.0 developers has been substantially enhanced and fully supports W3C XML 1.0 and XML Namespaces, which let developers qualify element names uniquely on the Web and thus avoid conflicts between elements with the same name. Native XML support in Windows means that developers can count on the full XML processing capabilities being present to read and manipulate the data they move between their applications and components.
Extensible Style Language (XSL) support. With the Microsoft XSL processor, based on the latest W3C Working Draft, developers can apply style sheets to XML data and display the data in a dynamic and flexible way that can be easily customized. The querying capabilities of the Microsoft XSL processor also allow developers to programmatically find and extract information within an XML data set on the client or the server.
XML Schemas. Schemas define the rules of an XML document, including element names and rich data types, which elements can appear in combination, and which attributes are available for each element. In order to enable multitier applications, Microsoft will be releasing a technology preview for XML Schema based on the Schema submissions to the W3C XML working group.
Server-side XML. Server-side XML processing allows XML to be used as a standard means of passing data between multiple distributed application servers - even across operating system boundaries.
XML document object model (DOM). The DOM is a standard object application programming interface that gives developers programmatic control of XML document content, structure, formats and more. The Microsoft XML implementation includes full support for the W3C XML DOM Recommendation and is accessible from script, the Visual Basic® development system, C++ and other languages.
In addition to these innovations, Microsoft is using XML in its applications software. For example, the next major release of the Microsoft productivity suite, Microsoft Office 2000, elevates HTML to a companion file format and uses XML to store additional document information. By using XML in this way, Office 2000 users can save documents as Web pages and then later return these documents to their original Office state for editing. Once again, Microsoft is delivering XML technology first, making Windows the premier platform for driving Internet standards and interoperable applications.
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