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Last modified: April 05, 2007
XML Daily Newslink. Thursday, 05 April 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

DMTF Releases New CIM-Based Policy Language CIM-SPL
Staff, Distributed Management Task Force Announcement

The Distributed Management Task Force, Inc. (DMTF), the industry organization leading the development, adoption and promotion of interoperable management initiatives and standards, has announced the public release of the Common Information Model Simplified Policy Language (CIM-SPL) 1.0, providing developers with a streamlined policy language compatible with the underlying information models in CIM. Policy-based management, which allows administrators to define rules and allocate resources, delivers efficiency and provides the foundation for automated systems management in distributed environments, and CIM-SPL's standards-based approach provides cross-platform capabilities for this critical and evolving area. CIM-SPL delivers the means for specifying "If condition, then action"-style policy rules to manage computing resources, using constructs defined by the underlying models of CIM. The design of CIM-SPL is inspired by existing policy languages and models, including a contribution of the autonomic computing expression language (ACEL) from IBM Research and additional enhancements from Cisco Systems. With CIM-SPL, management applications using CIM can add on the CIM policy engine to automatically control and configure parts of the IT domain.

See also: DMTF Standards and Initiatives Community Announces Version 2.2
Staff, Announcement

The Community announce the release of 2.2, the latest version of the leading open-source office suite. With upgrades to its word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, and database software, the free software package provides a real alternative to Microsoft's recently-released Office 2007 product—and an easier upgrade path for existing Microsoft Office users. 2.2 also protects users from newly discovered vulnerabilities, where users' PCs could be open to attack if they opened documents from, or accessed web sites set up by, malicious individuals. In version 2.2, users will immediately notice the improvement in the quality of text display in all parts of The reason for this is that the previously optional support for kerning, a technique to improve the appearance of text written in proportional fonts, has now been enabled by default.'s unique pdf export function has also been enhanced with the addition of the optional creation of bookmarks feature, and support for user-definable export of form fields. While 2.1 functions well on Microsoft's Windows Vista, version 2.2 makes use of some of the new cosmetic changes available in Vista, the new file dialogues being an example. Apple Mac users will notice a smaller download and a smaller installed size. The Apple Mac Intel version has many stability improvements, and bug fixes ranging from .ppt export to improved UNO connections. Version 2.2 now requires Mac OS X 10.4.x running X11. The Calc spreadsheet has received additional enhancements to its support for Microsoft file formats, including improved support for Pivot Tables and some specialised trigonometric functions. Base, the database component, has improved SQL editing functionality as well as a new "Queries within Queries" feature. Compatibility options for some database drivers, such as Oracle ODBC, have been improved. Impress, the presentations component, offers improvements in the handling of hidden slides which has been made more intuitive.

See also: ODF references

A Small and Fast XML Parser for Native C++
Kenny Kerr, Microsoft MSDN Magazine

Despite the ongoing success of the .NET Framework, Microsoft is still serious about native C++ development. This is demonstrated by the introduction of XmlLite, a high-performance, low-overhead XML reader and writer geared for applications written in native C++. In this article, I'll explore what you can do with XmlLite. First, however, to set expectations, I want to quickly review what XmlLite does not provide-at least, not in this initial release. For starters, it doesn't provide a Document Object Model (DOM) implementation, nor does it provide XML Schema or Document Type Definition (DTD) validation. It also lacks support for high-level facilities like cursor-based navigation (such as XPath), style sheets, and serialization. Any gaps, however, can be filled as needed with functionality built on top of XmlLite in the same way that almost all of the XML functionality in the Microsoft .NET Framework is built on top of the XmlReader and XmlWriter classes. So what does XmlLite provide? Briefly, it provides a non-cached, forward-only parser (that delivers a pull programming model) and a non-cached, forward-only XML generator. Both have proven to be very valuable functions. XmlLite provides a powerful XML parser for your native C++ applications. It emphasizes performance, is aware of the system resources it uses, and supports a great deal of flexibility in controlling these characteristics. With support for all common text encoding, XmlLite is a very useful and practical tool that can simplify XML usage in native C++ applications.

XProc: An XML Pipeline Language
Norman Walsh and Alex Milowski (eds), W3C Technical Report

W3C's XML Processing Model Working Group has published a Working Draft for "XProc: An XML Pipeline Language," updating an earlier draft of 2006-11-17. Used to control and organize the flow of documents, the XProc language standardizes interactions, inputs and outputs for transformations for the large group of specifications such as XSLT, XML Schema, XInclude and Canonical XML that operate on and produce XML documents. An XML Pipeline specifies a sequence of operations to be performed on a collection of XML input documents. Pipelines take zero or more XML documents as their input and produce zero or more XML documents as their output. A pipeline consists of steps. Like pipelines, steps take zero or more XML documents as their input and produce zero or more XML documents as their output. The inputs to a step come from the web, from the pipeline document, from the inputs to the pipeline itself, or from the outputs of other steps in the pipeline. The outputs from a step are consumed by other steps, are outputs of the pipeline as a whole, or are discarded. There are two kinds of steps: atomic steps and compound steps. Atomic steps carry out single operations and have no substructure as far as the pipeline is concerned, whereas compound steps include steps within themselves. Appendix D (Pipeline Language Summary) summarizes the XProc pipeline language: machine readable descriptions of this language are available in RELAX NG (and the RELAX NG compact syntax), W3C XML Schema, and DTD syntaxes.

See also: the W3C XML Processing Model Working Group

WS-SX Ratification Shows Web Services Security is Growing Up
Earl Perkins and Ray Wagner, Gartner Research Report

According to Gartner Report G00147744, OASIS's ratification of two key standards means that Web services security has finally reached a level of maturity acceptable to many enterprises—a positive development for vendors and customers. OASIS's ratification of these security standards moves Web services secure messaging from basic and limited implementation to a more extended and contextual model. However, the real value of these standards lies in the benefits they can provide for implementations of brokered authentication or security token services (STSs). Web services typically authenticate clients across heterogeneous environments—and removing the need for a direct relationship with the client application and Web service through a 'trust negotiator' requires robust security. Enterprises interested in using brokered authentication simply did without Web services authentication or implemented it on various platforms as needed. Indeed, the bulk of Web services use today continues to be middleware within enterprises, in part due to these security limitations. The availability of these new standards means that Web services security has finally reached an acceptable maturity level. The issuance and dissemination of credentials between different trust domains via an STS can now be achieved using a syntax that is familiar to most developers. The OASIS standards also provide for a scalability that had not been available before in transactional Web services that required an STS—at least not in a standardized form with which most vendors involved in SOA applications and infrastructure comply. Some early adopters of Web services continue to believe that existing security standards are bloated and overly complex, and have implemented leaner, proprietary approaches. For simple requirements, mixed Web security and "classic" authentication coupled with services will still have a place. Other early adopters believe that IBM's and Microsoft's view of Web services and SOA security—and particularly their roles in the development of WS-SecureConversation and WS-Trust and the standards' place in their architectures—gives them an advantage in this area.

See also: the OASIS announcment

Software AG To Buy WebMethods
Stacy Cowley, CRN

Service-oriented architecture (SOA) specialist Software AG plans to acquire integration software maker WebMethods for about $546 million in cash. The deal furthers a consolidation trend among companies developing enterprise application integration (EAI) software and other middleware components, which are increasingly facing pressure to get big or get bought. With giants like IBM, Oracle and SAP pushing customers to use their middleware stacks, the market is commoditizing, leaving pure-play vendors in a precarious position. WebMethods, founded in 1996, was a pioneer in the EAI market, but its fortunes have shifted along with those of the IT industry. The Fairfax, Va.-based company's license revenue has dwindled over the past five years, from a high of $121.8 million in 2002 to $84.4 million in 2006. The company offset that erosion by growing its maintenance and services revenue. Last year, it reported total revenue of $208.8 million, a record high. Software AG, based in Darmstadt, Germany, will pay $9.15 per share for WebMethods, a 26 percent premium on WebMethods' share price. Pending regulatory and shareholder approvals, Software AG expects the WebMethods acquisition to close this quarter. Software AG said the deal will double its North American customer base and create a broad portfolio of SOA and business process management (BPM) products. Acquisitions will be a key part of Software AG's expansion. The company has assembled a war chest of up to EUR 700 million (US $940 million) in cash and credit to fund its shopping. Last month, Software AG spent EUR 46.3 million (US $62.2 million) to acquire a majority stake in one of its Israeli distribution partner, SPL Software.

Microsoft Criticized for Open XML Petition
David Meyer, CNET

An online petition posted by Microsoft to fast-track the standardization of its Office Open XML document format masks the company's concern over the procedure, according to a leading open-source advocate. The petition is an attempt to make it appear that Open XML has "pseudo-grassroots" support, argues Mark Taylor, the founder of the Open Source Consortium. "In the open-source world, there's clearly a massive grassroots thing," Taylor told ZDNet UK on Thursday. "One of the lessons Microsoft has been trying to learn from open source is that—but they have to fake it. If there was any grassroots support behind it, the time to have done (the petition) would have been ages ago." The petition, which was uploaded to Microsoft's U.K. site on March 29, asks businesses to show their support for the Open XML format being fast-tracked through the standardization process at the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The format is integral to Office 2007, but Microsoft is pushing it as an international open standard for documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Taylor also speculated that the timing of the release of the petition—which was shortly before the Easter and Passover holidays—was intended to make resistance to the campaign less likely. Despite the recent advancement of Open XML onto a new stage of the standardization process, Taylor also suggested that Microsoft was "in major trouble trying to get Open XML pushed through" and the petition "shows their worry."

See also: the specifications

SOA Terminology Overview: Development Processes, Models, and Assets
Bertrand Portier, IBM developerWorks

Semantics are essential in any domain and especially in Service-oriented architecture (SOA). Since SOA spans teams and organizations, agreement upon relevant terms is crucial. This series provides a tour of SOA by defining terms and the key concepts behind them. Part 1 in the series has a business focus and sets the stage by defining terms such as service and SOA. This article (Part 2) presents the software engineering methods and processes needed for successful SOA adoption, as well as the artifacts needed to deliver SOA solutions, such as models and assets. A process is used to organize method contents into a development cycle and specify the sequence of the work to be done. The sequence of work to be done is independent of a development life cycle model (such as waterfall or iterative). Think of processes as workflows or breakdown structures. Processes enable project managers to see who is required and which work products are modified in each phase of the project. The Rational Unified Process for Service-Oriented Modeling and Architecture (RUP Plug-In for SOMA) is built on top of RUP and provides guidance on developing service-oriented solutions. Service-Oriented Modeling and Architecture (SOMA) provides guidance on the analysis and design of SOA solutions. SOMA enables the identification, specification, and realization (at the design level) of business-aligned services... Assets and services share common characteristics around the need for a description, their reuse potential, and their granularity (fine-grained or coarse-grained). A service can be a kind of asset, which might require many assets to be represented. Some elements of the service assets are used more during development time, such as business process models or test cases, while other elements of the service assets are more applicable to the run-time, such as Web Services Description Language (WSDL), XML Schema Descriptor (XSD), or Enterprise Archive (EAR). SOA Governance defines the rules dictating the lifecycle of such services and assets.

CallWave Unveils Text Messaging Tool for Google Desktop
Patrick Hoffman, eWEEK

Mobile application provider CallWave launched the beta version of its Free Text Messaging gadget for Google Desktop, a desktop-based application that allows mobile consumers to send text messages to anyone straight from their desktop. Google Desktop allows users to create their own personal homepage and with the "add stuff" link users can add gadgets to their personalized page. A CallWave company official said that with consumers having difficulty text messaging using a mobile phone, its text messaging gadget will make it easier for users to contact members straight from their own PC. Replies to messages can be sent to the users' handset or e-mail, depending on what their personal settings are and in the near future, users will also be given access to their stored messages stored in a searchable archive, which can be accessed from the users' personal Web page. CallWave's new Free Text Messaging gadget also supports CallWave's existing services such as CallWave Vtxt, a voice-to-text transcription service that integrates voice and text into an archive that can be accessed from a personal Web page.

Selected from the Cover Pages, by Robin Cover

W3C Publishes Internationalization Tag Set (ITS) Version 1.0 as a Recommendation

W3C has released "Internationalization Tag Set (ITS) Version 1.0" as a Recommendation. This latest Web Standard from W3C "makes it easy to create internationalized XML content. Such content can be adapted, at lower cost, to the language, cultural and other requirements of a specific target market, a process called localization." According to the announcement, ITS is a technology to easily create XML which is internationalized and can be localized effectively. On the one hand, the ITS specification identifies concepts (such as "directionality") which are important for internationalization and localization. On the other hand, the ITS specification defines implementations of these concepts (termed "ITS data categories") as a set of elements and attributes called the Internationalization Tag Set (ITS). The ITS Recommendation provides implementations for three schema languages: XML DTD, XML Schema, and RELAX NG. ITS 1.0 addresses a number of internationalization requirements, including being able to identify the language of a piece of text, to specify the directionality of text (such as right-to-left Hebrew and Arabic or mixed directionality texts), to provide Ruby annotations (used in East Asian documents to indicate pronunciation or to provide a short annotation), and to indicate whether content should be translated (an important requirement for people building tools to help with localization). An internationalized XML schema takes into consideration these requirements and others, ideally early in the design process. With ITS 1.0, XML schema designers can build localization-ready schemas at lower cost by reusing the predefined ITS 1.0 constructs, such as the <tt>its:dir</tt> attribute to specify text directionality. ITS 1.0 also enables people to improve the internationalization of existing XML documents without modifying them.

See also: Markup and Multilingualism


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