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Last modified: March 26, 2007
XML Daily Newslink. Monday, 26 March 2007

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

This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:
BEA Systems, Inc.

Successful Fast Infoset XML Interoperability Testing
Staff, OSS Nokalva

Developers collaborating in the GlassFish Fast Infoset Interoperability Project announced successful interoperability of Fast Infoset tools from the following vendors: Liquid Technologies Ltd., Noemax Technologies Ltd., OSS Nokalva, Sun Microsystems Inc., and TMax Soft Inc. Fast Infoset is now available and interoperable on a wide variety of platforms such as Microsoft .NET and .NET CF, Sun GlassFish, BEA WebLogic, Java SE 6, IBM SDK for Java v6 Early Release, TMax Soft JEUS 6, as well as Linux, Solaris, and Win32. Fast Infoset is an International Standard jointly published by ISO/IEC and the ITU-T, which specifies a serialization of the XML infoset, and can be used in certain applications as a fast and compact alternative to XML 1.0. Fast Infoset preserves all the properties of an XML document that are reflected in the XML infoset. Note that Fast Infoset only supports XML documents that are well-formed and conform to the W3C Namespaces Recommendation. In fact, it supports all such documents with the exception of certain "extreme" infosets (e.g., those containing single attribute values longer than 4 gigabytes, or single comments or processing instructions whose content is longer than 4 gigabytes). Fast Infoset does not support documents that are not namespace-well-formed. Also, even though it supports synthetic infosets, it only supports those that could have originated from XML documents —that is, any infosets that are impossible to serialize in XML are not supported. Because Fast Infoset is a representation of the XML infoset, as opposed to a representation of XML 1.0, it does not provide a representation for certain features of XML 1.0 (e.g., the declaration and use of entities) that are not represented in the XML infoset. Aside from the restriction relative to "extreme" infosets mentioned above, Fast Infoset is usable with XML Schema validation, XPath 2.0, SOAP 1.2, and other technologies that are defined in terms of the XML Infoset rather than in terms of XML 1.0.

See also: the XML-DEV posting

Burton Group Sizes up the SOA Registry Landscape
Rich Seeley,

What does the registry/repository vendor landscape look like now? Anne Thomas Manes: "It's been kind of a volatile place over the last year. It started out with Mercury acquiring Systinet, the leading registry player. That was shortly after Systinet released its first registry/repository product, which was a significantly different product from just the registry they had before. Then HP acquired Mercury. Meanwhile, webMethods acquired Infravio. And then IBM comes out with their registry/repository. Software AG came out with CenterSite. BEA had already licensed Systinet's registry as a reseller. Then Oracle also licensed Systinet and so did Tibco. In fact, Tibco sells this product called Matrix, which is the Systinet registry plus the AmberPoint Web services management product. Progress also partners with Systinet and HP. Every single one of the platform vendors had a registry back in 2002. But most of the vendors jettisoned them, threw them away, because what they had was garbage. They were worthless. They were just raw implementations of UDDI and that doesn't give you the governance that you really need. So basically after 2002, Systinet had the entire market to themselves. Then Infravio comes into the market in 2004. For the longest time it was Systinet and Infravio. Infravio had six or seven customers, and Systinet had around 250. A bare bones implantation of UDDI version 3 is still not the same as the Systinet registry. I'm not talking about the repository. I'm talking about the Systinet registry. That's the premium registry in the market, which is now being distributed by HP, Oracle, BEA and Tibco. And it does much more than just be a bare bones implementation of UDDI. It has substantial governance capabilities. It has ways of managing staging of services from development to test to production. It's got a whole bunch of management stuff built into it, which is really important. A registry is the management component of your infrastructure. It's also got a whole bunch of data model representations that enable it to communicate with AmberPoint, Actional, SOA Software, Infravio, Reactivity, Layer 7, DataPower, the BEA ESB, Oracle's ESB, the Sonic ESB and other systems..."

Iona Revolutionizes SOA Registry/Repository with Artix Product Family
Staff, IONA Announcement

IONA has announced availability of IONA Artix Registry/Repository, the latest product in IONA Artix, the company's advanced SOA infrastructure suite. Artix Registry/Repository enables customers to design, build, deploy and manage a network of business services by providing a complete system of record of services in a distributed SOA environment, including the policies, contracts, implementation artifacts and dependencies that control their usage. Artix Registry/Repository delivers the fundamental requirements for applying SOA governance and effectively addresses the challenges of deploying and managing a truly distributed SOA. The product makes it significantly easier for Global 2000 customers to govern the proper use of services and validate service deployments against architectural design and service policies. By capturing and storing the metadata associated with deployed services, Artix Registry/Repository provides customers with important visibility into the return on investment of their SOA implementation. Artix Orchestration provides a comprehensive environment for designing, building, testing and deploying workflows and Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) service orchestrations. Based on the Eclipse visual framework, Artix Orchestration provides a full complement of BPEL 1.1 constructs with which to build service compositions.

Dell, AMD 'DASH' Toward New Standards
Scott Ferguson, eWEEK

Dell is readying a new generation of its OptiPlex commercial desktops to meet new industry management standards. The Round Rock, Texas, PC maker is scheduled to announce on March 27 that the next generation of its OptiPlex desktops will incorporate the new DASH (Desktop and Mobile Architecture For Systems Management Hardware) management and security standards. While the older standards gave administrators the ability to boot and power up PCs with an enterprise's fleet, the new standards look to take these management abilities a step further by adding extra security tools and new ways to check on the specific configurations of each desktop and notebook within a company. Margaret Franco, the director of Dell's Product Group, said the company's adoption of the new DASH standards will address the concerns of its customers and offer them additional management tools. The new standards will also use DMTF's WS-Management specifications, which will create a Web-based services management tool for desktops and laptops. Dell is not the only vendor looking to adopt DASH standards. At the Microsoft Management Summit in San Diego on March 26, 2007, Advanced Micro Devices took time to announce that it has developed new software testing tools called "SIMFIRE." Company executives said these testing tools will allow OEMs to meet the news DASH standards.

See also: the news story

Java Object Queries Using JXPath
Bart van Riel,

In a recent project, I needed an easy way to traverse Java object trees and extract values from the objects. Instead of continually going through huge iterator-if-else setups, I wanted a tool that would allow me to simply say, "I want the object with id=X, and from that object, I need the value of property A." In essence, I needed an object-querying tool. JXPath is such an object-query tool. It is an Apache Commons component that enables you to query complex object trees using the well-known XPath expression language. I employed JXPath widely in my project, and it sped up things considerably, making value-extraction algorithms a breeze. JXPath is an extremely useful tool for traversing, navigating, and querying complex object trees. Because it uses the XPath expression language for its queries, a large body of reference material is available to help you build efficient yet complex object-retrieval queries. Even more flexibility is added by using Pointers and relative contexts.

XQuery Scripting Extension and Version 1.1 Requirements: Working Drafts
Daniel Engovatov, Daniela Florescu, Giorgio Ghelli; W3C Drafts

Responding to requests from Working Group participants and the wider community, the XML Query Working Group released two First Public Working Drafts. "XQuery Scripting Extension 1.0 Requirements" describes the requirements for the XQuery Scripting Extensions. XQuery 1.0 is a functional language that is Turing-complete and well suited to write code that ranges from simple queries to complete applications. However, some categories of applications are more easily implemented by combining XQuery capabilities with some imperative features, such as the ability to explicitly manage internal states. The same issue stands for XQuery enriched with the (XQuery With Updates). The scripting extension is intended to overcome this problem, and allow programmers to write such applications without relying on embedding XQuery into an external language. The usage scenarios describe ways in which the XQuery Scripting Extension may be used in various environments, and represent a wide range of activities and needs that illustrate the problem space to be addressed. They are intended to be used as design cases during the development of the XQuery Scripting Extension, and should be reviewed when critical decisions are made. The "XML Query (XQuery) 1.1 Requirements" specifies goals and requirements for XML Query (XQuery) 1.1.document. The goal of XML Query 1.1 is to extend XML Query 1.0 with additional functionality in response to requests from users and implementors. Satisfying these goals may require changes to the set of eight documents that have progressed to Recommendation together: Data Model, Functions and Operators, Formal Semantics, Serialization, XPath 2.0, XQuery 1.0, XQueryX, and XSLT 2.0.

See also: XQuery Requirements

Firefox 3.0 Development Continues in 'Gran' Style
Sean Michael Kerner,

Mozilla developers are keeping up the pace on the development of their next-generation Firefox 3.0 browser with the Alpha 3 release, adding more under-the-hood improvements to security and its offline capabilities. The Alpha 3 release includes support for animated PNG graphics, which would mark the first new browser to include a default animated file format in more than a decade. Animated GIFs and JPEGs were a common development in the early days of the Web. The PNG format is considered to be more scalable than either GIF or JPEG and does not have the same patent issues that surround the use of GIF. Firefox 3 Alpha 3 also adds a number of new security-related enhancements to the browser. Support for a cookie attribute called "HttpOnly" will make a cookie only readable as a server and not client-side scripts. The attribute could well serve to limit the potential exposure of personally identifiable information to unauthorized scripts that are running on a user's PC. Additionally Mozilla developers have added a new preference for the "HTTP-EQUIV=refresh" attribute, which is commonly used to reload and, in some cases, redirect users to another page. The new preference will warn the user when a site is attempting to either reload or redirect. Previous Alpha releases of Firefox 3.0 have focused on the new Cairo graphics library, as well as greater compliance with the ACID2 test, which measures compliance against existing W3C standards.

Development of Standards-Based Grid Portals, Part 1
Xiaobo Yang, et al, IBM developerWorks

Built on top of grid middleware, grid portals act as gateways to the grid because they smooth the learning curve of using grid. In the first of this three-part series, we give an overview of grid portals, focusing on today's standards-based (JSR 168 and WSRP 1.0) second-generation grid portals. Based on standards and fit well with SOA, both JSR 168 and WSRP V1.0 aim to solve the interoperabiltiy issues in portal and portlet development and deployment. JSR 168, as its name implies, is a specification for Java portal developers. The question: How do you reuse Web contents (portlets) published using languages other than the Java programming language—Perl and PHP, for example? The OASIS WSRP V1.0 specification was proposed to answer this question, among others. Because WSRP separates portlets from portals, it introduces the concepts of producer and consumer. A producer is a service provider, and a consumer is a service client. Unlike the traditional data-oriented Web services, a WSRP producer provides formatted, rather than arbitrary, data to its consumers. A consumer is responsible for redirecting requests from end users to the corresponding producer service with information like input parameter name and value. The producer then handles the request and sends a response back to the consumer with markup fragments. The client-side portal can then retrieve these markup fragments from its consumer to render a full Web page in the user's browser. WSRP realises a deploy-once, run-anywhere paradigm. Portlet vendors don't need to distribute their portlets to clients anymore. They now have full control of their portlets if they host them. This approach looks like the Java Web Start approach, which enables a software provider to always provide the latest version to its clients. Because WSRP is based on Web services, it is automatically language- and platform-independent. We provide examples in Part 2 that demonstrate how grid portals are developed using portlet technology. And in Part 3, we discuss the application of WSRP and the future of grid portals.

Next Draft of GPL 3 to Address Microsoft-Novell Deal
Peter Galli, eWEEK

The Free Software Foundation will release the third discussion draft of the GNU General Public License Version 3 on March 28, 2007, some eight months after the previous draft was made public. The move will push back the final release of GPL 3 by several more months, which means the license is now unlikely to debut before late summer 2007 at the earliest. "We never planned to let so much time pass between public releases of the license, but we felt it was important to fully discuss a few specific issues, including the recent patent deal between Novell and Microsoft, before proceeding with the process," Licensing Compliance Engineer Brett Smith, of the Free Software Foundation, said. The new discussion draft will reflect the outcome of those discussions, while an accompanying "rationale document" will explain how the Foundation arrived at those decisions. But Richard Stallman, executive director of the Free Software Foundation, has already said publicly what he plans to do to address the Microsoft-Novell deal. Stallman allowed open-source evangelist and developer Bruce Perens to release a statement on the matter after Perens held a press conference March 19 in Salt Lake City to coincide with the first day of Novell's BrainShare conference. The statement said the GPL is designed to ensure that redistributors of the program respect the freedom of those further downstream. "The GPL defends the freedom of all users by blocking the known methods of making free software proprietary."

Selected from the Cover Pages, by Robin Cover

Member Submission of Service Modeling Language (SML) Specification to W3C

W3C has acknowledged receipt of a Member Submission for the Service Modeling Language (SML) specification, which may be used to model complex IT services and systems, including their structure, constraints, policies, and best practices. The submission request was made by BEA, CA, Cisco, EMC (Documentum), HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, and Sun Microsystems with the recommendation that W3C form a Working Group whose mission would be "to produce W3C Recommendations for Services Modeling Language by refining the Submission, addressing implementation experience, and interoperability feedback from the Submission." The SML submission includes the primary Service Modeling Language, Version 1.0 specification, together with a companion SML Interchange Format Version 1.0. As defined in the Service Modeling Language Specification, an SML model is a collection of XML documents that may be used to describe such things as a set of IT resources, services, and their interrelations. The SML Interchange Format (SML-IF) document defines an implementation-neutral interchange format that preserves the content and interrelationships among the documents that make up an SML model, or a portion of an SML model. SML models typically include information about configuration, deployment, monitoring, policy, health, capacity planning, target operating range, service level agreements, and so on. An SML model, realized as a set of interrelated XML documents, contains information about the parts of an IT service, as well as the constraints that each part must satisfy for the IT service to function properly. Constraints are expressed in XML Schema, Schematron, and XPath.


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