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Last modified: April 23, 2008
XML Daily Newslink. Wednesday, 23 April 2008

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

This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:
Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Internet2 Community Releases Shibboleth Version 2.0
Staff, Internet2 Initiative Announcement

Internet2 announced that it has released Shibboleth 2.0, the latest major version of the most widely-deployed federated authentication implementation. Developed by the Internet2 community and its partners around the world, the latest release greatly enhances several key elements of Shibboleth in an effort to ensure interoperability with other commercial and open-source federated identity solutions; to improve personalization and security; as well as to ease installation, management and operation processes. The goal is to provide a more robust and interoperable platform that will help catalyze the worldwide growth of higher education and research federations like the InCommon Federation which serves the U.S. higher education sector and provides a framework for participating organizations to collaborate and share resources using Shibboleth technology... Shibboleth 2.0 adds an open source implementation of the OASIS SAML 2.0 standard to the suite of protocol implementations available in previous releases. The software provides a secure, single-sign on mechanism for institutions to enable their users to access protected online resources within their campuses and from their external service provider partners while at the same time protecting individual user privacy. Shibboleth leverages an institution's login and directory systems to authenticate users at their home institution (or "identity provider") and then passes only the relevant information, or "attributes," to the service provider to enable the user access to its online resources. Attributes can include a wide range of information that characterize the user, e.g. identity, permissions at the service provider, employee or student status at the university, class enrollment, age, graduating class, etc. The service provider and institution make agreements on which attributes are needed to make that user eligible to access specific resources. Shibboleth 2.0 enhances the ability for identity providers to use and manage "anonymous identifiers" to protect user privacy but still allow for personalization. The identity provider assigns a persistent unique identifier to a specific user which allows service providers to tailor and improve services based on the needs of that user without knowing their specific identity. For instance, a medical student searching for articles on a specific disease or treatment via an online medical journal could save his or her searches using the anonymous identifier and then build on their research over time. For the user, this is a transparent process; no knowledge of the identifier is needed...

See also: SAML references

Device Description Repository Core Vocabulary
Jo Rabin, Andrea Trasatti, Rotan Hanrahan (eds), W3C Technical Report

Members of the W3C Mobile Web Initiative Device Description Working Group have published a Group Note for "Device Description Repository Core Vocabulary." This document identifies properties that are considered essential for adaptation of content in the Mobile Web. Its intended use is to define a baseline Vocabulary for Device Description Repository (DDR) implementations. The Vocabulary defined in this document is not intended to represent an exhaustive set of properties for content adaptation. DDR Implementations that require additional properties are free to make use of additional vocabularies. The process of creating a new Vocabulary can be modeled on the process described in this document. The Property identifiers in this Vocabulary are associated with the namespace ''; the enumerations described in the document contain initial values that should be supported by all implementations of the Core Vocabulary and which may be supplemented by further DDR specific values. Named 'Properties' for the DDR Core Vocabulary in this Note include Vendor; Model; Version; Display Width; Display Height; Display Color Depth; Input Devices; Markup Support; Stylesheet Support; Image Format Support; Input Mode Support; Cookie Support; and Script Support.

See also: the W3C Mobile Web Initiative

Public Review Draft for OASIS UBL 2.0 Errata Document
Staff, OASIS Announcement

OASIS announced a 15-day review period for the specification "UBL 2.0 Errata 01, Public Review Draft 01," ending 2008-05-08. The Universal Business Language v2.0 was approved as an OASIS Standard in December 2006. UBL defines a generic XML interchange format for business documents that can be extended to meet the requirements of particular industries. Specifically, UBL provides: (1) A library of XML schemas for reusable data components such as 'Address,' 'Item,' and 'Payment'—the common data elements of everyday business documents. (2) A set of XML schemas for common business documents such as 'Order,' 'Despatch Advice,' and 'Invoice' that are constructed from the UBL library components and can be used in generic procurement and transportation contexts. The UBL 2.0 Update Package provides UBL 2.0 users with an upgrade to the December 2006 UBL 2.0 release. Specifically, it corrects a number of typos and editorial errors in the documentary portions of the UBL 2.0 schemas and data models; fixes a broken entry for BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA in the file 'cl/gc/default/CountryIdentificationCode-2.0.gc''; upgrades all the code list files from genericode 0.4 format to genericode 1.0 format and updates the listURI in the Qualified Datatype spreadsheet and schemas accordingly; revises 'cl/gc/special-purpose/PortCode-2.0.gc' to add additional columns and breaks out subsets of that code list into smaller files for ease of implementation; replaces the original 'val/defaultCodeList.xsl' with a version that reflects the revised code lists. None of these changes is considered substantive in the sense that any of them would require modifications to existing software. The UBL 2.0 Update Package is provided as a single zip file, together with instructions for use in a new or existing installation.

See also: the OASIS Universal Business Language (UBL) TC

ROI by the Ton: Going Green with SOA, EDA, RIA and Web 2.0
David A. Chappell, O'Reilly Articles

I would like to tell you about a concrete example in an exciting account of one of Oracle's customers, Verizon Wireless, who is in the process of going green by rewriting their fraud detection application using SOA, EDA, and Web 2.0, and as a result plan to eliminate 6 tons of hardware from their datacenter, and reduce power consumption by 99.5% from 200 kW/h down to 1100 W/h. From a software and architecture perspective, this is an exciting story about how Verizon Wireless is building a new Fraud Detection application which uses Event-Driven Architecture (EDA), BPEL process management, a business rules engine together with a Web 2.0 style Flash/Flex UI to build what would be referred to in financial services as a straight-through processing application. In the process of doing this, they are dramatically reducing the amount of code that has been written, and the amount of data that needs to be stored locally. As such, they plan to eliminate 6 E-class Sun boxes using ~192 processors and replace them with a single 8 core processor on a Sun UltraSPARC T1 using the Niagara chip architecture... here is the basic outline of the new application structure: (1) Data coming from the switches is analyzed and checked for business exceptions. Examples of business exceptions include detection of excessive data thresholds, which could be an indicator of a customer using their laptop to run a streaming video website, or the practice of phone cloning to make phone calls using someone else's account, or more ambitious fraud such as masquerading as a third party roaming partner and attempting to charge back to Verizon -- this is the EDA part of the architecture. (2) When such an exception is detected, an event is generated and sent to a BPEL process. The BPEL process invokes a number of services, which includes going out directly to the source of the call detail records to get the information necessary to enrich the event data. It is then fed into a rules engine to check for violations, make decisions based on policy, and then on to generate more detailed reports—this is the SOA part of it. (3) The supporting SOA technologies involved include BPEL, a rules engine with a service oriented interface, and reliable messaging. (4) The UI interface is RIA/Flex based, and runs mostly in the browser—this is the RIA/Web 2.0 part of it...

Build Custom Templates for Your Data-Driven Web Sites
Ken Ramirez, IBM developerWorks

This article demonstrates why you should use data-driven techniques for your own Web sites. It discusses the concepts behind writing clean, optimized, and strict code with particular attention to using these techniques in the development of templates for Web sites. Most developers feel comfortable writing the middle-tier and database code but loathe dealing with front-end formatting, tables, and the list of tags, attributes, and styles that come along when dealing with HTML and its handsome cousin, CSS. Even if you manage to tango with HTML at a successful level, most Web sites are entirely rewritten each time they need a new look and feel. To re-skin the site, however, is just too expensive and confusing most of the time—especially if the site's code has sat untouched for a while. To make matters worse, with the advent of Web 2.0, many developers are confused about the proper approach to development. We know that part of the equation should be to think ahead (providing a solid design and architecture), but quality is usually compromised because of budget and deadline concerns. Unless you or your clients aren't concerned about having to redo the Web site from scratch the next time the site's appearance must be upgraded, you'll need to ensure that the code is clean, optimized, and uses strict coding techniques on the front end to build solid foundations that lend themselves to Web 2.0, including Asynchronous JavaScript + XML (Ajax). Additionally, making content changes would be easier if you develop a Web site that has a data-driven component to it—one for which you can modify the content of the Web site using a Web-based approach rather than having to modify the actual pages themselves each time you want to augment the site's content. This article discusses these concepts as well as problem resolution. Adding a data-driven element to this formula makes your Web sites even more flexible, allowing non-technical personnel or the Web site's owner to make content (both text and graphics) changes to the site.

Sun Gears JavaFX for Consumer Move
Paul Krill, InfoWorld

JavaOne show will spotlight Sun's plans to expand the JavaFX platform to enable development of consumer applications. JavaFX, introduced by Sun last year as a Java-based platform for building visually oriented applications, will be leveraged in the growing consumer application space. JavaFX technologies currently are available only in pre-release forms, but Sun already has big plans to expand the platform to enable development of consumer applications including productivity systems, games, and social applications similar to Facebook. Already featuring a scripting element called JavaFX Script, JavaFX also will include extensions called profiles, which enable applications to be tuned to specific varieties of systems. The first of these will be called JavaFX Desktop, for desktop systems. JavaFX Script uses a declarative syntax for specifying GUI components, so a developer's code closely matches the actual layout of the GUI. Through declarative databinding and incremental evaluation, JavaFX Script enables developers to create and configure individual components by automatically synchronizing application data and GUI components. It works with all major IDEs, including NetBeans, which is the reference implementation IDE for Java development. Unlike many other Java scripting languages, JavaFX Script is statically typed and has most of the same code structuring, reuse, and encapsulation features that make it possible to create and maintain very large programs in Java. Also planned are the previously announced JavaFX Mobile, for mobile applications, as well as profiles for set-top boxes, smart phones, and feature phones, which offer more limited capabilities than smart phones. JavaFX Mobile is a complete, pre-integrated software system for advanced mobile devices designed to enable developers to author rich, high-impact content and network-based services. Built around open and standards-based technologies, JavaFX Mobile enables control and flexibility for the mobile ecosystem. The Sun-backed NetBeans open source tools platform will serve as the basis for building JavaFX applications, but additional tools will be added as supplements. Capabilities for application designers will be included in the mix. Sun's consumer ecosystem partners for Java include traditional Java developers, content/media-oriented developers, worldwide operators, advertisers, and consumers. Sun officials noted that Java already is on billions of phones.

Intel Moves Into Mashups
Kenneth Corbin,

Intel will release its first mashup product at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco. The chipmaker is betting that its approach will stand out in a burgeoning market for mashups. Intel Mash Maker ("Mashups for the Masses") allows you to build mashups on-the-fly—combine content from multiple sources such as web content, videos, maps, RSS feeds, photos, and display in one place. Intel's Mash Maker is a client-side browser extension that allows users to augment the Web pages they're viewing in real-time with widgets that display data drawn from other sources. This enables a person planning a party, for instance, to view the locations of their Facebook friends plotted on a map powered by Google. Robert Ennals, a senior researcher with Intel and architect of the Mash Maker: "The basic idea of Mash Maker is to make the Web look like you want; Mash Maker is not creating new Web sites at all; we're creating new ways of viewing the same sites." Mashups are fast emerging as a signature feature of the Web 2.0 phenomenon in which people expect more control over their Web experience. Whereas many existing mashup applications are geared for enterprise use, or offer a stock set of premade mashups created by a handful of developers, Intel's product is built for limitless customization. It is also trainable, Ennals said, so it can generate recommendations about what applications might be most useful for certain users. Intel is rolling out the browser extension with support for Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 3. The researchers have been testing the product in a closed preview for about six months. Intel developed and tested the Firefox version first, so as released today, the Internet Explorer version is less polished, but it has the same functionalities, Ennals said. The Mash Maker can build mashups based on a semantic understanding of the information on a Web page collected using an extractor tool. The product that will be available as a free download today has mashups based on more than 1,000 sites, a list that Klaus said roughly corresponds with the most heavily trafficked destinations on the Web.

See also: the Intel web site


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