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Last modified: February 05, 2007
XML Daily Newslink. Monday, 05 February 2007

A Cover Pages Publication
Provided by OASIS and Sponsor Members
Edited by Robin Cover

This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:
IBM Corporation

Emergent Concepts in SOA: XML Feeds and Aggregated Web Services
Gboyega Sanni, IBM developerWorks

The realization of a service-oriented application is a hybrid process that is still evolving. Due to the development of specifications such as XML, XSL style sheets, RSS, WSDL, SOAP and BPEL, there is an increased opportunity to realize a service-oriented application through integration and aggregation. In this article, we will introduce an emerging concept that may help readers develop such an application based on a new terminology called layered aggregated Web services (LAWS) via XML development by specifications. This new terminology will be used to develop a calendar feed product. LAWS are a collection of Web services acting as layers in aggregating diverse XML specifications together. LAWS arose out of a need to realize a calendar feed as a reusable object using XML specifications. Initially a simple calendar XML specification was developed, then layers of additional aggregate XML specifications were added over time. As such, the core idea of this article is more about the development of XML and XSL specifications than of programming/scripting for the purposes of realizing a layer of a Service Oriented Architecture. The article presents VirtuaWOX Calendar Feed 1.0—a layered aggregated Web services using XML. XML development by specifications simply means that the flow of XML specifications are conceptualized through one or more business interaction diagrams and later implemented as services. A calendar feed is an aggregated collection of news feeds. Several emergent service-oriented concepts are introduced, such as the realization of service-oriented applications as a type of product development process, layered aggregated Web services, XML development by specifications, reusability benchmarking of service oriented objects, service-oriented factory pattern, sub-layering, service-oriented locking, and caching. As a result, there are many possibilities for realizing 'seamless' Service Oriented Architectures by building layers and layers of services. The XML development by specifications in a layered Service Oriented Architecture also has the advantage of ensuring that a service development team to specify the requirements via a business interaction diagram before scripting or programming the service.

Unstructured Data: Reading Between the Lines
Joseph Rozenfeld, DM Review Magazine

This article examines some of the challenges BI practitioners face in addressing unstructured data and proposes a new set of requirements for the next generation of BI technology designed to overcome these challenges. Structured data has become synonymous with relational data, while unstructured data is commonly associated with file servers and document management systems. But what about data that falls right in between: unstructured data that has started on its evolutionary path but has not made it all the way to completely structured? Data in this state of flux is often referred to as "extensible data." Extensible data is unstructured data in the state of transition to a structured form. XML data, HTML pages, PDF documents and email messages, HTTP traffic and clickstream data, search results and application log files are all examples of extensible data. This is the haggling data discussed earlier. There is significant value in tapping into extensible data, with many critical application areas that stand to benefit. New analytic platforms are being introduced to the market that use XML as a common layer to dramatically reduce system complexity while offering functionality that cannot be achieved by traditional BI technology. These open, XML-based architectures can combine data from nonrelational sources with traditional transactional systems or data warehouses to provide an unprecedented view into what is driving business performance. XML-based analytics technology has already been embraced by early adopters, particularly in areas that generate large amounts of extensible data, such as contact centers. Using an XML-based analytic platform operating directly on unfiltered log data, they were eventually able to determine that AHT was increasing because their agents were spending more time up-selling customers as part of an ongoing promotion. This type of insight would not have been possible using existing BI or reporting technology.


On the Role of ebXML and Web Service Protocols
Mikkel Hippe Brun, UBL-DEV Posting

"I was personally one of the promotors of using ebMS in the VAN infrastructure in Denmark. The National IT and Telecom Agency facilitated a process, where the VAN-operators developed the ebMS profile, and we were very happy with the outcome. ebMS is a simple and easy to read spec. However: we have not chosen to go with ebXML in the public sector for a number of reasons. (1) We had CBDI analyze and compare ebXML and the WS-* standards; see "The Role of ebXML and Web Service Protocols." The PDF contains a Danish introduction but the rest is in English. The report emphazises that the WS-* standards has more traction and vendor support than ebXML. (2) We asked the industry and the public sector in Denmark to come up with business requirements for an infrastructure. We also asked them about their preference in regards to the choice of standards. We made it clear that the easy choice (from a technology viewpoint) would be to go with ebXML. The feedback we got was that they wanted us to follow the WS-* road rather than an ebXML road because large suppliers like BEA, IBM, Microsoft and Oracle were supporting the WS-* stack of standards and the resolution of interoperability issues in WS-I. Denmark is part of the NES group and discussions about infrastructure is also an important part of the collaboration. We have spent considerable time on discussing how we ensure that messages can flow freely between different network infrastructures (i.e., and ebXML framework and a WS-* based framework). It is our goal that it should be possible to exchange UBL messages across borders and between networks. Sweden has been using an ebXML infrastructure and now Denmark is building an WS-* infrastructure. Denmark has a strong PKI infrastructure and Sweeden does not. None of this matters because the establishment of gateways will ensure that messages can flow freely. We are currently establishing gateways to the VAN-operators such that UBL messages will be able to flow between the networks..."

See also: UBL-based eProcurement

ChainBuilder ESB Leverages JBI
Paul Krill, InfoWorld

Bostech on Monday [2007-02-05] announced general availability of ChainBuilder ESB, an enterprise service bus tuned for Java Business Integration (JBI) and SOA. Featured in the product is a graphical user interface for configuring JBI-compliant components via a drag-and-drop capability. Users also can accommodate non-XML message formats such as X12 EDI. The ChainBuilder ESB Component Flow Editor allows for users to lay out an SOA and view all integration components. Layout is done via an Eclipse IDE interface. Run-time components can be controlled in a production environment through an AJAX-based (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) Web interface that also features statistics and runtime logs. ChainBuilder is ESB is available either via a common GPL (GNU General Public License) or via a subscription featuring training, support and a warranty. A commercial license is available in situations where GPL is not available or for users who do not release source code for their applications. From the product features list: "Component Flow Editor is the heart of designing ChainBuilder components through Eclipse IDE, and includes a project wizard that guides developers through component properties definitions. Message Format Editor is a graphical user interface that constructs an XML-based Message Definition Language (MDL) that is used by the Parser Service Engine to parse CSV/variable, fixed and heirarchial messages. X12 Editor is a graphical user interface that allows for the modification of existing X12 message formats or the creation of new X12 formats for use by the Parser Service Engine. Map Editor is a graphical user interface that constructs an XML-based Transformation (TRN) Language that is used by the Transformation Service Engine to transform proprietary message formats into XML."

See also: the web site

OGC Invites Participation in Ocean Science Interoperability Experiment
Staff, OGC Announcement

In January 2007, the Open Geospatial Consortium Inc. (OGC) launched an Interoperability Experiment on Ocean Science. The initiators of the experiment seek participation by other organizations interested in interoperability among information systems used in ocean research. The Oceans Science Interoperability Experiment will promote understanding of various OGC Web Service (OWS) standards now implemented in various portal applications in the Ocean-Observing community, advance interoperability demonstrations for Ocean Science application areas, and harden software implementations. The final product of the experiment will be a candidate OGC Best Practices document for the broader ocean-observing community. The Best Practices document will show how to use OGC specifications in marine-specific applications to improve discovery, access and use of Web-accessible ocean science data and services. The OGC members acting as initiators of the Interoperability Experiment are: (1) Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA); (2) Texas A&M University - Academy for Advanced Telecommunications (TAMU); (3) The National Centers for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) (Voting); (4) The Monterrey Bay Aquarium and Research Institute; (5) GoMOOS (Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System. Organizations that wish to participate and that can meet the Requirements for Participation described in the Oceans Science Interoperability Experiment Activity Plan should notify the OGC before February 15, 2007 of their desire to participate.

See also: Geography Markup Language (GML)

XForms as an RSS Reader/Editor
Nicholas Chase, IBM developerWorks

RSS, Atom, and other syndication strategies involve making XML data available for download. XForms, which is designed to view and edit XML, is the perfect environment for an XML editor and reader. This article explains how to create an XML reader and editor using XForms. The article assumes that you are familar with the basics of XForms and at least one syndication format such as RSS. The article uses RSS 1.0, but the concepts are the same for not only any version of RSS, but also Atom and any other XML-based format. The code was tested using Mozilla Firefox with the XForms extension, but the concept should work in any XForms-capable browser. he idea is to create a page that enables the user to request a specific feed to read based on its URL, displaying its information on the page. The page also includes a button that lets the reader switch to an editor. The editor enables the user to change existing information, add a new item, delete existing items, and save the feed—assuming that you have the appropriate permissions. The first step is to create the basic page that enables the user to specify a feed to read. To do that, start with a basic XForms form, embedded in an XHTML page. You also need a way for the user to specify the feed with which he or she wants to work. Fortunately, you can take advantage of how XForms works to accomplish this task. You're probably already aware of how changing a value in one XForms control can lead to the browser automatically displaying new information somewhere else. What you might not know is that the XForms processor reacts that way to virtually any change. For example, you can create a form that automatically changes the value of the instance element's 'src' attribute. XForms provides an excellent basis for editing RSS, Atom, and other XML-based syndication formats. In a production application, you will also need to determine the version of the feed at hand and alter your forms accordingly.

See also: XML and Forms

Shrinkwrap Licenses: An Epidemic of Lawsuits Waiting to Happen
Cory Doctorow, InformationWeek

Anybody who bothered to read a clickwrap or shrinkwrap agreement would never install any software, click on any link on the Web, open an account with anyone, or even shop at many retail stores. The terms of these agreements are onerous and ridiculous. We go along with the gag because we think nobody's paying any attention. But somebody's going to start paying attention soon, and when they do, the results will be disastrous for the electronic economy. So far, very few of us have been really bitten by EULAs, but that's because EULAs are generally associated with companies who have products or services they're hoping you'll use, and enforcing their EULAs could cost them business. But that was the theory with patents, too. So long as everyone with a huge portfolio of unexamined, overlapping, generous patents was competing with similarly situated manufacturers, there was a mutually assured destruction—a kind of detente represented by cross-licensing deals for patent portfolios. But the rise of the patent troll changed all that. Patent trolls don't make products. They make lawsuits. They buy up the ridiculous patents of failed companies and sue the everloving hell out of everyone they can find, building up a war-chest from easy victories against little guys that can be used to fund more serious campaigns against larger organizations. Since there are no products to disrupt with a countersuit, there's no mutually assured destruction.


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