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Last modified: September 12, 2007
XML Daily Newslink. Wednesday, 12 September 2007

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

This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:

W3C First Public Working Draft: CSS Grid Positioning Module Level 3
Alex Mogilevsky and Markus Mielke (eds), W3C Working Draft

W3C announced that members of the CSS Working Group have released the First Public Working Draft for the "CSS Grid Positioning Module Level 3" specification. This Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) module describes integration of grid-based layout similar to the grids traditionally used in books and newspapers, with CSS sizing and positioning. This design strategy complements the different approach defined in the CSS Advanced Layout Module. Grids may be explicitly authored or implied and combined with Media Queries. Grid systems have provided great value to print designers for many years, and the same concepts may be applied to online print content. Unlike print media however, dimensions of online devices vary broadly; a single fixed-sized grid that worked perfectly for print pages only works in a subset of web scenarios. Adaptable solutions require dealing with a grid that adapts to fit devices of varying form factors. This CSS module adds capabilities for sizing and positioning in terms of a scalable grid. The grid can be specified directly by author, or can be implied from existing two-dimensional structures e.g., tables or multi-column elements. Grid positioning addresses layout in continuous media and in paged media. The "CSS Advanced Layout Module" specification defines template-based positioning as an alternative to absolute positioning, which, like absolute positioning, is especially useful for aligning elements that don't have simple relationships in the source (parent-child, ancestor-descendant, immediate sibling). But in contrast to absolute positioning, the elements are not positioned with the help of horizontal and vertical coordinates, but by mapping them into slots in a table-like template. The relative size and alignment of elements is thus governed implicitly by the rows and columns of the template. It doesn't allow elements to overlap, but it provides layouts that adapt better to different widths.

See also: the CSS Advanced Layout Module

Intalio BPEL Engine Becomes Apache Top Level Project
Staff, Intalio Announcement

Intalio, Inc. announced that its open-source BPEL process engine named Orchestration Director Engine (ODE) has recently graduated from the Apache incubator to a Top Level Project. ODE was contributed by Intalio to the Apache Software Foundation in July 2006, following Intalio's acquisition of FiveSight Technologies. This graduation "marks an important milestone in the development of Intalio Server, which is built on top of the ODE engine. ODE is the only open-source BPEL engine currently available under a liberal open-source license and supports all versions of the BPEL specification (1.0, 1.1, and 2.0). Built upon this foundation, Intalio Server is the fastest and most scalable process engine currently available on the market, capable of supporting hundreds of thousands of different process models deployed on the same server, and hundreds of millions of process instances running concurrently on a single CPU. Apache ODE (Orchestration Director Engine) executes business processes written following the WS-BPEL standard. It talks to web services, sending and receiving messages, handling data manipulation and error recovery as described by your process definition. It supports both long and short living process executions to orchestrate all the services that are part of your application. WS-BPEL is an XML-based language defining several constructs to write business processes. It defines a set of basic control structures like conditions or loops as well as elements to invoke web services and receive messages from services. It relies on WSDL to express web services interfaces. Message structures can be manipulated, assigning parts or the whole of them to variables that can in turn be used to send other messages. The Apache Software Foundation provides support for the Apache community of open-source software projects. The Apache projects are characterized by a collaborative, consensus based development process, an open and pragmatic software license, and a desire to create high quality software that leads the way in its field.

See also: BPEL references

Software AG Releases webMethods Version 7.1
Tony Baer, Computer Business Review Online

A month after Software AG unveiled its roadmap for converging webMethods products, it is releasing the first of the new or enhanced offerings. The new webMethods 7.1 release covers enterprise service bus (ESB), business process management (BPM), and the first extension of its BAM capability to other parts of the stack. the ESB uses the webMethods offering a starting point and retrofits the BPEL orchestration capability from the old Software AG Crossvision Service Orchestrator product. Additionally, the new version of webMethods BPM adds a number of new functions and enhancements. For instance, the new version beefs up the process simulation capability. Until now, the simulation only displayed potential bottlenecks, but didn't provide any key performance indicators (KPIs) that would reveal insight on the source or impact of those bottlenecks. The new version adds that granularity including visualization, scenario management, bottleneck identification, multi-process simulation, reporting, round tripping, and versioning. Other enhancements to webMethods BPM include ability to customize KPIs to reflect methodologies such as Six Sigma or Lean Production, some new service level agreement (SLA) management tools, and calendaring integration with Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes. One of the more interesting parts of the announcement is how Software AG is beginning to seed some of webMethods' Optimize business activity monitoring (BAM) dashboard functionality back into other parts of the stack. In this case, Optimize dashboards are being added to webMethods B2B trading partner management piece, which coincidentally is the piece around which the original webMethods was founded. [CBR View:] "Maintaining service levels is why the IT operations folks are buying into ITIL and related analytic tools and dashboards of their own. That's presumably the chasm that HP Software is attempting to bridge following its reverse acquisition of Mercury... But at this point, service levels to IT operations may cover parameters such as incident resolution response time or server availability. In some cases, there are attempts on the part of the HPs, BMCs, CAs, and IBM Tivolis of the world to extend that to business services... If you buy into what the SOA and ITIL-oriented vendors are promising, you may start seeing lots of parallel dashboards and parallel islands of service level management automation emerging, each covering their own domain or slice of the world."

See also: the announcement

BEA Upgrades Application Server with SOA, Web 2.0 Capabilities
Paul Krill, InfoWorld

BEA Systems will fit its Weblogic Server Java application server with improvements geared to Web 2.0, SOA and interoperability with Microsoft's .Net platform, the company said at the BEAWorld San Francisco conference on Wednesday. WebLogic Server 10.3 also features a new modular approach in which users can selectively download only components they want. The upgrade will be offered as a technology preview this fall with general availability set for next year. The application server's Web 2.0 capabilities are enabled through enhanced support for AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML). Specifically, a publish-and-subscribe engine within WebLogic Server will provide live updates to AJAX and Flex clients. In the SOA realm, WebLogic Server 10.3 backs SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) and improvements to the Java API for XML Web Services. Blake Connell, Director of Product Marketing for WebLogic Server: "The big point in SOA is support for SAML 2.0, which provides Web single sign-on. SAML enables people to sign on securely with a Web client and then have access to other systems without having to keep re-logging in. Java API for XML Web Services, meanwhile, is the specification used for writing Web services capabilities on top of the application server. To accommodate .Net applications, WebLogic Server 10.3 will feature a JMS (Java Message Service) C# client. With this component, users who have deployed .Net systems but want to standardize on JMS as a messaging backbone can do that. Leveraging BEA's microServices Architecture, version 10.3 allows for componentizing of WebLogic Server. For example, users could leave out the Java development kit or Enterprise JavaBeans and JMS capabilities if they do not need these."

Microsoft and Sun Support Each Other in Virtualized Environments
Mary Jo Foley, ZDNet Blog

Microsoft will support Solaris as a guest with its virtualization products, and Sun will do the same with Windows as a guest in Sun's virtualization offerings, the companies announced on September 12, 2007. Sun also announced that is now an official Windows Server OEM with its x64 server line, the companies said on Wednesday. The two will begin selling jointly Windows Server 2003 running on Sun hardware. In 2004, Sun and Microsoft announced Windows certification for Sun's Xeon servers and said that it expected to seek and obtain Windows certification for Sun's Opteron-based servers, as well. These announcements were all part of an extension of the Microsoft-Sun partnership agreement originally announced in 2004. Solaris already has built-in virtualization with Solaris. Microsoft is planning to add built-in virtualization to Windows Server with its Windows Server Virtualization ('Viridian') hypervisor. Microsoft will deliver a first test release (Community Technology Preview) of Viridian to Windows Server testers—most likely next week according to sources—as a built-in part of Windows Server 2008 Release Candidate (RC) 0. When Microsoft ships Windows Server 2008 in the first quarter of 2008, the product will include a beta version of Viridian... [Microsoft is] constructing an Interoperability Center on the Redmond campus that will be focused around Windows on Sun x64 systems, as well as on other "joint Sun/Microsoft solutions in areas such as databases, e-mail and messaging, virtualization, and Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) support in Sun Ray thin clients." Microsoft and Sun pledged to work together in other areas, including collaborate to advance the worldwide deployment of the Microsoft Mediaroom IPTV and multimedia platform on Sun server and storage systems. [Announcement says:] The Interoperability Center on Microsoft's Redmond campus "will include a demonstration area for Sun x64 systems, act as a working lab for Windows on Sun benchmarks and sales tools, and support customers running proofs of concept for projects focused on Windows on Sun x64 systems, including joint Sun/Microsoft solutions in areas such as databases, e-mail and messaging, virtualization, and Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) support in Sun Ray thin clients. The Interoperability Center will expand Sun's presence on the Microsoft main campus, adding to existing Sun systems showcased and customer-tested in the Microsoft Enterprise Engineering Center."

See also: the announcement

Nokia Revamps Mobile Map Service
Jeremy Kirk, InfoWorld

Nokia has added new features to its mobile mapping application, with a revamped user interface and a status indicator to alert users when they're connected to a GPS satellite. From the web site: "Nokia Maps needs either a built-in or external GPS receiver for real-time navigation or finding your location. Even without GPS you can use Nokia Maps to browse maps, locations, points of interest and to plan a route. If your mobile device has a built-in GPS receiver such as the Nokia N95, you are good to go as it is with Nokia Maps. You can also use Nokia Maps with an external GPS receiver. Bluetooth technology creates a wireless connection between the GPS receiver and your device. With Nokia Maps, there are free maps available for more than 150 countries, with navigation supported for over 30 countries. In order to get a satellite fix, you need to be outside with a clear view to the sky. With navigable maps, you can use the full range of navigation features, such as real-time tracking of your route and voice guidance. Routing: With Nokia Maps you can easily plan a route to your destination. Simply indicate your starting point, and your destination, and Nokia Maps will plot your course with easy-to-read directional arrows. More than 3000 city guides available for Nokia Maps. If you would like Nokia Maps to give you clear voice and visual guidance turn-by-turn, just upgrade your application with the extra voice-guided navigation service. Tagging lets you save the spot on your map as a landmark and then send it to your friends. Whether you are meeting up or recommending a restaurant, when you've found the desired place on the map you can send it quickly and easily, via MMS, SMS, email, Bluetooth or infrared."

See also: the Nokia Maps web site


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