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Section: News

XML standard gets major backing

Darryl K. Taft

New York -- Activity is heating up all over the Extensible Markup Language (XML) front, with both the key standards organization and software colossus Microsoft Corp. throwing their weight behind the standard.

At the Internet World '97 show, Microsoft, Redmond, Wash., unveiled commitments from leading third-party software vendors and vertical market industry initiatives to support XML, enabling the delivery of structured data over the Web in a consistent, standards-based format.

Companies including ArborText Inc., Chrystal Software Inc., DataChannel Inc., Inso Corp. and Poet Software Corp. provide a broad set of XML-based tools for Web developers today, while others such as Allaire Corp., ExperTelligence Inc., InterMax Solutions Inc., Pictorius Inc., Sybase Inc. and SoftQuad stated their intent to support XML in their respective tools, scheduled for delivery by March 1998.

Meanwhile, members of top industry sectors said they are committed to adopting XML to deliver their structured data over the Web. Organizations from two vertical industry sectors-the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the Telecommunications Industry Forum (TCIF)-plan to deliver existing data, currently stored in relational databases and structured documents, over the Web via XML. This will allow suppliers and customers to exchange and deliver data in a consistent, standards-based data format, preserving existing investments in structured data.

Adam Bosworth, general manager of Microsoft's Internet Platform and Tools Division, said Microsoft is working with the XML working group of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to introduce technology to define a "schema" or way for adding metadata to XML solutions. Microsoft also is working to introduce technology to define vocabularies for describing data, to establish data types and to seamlessly achieve granular updates through "update grams."

Copyright (c) 1997 CMP Media Inc.


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