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Last modified: November 11, 2004
XML Industry News: 2004 Q3

XML News

This XML Industry News section consists mainly of links to company press releases announcing support for XML/XSL/XLink/XQuery etc. Other documents with reference collections:

Major articles on XML in the trade magazines, as well as the more substantive refereed articles on XML in technical publications, are listed in the dedicated database sections: Current XML Surveys and Overview Articles

Search: [Indexed Search]

  • [September 30, 2004] "First Legal Recommendation on E-Voting Adopted by Council of Europe Committee of Ministers." - "The Council of Europe Committee of Ministers today agreed the first international legal text on e-voting in elections and referendums. The recommendation sets out a blueprint for governments planning to use new technologies for future elections and referendums. It is based on experience gathered by the Council of Europe through pilot projects in several member states and know-how collected from legal and technical experts from nearly all 45 member states. The legal and technical guidelines of the Council of Europe indicate how to build, run and supervise e-voting systems to ensure that results are as reliable as those delivered by traditional paper-based methods. The Council's recommendation emphasises the need for new voting methods to meet the principles of universal and equal suffrage, free and secret ballots and for the systems to be secure, transparent and accountable. It covers issues such as electoral lists, information to voters and vote counting..." Note: the text of the Recommendation specifies that the OASIS Election Markup Language (EML) be used when possible: "Open standards shall be used to ensure that the various technical components or services of an e-voting system, possibly derived from a variety of sources, interoperate. At present, the Election Markup Language (EML) standard is such an open standard and in order to guarantee interoperability, EML shall be used whenever possible for e-election and e-referendum applications. The decision of when to adopt EML is a matter for member states. The EML standard valid at the time of adoption of this recommendation, and supporting documentation are available on the Council of Europe website. In cases which imply specific election or referendum data requirements, a localisation procedure shall be used to accommodate these needs. This would allow for extending or restricting the information to be provided, whilst still remaining compatible with the generic version of EML. The recommended procedure is to use structured schema languages and pattern languages..." See details in the news story "Election Markup Language (EML) Recommended to Member States by Council of Europe."

  • [September 30, 2004] "The Open Applications Group (OAGi) Ships Web Services Description Language (WSDL) Files. WSDL Files to Complement the Largest Open Standards XML Business Vocabulary in the World, OAGIS." - "OAGi, the open standards group that builds OAGIS, the richest and most widely implemented XML business language standard in the world, recently made a complete library of WSDL files that can be used with OAGIS for deployment in a Web services environment available as a free download on its web site. Web Services Definition Language, or WSDL, is a key piece of Web Services technology that enables organizations to deploy a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) by defining services in a language neutral format (WSDL). This greatly enhances interoperability and the ability of organizations to deploy Web Services solutions more quickly, easily, and at less cost for both e-business and internal integration (EAI). The Open Applications Group has made available for free, WSDL for all of the XML definitions in OAGIS 8.0 and in the XML Schema version of OAGIS 7.2.1. These WSDL files are non-normative, but will serve as a template and an acceleration point for users of OAGIS to deploy it in a Web Services / Service Oriented Architecture. This important development in the evolution of Web Services has drawn praise from many important players in the IT industry. 'We welcome this offering from OAGi and are pleased they have chosen to fully support Web services with the OAGIS standard,' said Dave Mendlen, Director of Web Services at Microsoft Corp. 'This support for WSDL provides important infrastructure for innovative e-business, and Web services solutions.' 'IBM is pleased that OAGi is evolving its rich set of integration standards to support web services, an important technology used extensively within IBM, as well as by our customers,' said Karla Norsworthy, vice president, IBM Software Standards. 'As an associate member of the Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I), OAGi has been a vocal supporter of the work of our organization,' said Tom Glover, Chairman of WS-I. 'WSDL is an important Web services specification and a key component of the WS-I Basic Profile. By delivering its WS-I Basic Profile 1.0 conformant WSDL library, OAGi is promoting industry-wide interoperability and helping to accelerate the development and deployment of interoperable Web services'..." See details in the news story "Open Applications Group Publishes WS-I Compliant WSDL Files for OAGIS." General references in: (1) "Open Applications Group"; (2) "Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I)."

  • [September 22, 2004] "OGC Members Adopt Specification for Catalog Services." - "The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) announces that the OpenGIS Catalog Services Specification 2.0 has been adopted by the OGC membership. This specification documents industry consensus on an open, standard interface that enables diverse but conformant applications to perform discovery, browse and query operations against distributed and potentially heterogeneous catalog servers. It includes a number of improvements over the preceding version, version 1.1.1. Industry agreement on a common interface for publishing metadata and supporting discovery of geospatial data and services is an important step toward giving Web users and applications access to all types of geographic information and services. The specification is available at Catalog services are required to support the discovery of registered network accessible resources within and between collaborating communities that seek to share information and processing resources efficiently. 'Resources' includes not only data but also services, schemas, symbology libraries and other elements of Web based geoprocessing. 'Communities' in the OGC context refer to communities who use similar formal vocabularies for geospatial features and phenomena such as roads, wetlands, land use zones, population density, etc. Doug Nebert of the US Federal Geographic Data Committee Secretariat, who chairs the OGC Technical Committee Catalog Working Group, said, 'In government, business and academia, technical and semantic non-interoperability have long frustrated discovery and sharing of digital geographic information. This specification is an industry-approved design for a key part of all future internet-based solutions to these problems.' Rob Atkinson, Director and Chief Technical Officer of Social Change Online (Australia) explains, 'The OGC 2.0 Catalog specification provides not only a Web services model, but a way to develop consistent sets of simplified profiles that will make real world usage much easier, more useful and more stable. In Australia and internationally, sets of related catalog profiles are necessary to achieve semantic interoperability.' Uwe Voges of con terra GmbH (Germany) explains that, 'The new version enables the development of standardized and interoperable Catalog Services throughout Europe. In particular, it supports application profiles that conform to ISO 19106 (Geographic information - Profiles). Hence, con terra, lat/lon and others are developing an application profile for ISO 19115/ISO 19119 metadata that allows the implementation of interoperable catalog services that handle metadata about geospatial data, services and applications. The intention is to implement a generally understood information model based on standard metadata with only a few relationships among the catalogue items'..." General references in "Geography Markup Language (GML)."

  • [September 15, 2004] "2005 XML Symposium Prepares HVAC Industry for IT Convergence. XML and Web Services Still Emerge as Most Vital Enabling Technology for the Future of Integrated and Intelligent Buildings." - "The Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA) and Clasma, Inc., announced today plans for the second annual XML Symposium to be held February 9, 2005, in conjunction with the world's largest HVAC/R event, AHR Expo at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. In a non-technical, high-level manner, the 2005 XML Symposium will communicate to the HVAC community the significant role XML and Web Services continue to play in this industry. As the industry witnesses further evidence of IT convergence, these technologies have become the most vital enabling technology for the future of integrated and intelligent buildings. XML and Web Services technologies are primarily utilized in the IT industry as well as many other industry groups that desire to leverage the Internet as a connectivity and automation vehicle. Further goals of the day-long XML Symposium are for attendees to understand how these technologies are driving new types of standards (data as opposed to network), and enabling cooperation between disparate approaches to open systems, an issue the HVAC/R industry has battled for over a decade. Symposium attendees will also hear status updates on XML initiatives including oBIX/OASIS, gain knowledge on specifying projects with XML and Web Services, see how non-HVAC issues are affecting the HVAC space, and leave with a reasonable expectation level of the adoption speed of XML and Web Services, particularly in the HVAC community. 'XML and Web Services continue to emerge as the foremost technology on the path to whole building integration,' Ron Zimmer, CABA president & CEO, said. 'IT convergence is truly upon us and to remain competitive in the HVAC market, it is imperative to understand the impact of XML and how it can bridge the enormous hurdles this industry has battled for many years.' Just as important as what the XML Symposium is, is what it is not. The XML Symposium is neither a training session, a debate on how to implement the technology, nor will it communicate that XML is a replacement technology for BACnet or LonMark. 'The XML Symposium will speak directly to all members of the HVAC community and will address the unique challenges this industry will face when implementing these new technologies,' Anto Budiardjo, Clasma president and CEO, said. 'It is targeted to all capacities in the industry including integrators, contractors, consultants and end users, all the players who must realize that XML and Web Services are potentially the ultimate integration mechanism for buildings and enterprises'..." See: (1) "OASIS Forms Open Building Information Exchange (oBIX) Technical Committee"; (2) general references in "XML and Web Services for Facilities Automation Systems".

  • [August 26, 2004] "Nokia and Vodafone to Lead Roadmap for Mobile Java Standards. Mobile Industry Leaders Create Specifications for Open Unified Mobile Java Services Architecture." - "In a move that is intended to deliver benefits for the mobile industry and for mobile customers, Nokia and Vodafone today announce the formation of a mobile service architecture initiative. The aim of the initiative is to simplify mobile Java standards by defining the next generation, open standards-based mobile Java services architecture specifications. It will serve and represent the mobile value chain, including other leading mobile device manufacturers, mobile operators and IT companies. The initiative will function and create its specifications within the Java Community Process (JCP). Earlier this month, the J2ME Executive Committee approved the first Java Specification Requests (JSRs) from this initiative. These JSRs, 248 and 249, will not introduce any new API specifications but will include a number of new component JSRs and clarifications to existing specifications to define a consistent Java API services architecture. This will enable application compatibility across multi-vendor mobile devices. The initiative will further seek to harmonise the licensing terms of the component JSRs to be open, fair and predictable. As specifications leads Nokia and Vodafone, in conjunction with Sun Microsystems, will define the licensing framework of the initiative, while the role of creating and licensing the Technology Compatibility Kits (TCKs) for JSR 248 and 249 will be undertaken by Sun Microsystems. The initiative has received widespread support from leading representatives of the mobile industry, including Orange, Siemens, Sony Ericsson, Sun Microsystems, and T-Mobile International. It is expected that a number of these companies will join Nokia and Vodafone to become members of the Expert Group for the specifications created by this initiative. By using the specifications, developers can create software that is easily portable from one Java-enabled mobile device to another. This will ultimately provide mobile customers with a wide choice of feature rich Java-based applications. The management framework of the mobile Java services architecture also includes security enhancements. It will support advanced remote platform and application management for enterprises and service providers by enabling delivery and management of software components to mobile devices over-the-air. This is expected to result in cost savings for mobile software maintenance. Furthermore, it will offer business users and consumers an easy way to have the latest applications and services available on their mobile devices. The application platforms built on these specifications will enable new business opportunities for operators, enterprises, service providers, and device manufacturers. The objectives and responsibilities of the initiative will be aligned and coordinated with organisations such as the OSGi Alliance, the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA), the Open Mobile Terminal Platform (OMTP) and World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to specify the requirements and the capabilities of the platform. The specifications will also offer smooth backward compatibility with the highly successful MIDP environment..." See also: (1) Nokia web site; (2) Vodafone web site; (3) Open Mobile Alliance (OMA); (4) Open Mobile Terminal Platform (OMTP) Initiative; (5) OSGi Alliance; (6) Mobile Information Device Profile (MIDP), JSR #37 and #118.

  • [July 28, 2003] "Industry Leaders Drive Convergence, Publish Web Services Specifications to Coordinate Business Applications. Arjuna Technologies, Fujitsu Software, IONA, Oracle and Sun Microsystems Open Development with Imminent Standardization of Specification Framework." - "Arjuna Technologies Limited, Fujitsu Software, IONA Technologies PLC, Oracle Corp and Sun Microsystems today announced the publication of the Web Services Composite Applications Framework (WS-CAF). The Web Services Composite Application Framework is a collection of three specifications -- Web Service Context (WS-CTX), Web Service Coordination Framework (WS-CF), and Web Service Transaction Management (WS-TXM) -- designed to solve problems that arise when multiple Web services are used in combination ("composite applications") to support information sharing and transaction processing. Transaction processing (TP) is the core of commerce. Some transactions are very simple, such as purchasing a book or transferring funds, and can be processed immediately. Other transactions are more complex, such as fulfilling a purchase order or completing an insurance claim, and may take days or even years to process. All businesses rely on the concept of a transaction, but have built upon the concept through various architectures, which limits interoperability and creates multiple 'islands' of mutually incompatible TP networks. WS-CAF solves the TP information management and sharing problem by defining an open, multi-level framework for standard coordination of long-running business processes across multiple, incompatible transaction processing models and architectures. The authors plan to donate WS-CAF to a recognized industry standards organization soon under royalty-free licensing terms... The Web Services Composite Application Framework (WS-CAF) is comprised of three specifications: (1) Web Service Context (WS-CTX), a lightweight framework for simple context management that helps enable all Web services participating in an activity share a common context and exchange information about a common outcome. (2) Web Service Coordination Framework (WS-CF), a sharable mechanism that manages context augmentation and lifecycle and provides the notification of outcome messages to Web services participating in a particular transaction. (3) Web Services Transaction Management (WS-TXM), is comprised of three distinct, interoperable transaction protocols that can be used across multiple transaction managers. WS-TXM supports multiple transaction models to help enable participants to negotiate outcomes with each other and make a common decision about how to behave, especially in the case of failure, regardless whether the execution environment is CORBA, Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB), .NET, Java Message Service (JMS), or some combination..." See: (1) other references in the news story "Web Services Composite Application Framework (WS-CAF) for Transaction Coordination"; (2) OASIS Web Services Composite Application Framework (WS-CAF) TC web site.

  • [July 26, 2004] "FIATECH AEX Project Publishes Version 1.0 of XML Schemas for Capital Facilities Equipment." - "The FIATECH AEX (Automating Equipment Information Exchange) Project released Version 1.0 of its XML schemas for capital facilities equipment and associated documentation today. The XML schemas and documentation are available for anyone to use at no charge from the FIATECH web site. This effort is the result of a joint industry effort involving over 25 organizations... FIATECH launched the AEX Project in May 2002 with the goal of achieving practical industry software interoperability for facilities equipment information. The economic benefits to the capital facilities industry of achieving practical, widespread software interoperability are conservatively estimated by FIATECH and others to be worth many millions of dollars annually. The XML schemas for facilities equipment, which include both project and technical information, are designed to be used to support multi-party collaboration work processes for the entire life cycle, including design, procurement, delivery, installation, operations and maintenance of facility equipment. The published XML schemas for facilities equipment include the following: (1) Extensive core schema architecture to support engineering and technical information, including change tracking, units of measure, objects, context (people, organizations, locations), projects, documents, and more. (2) Basic equipment information to support over 300 equipment types that may be used for equipment lists (3) Detailed equipment information for centrifugal pumps and shell and tube heat exchangers that may be used for equipment datasheets based on industry standards such as those available from PIP and API (4) Material properties for both construction materials and process fluids, supporting over 280 properties 'This public release completes a major milestone for the AEX project. After extensive industry quality reviews and testing, the schemas are sufficiently mature and robust for developers to begin commercial software implementations of XML data exchange interfaces,' says Tom Teague, AEX project technical lead, President of ePlantData, Inc. 'AEX Project participants are working together now to build the initial software implementations using the Release 1.0 XML schemas. The AEX project will use these software implementations to demonstrate multi-system data exchange and continue to extend the schemas to support detailed information for additional equipment types, for example, compressors, fans, tanks and valves..." See details in the news story "FIATECH AEX Project Publishes XML Schemas for Construction and Buildings Industry." See also "AEX and Capital Facilities."

  • [July 14, 2004] "Several HL7 Version 3 (V3) Specifications Receive ANSI Approval. HL7 Initiates V3 Early Adopters Program to Gain Valuable Feedback from Users." - "Several Health Level Seven (HL7) Version 3 (V3) Specifications have been approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), giving them normative status as American national standards. This includes (1) XML Implementation Technology Specification - Data Types, Release 1. This document defines the V3 data types that will be used by all of HL7 V3 and onwards. It also defines the representation of HL7 V3 data types in XML, including the schema necessary to derive XML schemas for HL7 V3 Hierarchical Message Descriptions (HMD). (2) UML Implementation Technology Specification - Data Types, Release 1. The UML Data Types specification binds the V3 data types to the UML/OCL kernel types to allow for formally correct OCL constrains on the V3 data types, and to assist in implementation of the V3 data types. The following Version 3 specifications have passed HL7 ballot requirements and are awaiting ANSI approval: Data Types Abstract Specification; Common Message Element Types; XML Implementation Technology Specification - Structures; Period Reporting of Clinical Trial Laboratory Data. The Version 3 project represents a new approach to clinical information exchange. It is built from the ground up around a single object model, the HL7 RIM, and a rigorous UML-based methodology that ties model to messages and finally to the message's expression in XML syntax. The V3 specification is built around subject domains, for each of which it provides storyboard descriptions, trigger events, interaction designs, domain object models derived from the RIM, hierarchical message descriptors (HMDs) and a prose description of each element. Implementation of these domains further depends upon a nonnormative V3 Guide and normative specifications for: data types; the XML implementable technical specifications (ITS) or message wire format; message and control "wrappers;" and transport protocols. HL7 anticipates that all outstanding core Version 3 specifications will be available later this year, and plans to release a comprehensive V3 package in the third-quarter of 2004, possibly in time for its September 26 - October 1 2004 plenary meeting in Atlanta, GA, USA... Founded in 1987, Health Level Seven, Inc. is a not-for-profit, ANSI-accredited standards developing organization dedicated to providing a comprehensive framework and related standards for the exchange, integration, sharing, and retrieval of electronic health information that supports clinical practice and the management, delivery and evaluation of health services. HL7's more than 2,000 members represent over 500 corporate members, including 90 percent of the largest information systems vendors serving healthcare..." See details in the news story "HL7 Announces ANSI Approval of Several Health Level Seven V3 Specifications." General references in "XML in Clinical Research and Healthcare Industries."

  • [July 13, 2004] "BACnet Web Services Addendum Proposed for Review." - "Simplifying access to building energy and performance data is the goal of a proposed addendum to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning's (ASHRAE) BACnet standard. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 135-2004, BACnet — A Data Communication Protocol for Building Automation and Control Networks, is the only open, consensus-developed standard in the building controls industry. At ASHRAE's 2004 Annual Meeting, the Standard 135 committee proposed addendum 135-2004c for public review. The proposed addendum specifies the use of 'Web services' to provide a means to integrate building automation and control systems with other enterprise computing applications. Web services provide for computer-to-computer applications many of the same advantages that the World Wide Web provides for human-to-computer information access, according to Bill Swan, committee chair. Potential uses of the technology include simplifying access to building energy and performance data for inclusion in spreadsheets and other management reports; accessing equipment run-time data for use by maintenance management systems; allowing tenant control of space temperature setpoints; coupling of room scheduling with ventilation and comfort control; and many more. The proposed addendum is in two parts. The first proposes an Annex M to BACnet that defines the BACnet Web Services interface, BACnet/WS. This interface is intended to be communication 'protocol neutral' in that the defined Web services can be used with any underlying protocol including BACnet, Konnex, MODBUS, LON or legacy proprietary protocols. This has been accomplished by defining how to read and write the common elements of all building automation and control systems such as values, schedules, trend logs and alarm information using services such as 'getValue' and 'setValue' that use a simple 'path' to define the intended data source. An example of such a path would be: '/ABC HQ/Conference Room A/Space Temperature.' The proposed addendum also provides powerful mechanisms for 'localization' where certain types of data such as time, date and numbers can be formatted according to local custom and language, according to Swan. Text names and descriptions may also be accessed according to the local language. The second part of the addendum contains an addition to BACnet's Annex H, combining BACnet Networks with Non-BACnet Networks, that prescribes how a gateway should be constructed that translates web service requests specifically to and from BACnet messages. The committee is continuing to develop new services for future publication. Future versions of this standard may include such things as subscription services for alarming or notification of changes within the system. The combined effect of the BACnet/WS annexes is to provide a set of generic web services that can potentially interface to any building automation protocol as well as to describe exactly how this interface would work with underlying BACnet systems..." See details in the news story "ASHRAE Releases BACnet Web Services Interface Specification for Public Review." General references in "XML and Web Services for Facilities Automation Systems."

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