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Last modified: September 29, 2008
XML Daily Newslink. Monday, 29 September 2008

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

This issue of XML Daily Newslink is sponsored by:

AtomServer: The Power of Publishing for Data Distribution
Chris Berry and Bryon Jacob, InfoQueue

Part One of this article series introduced AtomServer, an extensible open source framework for creating Atom Stores. Atom Stores are a new trend in data services architecture based on coupling the Atom Publishing Protocol with GData-style extensions. AtomServer evolved with a particularly client centric focus. This motivated the creation of several extensions to the AtomPub specification. The most notable of which are Auto-Tagging, Batching, and Aggregate Feeds. Categories are one of the most useful concepts in AtomPub. An Atom Category is essentially a name-value pair (in Atom these are called Scheme and Term), associated with an Atom Entry as additional metadata. This is a powerful concept because it enables clients to categorize data and apply new relationships as needed without manipulating the original data source. AtomServer maintains Category metadata on Entries automatically. It also provides a mechanism to perform full Boolean queries against these Categories (e.g. ANDs and ORs)... Atom Stores often contain multiple distinct Workspaces and/or Collections composed of interrelated data. For example, a company might have an Atom Store containing one Workspace with an Entry for each employee, and another Workspace containing meetings between sets of employees. The payroll department may want to pull a Feed of employees for paycheck processing and the building administrator needs to monitor meeting bookings. Both of these examples are cases of the simplest AtomPub Feeds... We built AtomServer on AtomPub because its RESTful design affords scalability and interoperability. Building on a standard allowed us to utilize the collective wisdom of the Atom community to tackle our problems. Looking to GData for inspiration, we also added several useful extensions, such as batching and optimistic concurrency. As we expanded our AtomServer usage, the need for additional features including Auto Tagging and Aggregate Feeds became apparent. Thanks to the extensible nature of Atom, these features were easy to add without threatening the interoperability with existing Atom clients. The power of Atom truly became apparent when we were able to add these powerful features without sacrificing the simple interaction we enjoy with most of our clients. It is the best of both worlds. Since its open source debut in May 2008, AtomServer has generated considerable interest. We're hoping that even more people will pick up AtomServer, use it, and tell us what it's missing.

See also: Atom references

The Oracle BPM Roadmap
Bruce Silver, BPMS Watch Blog

At Oracle Open World, industry analysts got a good look at Oracle's BPM strategy and roadmap in the wake of the BEA acquisition. Overall, my conclusion is Oracle is showing the rest of the world the right way to do software acquisitions. BPM is progressing along the path of 'interoperate, integrate, unify' that Oracle claims it tries to follow with all of its acquisitions. Before the BEA deal there was the Oracle BPM solution comprised of SOA Suite (in particular BPEL Process Manager) and BPA Suite (rebranded ARIS with a BPEL roundtripping extension), and there was BEA's AquaLogic BPM. For details on those, see my BPMS Report series on Now there is the Oracle BPM Suite, which includes both Oracle BPM (rebranded from ALBPM) and BPEL PM. They 'interoperate' in the sense that each can call the other as a subprocess. (Not a big deal, but Oracle did this in 100 days whereas WebSphere-FileNet took a year.) BPA Suite is still there, but more off to the side where it belongs; Oracle now calls it 'enterprise modeling.' More interesting is the plan for release 11g next year: unification of the BPMS platform. The BPM Suite offering gives you both BPEL PM and Oracle BPM. They have different design environments but common runtime engine. The executable design language for one is BPEL 2.0 and for the other is BPMN 2.0 (ported from XPDL). BPM Studio (i.e. the ALBPM design environment, fully BPMN-based) will run in JDeveloper (along with BPEL Process Designer), and JDev will be extended to support separate business and IT perspectives. Both BPM and BPEL PM will use the same human task service, based on WS-HumanTask and BPEL4People, and the same rule designer and engine (from SOA Suite).

See also: Oracle Business Process Management Suite

Information Cards Technology Headed Toward Standardization
John Fontana, Network World

Information Cards, the identity specification developed by Microsoft, is headed to a standards body that will work to ensure interoperability among implementations and adoption as a standard authentication method across the Internet. OASIS, which is known for hammering out Web services standards, has created the OASIS Identity Metasystem Interoperability (IMI) Technical Committee. The group is holding its first meeting on September 29, 2008 in London. This is the first effort to take the user-centric identity model championed by Microsoft and others such as Novell, Oracle and IBM and have it standardized for use across platforms and across the Internet. Microsoft's InfoCard technology and its user interface implementation called CardSpace presents users with an identity selector interface, basically a palette of secure identity cards, that can be used to authenticate to various Web sites or network resources such as applications or databases. It is all part of the company's Identity Metasystem that also includes back-end servers and gateways for exchanging cards and the data they contain. The OASIS group will focus on making sure implementations of the Information Cards technology, first introduced by Microsoft in 2005, are interoperable. It will not create an entirely new specification. The foundation of the IMI's work will be built around the Identity Selector Interoperability Profile from Microsoft, the Web Services Addressing Endpoint References and Identity specification from IBM and Microsoft, and the Open Source Identity Systems (OSIS) Feature Tests from Identity Commons. "Having things be real standards created by internationally recognized standards bodies is important for adoption in certain sectors such as government and telcos," says Mike Jones, director of identity partnerships for Microsoft and the author of the Identity Selector Interoperability Profile. Jones says the expectation is that other organizations such as the ITU would recommend the use of the IMI's eventual standard.

See also: IMI TC Advances Information Card Use

Intel, MuleForge Team Up for XML Tools
Staff, DDJ

Intel has announced a partnership with open source Enterprise Service Bus vendor MuleSource to integrate Intel's software library into Mule Xpack for Intel XML Software Suite 1.1, a set of instructions and Mule extensions that improve XML processing performance for SOA deployments. Mule Xpack for Intel XML Software Suite "is a set of instructions and Mule extensions that improve XML processing performance for SOA deployments. The Mule Xpack provides Mule integration support for the Intel XML Software Suite, which can be used to support three categories of XML operations: XML Parsing, XSLT Transformation, and XPath Evaluations. Intel XML Software Suite is a comprehensive high-performance software library providing APIs for C++ and Java on Linux and Windows operating systems, delivering maximum performance for XML processing on industry standard servers and application environments. Designed to take advantage of the Intel Core microarchitecture, Intel XML Software Suite provides thread safe and efficient memory utilization, scalable stream-to-stream processing, and large XML file processing capabilities."

See also: Mule Xpack for Intel XML Software Suite

Working with jQuery: Events, Attributes, and CSS
Michael Abernethy, IBM developerWorks

JQuery has grown rapidly in popularity over the past six months to become the JavaScript library of choice for Web developers. This is coinciding with a rapid growth in the use and need for Rich Internet Applications (RIAs), which look to replace desktop applications with browser-based applications. Everything from spreadsheets to payroll and e-mail applications are replicating the desktop experience in the browser. As these applications become more numerous and more complex, a JavaScript library will become ever more important as a solid foundation on which to build. JQuery appears to be that foundation of choice for developers. This series of articles explores jQuery in depth and provides a solid foundation from which any developer can build an RIA quickly and easily. looking at flashier functionality, and add some actual "richness" to your plain old Internet application so you can label the demonstration application an RIA. This article shows how jQuery handles events. Events are defined as mouse clicks, highlights, dragging, and so on. Note that these are not limited to just buttons and such, but can be made to handle a mouse click on any DIV, SPAN, and so on. It also discusses how to get and set attributes on the objects in the Web page. This includes how to get text from form elements, innerHTML from DIVs, and even how to figure out which classes are attached to which elements. The final section will discuss how to modify the CSS characteristics of the page elements, without reloading the page or adjusting an external stylesheet...The importance of JavaScript libraries like jQuery will continue to grow as applications are ported from the desktop to the browser. These applications will continue to become more and more complex, making a solid cross-browser foundation like jQuery a necessity in any Web application project. JQuery has begun to distance itself from other JavaScript libraries and is becoming the library of choice for many developers due to its ease of use and ability to do everything they need it to do.

See also: the JQuery Main Page

Now Available: GridShib for Globus Toolkit Version 0.6.1
Tom Scavo, GridShib Team Announcement

Members of GridShib, an NSF-funded project between NCSA and the University of Chicago, have announced the release of the Globus Toolkit Version 0.6.1. GridShib is integrating federated authorization infrastructure (Shibboleth) with Grid technology (the Globus Toolkit) to provide attribute-based authorization for distributed scientific communities. The goal of GridShib is to allow interoperability between the Globus Toolkit from the Globus Alliance with Shibboleth from Internet2. As a result, GridShib enables secure attribute sharing between Grid virtual organizations and higher-educational institutions. Globus Tookit is an open-source toolkit for grid computing; and Shibboleth is an open-source implementation of the SAML browser profiles. The open source Globus Toolkit is a fundamental enabling technology for the "Grid," letting people share computing power, databases, and other tools securely online across corporate, institutional, and geographic boundaries without sacrificing local autonomy. The toolkit includes software services and libraries for resource monitoring, discovery, and management, plus security and file management. In addition to being a central part of science and engineering projects that total nearly a half-billion dollars internationally, the Globus Toolkit is a substrate on which leading IT companies are building significant commercial Grid products. While this version of GridShib for GT is primarily a bug fix release, there is one new feature: a refactoring of the blacklisting framework that now permits the blacklisting of identity attributes (such as e-mail addresses) in addition to IP addresses and SAML name identifiers. Along with GridShib SAML Tools v0.5.0, version 0.6.1 of GridShib for GT will be included in a Capability Kit to supplement the Coordinated TeraGrid Software and Services (CTSS) stack. The GridShib SAML Tools bind arbitrary content to a non-critical extension of an X.509 proxy certificate. In particular, the SAML Tools issue or request SAML assertions and optionally bind these assertions to X.509 proxy certificates. Important features of the GridShib SAML Tools include: easy installation and flexible configuration; command-line interface with shell script wrappers—UNIX and Windows; multiple output options—SAML, X.509 proxy credential, DER-encoded ASN.1; includes GridShib Common, a Java API for portal developers; leverages the Globus SAML Library, an enhanced version of OpenSAML 1.1. This is the next step in a focused effort to deploy GridShib software at both the science gateways and resource providers throughout the TeraGrid. This work is funded by the NSF TeraGrid Grid Integration Group through a sub-award to NCSA.

See also: the GridShib Project web site

The Next Internet
Vint Cerf, with Editors Karen Wickre and Alan Eagle; Google Blog

"In the next decade, around 70% of the human population will have fixed or mobile access to the Internet at increasingly high speeds, up to gigabits per second. We can reliably expect that mobile devices will become a major component of the Internet, as will appliances and sensors of all kinds. Many of the things on the Internet, whether mobile or fixed, will know where they are, both geographically and logically. As you enter a hotel room, your mobile will be told its precise location including room number. When you turn your laptop on, it will learn this information as well--either from the mobile or from the room itself. It will be normal for devices, when activated, to discover what other devices are in the neighborhood, so your mobile will discover that it has a high resolution display available in what was once called a television set. If you wish, your mobile will remember where you have been and will keep track of RFID-labeled objects such as your briefcase, car keys and glasses. "Where are my glasses?" you will ask. "You were last within RFID reach of them while in the living room," your mobile or laptop will say... The Internet will also become more closely integrated with other parts of our daily lives, and it will change them accordingly. Power distribution grids, for example, will become a part of the Internet's information universe. We will be able to track and manage electrical power demand and our automobiles will participate in the generation as well as the consumption of electricity. By sharing information through the Internet about energy-consuming and energy-producing devices and systems, we will be able to make them more efficient. A box of washing machine soap will become part of a service as Internet-enabled washing machines are managed by Web-based services that can configure and activate your washing machine. Scientific measurements and experimental results will be blogged and automatically entered into common data archives to facilitate the distribution, sharing and reproduction of experimental results...

See also: Clint Boulton's response

Selected from the Cover Pages, by Robin Cover

EAS-CAP Industry Group Publishes Profile for the Common Alerting Protocol

Members of the EAS-CAP Industry Group (ECIG) have announced the release of initial draft text for EAS-CAP Industry Group EAS-CAP Profile Recommendation EAS-CAP-0.1 with an invititation for public comment. The Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) specification was approved as an OASIS Standard in October 2005 and as an ITU-T Recommendation X.1303 in 2007-09. On July 30, 2008, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced its intention to adopt an alerting protocol in line with CAP Version 1.1 as the standard for the Integrated Public Alert and Warnings System (IPAWS), during the first quarter of calendar year 2009. IPAWS is a network of alert systems through which FEMA is upgrading the existing Emergency Alert System (EAS). The EAS-CAP Industry Group was formed as a broad coalition of equipment, software and service providers in response to a July 2007 decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to maintain EAS and have all U.S. EAS participants adopt an ability to receive messages using the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) within 180 days after FEMA formally adopts CAP version 1.1 as a standard for EAS. Members of EAS-CAP Industry Group believe "the integration of this EAS-CAP profile into existing and planned systems will lay a foundation for migration to an upcoming FEMA CAP profile. Prior to the formation of the EAS-CAP Industry Group, numerous progressive companies were already involved in CAP messaging for EAS. However, each vendor used its own method for transporting the EAS parameters within a CAP message, raising the potential challenge of various EAS equipment and systems not being able to communicate with each other. The advent of this EAS-CAP profile will provide the basis for interoperability both among next generation EAS equipment and services, as well as between the EAS community and other communications channels." ECIG is providing the profile "as a recommendation to U.S. governmental agencies and industry associations on the use of CAP for EAS purposes, including the FCC, FEMA, National Weather Service, and other organizations.

See also: XML specifications for Emergency Management


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