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Last modified: November 25, 1998
IBM and Adobe Collaborate on Web Publishing Technology

IBM and Adobe Showcase New Web Publishing Technology

Browser Component Technology Leverages XML and Java for Viewing Visually-Rich Content

Chicago, IL. November 16, 1998.

IBM and Adobe Systems Incorporated showcased today, at XML '98, a jointly developed XML and Java based browser component technology. The new technology will enable users to easily access visually-rich, business-critical information and view it on a range of clients from hand-held devices to desktop computers.

This technology demonstration offers a new vision for a wide variety of potential applications, such as adding functionality to existing data, as well as use in e-business solutions. For example, as consumers flock to the Web, it will be critical to give them the ability to easily access, view, and print the high-quality content that represents their favorite products and services.

The technology is based on open standards, XML, Java, and the proposed graphics standard, Precision Graphics Markup Language (PGML). For the first time, XML has been integrated into a web publishing technology that enables a wide range of data exchange. XML is designed to make online information "smarter" -- that is, easier to find, categorize, and customize -- via tags that identify certain information within a document. For example, XML can take "1992" from a database and determine whether it's a year, a date, or an SKU (stock number in the retail industry). PGML, based on XML, is a 2D-graphics language that provides precise control of layout, fonts, color, and is completely scaleable. PGML is based on the same rich imaging model as Adobe PostScript and PDF.

IBM and Adobe have leveraged their own expertise in standards to contribute to the technology. This new componentry, that is based on IBM's XML parser for Java and Adobe's XML-based 2D vector graphics technology and demonstrates how visually-rich content can be delivered, is known as PGML. The PGML can appear in a compelling display of text, images, and graphics with dynamic events and animation to the client.

The server-side technology that supports this high-quality rendering capability is based on IBM's servlet engine technology -- running atop the WebSphere web application server -- and Adobe's precision layout technology. Together, the two technologies can enable high-quality rendering of legacy content from any data source including: Hyper-Text Markup Language (HTML), PDF, SGML, GIS, and CAD.

"This technology demonstration illustrates how Adobe's leadership in precision layout technology, combined with IBM's strengths in delivering scaleable architectures can offer significant enhancements to today's HTML-based Web environment," said Tom Malloy, vice president, Advanced Technology Group, Adobe Systems. "Together, we are previewing the transformation of this important communications medium."

"IBM and Adobe have some of the best developers in the industry who are applying advanced technologies like Java and XML to improve how our customers interact with the Web," said Jan Jackman, Director of Java Software, IBM. "This work with Adobe is also a great example of our commitment to open standards."

Information on the demonstration

Because the graphics-rendering engine is based on open standards, IBM and Adobe will demonstrate the technology on Windows 95 and a ThinkPad 600; Java OS for Business on an Intel Thin Client; and Windows CE 2.0 on a Hewlett Packard 660LX. The technology will be demonstrated in the IBM booth 804/806.

IBM XML for Java Parser

The IBM XML for Java parser is designed to help developers parse, process, and create XML documents. The technology ultimately enables a high-performing, easy-to-manage environment for data exchange on the Internet.

IBM Java servlet technology

A servlet engine provides a portable, Java servlet-based execution environment that turns Web application servers into Java-enabled Web application servers. It's the state-of-the art, easy-to-use, and extensible way of deploying and managing Web applications across your enterprise networks. A servlet engine is the nucleus of a scalable Web application platform.


The Precision Graphics Mark-up Language (PGML) is a proposed open standard for scaleable Web graphics. PGML contains the imaging model found today in the PostScript language and the PDF file format, providing well-understood mechanisms for creating rich Web pages with great looking text, images, and graphics as well as dynamic events and animation.

For more information, contact Marisa Shumway, IBM Media Relations at 415-545-2638 or e-mail:

[Note: see IBM Web site announcement and the new IBM XML Web site.]

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