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GlassFish Application Server Goes Enterprise
Paul Krill, InfoWorld
See also: the announcement
IBM Releases Office Desktop Software: IBM Lotus Symphony
Staff, IBM Announcement
As part of its investment in the next wave of collaboration technology, IBM has released IBM Lotus Symphony, a suite of free software tools for creating and sharing documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Beginning today, business, academic, governmental and consumer users alike can download this enterprise-grade office software, which is the same tool inside some of IBM's most popular collaboration products, such as the recently released Lotus Notes 8. In addition, these tools can be used to seamlessly extend a business process or custom application to create dynamic composite applications. There are three core applications that make up the Lotus Symphony tools: Lotus Symphony Documents, Lotus Symphony Spreadsheets and Lotus Symphony Presentations. These software tools are intuitive to use, support Windows and Linux desktops and are designed to handle the majority of office productivity tasks that workers typically perform. Lotus Symphony supports multiple file formats including Microsoft Office and Open Document Format (ODF), and also can output content in PDF format. Increasingly, users of productivity software are challenging the confines of the desktop. IBM Lotus Symphony provides a fresh, people-oriented way to create, contribute and reuse content instantly, across a wide range of applications. In addition, because it is based on ODF, Lotus Symphony allows organizations to access, use and maintain all their documents for the long-term, without worrying about ongoing software licensing and royalty fees. Last week, IBM announced its membership in OpenOffice.org and intent to make important technical and resource contributions. By teaming with the community to accelerate the rate of innovation in the office productivity marketplace, IBM expects this will improve its ability to deliver innovative value to users of IBM products and services. This will lead to an even broader range of solutions and ODF-supporting applications, such as ISO 26300, that draw from the OpenOffice.org technology.
See also: the FAQ document
Microsoft PowerPoint Challenged by Google and TransMedia
Thomas Claburn, InformationWeek
After months of internal testing, Google and TransMedia are ready to introduce online presentation tools: Google's Docs and Glide Presenter. On Monday evening, Google plans to launch its online presentation application, referred to internally as Presently, and TransMedia, the startup behind the Glide media sharing and storage service, said it will introduce its improved recipe for online presentations in the form of Glide Presenter 2.0. In the near term, Microsoft PowerPoint isn't going anywhere. In fact, it's arguable that the presentation apps from Google and TransMedia only add to PowerPoint's value since it's all about collaboration. Google's new presentation software completes Google Office, were the company to refer thus to its online productivity apps. In fact, the suite, previously referred to as 'Google Docs and Spreadsheets', is now called simply Google Docs. It consists of an online word processing application, an online spreadsheet application and, now, an online presentation application. Google has made inviting people to view a presentation and making the presentation exceedingly easy. Its presentation software is integrated with Gmail and Google Calendar, and it includes a group chat function based on Google Talk, but without the component that broadcasts presence information. Google's approach to presentations is uniquely democratic. The software allows any group member to follow the presenter or to become the presenter with a single click. TransMedia's Glide Presenter 2.0 outshines Google's offering in many ways. Though not quite as responsive or visually pleasing from a user-interface standpoint as Google's presentation tool, Glide Presenter 2.0 has been designed to work both on the Web and on a wide array of mobile phones, including Apple's iPhone. Glide Presenter 2.0 can play video and music files in a presentation. Google's presentation software can't do that yet.
ebMS Version 3 Tested for B2B in the Automotive Industry
Jacques Durand, Blog
The Inventory Visibility Test Framework (IVTF) team, from the Inventory Visibility and Interoperability (IV&I) pilot project sponsored by AIAG (Automotive Industry Action Group), reported at Autotech-07 on its recent achievements in using SOAP-based protocols and OAGIS XML documents for an inventory MinMax scenario involving several parties. Among the team participants, Fujitsu and Axway have demonstrated a MinMax exchange using message handlers implementing the recent ebXML Messaging Service V3 (ebMS V3) specification. Among the features demonstrated, new in Version 3 are: (1) Message pulling for light partners without static IP addresses or with limited connectivity; (2) The ability for an ebMS V3 gateway to interact with internally-deployed Web services, allowing remote partners to focus on business payloads while ignoring interface definition details. The accessed inventory Web services were hosted by Ford and Sun Microsystems. In the past, ebMS V2 had been successfully deployed in the Automotive industry (GeneralMotors, Volkswagen), and has been profiled for automotive retail (STAR) in US. Version 3 of ebMS will make it easier to integrate in SOA environments, while supporting messaging functions originally found in M.O.Ms for accommodating diverse messaging styles and scalability requirements.
See also: the slide presentation
The Extensible Neuroimaging Archive Toolkit
D. Marcus, , T. Olsen, M. Ramaratnam, R. Buckner; Neuroinformatics
The Extensible Neuroimaging Archive Toolkit (XNAT) is a software platform designed to facilitate common management and productivity tasks for neuroimaging and associated data. In particular, XNAT enables qualitycontrol procedures and provides secure access to and storage of data. XNAT follows a three-tiered architecture that includes a data archive, user interface, and middleware engine. The XNAT framework relies heavily on XML and XML Schema for its data representation, security system, and generation of user interface content. XML provides a powerful tool for building extensible data models. This extensibility is particularly important in rapidly advancing fields like neuroimaging, where the managed data types are likely to change and evolve quickly. XML Schema has become the standard language for defining open and extensible XML data formats. As a result, many biomedical organizations have developed or are currently developing standards in XML. XNAT uses a hybrid storage architecture that leverages the strengths of XML, relational databases, and standard file systems. Data stored by XNAT are modeled in XML using XML Schema. From the XSDs supplied by a site, XNAT generates a corresponding relational database that actually stores all of the nonimage data. XNAT automatically imports and exports compliant XML to and from the generated database. Image data remain as flat files in their native format (e.g., DICOM) on the file system. These files are represented as URI links in the database and XML. This hybrid XML/relational/file system architecture has a number of advantages. By building on a data model in the XML domain, the XNAT platform is able to generate a great deal of content from the known structure of XML documents and XNAT sites can easily utilize the growing set of XML-based services and technologies. By storing the text and numeric data in a relational database, the typical drawbacks of XML data representations—inefficient storage and querying—are avoided. By storing the image data in flat files, the cumbersome nature of binary types in XML and databases is avoided and the images can be directly accessed by users and applications.
See also: the XNAT project web site
SIMILE: Rich Internet Collections
Deirdre Blake, DDJ
David Karger is a professor at MIT and a Principal Investigator on the Simile Project, an effort that seeks to enhance interoperability among digital assets, schemata/vocabularies/ontologies, metadata, and services. DDJ editors talked to Professor Karger recently about the project. Karger, from the interview: "SIMILE is a collaboration between the MIT Libraries, the World Wide Web Consortium, and my Haystack research group. We're working on tools to help individuals, communities, and institutions create and utilize rich information collections. We make substantial use of 'Semantic Web' standards to ease data integration, although we are careful to keep them encapsulated inside the system where they won't disturb our users. Collections attempt to bring order to some portion of the information universe. What makes them useful is that they tend to have meaningful structure, and their applications can exploit that structure to help you use the collections. Movies have release years, actors, writers, and producers, and you can navigate IMDB effectively using these properties. Prices, authors, and subjects help you navigate books at Amazon. Sensor sizes, ISO options, and battery life help you explore cameras. Tags organize Flickr and Delicious. But at every scale, it is harder to create, maintain, and utilize these collections than it should be... One of the tools we're currently working on is called 'Exhibit.' This is a tool that lets anyone take a collection of anything they care about and put it on the web as a rich, interactive, web-2.0 style site without doing any programming. All you do is put up a file containing your collection and a web page describing how you want it to look. The result may be pretty much what you'd expect of a web 2.0 site these day—until you realize that it avoids the whole team of database engineers and 3-tier web application developers, and lets you do it all yourself... While the Web has made it much easier for people to contribute textual information through tools like blogs and wikis, it's still not really possible for the lay person to contribute rich structured information collections. We think our tools can dramatically lower the barriers for a broader group of contributors to share the rich structured content they know.
See also: the SIMILE project web site
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