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Last modified: February 12, 2007
XML Daily Newslink. Monday, 12 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:

Novell, Microsoft Provide Virtualization Roadmap
Elizabeth Montalbano, InfoWorld

Microsoft and Novell will enable virtualization for each other's server operating systems as part of the companies' ongoing alliance to make Windows and Linux more interoperable. Virtualization is just one of four key areas on which the companies said Monday they will focus their collaborative efforts this year. The other areas are Web services-based network management, directory interoperability, and document format interoperability. In the Web services-based management area, Microsoft and Novell said that they will both incorporate WS-Management in their products to enable OS management through Web services. Novell ZENworks Orchestrator and Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 will both support WS-Management this year. WS-Management is a specification of a Web services-based protocol for the management of servers, devices, and applications. Microsoft, Intel, Dell, and other companies published the spec in March 2005, and it was ratified by the Distributed Management Task Force for adoption as a preliminary standard in August 2006. Novell also is working to develop an open-source implementation of WS-Management, the company said. Microsoft and Novell already have introduced technologies to make communication between the global standard file format for office documents, ODF (Open Document Format for XML), and the default file format in Microsoft Office 2007, Open XML, easier. On February 2, 2007, Microsoft announced the availability of the Open XML/ODF Translator for Office 2007, Office 2003, and Office XP. Later this month, Novell will release an Open XML/ODF Translator for the Novell edition of the open-source productivity suites.

See also: the announcement

Web Services Specifications and SOA Interoperability
Sanjay Narang, Enterprise OpenSource

Over the last few years, the basic Web Services standards like XML, WSDL, and SOAP have matured a lot and WS-I has released a Basic Profile that contains implementation guidelines for basic Web Services standards. Today, most vendors provide products that comply with the Basic Profile and support the standards included in the profile. With the wide adoption of the Basic Profile, software vendors have been able to make their products interoperable to a great extent. As the Web Services industry evolves, it embraces new specifications like WS-Security, WS-ReliableMessaging (WS-RM), and WS-AtomicTransactions (WS-AT) to provide advanced functionalities such as security, reliability, and transactions that are not provided by the basic specifications. These specifications are generally referred to as the WS-* (pronounced WS-Star) specifications. As they are relatively new and have not been so widely agreed on by the industry, achieving interoperability between Web Services that use WS-* specifications is much more difficult and the WS-* specifications may not even be supported in many products. This article provides a set of guidelines and best practices that you can follow to accomplish interoperability when developing web services that make use of the WS-* specifications across products provided by different vendors. It also provides insight into the Web Services specifications situation that contains a large number of WS-* specifications that are being developed by different groups. Interoperability is generally accomplished by developing your Web Services using the well-established guidelines for implementing Web Services and by following industry standards such as XML, WSDL, SOAP, and UDDI. However, just following Web Services standards and guidelines during the development phase of a project isn't sufficient to achieve interoperability.

Saxon 8.9: Translate XQuery Queries Directly into Java Source Code
Staff, Saxonica Announcement

Developers at Saxonica have announced the release of Saxon Version 8.9. "The most exciting feature of this release is that XQuery queries can now be translated directly into Java source code, reducing execution time by anything from 25% to 80%. This facility is available exclusively in Saxon-SA. The release is the first since the W3C specifications for XQuery 1.0, XSLT 2.0, and XPath 1.0 reached Recommendation status, and this is marked by an emphasis in this Saxon release on conformance. Saxon is the only product to have achieved 100% pass rates against the W3C test suites for XSLT and XQuery, and the new release also brings the level of XML Schema conformance close to 100% as measured by the recently issued W3C test suite. The technology is available in two versions: the basic edition Saxon-B, available as an open source product from SourceForge, and the schema-aware edition Saxon-SA available on a commercial license from this site. XSLT and/or XQuery: The two languages have a high level of functional overlap, but each language has unique strengths. XSLT 2.0 is better than XQuery 1.0 at handling the rendition of narrative (document-oriented) XML (for example it offers facilities such as format-number() and format-date()), while XQuery makes it easier to perform some of the manipulations needed when handling more rigidly-structured data. Saxon is unique in allowing the two languages to be mixed in a single application.

The Mobile Web: Tim Berners-Lee Keynotes 3GSM World Congress
W3C Staff, Keynote Address

Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the Web, opened the 3GSM World Congress on Monday 12-February-2007 in Barcelona, Spain with a keynote address at the Mobile Innovation Forum. Berners-Lee spoke on the role of innovation and openness in the Web's success, and how the W3C Mobile Web Initiative brings mobile telephony into convergence with the Web and aids in bridging the digital divide. Excerpt: "The Web worked because of a number of technical and social reasons. It worked because there was no central bottleneck for traffic, no central link database to be kept consistent, no central place to go and register a new page or a new Web site. It worked because it was valuable, in a novel way. The value added by the web is the unexpected re-use of information. People learned that if they went to the trouble of putting something on the Web for some reason, that others would benefit later in ways they never anticipated... Web 2.0 community web sites, eBay, and Flickr, in turn, are possible because the Web standards, in turn, were widely implemented in an interoperable way, before those innovations. The same for the wikis, like Wikipedia, and blogs, and so on. The Web is a huge platform for innovation because of those standards. Any new genre of communication, any new social networking idea, immediately can gain the value of unexpected re-use by people across the world. There is a very important difference in attitude between a foundation technology and—well—let's call it a ceiling technology. A foundation technology is designed to enable innovation, to be the base which will support other even more powerful things to come. A ceiling technology is not. It is designed to provide a value, and for its provider to cash in and cash out. Proprietary music download systems are ceiling technologies to the extent that the technologists design to be also being the only store in town, rather than creating an open market. Though putting a lid on further innovation, they are still providing a service, and making sure they profit from it. Ceiling technologies are the end of the road for innovation..."

See also: the W3C Mobile Web Initiative

Zend Touts PHP Application Server in Three Editions
Paul Krill, InfoWorld

Eyeing organizations that run business-critical Web applications on the PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) platform, Zend Technologies will now offers its Zend Platform 3.0 PHP application server. Zend Platform bolsters deployments of commercial applications on PHP, Mark de Visser, Zend chief marketing officer, said. New in this version is its availability in three different editions. Versions are offered for smaller organizations, for integrating with Java, and for enterprise-level users. PHP has gotten the nod over Java in some installations because it offers developer productivity and is suitable for SOA. The three specific editions of Zend Platform include: (1) The PS release, which loosely stands for performance server. Geared toward SMBs, it offers performance improvements and management functions. Capabilities include PHP intelligence to monitor business applications, and code acceleration and dynamic content caching to boost performance. Other features include output compression to reduce bandwidth for better responsiveness, and simplified configuration management. (2) IS, for integration server, is geared to organizations with application and infrastructure needs. Integration is provided with Java and SNMP infrastructure. Reporting capabilities also are included. A Java bridge interacts with Java objects or J2EE services. Also highlighted is integration with Eclipse Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools for reporting. (3) ES, for enterprise server, for large organizations that need scalability and reliability. Session-clustering and high availability fail-over are featured. Job queues offer off-line processing for improved interactive responsiveness.

See also: the announcement

Building SOA Composite Business Services: The REST Architectural Style
I. Poddar, Z. Gan, Yue Lin Liu; IBM developerWorks

This article is the third in a series about developing composite applications to enable business services. The article focuses on the Representational State Transfer (REST) architectural style. By using a facade component as a REST-style interface, existing SOAP-style Web services can support customizable URLs, multiple resource format representations, browser response caching, streaming of large attachments, and use of HTTP methods to manipulate the resource. The Representational State Transfer (REST) architectural style offers a low-barrier entry point for consuming Web services. The external interface of a typical REST-style application consists of a large number of Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) addressable resources and a few operations, such as Create, Read, Update, and Delete (CRUD). The advantage of this architectural style is its simplicity. This article presents an example of a business service for a bank that publishes mortgage rates to an aggregator Web site like Bankrate. Aggregator Web sites typically gather information from a number of different providers and aggregate them in a client-side mashup. This is also referred to as composition on the glass and can be considered a composite application. To enable easy construction of such mashups, service providers need to expose a simplified interface. The REST architectural style is a perfect fit for this requirement. A REST-style Web service facade provides certain desirable functions, such as multiple resource format representations, support for browser caching of responses, and support for other HTTP methods such as PUT, TRACE, and DELETE. The RAS pattern asset provided in this article captures the best practices for developing a REST-style Web service facade.

An Introduction to Hibernate 3 Annotations
John Ferguson Smart, O'Reilly

Over the years, Hibernate has become close to the defacto standard in the world of Java database persistence. It is powerful, flexible, and boasts excellent performance. In this article, we look at how Java 5 annotations can be used to simplify your Hibernate code and make coding your persistence layer even easier. Traditionally, Hibernate relies on external XML files for its configuration: database mappings are defined in a set of XML mapping files and loaded at startup time. There are many ways to create these mappings, either automatically, from an existing database schema or Java class model, or by hand. In any case, you can end up with a considerable number of Hibernate mapping files. Alternatively, you can use tools to generate the mapping files from javadoc-style annotations, though this adds an extra step in your build process. In recent versions of Hibernate, a new, more elegant approach has emerged, based on Java 5 annotations. Using the new Hibernate Annotations library, you can dispense once and for all with your old mapping files--everything is defined as, you guessed it—annotations directly embedded in your Java classes. It turns out that annotations provide a powerful and flexible way of declaring persistence mappings. They are also well supported in recent Java IDEs, with automatic code completion and syntax highlighting. Hibernate annotations also support the new EJB 3 persistence specifications. These specifications aim at providing a standardized Java persistence mechanism. While Hibernate 3 also provides a few extensions, you can quite easily stick to the standards and code your Hibernate persistence layer using the EJB 3 programming model. By eliminating the need for XML mapping files, using Hibernate annotations allows you to simplify your application maintenance, with the additional advantage of giving you a gentle introduction into the world of EJB 3.


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