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Last modified: October 04, 2007
XML Daily Newslink. Thursday, 04 October 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 Forms New Policy Languages Interest Group
Staff, W3C Announcement

W3C has announced the launch of a new the Policy Languages Interest Group (PLING) as part of the the Privacy Activity. The Interest Group is chaired by Marco Casassa-Mont (HP Labs) and Renato Iannella (NICTA). The Interest Group is chartered through June 30, 2008 as a a forum for discussion of interoperability questions that arise when different policy languages are used in integrated use cases, along with related requirements and needs. Participation to the Policy Languages Interest Group is open to the public; any person or organization interested in the design and application of policy languages is eligible to participate, and may join the mailing list. The Policy Languages Interest Group is designed as a forum to support researchers, developers, solution providers, and users of policy languages such as XACML (Extensible Access Control Markup Language), the IETF's Common Policy framework and related work, and P3P (W3C's Platform for Privacy Preferences Project). It provides a forum to enable broader collaboration, through use of email discussion, scheduled IRC topic chats, Wikis, and Weblog tools. The group will primarily focus on policy languages that are already specified and broadly address the privacy, access control, and obligation management areas. The Interest Group will work towards identifying obstacles to a joint deployment of such languages, and suggest requirements and technological enablers that may help overcome such obstacles. The Interest Group hosts discussions both of architectural and application interest; it will, in particular, consider use cases in the compliance, privacy, access control, identity management and obligation management areas, with specific attention to diverse user-led and entreprise-led policy requirements. The group may explore the use of relevant technologies toward delivering interoperability frameworks for policy languages. Relevant technologies include Semantic Web technologies, the work of the W3C Rule Interchange Working Group, and advanced policy negotiation and evaluation frameworks.

See also: W3C Policy Languages Interest Group Charter

SAP Enhances NetWeaver BPM Capabilities
Jeff Moad, Managing Automation News

SAP AG has unveiled enhancements to its NetWeaver services-oriented technology stack that improve the platform's business process management capabilities. The new platform, NetWeaver 7.1, was introduced to customers and development partners at SAP's annual TechEd conference in Las Vegas. The enhancements give users of SAP's Business Suite enterprise applications the same SOA features that underlie SAP's recently announced Business ByDesign on-demand offering for small and mid-sized companies. The most significant new feature in NetWeaver 7.1 is NetWeaver Process Integration; the new Process Integration feature also supports higher throughput and industry standards, such as Web Services Reliable Messaging (WSRM). Available now as part of NetWeaver 7.1 are two other previously announced features: the Enterprise Services Repository and the Composition Environment. The Services Repository will allow customers and partners to store, manage, and govern services, business processes, and business object models that, increasingly, are strung together to make up SAP's enterprise applications. The Enterprise Services Repository features a services registry that complies with the UDDI 3.0 standard. The new 7.1 release of NetWeaver also includes what SAP calls the Composition Environment, a set of development tools that allow SAP users and partners to build services-oriented applications using services, business process, and business object definitions stored in and managed by the Enterprise Services Repository. The Composition Environment is based on Java—specifically Java Platform Enterprise Edition 5. It also integrates with development tools based on the Eclipse open source platform. NetWeaver is a collection of service-oriented products and technologies that SAP is using to transition its enterprise systems into model-based, service-enabled composite applications. Increasingly SAP has been adding features that let NetWeaver define, manage, and monitor end-to-end business processes. In a press conference at TechEd, SAP Executive Board Member Peter Zencke said 18,000 customers have now deployed NetWeaver and that SAP's revenue from NetWeaver products grew by 50% in the first half of 2007 compared with the same period last year.

See also: the announcement

Service Component Architecture (SCA) Interview
Mark Little et al, InfoQ

Many people will have heard about SCA since it first came into the public light back in 2005. Although many analysts saw SCA as a good thing, not all comments were good. Most notably was the fact that it appeared to be yet another series of specifications developed behind closed doors and kept away from a standards body. However, in 2007 that changed when SCA was donated to OASIS and the OpenCSA group was formed, containing several technical committees charged with standardizing the different aspects of SCA. In September, the first face-to-face meetings of those committees were held, alongside the OpenCSA Plenary. InfoQ managed to get some time with various members of the SCA/OpenCSA working groups to ask them some questions. In this interview we talked to Mike Edwards (IBM), Steve Jones (CapGemini), David Burke (TIBCO), Sanjay Patil (SAP) and Michael Rowley (BEA). Excerpt, answers to InfoQ "Why is your company interested in SCA?" (1) DB: In looking forward to its next generation of products, TIBCO found that internal proprietary approaches were starting to look a lot like some of the key concepts in SCA. Once we realized that, it made much more sense for us to go down the path of working with others to develop a set of standard. (2) MR: BEA believes that the industry is moving away from pure Java server-side applications to a model where applications are built out of a variety of higher-level technologies, such as BPEL, data integration technologies, XPDL, ESB pipelines, etc. We also believe that users want the composite services that bring these technologies together to be specified declaratively, in XML, rather than through APIs and programming. However, there will still be many critical leaf-level services created in Java. SCA makes it possible to create and deploy these mixed-technology applications in a standard way. (3) ME: We believe that SCA is an important building block in the use of SOA to build business applications. It will make SOA more consumable and it will create a common pool of skills that companies can draw on to build their systems. (4) Sanjay Patil: We would like to second that and would like to add that we believe that SCA provides a framework suitable for integration with existing runtime and deployment technologies such as Java EE and OSGi. (5) SJ: We build and support a huge amount of systems for our clients, this helps us do it better. We were involved with IBM on the first beta release of SCA and we are using it commercially with clients today, its a strong approach and fits well with our business driven view of SOA.

See also: the OASIS Open CSA Member Section

Sun ODF Plugin 1.1 for Microsoft Office Available Now
Malte Timmermann, Blog

The newest version of our ODF Plugin for Microsoft Office is available; you can find it [online]. We have fixed the installation problem that occurred on some systems, and have made many improvements to the filters. The biggest difference compared to 1.0 is that we have support for different languages now! It's still just one package to download and install, but the Plugin will detect the languages from your MS Office and your Windows installation. When support for that language is available, the Plugin UI within MS Office will use you current MS Office language, while the menus and dialogs in the system tray use the language from your operating system. If your language is not supported, the fall back is English. Reasons [to support this]? "Ease migration path to ODF: people can change office suite later; Windows Assistive Technology works only well with MS Office, so companies can switch to ODF, but at least some people stay with MS Office." From the description: "The Sun ODF Plugin for Microsoft Office allows users of Microsoft Office to read, edit and save to the Open Document Format (ODF). The new version (1.1) adds more languages and improves the import and export of ODF files into Microsoft Office, increasing the interoperability of the Plugin. The plugin works with Microsoft Office 2003, Microsoft Office XP and even Microsoft Office 2000. Support for Microsoft Office 2007 is planned for one of the next releases. The plugin is based on StarOffice technology and is easy to setup and use, the conversion happens transparently and the additional memory footprint is minimal. The ODF Plugin seamlessly integrates with the Load and Save As dialog and the Save (Ctrl+S) shortcut of Microsoft Office Word. A new toolbar in Microsoft Office Excel and Microsoft Office Powerpoint simplifies the import and export of ODF documents.

See also: the source

Corel Announces Support for ODF and OOXML in WordPerfect Office Beta
Staff, Corel Corporation Announcement

Corel Corporation has announced a new beta version of Corel WordPerfect Office that supports both the Open Document Format (ODF) and Microsoft Office Open XML (OOXML), the default file format for Microsoft Office 2007. The new beta will allow users to open, view and edit ODF and OOXML files and uniquely positions Corel as the industry's format-neutral vendor of productivity software. The free beta will allow customers to test WordPerfect Office's ODF and OOXML capabilities and evaluate which of these emerging standards best meets their needs. The introduction of ODF and OOXML support in the new WordPerfect Office XML Format Beta is the latest example of Corel's long standing commitment to multi-format compatibility. In addition to ODF and OOXML, the Beta supports Microsoft Office binary formats, Adobe's PDF, Corel's own WordPerfect Office formats and over 60 others. It also includes an integrated XML Editor capable of creating custom XML publishing solutions. Corel backs the multi-format support of WordPerfect Office with a full range of conversion and consulting services delivered through its Professional Services group. Information on the company's free document conversion assessments are available online. Known worldwide as a full-featured and value-priced alternative to Microsoft Office, WordPerfect Office works with screen-reading and other accessibility technologies called for under Section 508 of the United States Rehabilitation Act. Support for ODF combined with such accessibility capabilities positions WordPerfect Office to help foster ODF's broader adoption in public sector organizations, where accessibility is a key requirement.

See also: the product description

Browser Extensions Using XUL: Firefox Browser Extension With UI Features
Uche Ogbuji, IBM developerWorks

The Mozilla project's XUL engine is a user-interface language that you can use to extend Mozilla browsers, or to build stand-alone applications. XUL is a surprisingly easy way to build cross-platform browser extensions. This article puts together the basic pieces you'll need to create most extensions with user-interface features: XUL, CSS, JavaScript, and DOM. The Mozilla project team very early decided that it would standardize core development in C++, but that it would create a component system, XPCOM (Cross Platform Component Object Model), for sharing core and extension functionality across platforms. It also developed a means of designing user interfaces for such components in a platform-neutral language it called XUL (XML User Interface Language), pronounced "zool". A companion language, XBL (Extensible Bindings Language), is used to control dynamic behavior of XUL elements. XUL and XBL are powerful enough to develop a full browser or other full, cross-platform applications based on Mozilla components, but for most developers XUL is used more modestly to extend or manipulate the user interface of an existing browser or other application—a use case for which XUL was carefully designed. This is most often the case when you are developing a browser extension, and the most attractive target for most Mozilla browser extensions is Firefox, Mozilla's very popular stand-alone browser. Firefox is built in XUL and JavaScript. One of the great things about XUL is that Mozilla browsers treat it, for the most part, like any other Web content. This means you can rapidly try things out and deploy things during the development phase, before worrying about proper packaging into applications or full extensions. XUL has a wealth of UI elements and each one has a wealth of attributes and properties, adding up to a generous toolbox for building applications and extensions. Loading XUL directly into the browser is a handy way to rapidly prototype and storyboard XUL applications, but once you start manipulating things with script you may run into unpredictable difficulty. Luckily you have the option of XULRunner, a stand-alone tool created by Mozilla developers. XULRunner can run XUL files outside of any browser, thus avoiding the stringent security model. It's definitely a developer's tool, and can be a pain to get working, especially on some platforms, but it's an important option for developing and deploying XUL projects.

See also: the XUL Tutorial

Government Open Source Conference to Feature Open Document Debate
Staff, Government Technology News Report

This year's Government Open Source Conference (GOSCON) to be held October 15-16 [2007] in Portland, Oregon, will close with panelists from Microsoft, Sun, IBM, and the OpenDocument Foundation weighing in on Open Document Formats. The Executive Panel on Open Document Formats, moderated by Andy Stein, director of information technology at the city of Newport News, VA., will focus on how the user community can get involved in this issue, have influence over its outcome and knowledge for implementations. Panelists are expected to address the practical differences between competing standards OOXML, ODF and CDF to determine which one(s) truly provide a single file format that is open, universally interoperable and application- and platform-independent. About half of the session will be set aside for audience questions, providing an opportunity for GOSCON attendees to gain direct access to the debate. Deb Bryant, GOSCON director and former Oregon deputy state CIO: "Open documents are critical to successful open-source deployments across federal, state and local governments and we're happy to again provide the venue for open dialog on this critical topic." The theme for this year's GOSCON event is "Open Standards and Interoperability." Document accessibility, interoperability and longevity are core components of government service. The maintenance and exchange of the most important records such as certificates of birth, marriage and death, taxes, licenses, deeds, laws, regulations, codes and rules -- as well as their role in business processes—are the responsibility of IT officers around the globe. It is increasingly expected that these officers provide public access to these documents, bringing more stringent requirements for the longevity and interoperability of records that are going digital.


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