The Cover PagesThe OASIS Cover Pages: The Online Resource for Markup Language Technologies
Advanced Search
Site Map
CP RSS Channel
Contact Us
Sponsoring CP
About Our Sponsors

Cover Stories
Articles & Papers
Press Releases

XML Query

XML Applications
General Apps
Government Apps
Academic Apps

Technology and Society
Tech Topics
Related Standards
Last modified: September 14, 2007
XML Daily Newslink. Friday, 14 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:

Axis, Axis2 and CXF: Surveying the WS Landscape
Bjorn Townsend, The

This article compares the Axis frameworks (1 and 2) with CXF, now under the Apache umbrella after having been retooled from its XFire and Celtix origins. Two new next-generation web services frameworks have been released in the last year and a half, both under the umbrella of the Apache Software Foundation. These frameworks are Apache Axis2, which hit 1.0 at the end of April, 2006 and is currently in the release candidate stage for version 1.3, and Apache CXF, which released version 2.0 in early July 2007. Both frameworks also evolved from existing projects. Axis2 came from the well-known Axis 1.x series. CXF is literally the offspring of the XFire and Celtix projects, as those two projects have pooled their codebases and development teams to give rise to CXF. The delta between the old projects and their new versions is significant in each case. Axis2 is a total rewrite of Axis from the ground up, using a new modular architecture that allows its functionality to be more easily extended. CXF has also been extensively retooled from its XFire and Celtix origins. The chief differences are as follows: (1) CXF has support for WS-Addressing, WS-Policy, WS-RM, WS-Security, and WS-I BasicProfile. Axis2 supports each of these except for WS-Policy, which will be supported in an upcoming version. (2) CXF was written with Spring in mind; Axis2 is not. (3) Axis2 supports a wider range of data bindings, including XMLBeans, JiBX, JaxMe and JaxBRI as well as its own native data binding, ADB. Note that support for JaxME and JaxBRI are still considered experimental in Axis2 1.2. CXF currently supports only JAXB and Aegis; support for XMLBeans, JiBX and Castor will come in CXF 2.1. (4) Axis2 supports multiple languages—there is a C/C++ version available in addition to the Java version. Whichever framework you choose, you'll have the benefit of an active and stable open source community. Each of these frameworks has corporate backing: Axis2 is backed by WSO2, and CXF by Iona. Both have lively developer communities.

Introduction to Voice XML Part 5: Voice XML Meets Web 2.0
Frank Coyle, InformIT

In this final Voice XML article installment the author takes a look at how voice can add a new rich dimension to your Web applications, especially those centered around XML. With Web 2.0 and mashups on the rise, adding Voice XML to the mix lets you pull and push Web-based information to your users wherever they may roam. JavaScript (ECMAScript) has been getting a lot of attention lately in the Web 2.0 zone as the key ingredient for doing client-side AJAX. The good news is that much of that JavaScript expertise can be leveraged in your Voice XML applications. One of the benefits of ECMAScript is that you can access Voice XML variables within ECMAScript. Elements that accept the 'expr' attribute can use arbitrary ECMAScript code to generate a value at runtime. And you can abstract your commonly used ECMAScript functions into functions or libraries to support reuse in your Voice XML pages. Some key things to note about JavaScript include the following: (1) Voice XML variables are equivalent to ECMAScript variables. Voice XML variables can be passed to JavaScript functions. Values returned from functions can be stored in Voice XML variables. (2) The expr attribute available with many tags can refer not only to Voice XML or ECMAScript variables but also can include ECMAScript function call expressions. (3) ECMAScript can be placed inline in the Voice XML document using the 'script' element, or scripts can be loaded from a URI. (4) ECMAScript functions follow the familiar scope hierarchy... Dynamic Voice XML takes us to a higher level, enabling us to create more robust and up-to-date applications by dynamically creating Voice XML using server data. To do dynamic Voice XML we need a server technology to trigger the conversion of data in a data repository to Voice XML. Server technologies capable of handling this include Java Servlets, Java Server Pages (JSPs), Active Server Pages (ASPs), PHP scripts and many other server-side scripting technologies. The basic idea is to use a program to extract data from a repository and generate a valid Voice XML document. While this might sound complex, involving setting up a relational database and writing code to extract and generate XML, [but] in XML-land and have at our disposal a variety of XML tools—one of the most powerful being XSLT, the XML transform language... The release of the Voice XML 2.0 standard has been instrumental in giving developers a cross-platform way not only to build stand-alone voice applications but also to integrate voice into a broad range of web service-based applications. Harnessing the speech recognition and text to speech technologies available from voice providers, Voice XML enables developers to build powerful voice-controlled apps by defining their own domain-specific grammars by writing their own application-specific JavaScript and by submitting data from Voice XML to server-side gateways that can establish connections with any other server or web service available across the Internet.

See also: Voice XML references

Taking Over the Reins: New OGF President Craig Lee
Staff, Grid Today

In this interview, new OGF president Craig Lee (Aerospace Corporation) discusses a variety of topics, ranging from what he thinks will be his key focuses and challenges during his tenure to the importance of working with other bodies and embracing new technology areas. Lee on grid computing and the Grid Forum: "I've seen this field evolve tremendously over the years. In grid computing, as in service-oriented architectures, utility computing, ubiquitous computing, etc., the key issue is the management of shared resources. For any of these technologies to be effective, there must be a critical mass of adoption in several key functional areas, such as catalogs and discovery, job submission, workflow management, resource virtualization and provisioning, and data management... Aligning with changes in the industry is a critical goal for OGF as an organization. We've led some of these changes, such as the HPC Profile and the use of JSDL. We've also influenced work in the wider community. The GLUE information model, for instance, was developed for grid entities and we are now working with the DMTF to harmonize with their Common Information Model. We've also adopted technology where necessary and appropriate, such as using WS-Security in the HPC Profile. Another example of alignment with the broader landscape is the recasting of the Open Grid Service Infrastructure (OGSI) to use the emerging Web services specifications... Achieving commercially available grid components and services will enable entirely new areas and applications for research, industry, commerce, government and society. Only a few years ago, the Internet was an academic and scientific domain. Now, billions of people use it for everyday activities. We want and expect grids to produce similar benefits for both industry and research... Service-oriented architectures, or simply service architectures, have a natural resonance with grids. The find-bind-use concept is native to both. Again, this is an instance of where different approaches and implementations have to be harmonized. The notion of service objects and data objects has a strong similarity to WSRF, which originated in GGF and then was sent through the OASIS process to get buy-in from the larger Web services community. OGF must forge alliances with other organizations such as the Open SOA Consortium to bring consensus to the marketplace... It's very interesting to note that half of all the registered Web 2.0 URLs are GoogleMaps-related. That is to say, they are geospatial in nature. It's probably no accident that Google is pushing Keyhole Markup Language (KML) through the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standardization process. Equally interesting, and certainly no accident, is that OGF is starting a collaboration with OGC to integrate its standard geospatial tools with grid-based, distributed resource management. To start with, we want to back-end their Web Processing Service (WPS) with grid computing resources to enable large-scale processing. The WPS could also be used as a front-end to interface to multiple grid infrastructures, such as TeraGrid, NAREGI, EGEE, and the United Kingdom's National Grid Service.

See also: Open Grid Forum

Building a Bridge: DITA, DocBook, and ODF
Eric Armstrong, Blog

Some folks here [at Sun Microsystems] are taking a very strong look at DITA. I'm certainly one of them. But we also have a huge legacy of documents in Solbook format (Sun's subset of DocBook). There are tools for editing such documents, and tools for processing them. and there are many people who are comfortable with those tools. So DITA isn't going to replace the world, just yet. But DITA makes extensive reuse possible. It's a format with a serious future, because "reuse" is a very big deal. It lets you single-source your information content so have one place to make an edit. That sort of thing becomes important when you have multiple revisions of a product, and/or multiple variations. It becomes important when different tools and different products use the same information in different ways. It can drastically improve quality, ensure uniformity of presentation. Finally, structured formats like DITA and DocBook create the kind of consistently-tagged information that allows for useful automation. So how do we bridge those two worlds? Fortunately, there are two sets of tools that make it possible: (1) DITA/DocBook/ODF Transforms, and (2) CMS Plugins... Flatirons Solutions currently has a set of transforms (the Document Interoperability Framework) that converts DITA to DocBook, and vice versa. They're available now. And they're working on a set that will convert those formats to the OASIS OpenOffice Data Format (ODF). The ODF transforms are pretty interesting. They would make it possible to edit DITA or DocBook documents in OpenOffice—an open source suite of tools that is available to everyone.

See also: DITA references

Extended XQuery for SOA
Dino Fancellu and Edmund Gimzewski,

In a services-oriented architecture (SOA), a business process is implemented as a web service that programs (orchestrates in SOA terminology) other web services. An orchestrator web service is usually coded in a language outside the XML domain (e.g., Java), and in this context XQuery is used only to query and transform data—not to orchestrate other web services. However, here we show how a few extensions to XQuery give it the additional role of web service orchestrator, allowing this XML-domain-specific language to implement all the steps in a complex SOA processes. This article explains the choice of extensions, outlines their implementation for a specific XQuery processor, and shows how extended XQuery was used to create web services to process complex financial data. While web services created in this way are usable within any SOA, they can also act as the highest-level orchestrators in what some authors refer to as SOA lite. The extensions applied here for XQuery work equally well for XSLT 2.0... SOA Lite refers to a SOA which has all services wrapped in web service interfaces and in which some web services are specially created for orchestration. Therefore, SOA lite need not implement the many so-called governance services, such as for security, discovery, and testing; neither would it involve using an engine to automatically generate the orchestrator web service from a BPEL document. However, SOA lite has the core features of a full SOA, and extended XQuery is ideally suited to create the orchestrator web services for it. We have extended XQuery to give it a new role as web service orchestrator, so that complex web services, involving validation and orchestration, can be implemented entirely in this XML-domain-specific language. Extended XQuery, as applied to the processing of structured finance deals, has greatly simplified the code engineering and given very good performance. We see extended XQuery as suitable for SOA lite or as part of any SOA. These extensions work identically for XSLT 2.0.

See also: W3C XML Query (XQuery)

Applying a BPM and SOA Approach to Achieve Agile Business Integration

BEA Arch2Arch White Paper This paper provides in-depth insights on best practices to align SOA with business processes through a business and IT aligned approach centered around the Atomic Business Service and a mediation layer to simplify service communications and management. Applying SOA to Business Integration delivers both flexibility and manageability. An ESB serves simultaneously as a backbone that bestows flexibility and as a gateway that promotes manageability. The business works top-down to figure out what business services it needs on the bus. IT works bottom-up from existing assets to put those business services on the bus. At run time, the bus provides the layer of indirection necessary for rapidly adapting the available services to the current needs. The ability to continuously monitor the flow of messages among services improves manageability. At development time, the bus provides a goal line that focuses everyone's efforts. The ability to measure the difference between which services are needed and which services are available also improves manageability. From the business perspective, SOA-based Business Integration starts with a defined business objective and its associated processes. Business Analysts use modeling tools to sketch or visualize the process flow. They move on to detailed process simulations and user interface prototyping to help refine the model down to a set of atomic business services. From the IT perspective, SOA-based Business Integration starts with existing assets and their capabilities. Developers convert existing assets into foundational services. Then they build up more and more sophisticated services, adding new ones where necessary, until they can compose the required atomic business services that support the business process... SOA can naturally leverage the enterprise service bus (ESB). It provides a layer of indirection between service requesters and providers. As a middleman, it can mediate quality-of-service and service communication needs. It inspects each message that flows between the service consumers and business services, applying all the appropriate priority, routing, transformation, and security policies. Moreover, it allows enterprise to seamlessly swap in alternative service implementations, transition from older to newer versions, rearrange the sequence of services in a process, enforce governance policies, and monitor service execution. With the ESB, Business services can now become as plug-and-play as the business requires.

See also: BEA Arch2Arch resources

SCO Goes Belly-Up
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, Linux-Watch

Years after it was first predicted, The SCO Group, a Unix and mobile software distributor better known for its Linux litigation, has filed a voluntary petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. SCO gave no reason for this decision. However, in recent months, the company had been slammed in the courts. First, the U.S. District Court ruled that Novell, not SCO, owned Unix's intellectual property. This knocked out the key props to many of SCO's other lawsuits. This decision also makes it likely that SCO owes at least some of the 26.5 million dollars it received from Sun and Microsoft in 2003. These funds had been used, in turn, to fuel SCO's anti-Linux litigation. On Sept. 17, the remaining issues in SCO vs. Novell were to be heard by the judge. All these issues touched upon how much money SCO would owe Novell from its Microsoft, Sun and any additional SCO-source license deals... Since Judge Dale Kimball has already shown himself to be persuaded by Novell's arguments, it seems likely SCO decided to protect its remaining assets before he could render a decision on just how much money SCO owed Novell. In its most recent public quarterly filing, April 30, SCO only had total assets of $19.8 million. Last, but not least, SCO's earnings have continued their decline. In addition, the company's stock sank below a dollar per share after the first Novell decision. After today's bankruptcy filing, SCO's shares sank still further—by 28 cents or 43 percent per share—to fall to 37 cents per share at the end of the market day.

See also: the SV-N analysis


XML Daily Newslink and Cover Pages are sponsored by:

BEA Systems, Inc.
IBM Corporation
Sun Microsystems, Inc.

XML Daily Newslink:
Newsletter Archive:
Newsletter subscribe:
Newsletter unsubscribe:
Newsletter help:
Cover Pages:

Hosted By
OASIS - Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards

Sponsored By

IBM Corporation
ISIS Papyrus
Microsoft Corporation
Oracle Corporation


XML Daily Newslink
Receive daily news updates from Managing Editor, Robin Cover.

 Newsletter Subscription
 Newsletter Archives
Globe Image

Document URI:  —  Legal stuff
Robin Cover, Editor: