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May 31, 1999 (Vol. 21, Issue 22)

New Web sites quench XML thirst

By Matthew Nelson

Both Microsoft and the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) have founded Web sites to act as information repositories for the Extensible Markup Language (XML) for users and developers.

Microsoft announced last week at its TechEd conference, in Dallas, the creation of BizTalk.org, which currently holds the first draft of specifications for the BizTalk™ Framework.

The company intends to provide the site as an open repository for XML schemas using the BizTalk™ Framework for Internet commerce and application integration, according to the company.

Microsoft announced BizTalk™ Framework in March as a way of using XML to assist in processing information for differing commerce sites.

OASIS founded XML.org last week to provide a registry and repository for the access and management of XML schemas, Document Type Definitions, and other XML-related information.

"People would use this to get information and education about XML, and also information about specific industry or applications specifications through our registry and depository service," said Laura Walker, executive director of OASIS.

Despite apparent overlap, OASIS and its many partners, including IBM, feel that the sites will not be in competition.

"We've invited Microsoft to join in on OASIS and XML.org as well, and I think they are still considering that," said Marie Weick, director of XML technology at IBM, in Armonk, N.Y.

"There are a lot of parallels and similarities, and the bottom line is we agree on the need for a central clearinghouse," Weick added.

OASIS partners also said they feel they satisfy a separate role from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

"The W3C defines standards, but we work to provide specifications," Walker said.

Microsoft Corp., in Redmond, Wash., can be reached at www.microsoft.com. OASIS can be reached at www.oasis-open.org.

Copyright (c) 1999 InfoWorld Media Group Inc.

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