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Last modified: April 30, 2000
XML Papers 1999. July - December

December 1999

  • [December 20, 1999] "The Use of Profiling in XML Documents. Using Profiling for Personalized Information Delivery." By Tonua G. Brown [Program Manager, Document Management Solutions, Inc. (DMSi).] DMSi White Paper. December, 1999. "Businesses assign profiles to customers that describe their needs, requirements, and interests. These profiles are then used to target the audience of particular products. When we talk about profiling our data, we are referring to the way we mark up the data to indicate its target audience. Through the use of elements, XML allows us to mark up the data in such a way that the context of that data is described in the markup language itself. Additionally, attributes allow us to provide meta-data regarding that context. The target audience for the information is a type of meta-data and can be captured in attributes on each element. Therefore, by profiling our information according to its target audience, we can match the information profile to the audience profile in order to deliver the information that best meets the needs, requirements, and interests of our customers... there are many types of information profiles. Information can be targeted to a group, an individual, a characteristic of an individual, an output type, or even the product itself. All of these things can be combined in various ways to match specific customer profiles...profiling is a method for tracking the intended audience of your information. Profile classes define profiles categories. Each value in a class matches a specific profile for that category. Profiles can be combined to deliver highly customized information to your customers. Depending on your processes and delivery methods, you can choose to apply an information profile at the time you publish and deliver pre-assembled, tailored documents to your customers, or you can dynamically assemble the information when the customer accesses it by applying a profile that is associated with the customer's logon ID. Therefore, information profiles can be matched to customer profiles to provide your customers with information that best suits their needs." Note: now also on the DMSi web site.

  • [December 20, 1999] "Writing a data type-checking XML parser with Xerces." By Bob DuCharme. In IBM Developer Library. December 1999. "While most XML parser developers are waiting for the W3C Schema Working Group's proposal to become a Recommendation before they support it, the Xerces parser donated by IBM to the Apache XML project already supports much of the Working Group's September 1999 Working Draft. In particular, it supports basic data-type checking, one of the most eagerly awaited W3C Schema features. In this article, see how your XML Java applications can take advantage of data-type checking when using the Xerces parser... The first parser I know of that provided any support for the W3C Schema Working Group's XML Schema Definition Language (XSDL) was alphaWorks' xml4j-ea1, a special version of the xml4j XML Parser for Java Early Access release (see Resources). It included support for a subset of XSDL that was backward-compatible with XML 1.0 DTDs. In other words, if you rewrote an XML 1.0 DTD as an XSDL schema that didn't take advantage of any of XSDL's new features, an application using the xml4j-ea1 parser could validate a document against that schema. With xml4j-ea2 and the Xerces parser that IBM donated to the Apache project, the IBM XML Technology Group developers added the feature that developers were clamoring the loudest for: type checking. Because the Working Group still has some issues to work out in Part 2 ("Datatypes") of the XSDL Proposal, the Xerces parser doesn't yet support all the data types mentioned in the proposal. But real numbers, integers, booleans, and of course strings are supported, and your applications can take advantage of this support now." See "XML Schemas" for background and references on the W3C XML Schema work.

  • [December 20, 1999] "STC, Tibco boost transaction software with XML." By Eugene Grygo. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 51 (December 18, 1999), page 12. "Software Technologies Corp. (STC) is readying an adapter for its e-Gate platform that positions the Extensible Markup Language (XML) as a universal link that could allow for expanded, non-electronic data interchange (EDI) participation in supply-chain management via the Internet. Dubbed the 'Universal Exchange,' the add-on marks another step by STC into the time-sensitive, business-to-business electronic-commerce space, said James Demetriades, chairman, CEO, and president of STC, in Monrovia, Calif. 'If your partners don't get the information in less than a second, they're going to go to someone else,' Demetriades said. The add-on is aimed at clients who need to do far-flung, business-to-business links via e-Gate, he says. Time and space constraints aside, wider acceptance of supply-chain management has been hindered by the high cost of EDI, especially for smaller suppliers that lack the resources for an EDI-based private network, said Tom Dwyer, an analyst at the Aberdeen Group, in Boston. The greater usage of XML will boost participation in supply chains, Dwyer said. 'It's all about 100 percent participation,' he says. For instance, the Universal Exchange add-on will give suppliers a view into the levels of their inventories at customer sites. This could lead to suppliers managing the inventories of their customers, Dwyer said. Also embracing XML for electronic-business, Tibco Software is including an XML parser and validation capabilities with an upgrade of its Java-based TIB/MessageBroker 2.5, a major rules-based data-exchange and translation piece of the TIB/ActiveEnterprise messaging suite. There's also support for the HTTP and FTP Internet protocols as well as new links to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Transfers (SWIFT) network, used by financial institutions for back-office settlement.

  • [December 17, 1999] "Transcoding on the fly for the Web." By Nancy E. Dunn and Chris Rumble. From IBM DeveloperWorks. (November 1999). "IBM technology (now in beta) serves as a Web intermediary platform for XML and graphics conversions on the fly. A demonstration application shows how this technology makes it possible to convert Web pages (or other files) from one format to another in real time -- without changing the original pages on the Web server. Content providers or conversion service providers can use the technology for adapting Web pages for hand-held devices, for transforming XML data, and for dozens of other applications. In this interview, two IBM researchers explain how Web intermediary technology supports the conversions and provides a rich vein for more Web and XML conversion on the fly. Paul Maglio and Rob Barrett, researchers at the IBM Almaden Research Center near San Jose, have prepared a demonstration of transcoding on the fly. The initial conversions offered include graphics bit-depth and format conversion and XML conversions. Maglio and Barrett talked with developerWorks staff recently to explain how they used Web intermediary technology to support the Web-based conversion application... In the demonstration, we provide a service where people can perform some sample conversions of their data or graphics, either by inputting URLs or uploading content, and then selecting from a short list of transcoding options. We can convert graphics in a few ways -- compression, bit-depth, file format. We also demonstrate XML transcoding via XSL."

  • [December 17, 1999] "In commemoration of the re-birth of XHTML: The Parable of the Prodigal HTML. A self-refreshing slide presentation." Extensible Book of Luke 15:11-32. By John Robert Gardner. The referent is W3C's XHTML, which went PR with three namespaces (loud grumbling); going back, a new WD was produced, and then a new PR with one namespace (and three DTDs).

  • [December 17, 1999] "Object Databases Move To The Middle. Despite the prevalence of relational databases, vendors are making use of the technology." By Mary Stearns Sgarioto. In InformationWeek (December 17, 1999), pages 115-120. "... object databases are hardly extinct. Rather than fight a losing battle on the back end, vendors are finding new ways to exploit this technology on the middle tier. For the past 10 to 15 years, according to Gartner Group's Sanjeev Varma, object-oriented database-management system vendors competing on the database tier have not proven especially successful. 'In certain niches there is a lot of value to this technology; it's just that those niches aren't that big,' Varma says. According to John Singer, program director for application delivery strategies at Meta Group, object databases are finding a comfortable home as code repositories within more-specialized servers. 'While the highly granular nature of Web site visual components seem to be a natural fit for object-oriented database-management systems, we see the technology primarily as infrastructure embedded within other solutions,' Singer says. 'Object-oriented database-management products are evolving towards Java application servers, persistence managers, and XML interchange as a means of adding value above the basic database functionality. . . In spite of, or perhaps even because of, their advantages, object databases might never gain the same status as relational databases. Anne Thomas, an analyst at the Patricia Seybold Group, says she doesn't see a huge resurgence in the object-oriented database-management system market. On the other hand, she says, the Web is 'definitely driving renewed interest in object-oriented databases.' She explains that the language of the Web is objects--Java, XML, or Corba--and these map poorly to a relational database. 'That's where an object-oriented database excels. Storing by object is fast,' Thomas says. And 'fast' is what people want."

  • [December 17, 1999] "Directories to link up via XML." By Stephanie Sanborn. In InfoWorld (December 13, 1999). "Directory Vendors, including Novell and Bowstreet, last week formally proposed an Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based directory-services language that would provide enterprises with a standard set of programming commands to link network directories. A group of vendors led by Bowstreet and known informally as the 'DSML working group' last week submitted a draft version of the Directory Services Markup Language (DSML) to several standards associations. DSML 1.0, which is the result of a promise made in July to create a draft standard by the end of the year, is now in the hands of the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), an international standardization group focused on data-exchange formats. Versions of DSML were also submitted informally to the World Wide Web Consortium and Microsoft's BizTalk group. DSML uses XML schema to represent information in the directory, becoming a common means to describe directory content. DSML-enabled directories can work together and share information without requiring knowledge of the directory interfaces. DSML also complements Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)..." See the main news entry and "Directory Services Markup Language (DSML)."

  • [December 17, 1999] "Plugging Into XML. New XML support and the DB2 XML Extender will give DB2 a whole new range of e-commerce and Web-publishing possibilities." By Harold Treat. In DB2 Magazine Volume 4, Number 4 (Winter 1999), pages 36-41. "A new travel service, based on the XML grammar Wireless Markup Language, is being developed by The Sabre Group, IBM, and Nokia. The Sabre Group makes the computerized reservation system used by many traditional travel agencies and the Web-based service Once The Sabre Group converts its travel-related information into XML, the information can easily be filtered and adapted to different output devices so that, for example, a mobile phone can read the same information as Web browsers. This travel service is just one example of the kind of application XML makes possible. In fact, ever since the World Wide Web Consortium approved the XML 1.0 specification in February 1998, support for XML has grown rapidly among companies in computer and other industries. XML's popularity results from its usefulness in Web publishing and content management, application integration, and e-commerce, particularly as an enabler of data interchange for business-to-business e-commerce applications. To support these capabilities, DB2 Universal Database (UDB) v.6.1 for Unix, OS/2, and Windows includes XML support. And a DB2 XML Extender is now in beta testing. . . The DB2 XML Extender includes a visual tool for mapping the extracted elements from the XML document to the columns and tables where they are stored. This mapping, called document access definition (DAD), and the DTD describing the XML document are stored in tables managed by the XML Extender, so the applications accessing the document don't have to keep track of the DADs and DTDs. Once you've defined the DAD and enabled the XML column, you can use the UDFs provided with the XML Extender to simplify the load process. When the XML document is inserted into a column defined as type XML_Column, the elements specified in the DAD are automatically extracted from the XML document and loaded into the specified columns and tables, eliminating the need for the load application to handle this parsing, extraction, and insertion. When the contents of an XML_Column are updated, the elements that were extracted and stored in side tables are automatically updated. As support for this new standard grows, XML will become more and more a part of the database environment. Just as DB2 was Web-enabled a few years ago, it is now being XML-enabled, allowing you to store new data types, perform more powerful searches, and use XML-based interchange formats. I've identified some of the ways DB2 UDB v.6.1 and XML Extender can support business-to-business e-commerce applications. However, we can only guess at all the ways XML interchange formats will facilitate new e-commerce, CRM, and other e-business solutions. It should be fun to watch." ["DB2's XML Extender provides new data types that let you store XML documents in DB2 databases and new functions that assist you in working with these structured documents. Entire XML documents can be stored in DB2 databases as character data or stored as external files but still managed by DB2. Retrieval functions allow you to retrieve either the entire XML document or individual elements or attibutes..."]

  • [December 17, 1999] "Semantic Name Spaces." By Didier PH Martin. Posted to XML-DEV. PDF document. [Very very preliminary doc about semantic name spaces.] (December 17, 1999). "A name space topic map contains a topic with a name identical to the name space it represents. For instance the XSL name space topic would be named XSL. The XSL topic would also point to several documents or schemas useful for both documenting and validating the name space. [Most of the actual name spaces including the name spaces used by the W3 consortium are using URLs and more particularly URL based on the HTTP protocol. Some URL are effectively pointing to a resource. For instance the XSL name space identifier, a URL, points to an HTML page... Even if this is tremendously better that an HTTP URL pointing to the limbs, it is nonetheless hard for an automated processor to decode effectively the information pointed by the URL. Thus, the actual name space identifier are most of the time meaningless for automated agents. The present document propose to add more semantics to name spaces by having their URI to point to a topic map document."] Note 1999-12-18: document now posted on the Netfolder Web site; check for updated versions.

  • [December 17, 1999] "Creating XML Applications With Zope." By Amos Latteier. From (December 16, 1999). ['Are you looking for an open source platform on which to base your XML applications? You may already be familiar with Zope, an open source application server written in Python. Amos Latteier presents a hands-on introduction to using XML with Zope.'] "Zope is an open source application server that enables you to rapidly develop applications for the Web. Zope's unique object-oriented flavor make it an interesting choice for developing XML applications: Firstly, it allows you to treat XML content as objects. Then it allows you to write applications by creating methods for your XML objects. At the most basic level, Zope provides an object database and a web ORB (Object Request Broker) to store XML and publish it on the Web. In addition, Zope gives you a menu of services to use when developing your XML data into an application. You can edit XML through the Web, index and search XML elements, manipulate XML with standard DOM methods, add dynamic behavior to XML elements with web-editable methods, control access to XML via a sophisticated security model, and more. Since Zope treats XML as normal Zope objects rather than plain data, you can quickly breathe life into your XML... In this article we are going to look at the process of using Zope to develop a small web application centered around XML. We will build an FAQ viewer that stores its data in XML and allows browsing and searching. This article assumes that you have Zope installed and that you have some experience with Zope..."

  • [December 17, 1999] "Goldilocks and SML." By Rick Jelliffe. From (December 16, 1999). ['"Simplicity is as excellent as motherhood", says Rick Jelliffe. He isn't as sure, however, about the initiative to produce a Simplified Markup Language (SML).'] "Goldilocks saw three bowls of porridge on the table. The first was too big and could only be eaten with a complicated tool: the recipe was there, but she couldn't quite understand it. 'This SGML is too big!' she cried. The second was sweet but insubstantial: 'This HTML is too simple,' she lamented. Then she tried the third bowl: 'Mmmm, this XML is just right...and the international flavor is sure to be a hit at my pajama party...' My impression of SML is not that it represents some conspiracy against the one true path of XML, but rather that it shows that some people's technical or aesthetic needs are not being met by XML. The rallying cry is simplicity, which is as excellent as motherhood, but the rationales seem wildly divergent or vague. It will be interesting to see what is ultimately produced from the effort: a syntax, a methodology, an API, an entity manager, some implementation techniques. There is lots of room in the world for innovative ideas. Let's look at some specific areas for which XML is criticized... So I think that if SML has a future, it may be in the area of closed data transport and interprocess communication, where it is generated by API, and where human reader/writers do not touch it. But that area is the one that binary formats poach easily: some of the requirements may be better solved by more sophisticated entity management capabilities in MIME."

  • [December 17, 1999] "Reports from XML'99." By Edd Dumbill. From (December 16, 1999). "Last week provided coverage of the GCA's XML'99 conference in Philadelphia. Over 2,200 delegates gathered to attend tutorials, see the products on show in the expo and listen to the presentations. Edd Dumbill and Simon St.Laurent reported daily from the show on, highlighting the major news and sessions together with information on interesting and innovative products from the expo. Lisa Rein was also out and about on the conference floor, gathering opinions from delegates on recent happenings in the XML world."

  • [December 17, 1999] "XML - The Better HTML?" By Michael Classen. From WebReference "Exploring XML [Column]". (December 1999). "So is XML better? To be honest this question has no real answer: XML is a meta language, meaning a language for defining other languages, while HTML by itself is a more or less well-defined language. XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language, which is actually a bit of a misnomer as it should actually mean extensible Meta Language. The easiest way to understand the difference is to note that XML by itself does not define any tags, it only describes a way of defining your own set of tags and attributes, hence the name extensible. HTML in contrast has a fixed set of tags, and their meaning is defined in the W3C standards specifications or the implementation of a particular browser, whichever came first. So in directly comparing XML and HTML one would compare apples and oranges..."

  • [December 17, 1999] "Passing profiles - Keeping the customer in mind. CPEX group tackles the sensitive issue of exchanging customer profiles." By Luke Cavanagh. In The Seybold Report on Internet Publishing Volume 4, Number 4 (December 1999), page 24. "Sensing the need to find a more efficient way for enterprises to keep customer information current, a number of industry players have formed the Customer Profile Exchange (CPEX) working group. Their intent is to create an XML standard and a set of guidelines for exchanging customer profiles among different systems. Started by Vignette just two months ago, the group's charter members include many of the leading players in personalization and profiling: Andromedia, DoubleClick, Engage, Net Perceptions, net.Genesis and Vignette, as well as industry heavyweights Oracle, Sun/Netscape, IBM and other smaller vendors. The group expects to publish its first draft specifications in the first half of 2000; we should begin seeing demos by next fall. Administration of the group's marketing and meetings will be handled by, the new name for the research institute at the Graphic Communications Association. IDEAlliance also hosts the ICE and PRISM working groups." For references, see "Customer Profile Exchange (CPEX) Working Group."

  • [December 17, 1999] "Punching up TeamSite. Interwoven adds punch to TeamSite Web content management system." By Luke Cavanagh. In The Seybold Report on Internet Publishing Volume 4, Number 4 (December 1999), pages 18-19. "Reinforcing its position as a leading supplier of Web content management software, Interwoven last month released a new version of TeamSite. The new version, 4.0, builds on the features that make the product strong to begin with (solid workflow, hybrid file system/database architecture) and adds improved XML, metadata and templating support. According to International Marketing Manager Tim Hampson, TeamSite 4.0 'heavily leverages XML.' It does so especially in the area of metadata and content entry templates. The upgrade also features a tweaked workflow process aimed at creating shorter development cycles and allows greater control for customized workflow designs. . . The new metadata support allows users to set up XML-based metadata sets based on their specific business rules. Metadata is defined by individual project, by location, or by type of project. Once the metadata set is established, its attribute values are associated with templates and workflows. . . It appears as though the added XML support has been implemented smoothly and should hit the mark in making its intended improvements. Provided the new functionality is not too complex for companies to handle in customizing their systems -- and it doesn't look to us as though it should be -- Interwoven should continue to build on its success."

  • [December 17, 1999] "Poet leverages its XML expertise. Poet uses XML to open business-to-business e-catalog channels. Turnkey solution will free catalog content for Web use." By Mark Walter. In The Seybold Report on Internet Publishing Volume 4, Number 4 (December 1999), page 23. "Poet, a supplier of object database technology with expertise in both content management and XML, recently introduced its eCatalog Suite, a turnkey system for extracting and managing business-to-business catalog data and distributing it over the Internet. The suite includes a data server and database with tools for collecting catalog data (often by extracting it from your existing system), normalizing it, and then transforming it as necessary for different recipients. XML is going to be the language of interchange, and Poet's background is well suited for this type of XML data server. Though it faces competition from Object Design, Bluestone and others sure to follow, Poet is on the money with this application of its database."

  • [December 17, 1999] "XML still waiting for the spotlight." By Michael Lattig. In InfoWorld (December 17, 1999). "Although Extensible Markup Language (XML) is on the lips and in the marketing materials of almost any vendor whose products touch corporate data, the XML '99 show in Philadelphia this week proved there is still much work to be done. The reasons offered for the disconnect between XML's perceived value and the reality that users are still struggling to understand how it should be implemented were numerous, but the main stumbling block seems to be a lack of vendors offering real-world XML solutions. 'My estimation is the major breakthrough needed is to get critical mass of vendors to focus their attention on XML and allow us to move forward with turnkey projects,' said Chris Wolff, vice president of publishing technologies at the West Group, an information provider for legal professionals, in Egan, Minn. That critical mass, noted Wolff, needs to start with the development of more robust tools for XML development. Many tools vendors, however, do not seem to feel the urgency to jump on the XML bandwagon."

  • [December 08, 1999] "Delta to deliver flight info to mobile devices." By Carmen Nobel. In PC Week (December 7, 1999). "Because its customers are by definition mobile, Delta Airlines is testing a new service that will transmit data from its Web site to a variety of portable devices, including mobile phones and Palm Computing's Palm VII organizer. The service, which will roll out nationwide early next year, will include basic same-day travel information such as flight schedules and gate information. Later in the year, Delta plans to let customers buy plane tickts and change flights wirelessly, according to officials at the Atlanta-based company. The service is now in beta testing. Delta is developing the service with a user interface from Modern Media and Java and XML technology from IBM's Pervasive Computing Group. The companies, along with Delta's subsidiary Delta Technology, are using a Java application that translates Delta's travel information into XML (extensible markup language) and IBM's transcoding technology for handheld devices. Delta is the latest among a crop of companies that have teamed up with IBM lately to take their electronic services on the road."

  • [December 08, 1999] "XML Goes Vertical. Standard takes hold in a growing variety of markets." By Mary Jo Foley. In Smart Reseller (December 07, 1999). "In the past two days, Laura Walker has gotten some strange phone calls, including one from a gaming industry trade group and another from WebVan, the online grocery-delivery firm. Both wanted to know how they could benefit from XML, the Extensible Markup Language standard for data interchange that's seemingly taking the world by storm. 'It's like a light went on,' says Walker, the executive director of OASIS, the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards, explaining the mounting industry interest in the standard. Vertical-industry associations suddenly are glomming on to XML as the panacea for sharing data in different formats across disparate platforms. Walker points to a growing number of XML working groups in finance, insurance, retail and other arenas as evidence of the standard's growing appeal and acceptance..."

  • [December 08, 1999] "Who Will Control XML? As XML takes off, standards processes and direction questions won't go away." By Mary Jo Foley. In Smart Reseller (December 08, 1999). "Microsoft and Sun Microsystems agree that XML, the Extensible Markup Language, is key to their future products and strategies. But in true rivalry fashion, the two agree to disagree on which groups are best suited for making sure XML remains a standard and doesn't splinter. At the XML '99 conference in Philadelphia this week, Sun and Microsoft participated in a vendor keynote panel, where they outlined their respective companies' Internet plans, which intimately revolve around XML..."

  • [December 08, 1999] "Oracle sharpens profile in XML standards body." By Lee Pender. In PC Week [Online] (December 08, 1999). "Oracle Corp. is getting serious about embracing XML standards for its integration technologies, and some customers say the move is coming not a moment too soon. The Redwood Shores, Calif., vendor, in an effort to further shape Extensible Markup Language standards, recently stepped up its participation in by becoming a major player in a group within the organization that is working to define horizontal XML standards, officials said last week. For instance, the group is creating standard XML formats for cross-industry items such as purchase orders and billing statements. The goal is to foster the use of uniform XML standards for basic items across industries. Nevertheless, it's not the standards themselves that have customers anxious; rather, it's lingering problems integrating Oracle technology with that of other vendors. While Oracle sells its own suite of integrated applications for ERP (enterprise resource planning) and CRM (customer relationship management), many users choose to blend 'best-of-breed' applications from several vendors. That task is not always easy..."

  • [December 08, 1999] "Sun, Microsoft Release New XML." By Wylie Wong. In CNet (December 07, 1999). "Microsoft today published its BizTalk framework, a set of guidelines that will help tie together the e-commerce systems for different industries, such as banking or manufacturing, by using the XML Web standard for data exchange. Sun today released technology that links XML and the Java programming language together, allowing software developers to build applications that use both technologies. Unlike HTML, which has a predefined vocabulary, XML allows developers to define their own vocabulary for data, such as price and product. The result is more efficient data exchange and better Internet searching capabilities. Microsoft's BizTalk, previously available in draft form, provides a set of guidelines for specific industries to define their XML vocabularies. It also defines a common way businesses can handle and route data to each other."

  • [December 07, 1999] "Sun set to ship next Java version." By Wylie Wong. In CNET (December 06, 1999). "Sun Microsystems tomorrow will release its next-generation Java standard for writing business software and announce new Java development tools. Sun is shipping Java 2 Enterprise Edition, a mix of technologies developed over the past year that gives developers a uniform way to build business software using the popular Java programming language, according to Sun representatives. At its core is the Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) programming model, which lets developers write applications using reusable pieces of code. Java 2 Enterprise Edition also includes a guidebook that serves as a blueprint for companies to build Java-based e-commerce software. Sun is also announcing more support for Extensible Markup Language (XML) and Java in Forte Fusion business integration software. Sun will soon add support for the Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) Transformation standard, which will let developers easily use XML to tie together business software. XSL technology lets users define how a document is presented, specifying color and font. The XSL Transformation technology will let developers easily map different documents together without having to write a lot of software code."

  • [December 07, 1999] "XML Drumbeat Intensifies." By Michael Lattig. In InfoWorld (December 06, 1999). "Extensible Markup Language's (XML) march to the forefront of IT infrastructures took a big step last week as more than 150 companies, the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), and the United Nations' Center for Trade Facilitation and E-business (UN/CEFACT) kicked off a crusade for a global, cross-industry framework for electronic business. At the same time, the number of options for companies looking to get a jump on using XML for business-to-business application integration continued to swell. The goal of the global XML initiative, said Bob Sutor, a member of the board of directors at OASIS, in Billerica, Mass., is to tap into the vast technical and business experience of individuals from a number of industries and use that expertise to develop a universal framework for XML, to be called ebXML. 'With all the [XML] excitement, people are going off in small pockets to do their own thing,' said Sutor, who is also vice chairman of the ebXML project. 'Primarily what we're trying to get done is interoperability, trying to build an overall framework that anyone can plug into.' The ebXML group, which met officially for the first time last week, has outlined an aggressive strategy and hopes to have its initial offering within the next six months. That would put the group on target for delivering a final ebXML framework in 15 to 18 months. The goal of the project is to develop a cross-industry XML standard for e-business and encourage the continued development of vertical XML standards, not to pre-empt industry-specific XML standards, according to Sutor. UN/CEFACT has, however, requested a moratorium on XML development among its member groups to allow the ebXML initiative to take lead as the lone standard for cross-industry XML, according to Klaus-Dieter Naujok, chairman of ebXML and a representative of UN/CEFACT." See "Electronic Business XML Initiative (ebXML)."

  • [December 07, 1999] "Schemas Top Delegate Wishlist at XML '99." By Edd Dumbill. From (December 06, 1999). "The W3C's Dan Connolly fielded questions from the floor in Monday morning's Standards Update session at XML'99. The progress of the XML Schema work was important to many attendees from the XML community. The desire for information and action on XML Schemas was reinforced by the lunchtime 'birds of a feather' (BOF) sessions, at which the schemas session was by far the most popular." A collection of references to W3C XML Schema work and related 'schema' initiatives is provided in the document "XML Schemas."

  • [December 07, 1999] "Standards Updates at XML '99." By Simon St. Laurent. From (December 06, 1999). "Developers gathered at the XML '99 conference were treated to a somewhat more frank standards update than is typical at these conferences. Leading a series of presentations from consortia involved in XML development, Dan Connolly of the W3C took questions from the audience rather than presenting a static list of progress reports. Supported by a few W3C participants, Connolly took some hard questions about schemas, links, and namespaces. Other groups, including the GCA's new IDEAlliance, OASIS, and Microsoft (reporting on BizTalk) presented a more traditional update. All of the organizations seemed to share a common belief that their work would move XML ahead, despite several overlaps and potential competition."

  • [December 07, 1999] "XML Processing with Python." By Sean McGrath. From (December 06, 1999). ['XML'99 got underway Sunday with tutorials from XML experts. Today we bring you a taste of those tutorials from Sean McGrath, who is teaching a course on XML with Python. Sean presents an overview of the popular language, and some sample XML processing programs.'] "A century ago, when HTML and CGI ruled the waves, Perl dominated the Web programming scene. As the transition to XML on the Web gathers pace, competition for the hearts and minds of Web developers is heating up. One language attracting a lot of attention at the moment is Python. In this article we will take a high level look at Python. We will use the time honored 'Hello world' example program to illustrate the principle features of the language. We will then examine the XML processing capabilities of Python..." For related references, see the section "XML and Python."

  • [December 03, 1999] "YML - The Why Markup Language." By Clark C. Evans. Posted to XML-DEV. History: Version .1, 03-DEC-1999. (December 03, 1999). "Summary: YML is currently an assembly of thoughts regarding the creation of a doubly recursive markup language and parser description. YML is an extension of the simple markup language ('SML'), which is a strict subset of the extensible markup language ('XML'). Further, YML is a unification of the XML document object model ('DOM') and the simple application programming interface for XML ('SAX'). Motivation: YML was motivated from two reoccurring debates on the XML list, under the titles 'SAX vs DOM' and 'element vs attribute'. It is interesting how they are interwoven. The SAX vs DOM debate often centers around which is better for processing information: random access method (RAM) or a sequential access method (SAM). Those from the DOM camp state that having the entire document in memory makes things easy to program; while those from the SAX camp point to efficiencies of stream processing...."

  • [December 03, 1999] "XML adds a dash of intelligence to the information age." By [Staff]. In The Sydney Morning Herald (December 03, 1999). "You can't actually see XML. It doesn't add any fancy animations or multimedia-rich content to a Web surfer's computer screen. So why does this programming language have everyone from Bill Gates to the teenager next door in such a spin? After years of consortium meetings, lengthy technical discussions on mailing lists, papers, proposals and more discussions, this new language of the Internet is ready to change completely how - and where - we use the Net and the way we do business on it. Microsoft chairman Gates, at last month's Comdex computer trade show in Las Vegas, said Microsoft's next major emphasis - previous 'major emphases' have included the PC desktop and the Internet - will be XML. 'XML is very central ... it speaks to interoperability at the semantic level,' he said."

  • [December 02, 1999] "XML at Work - Technical Publishing." By Bill Trippe and Sabine Ocker. In The Gilbane Report - News and Analysis of E-Content Technology and Trends Volume 7, Number 9 (October 1999). "Technical publishing has always been a challenge for software applications. The need to integrate a variety of structured and unstructured data types has strained database, document/content management, and publishing software. However the fact that much technical information is truly "mission critical" (e.g., the correct procedure for replacing the emergency shut-off switch on the nuclear reactor) meant that many companies were forced to tackle the complexities head-on, and was the reason a lot of them invested in SGML. It is no surprise then that many early implementations of XML are technical documentation applications. Technical documentation is not by any means what is driving the adoption of XML. The sheer size of the markets for e-commerce solutions, enterprise solutions, and all the application and information integration necessary to connect these front and back office systems ensures that they will be driving the growth and direction of XML. There is a lot to learn from early XML adopters, especially when they are already familiar with the benefits and difficulties of working with SGML, as many in the technical documentation field are. Bill and guest contributor Sabine Ocker take a look at three companies this month. We'll look at XML at work in e-commerce and other areas in future issues. . . the projects bring the issue of technical information delivery into focus. The basic needs haven't changed, but today electronic delivery means delivery to the web; which we all know is an impatient and hungry consumer. Development cycles are shortening, while the demands of quality and accuracy perhaps increase. DHL customers want their packages on time; Nortel wants fewer outages; Jeppesen needs to get that plane back into service. And, because of the global nature of these businesses, the information needs to be available in many languages."

  • [December 02, 1999] "Understanding Microsoft's XML Strategy." By Frank Gilbane. In The Gilbane Report - News and Analysis of E-Content Technology and Trends Volume 7, Number 8 (September 1999), pages 1-5. "We looked at XML support in Office 2000 back in our April issue and suggested that, while useful in itself, what was really important was that it signaled a fundamental shift in computing. The promise of distributed object computing has never been realized because of a bias in favor of processing over content. XML is helping to change that, and Microsoft's support for XML in Office, though not complete, was nonetheless an early indicator that this important change had finally begun. This shift is not limited to Microsoft. Oracle, IBM, Sun, and others are moving in the same direction, and we'll take a look at some of their strategies in future issues. The announcements Microsoft made this month are rich with information about their direction and strategy, and XML has a key role throughout their product line. Microsoft understands the shift in computing as well as anyone. But they also have more specific and immediate reasons for building "pervasive" XML support into their product line. Understanding their motivation is critical to making your own judgments about their commitment to the standard, and more importantly, to making decisions about the role of XML in your IT strategy. In this issue we look at why Microsoft has invested so much in XML...What Microsoft has laid-out is in the language, and with the spin, of their own products, but it is also consistent with the way information technology and software development have been evolving. The ability to deal with various schemes for sharing data and documents and code using XML messaging will stand you in good stead for integrating your applications with platforms from Microsoft and others. It won't always be easy to keep up with the changing and competing schemas, but at least you won't have to be as much at the mercy of the cruel joke that many APIs have been."

  • [December 02, 1999] "A Robots Processing Instruction for XML Documents." By Walter Underwood. [Announcement] posted to XML-Dev. (December 02, 1999). "The robots processing instruction ('robots PI') is a simple mechanism to indicate to visiting Web Robots whether a document should be indexed and whether links in the document should be followed. In HTML documents, the Robots META tag (Koster 1996) serves the same purpose. This differs from the Standard for Robot Exclusion (Koster 1994, Kollar et al 1996) in that the instructions to the robot are in the document itself instead of in a '/robots.txt' file. An author often does not have permission to change the /robots.txt file stored at the root of the web server, but always has permission to change their own document."

  • [December 02, 1999] "OASIS XML Consortium Brewing Standard." By Wylie Wong. In CNET (December 01, 1999). "A consortium of tech firms is working with a United Nations organization to develop a common way for businesses to use Extensible Markup Language to exchange data. Extensible Markup Language (XML) is an increasingly popular Web standard for businesses, in markets such as finance, manufacturing and publishing, to exchange information with each other via the Internet. The consortium is dubbed Oasis, and it includes more than 100 companies including IBM, Sun Microsystems and Microsoft. It recently met with a United Nations technology group to work out plans to build a 'framework,' or a uniform model, for XML usage, said Robert Sutor, Oasis' chief strategy officer and IBM's XML industry standards liaison..." See the main reference page ("Electronic Business XML Initiative (ebXML)") and the recent press release, "Organizations from Around the World Gather to Launch ebXML Global Electronic Business Initiative."

  • [December 02, 1999] "XML: It's EAI for the Rest of Us." By David S. Linthicum. In Enterprise Development (December 1999). ['Extensible Markup Language offers an easy way to move data between applications, but that gain doesn't come without some pain.'] "XML has transcended its own name. Designed to support publishing data over the Web, Extensible Markup Language provided an efficient vehicle that freed you from having to understand anything about the system sending the data. But as Enterprise Application Integration problems started to loom over many businesses, network architects and developers saw the value of also using XML for EAI -- to move information throughout an enterprise and beyond. Those same companies now see XML as a common text format to move information between enterprises and support supply-chain integration. As a result, many are calling XML the next Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) system. Like Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), XML is a subset of Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), a venerable standard for defining descriptions of structure and content in documents. But while HTML gives you only a universal method for displaying information on a page, without context or dynamic behavior, XML takes the next step, adding context and meaning to data. As a common data-exchange format, XML encapsulates both metadata and data for movement over a network. This lets different applications and databases exchange information without having to understand anything about one another. To communicate, a source system simply reformats as XML-compliant text a message, a piece of information moving from an interface, or a data record. Then the system moves that information to any other system that can read XML. XML moves through the system by a simple file exchange encapsulated in a message, or by a request-reply scenario."

  • [December 02, 1999] "XML: Code Format of the Future?" By A. Russell Jones. In Technical Guide to Visual Programming (December 1999). ['Discover how XML will affect the future of programming by learning to translate code from one environment to another. Creating a universal code representation is now possible, thanks to XML.'] "The advent of Extensible Markup Language (XML) has created the potential for dramatic changes in programming languages. Although widespread changes haven't happened yet, I'll show you how to use XML to do a seemingly small task with wide-ranging repercussions for all developers. In this article, you'll learn how to translate code from one programming environment to another -- specifically, how to use Visual Basic to create Microsoft Windows Script Host (WSH) files. After I've shown you how to create these files, I'll discuss what the ability to translate code into an XML-based format means for the future. VB has also shown the world the financial advantages of widespread code reuse. Imagine the savings if code written in any computer language could be edited and compiled with any other computer language. An XML-code DTD would minimize incompatibilities between language versions. It would no longer matter if you were working in version 5 or version 6 other than inside the editor, just as feature improvements between word processors don't affect the document content. Changes and updates to the DTD could be handled generically rather than language-by-language. Finally, an XML-code DTD would eliminate the need for foreign programmers to learn to program in English. Because the code editor representation of a machine function is simply text in such a system, the keywords could appear in any language. The compiler would work on the XML representation of the code, not the code itself. XML has made a 'universal' code representation both possible and inevitable, given the business, social, and financial advantages that it creates. I'm looking forward to the XML code compiler."

  • [December 02, 1999] "BizTalk: Fluent in E-Business." By Kent Brown. In Enterprise Development (December 1999). ['BizTalk can make EAI and e-commerce work on a global scale. And Microsoft's shrewd support of XML could ensure its success.] "Once you cut through Microsoft's hype, you'll discover that the new BizTalk Framework is an ambitious and worthwhile EAI and e-commerce initiative. And despite the BizTalk Server being nowhere near a shipping product, it still behooves you to get up to speed on this framework. Especially since Microsoft appears to be succeeding in gathering together a critical mass of corporations that buy into BizTalk. BizTalk, though not exactly labeled as such, is essentially an attempt at a global solution to Enterprise Application Integration. The goal: for applications written independently of each other, running in different companies on different platforms, using different object models, and even communicating by different transport protocols, to be able to communicate with each other, using a modicum of custom "wrapper" or "glue" code. This would let us make the most of existing legacy apps. We could also mix and match "best of breed" apps from different vendors. There are three prongs to Microsoft's BizTalk initiative: the BizTalk Framework, the BizTalk schema library, and the BizTalk Server. The BizTalk Framework is a set of XML formatting rules and mandated tags to which every message must conform in order to be considered a BizTalk message. The library is a repository of published schemas submitted by participating companies, which is maintained on the site so that the schema for any BizTalk message is universally accessible. The BizTalk Server is a promised software product that will allow centralized configuration of the routing of messages and the translation between different schemas. Microsoft has already delivered the BizTalk JumpStart kit, which lets you convert your apps to use BizTalk messages. Then they'll work with the BizTalk Server once it's released..."

  • [December 02, 1999] "Take Advantage of XML Using VB and ASP." By A. Russell Jones. In Visual Basic Programmer's Journal (December 1999). ['XML provides a common method for placing content into the same file as meta-information about that content. Learn how to use Microsoft's XML parser to retrieve, update, and insert data. Use this introduction to the msxml parser to get started creating Web apps using XML.'] "If you learn only one new technology next year, it should be Extensible Markup Language (XML). XML provides a common method for placing content into the same file as meta-information about that content. That sounds difficult, but the beauty of XML is that it's anything but difficult (see Listing 1). If you've ever looked at a Visual Basic class file with Notepad, you'll notice that the code [in Listing 1] looks familiar, all wrapped up in tags (the text between the angle brackets). The XML describes a VB class module called CPerson... A database isn't much good without a way to retrieve, update, and insert data. You perform those operations with XML using a parser and a set of objects exposed by the parser. In this column, I'll show you how to get started using an XML parser. Several parsers are available on the Web, but you probably already have one; Microsoft includes an XML parser with Internet Explorer 5 (IE5). Microsoft's XML parser resides in a file called msxml.dll. msxml is a Component Object Model (COM) object, so you can use it with any ActiveX-compliant environment, including VB and Active Server Pages (ASP)."

  • [December 02, 1999] "DNA 2000: Opening new Windows. Will Microsoft Windows DNA 2000 usher in the next generation of the Internet?" By Kent Brown. In Enterprise Development (November 1999). ['Microsoft's Windows DNA 2000 initiative proposes to XMLify the Microsoft OS, tools, and services front to back. Will this end the proprietary platform wars, usher in the next era of the Internet and ultimately result in world peace and prosperity for all?'] "Windows DNA 2000 is, in essence, an extension of the Windows DNA model beyond the traditional Windows platform. DNA 2000 envisions the next step of Internet evolution as the proliferation of services that can be invoked remotely over the Web and integrated into customized solutions in the same way that enterprise developers use remote objects across their networks. Microsoft's outline for DNA 2000 presumes that a universal remote procedure call (RPC) mechanism is necessary to make this possible, and that this mechanism will involve messages carrying XML payloads to marshal the RPC requests and data exchanges across the wire. The rest of Microsoft's architecture plan is mostly just promised product enhancements to fill in the gaps in the Windows 2000 platform to support scalable distributed computing. In his speech, Steve Ballmer listed five areas of focus for the Windows DNA 2000 initiative: Extended programming model. Ideally, the programming model for using remote services within the enterprise and across the Web would be the same. But there are some big differences between these two environments, and while a worthy goal, a unified programming model will require a lot of compromises. Microsoft unveiled a new protocol proposal, the Simple Object Access Protocol, or SOAP, submitted to the IETF standards committee to address this problem. I'll take a detailed look at the SOAP protocol below because I think this is the most interesting aspect of the whole [MS] announcement..."

  • [December 02, 1999] "IBM, Extricity To Partner On B2B Solutions." By Ellis Booker. In CMPNet TechWeb News (December 01, 1999). "IBM and Extricity Software today are announcing an alliance to jointly deliver business-to-business (B2B) solutions worldwide. As part of the pact, IBM will resell and market Extricity's AllianceSeries XML-based e-commerce server platform. IBM, already the market leader with around 7,000 users of its MQSeries middleware product, believes the B2B extension is a natural addition to this enterprise application integration platform. 'We see this as enabling customers to quickly and efficiently create portals and exchanges between buyers and sellers,' said Rob Lamb, MQSeries business unit executive. For months, IBM has been adding XML support to its various software platforms, including MQSeries, as well as its DB2 database and WebSphere application server."

  • [December 02, 1999] "TSI To Offer B-to-B Integration Software." By Jeff Sweat. In CMPNet TechWeb News (December 01, 1999). "Enterprise application integration (EAI) vendor TSI Software on Tuesday will unveil the first fruits of its acquisition of application server vendor Novera Software -- an integration product that helps link businesses over the Internet. In the first quarter of next year, the company will roll out its business-to-business integration broker, the combination of Novera's application server and TSI's Mercator EAI software. The company said the product will transform data from legacy systems and packaged application platforms, such as SAP and PeopleSoft, into XML, which will make it simpler for businesses to share information with trading partners, customers, and suppliers. It will also transform XML into other data formats at either end of the transaction."

  • [December 02, 1999] "Object Databases Move To The Middle -- Despite The Prevalence Of Relational Databases, Vendors Are Making Use Of The Technology." By Mary Stearns Sgiaroto. In InformationWeek Issue 763 [Section: Application Development Java Messaging] (November 29, 1999). "The market tug-of-war between object-oriented and relational databases is long over, and it's clear that relational databases remain the chief custodians of business information...As more companies realize the benefits of the Extensible Markup Language, vendors are finding new ways to approach this market, and companies are seeing definite benefits to deploying object databases at the hub of their integration projects. The XML trend will continue to shake itself out, of course. Says Gartner Group's Varma, 'Most everybody has a story about managing in-memory data and XML. It's very early in the XML game and it's still too early for anybody to claim victory or defeat.' Hoping to end up on the winning side, Object Design Inc. in Burlington Mass., was founded on an object-database product, ObjectStore, and has positioned itself squarely in the XML space. The company sells eXcelon, a midtier, XML-based data-integration server that manages the flow of information between IT systems, business-to-consumer applications, and business-to-business information exchange applications. 'I think XML is going to explode,' says Coco Jaenicke, manager of product marketing and XML evangelist for Object Design. 'I think it's going to be the underlying format for all information. Technically, XML has every feature you need; it stands up to the job. And the industry is supporting it, so it's free of political perils.' XML and object databases would seem to be a potent combination. David Hoag, VP of development at Java engineering and consulting firm ObjectWave, says object-oriented database-management system technology is superior when it comes to storing XML. 'The component model for XML is complex enough that to store it in a relational database isn't practical,' Hoag says. 'In the relational-database world, you have to worry about foreign key references, the depth of the model. There is a lot more complexity in mapping an XML component model to a relational model.' Mapping an XML component model to a relational database requires hundreds and hundreds of round trips, Hoag says, whereas the object database simply returns the object structure. 'In an XML situation, the object database will win out in performance and simplicity,' he says."

  • [December 01, 1999] "Describing your Data: DTDs and XML Schemas." By Simon St. Laurent. From (December 01, 1999). ['Are you confused about which XML schema syntax to use? Concerned that your XML applications remain interoperable with future XML schema standards? Simon St. Laurent guides us through the maze of XML schema languages, focusing on DTDs and XML Schemas.'] "If you've been developing with XML for even a short period of time, you are likely to have reached the point of wanting to describe your XML data structures. Document Type Definitions (DTDs) and XML Schemas are key technologies in this area. Although neither are strictly required for XML development, both DTDs and XML Schemas are important parts of the XML toolbox. DTDs have been around for over twenty years as a part of SGML, while XML Schemas are relative newcomers. Though they use very different syntax and take different approaches to the task of describing document structures, both mechanisms definitely occupy the same turf. The W3C seems to be grooming XML Schemas as a replacement for DTDs, but it isn't yet clear that how quickly the transition will be made. DTDs are here-and-now, while XML Schemas, in large part, are for the future..." [For complete references, see "XML Schemas."]

  • [December 01, 1999] "Which Mailing List Should You Join?" By Edd Dumbill. From (December 01, 1999). ['Some of the best and most up to date help on programming with XML can be found in mailing lists and newsgroups. Our guide can help you to choose the right forum in which to get involved.'] "Subscribing to mailing lists or newsgroups is a great way to stay up to date on XML, contribute to discussions, and find answers to problems. There is a wealth of forums for the discussion of XML-related topics. In fact, there are so many options that it can be difficult to know where to start. The purpose of this guide is to survey the most popular forums, to communicate their strengths, and help you decide which mailing list to join." [See also: "SGML/XML Discussion Groups and Mailing Lists."

  • [December 01, 1999] "Microsoft Submits XML Standard." By Aaron Ricadela and Rick Whiting. In CMP TechWeb News (December 01, 1999). "Microsoft submitted a network protocol for XML communication between Windows and non-Microsoft systems to the Internet Engineering Task Force on Tuesday. The draft specification is for version 1.0 of SOAP, a method for accessing objects over the Web. SOAP employs XML to let developers write apps that call objects built with Microsoft's DCOM, as well as non-Microsoft components that use Java and Corba. Microsoft hopes interoperability between its systems and computers running Unix will spur sales of Windows 2000." For other references, see "Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP)." [cn]

  • [December 01, 1999] "Global XML framework for e-business planned." By Michael Lattig. In InfoWorld (November 30, 1999). "The crusade for a global, cross-industry Extensible Markup Language (XML) framework for electronic business is officially under way, with backing from over 150 companies, as well as the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), and the United Nations' Center for Trade Facilitation and E-business (UN/CEFACT). The goal, according to Bob Sutor, a member of the board of directors at XML standards body OASIS, is to tap into the vast technical and business experience of individuals across a number of industries and use that expertise to develop a universal framework for XML, to be called ebXML. To accomplish that goal, participating companies have been split into eight project teams based on their respective areas of expertise, and those teams will be working over the next six months to develop the first framework for the ebXML framework. Those project teams will cover marketing awareness and education; technical requirements; business process methodology; technical architecture; core components; transportation, routing, and packaging; registry and repository; and technical coordination and support. While the goal of the project is to develop a cross-industry XML standard for e-business, it is not designed to preempt the development of industry-specific XML standards. On the contrary, said Sutor, OASIS and the UN/CEFACT will encourage the continued development of vertical XML standards." See the main reference page ("Electronic Business XML Initiative (ebXML)") and the recent press release, "Organizations from Around the World Gather to Launch ebXML Global Electronic Business Initiative."

  • [December 01, 1999] "How XML Enables Internet Trading Communities and Marketplaces." By Bob Glushko. From (December 1999). ['Bob Glushko, XML strategist and Director of Advanced Technology at CommerceOne, overviews the challenges the the EDI community face in building a new Electronic Business standard using XML. EDI's basic premise that it is easier to interconnect business systems using 'document-based coupling' than in terms of application interfaces. Is the same true in an XML world? Bob Glushko of CommerceOne thinks so. To be presented at XML'99.'] "This paper explains why XML is rapidly becoming the enabling technology for Internet markets and trading communities. It revisits EDI's basic premise that it is easier to interconnect business systems using 'document-based coupling' than in terms of application interfaces and shows how XML can breathe new life into this philosophy. It recognizes the value of preserving EDI's years of experience in designing messages that meet business process requirements and analyzes the technical limitations in both EDI and XML that make the transformation from EDI to XML challenging. But the ease with which anyone can invent new XML models for particular industries or subject areas is both a primary attraction and a significant threat to the interoperability of messages within and between trading communities. This paper reviews efforts to create standards for XML applications, emphasizing those that consciously strive for a balanced perspective that recognizes the need for EDI and XML to interoperate. Finally, the paper introduces the challenges posed by the need for documents to be customized for a particular trading community while still being understood and interoperable with documents in other communities. The paper briefly explains how a Common Business Library encoded in an XML schema language is used in the Marketsite Marketplace Platform to meet these challenges."

  • [December 01, 1999] "Tradeum: Pioneering Solutions for Internet Exchanges." By [ Staff]. The featured 'site of the week' [1999-11-28] from "Tradeum's XML technology enables real-time optimized matching of buyers, sellers and third-party services to create a dynamic trading exchange on the Internet. The technology respects all parameters, from technical specifications to availability of third-party services, commercial terms and trading partner preferences. The power of Tradeum's technology is impressive, yet even Tradeum admit 'For both buyers and sellers to maximize their advantage, they must understand each other in the fullest sense, and their computers must talk to each other to do so -- delivery dates, technical specifications, commercial terms and more. This requires that goods be described accurately and comprehensively in an industry-wide standardized manner.' [...] Tradeum provides pioneering technology and services that enable B2B Internet marketmakers to realize first-mover advantage. With Tradeum's extensible exchange solution and .net operation, a net marketmaker can be up and running now and then scale up smoothly without missing a byte... Tradeum's platform is based on XML. Why? For most goods and services, many-to-many trading faced an impossible-to-climb Tower of Babel of data formats, jargon, and terminology."

  • [December 01, 1999] "Controlled Access and Dissemination of XML Documents." By Elisa Bertino, Silvana Castano, Elena Ferrari and Marco Mesiti. In Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on on Web Information and Data Management (November 2-6, 1999, Kansas City) (November 1999), pages 22-27, with 11 references. "XML (Extensible Markup Language) is becoming the most relevant standardization effort in the area of document representation through markup languages. Through XML, it is possible to define complex documents, containing information at different degrees of sensitivity. Moreover, the processes of document exchange and acquisition, which can be very frequent in Web-based information systems, are simplified and standardized. In this scenario, there is a strong need for policies to control and regulate the access and dissemination of XML documents. In the paper, we discuss main protection requirements posed by XML documents and we present a set of authorization and dissemination policies that enable both a controlled access to XML documents in a given Source and the exchange of XML documents across different sources. [We outline] a set of authorization and dissemination policies for a controlled XML document access and exchange. Novel features of the proposed policies are related to the capability of dealing with the inter-linked, hierarchical structure of XML documents, with documents that partially conform to the existing policies, and with a dynamic subject population to which different views of the same (set of) document(s) have to be released. Future research work includes the enrichment of the set of policies we have proposed (for example, by supporting policies which appIy only to specific sets or collections of documents belonging to a given DTD), the development of a formal notation to specify the proposed policies, the implementation of access control and dissemination mechanisms enforcing the proposed policies, the development of tools supporting the security administrator. Other important research directions we plan to investigate are related to the dissemination of XML documents in the WWW environment. An important issue is how to support the Cryptolope approach with standard Web browsers."

  • [December 01, 1999] "Get Up to Speed With XML. Learn the basics of XML so you can get started using it in your own applications." By Boris Feldman. In XML Magazine Volume 1, Number 1 (Winter 1999/2000), pages 14-18. ['XML is designed to help you organize your data and easily exchange it with others. This overview gives you the basics you need to start using XML in your own applications.'] "If you've seen any computer magazine in the last year, you couldn't have missed the buzz surrounding the industry's newest darling, the Extensible Markup Language (XML). However, having heard of XML is not enough; you need to make smart decisions about how it will impact your business, Internet-related or not, and how you can best take advantage of this new technology. This article will give you a clear understanding of what XML is, what all the XML-related acronyms mean, and how you can best put XML to work for you. XML is a tag-based language similar to HTML that is designed to organize your data rather than format it. With XML you can standardize the way you exchange data with other companies, within your company, or within your application. By using XML, you concentrate on your business logic and avoid the dreary work of writing parsing code for your custom format..."

  • [December 01, 1999] "XML Glossary." Compiled by Stefan Grünwedel. In XML Magazine Volume 1, Number 1 (Winter 1999/2000), pages 20-21. "All the XML terminology you need to know, with definitions. Here are some common terms associated with XML that you'll come across not only in this magazine but in other XML-related contexts..."

  • [December 01, 1999] "Dun & Bradstreet Embraces XML." By Jon Udell. In XML Magazine Volume 1, Number 1 (Winter 1999/2000), pages 22-27, 34-35. ['Risk assessment for corporate insurance underwriters used to take days. With revamped data storage and delivery, it now can take minutes. Sure, Dun & Bradstreet's project had its minor glitches. But it's clear that XML middleware is uniquely equipped to leverage the Web's ubiquity and provide workable business-to-business solutions.'] "Users can deploy D&B's Global Access Toolkit on a server or a client, as a set of COM components or Java libraries. Harvey Bowring's credit underwriting application, for example, was built with the COM version of the toolkit and interacts with IIS, Active Server Pages, and SQL Server on Compaq servers running NT. The same COM toolkit can be deployed client-side, delivering realtime D&B data-awareness to a Win32-based application. An alternative Java version of the toolkit delivers the same functionality on non-Windows servers and clients. Either way, the toolkit hides a lot of the XML plumbing that's needed to negotiate transactions with the Global Access Server. It exposes a scriptable object model (see "The hidden middle: Global Access Toolkit's object model") to the programmer. For example, Listing 1 shows how a Visual Basic programmer might locate D&B records for IBM. Not an angle bracket or an XML parser in sight! Despite the object model's neat encapsulation, the XML machinery the toolkit hides isn't terribly complex. It's a request/response protocol called DGX (D&B Global Exchange), modelled on OFX (Open Financial Exchange), the Intuit/Microsoft standard that governs home banking (see Listing 2). OFX is currently based on SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language), but is rapidly migrating toward XML. To create DGX, the Global Access team adopted OFX's SGML DTDs (Document Type Definitions) and recast them as simpler but equivalent XML DTDs."

  • [December 01, 1999] "XML Gets Businesses Talking. BizTalk and OASIS are standardizing data formats and network specifications with XML to improve business information exchange." By David Wall. In XML Magazine Volume 1, Number 1 (Winter 1999/2000), pages 36-39. ['As businesses move from paper documents and proprietary electronic formats toward electronic interactions with XML, there's a need for standard ways to identify all that important data properly. BizTalk and OASIS aim to please.'] "The case for XML-based exchange standards for business information gets a boost from the current sorry state of affairs in cross-application (in)compatibility. What exists now is a rat's nest of interfaces, preprocessors, translators, adapters, and converters in a typical large enterprise. If you have 10 pieces of accounting and management software in your organization and each program must talk to each of the others, there are 90 connections to be made. In many cases, building those connections is a manual job-the sort of thing you have to pay a consultant or in-house programmer a lot of money to accomplish. Heaven forbid you should ever decide to swap out one piece of software for a new one. This is why legacy software sticks around for so long. The technology and effort involved in dealing with software interoperability make up a huge industry. Not only do organizational (and contract) programmers spend too many hours building interfaces, but the entire Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) software industry-consisting of CrossWorlds (, Bluestone (, Extricity (, and others-is based on the fact that getting big management applications to talk to one another is hard. OAG's Connelly notes that managers would dearly love to save the vast sums of money they spend on integrating various applications' input and output. The OAG promotes a "common backbone" solution to this problem. It works like a bulletin board in a small-town grocery store. You can post information on the bulletin board or extract information from it. If you post something, you know to write legibly, concisely (and in the local language), and to include a way for someone to contact you. If you read a notice, you extract what you need from the bulletin based on its formatting. The common backbone that OAG promotes isn't a bulletin board in the traditional computer sense of the term, but rather a set of rules for publishing and accessing information in some kind of forum..."

  • [December 01, 1999] "When Do You Adopt XML? The tradeoffs involved in using XML mean you should pick your uses carefully." By David S. Linthicum. In XML Magazine Volume 1, Number 1 (Winter 1999/2000), pages 40-42. ['There's no denying that XML is great for data transfer. But throwing this hot new technology at too many problems can only dilute its value and cause mass confusion. Here's when to use it-and when not to.'] The vendors are all staking early claims to XML dominance. They also seem to be turning XML, which is really just a specification, into a technology, which may not be the best thing for XML right now. Some vendors see XML as a common information exchange mechanism; others see it as a database storage format; some look to the Web attributes of XML; the rest see XML as a mechanism to finally get metadata under control. The rush to make a product out of XML is pulling it in many different directions. Ariba Technologies Inc., for instance, just released Commerce XML (cXML), a set of XML DTDs that allows various organizations to define and exchange transactions over the Internet. Not to be outdone, Commerce One released Veo's Common Business Library (CBL), written in XML. CBL is part of the eCo Framework specification for business-to-business commerce, recently turned over to the CommerceNet Consortium. At the same time, Open Buying on the Internet (OBI), an existing standard defining a set of processes for Web-based procurement, is being redone as an XML-enabled standard. Moreover, we are also looking to redefine traditional electronic data interchange (EDI) as XML. You get the picture. Here's my take on it. XML, and the technology that accompanies it, makes for an excellent text-processing facility. It's able to follow a set of rules for creation and organization of documents, so we now have a common text format that many of us can agree on. This allows users of different types of middleware to share information easily. This is all possible because of the self-describing nature of XML data."

  • [December 01, 1999] "Oracle: Powered by XML and Java. Storing your XML in an Oracle8i database offers many advantages to managing your data." By Ken North. In XML Magazine Volume 1, Number 1 (Winter 1999/2000), pages 46-50. ['Databases belong in every XML developer's toolkit. If you are doing mixed projects with XML and other types of data, you'll want to use a product such as Oracle8i for common storage and querying.']The most recent release of the Oracle database, Oracle8i, features XML capabilities as one of the primary features of the newest version. Oracle8i lets you store XML and build XML-enabled applications. Storing XML in databases lets you take advantage of database administration processes, enforce rules about data and security, define type information, and improve search performance. Document retrieval and data retrieval are not synonymous. Oracle solves data retrieval problems, even though it can also manage XML as complete documents. It's harder to manage a document collection as it grows. Finding information is also more difficult when you must search hundreds or thousands of XML documents. This is a classic data management problem solved through the advent of the database management system (DBMS). Database managers maintain data integrity by providing uniform rules and consistent methods for accessing data. Software companies have refined database technology for three decades and today's DBMSs can manage tabular data, objects, video, audio, images, geo-spatial data, and text. XML is text that conforms to a hierarchy or tree structure. This structure lends itself to parsing and searching. It also lets Oracle provide section searches when you use it to manage XML collections. Oracle8i can store entire documents as columns and its internet File System (iFS) can access XML stored in external files or on the Web. Storing XML collections in databases lets you benefit from database administration tools and procedures such as scheduled backups. Because Oracle databases are not passive data stores, you can use them to enforce rules about data and security. By embedding rules and logic in a database, you can use it to block operations that compromise data integrity. XML developers understand rule processing because they can use a Document Type Definition (DTD) to express rules about documents. You can use a DTD to define the content model for a document, specifying elements, entities, and attributes. In Structuring XML Documents (Prentice Hall, 1998), David Megginson describes two types of DTDs: book-oriented DTDs and database-oriented DTDs. Database-oriented DTDs are used for data exchange and commercial transactions-for example, a DTD used to write and validate hotel reviews stored as XML."

  • [December 01, 1999] "From Office DOM to XML DOM. Document Object Models are the key to unlocking the power of XML." By Kurt Cagle. In XML Magazine Volume 1, Number 1 (Winter 1999/2000), pages 52-56. ['Although Microsoft Office doesn't really support XML, knowing how to use MS Office's DOMs lets you create complex applications with tools like VBA.'] "Microsoft identifies itself with the Extensible Markup Language (XML) more than just about any other company. The company produced a readily available component for XML parsing within months of the convening of the XML committee, and it pushed for a view of XML that emphasized its ability to transfer any data-not just documents. It also raised the awareness of Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) to new heights and started more people out with the query aspects of XML than the rest of the industry combined. Given that, you'd expect that Microsoft Office 2000, the company's flagship product, would carry the banner of data anywhere, any time, any way. Unfortunately, Office doesn't really support XML. That doesn't mean you can't put XML to use with Office-it just means that quite a bit of the work you'd like Office to do, you need to do yourself. I'll demonstrate a couple of techniques to take advantage of XML from within Office. The Document Object Models (DOMs) for all these tools are incredibly robust-perhaps too much so, but that's a different argument. With a basic grasp of XML and DOM manipulation, you can create sophisticated applications with tools like Visual Basic for Applications. Just don't expect Office to provide these things for you out of the gate."

  • [December 01, 1999] "Expand on Visual Basic's Functionality. XML revolutionizes structured file storage by reducing development time and improving performance." By Nachi Sendowski. In XML Magazine Volume 1, Number 1 (Winter 1999/2000), pages 58-63. ['No longer do you need to invent a custom data file format, define a grammar, or build a parser. XML handles it all for you. You'll put XML to use today, building a hypothetical repository. Learn proven XML techniques to maximize VB performance and compensate for missing VB functionality.'] "In the good ol' days, you had to invent your own data structure, storage, grammar, and file format when implementing structured file storage for an app. You also had to code the read and write procedures for this data and-on occasion-write your own parser and possibly an editor to administer the stored data. Extensible Markup Language (XML) eliminates the need to jump through such hoops ever again. It provides a flexible and easy-to-use object model for accessing structured data programmatically. An application can easily traverse an XML document using the provided parser and object model and have sequential or random access to any eell-formed structured information. The data kept in XML is text-based, readable, maintained easily, potentially self-validating, and accessible with a variety of tools. In this article, I'll explain the basic steps for putting XML to use, walking you through the steps necessary to implement a hypothetical repository. Along the way, I'll show you a few tricks for using XML either to maximize performance in VB or compensate for missing VB functionality, using benchmarks to illustrate the relative performance difference between various approaches. At the same time, I'll try to punch through the hype, making the case for what XML can do today, as I cover its strengths and weaknesses in the context of other present-day technologies."

  • [December 01, 1999] "An Introduction to XML for Java Programmers. The Extensible Markup Language and Java are a perfect duo for data exchange and more." By Piroz Mohseni. In XML Magazine Volume 1, Number 1 (Winter 1999/2000), pages 64-67. ['Like Java, XML has emerged from an early hype phase to become a valuable tool in handling data. Learn how Java can make an XML document's data and metadata come to life in your apps.'] "XML has often been associated with HTML and discussed in the context of content markup, content management, search engines, and meta languages, but there are some aspects of XML that are also a perfect match for Java. XML is not a programming language-it is merely a language in which you can create a markup language. XML provides a method to represent data in a universal way. Data and the logic to process data (programs) have a long-standing relationship. It should come as no surprise that such a relationship exists and will emerge fully from XML and Java...The ability to define data structures in plain text makes XML useful as a data exchange mechanism among applications. But what does this have to do with Java? Just as a browser brings HTML to life, Java can bring XML documents to life. An XML document by itself is merely a collection of data and metadata. A programming language is required to process that data and perform useful operations using the data. In the remainder of this article, we'll take a look at how Java can leverage XML documents. It should be noted that XML is inherently language independent. Other languages such as Perl, Python, and C++ can also be used to manipulate XML documents."

  • [December 01, 1999] "Create Extensible Web Pages with XML and CSS. Learn how to integrate XML and CSS markup to create truly extensible Web pages using your own tag set and vocabulary." By Kurt Cagle. In XML Magazine Volume 1, Number 1 (Winter 1999/2000), pages 68-74. ['Using XML and Cascading Style Sheets, you can create truly extensible Web pages. Find out what's possible with XML in tandem with Internet Explorer 5.'] "If HTML and the Internet have changed the ability of people to publish, it has been somewhat tempered by two significant limitations. The first is the classic conundrum of the Web designer. In order to build pages with visual complexity, you are forced to choose between supporting a lesser subset of Web page implementation that ensures compatibility, or taking advantage of a larger set of features at the expense of limiting market penetration or maintaining multiple versions. The second, more pervasive limitation of HTML is the loss of context. HTML started out as a contextual language for viewing scientific documents. It isn't terribly well-suited for creating interactive advertisements, gallery walk-throughs, online book and CD superstores, and so forth. However, each Shockwave movie, each VRML world, every DIV-based HTML element that uses Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) loses just a little bit more information about the Web. We're on the edge of a revolution that will prove as profound in its way as HTML, or those first word processors, or that first copy of PageMaker. The harbinger of this new revolution is XML, and Microsoft's Internet Explorer 5.0 provides the first inklings about how powerful this new technology will ultimately prove to be... This article covers a lot of ground. My intent was to show the potential that XML offers as a markup language, and almost accidentally, I created a number of useful behaviors to help support it. Feel free to use them and modify them for your own projects. While it will take some time for XML browsers (and make no mistake about it: IE5 is an XML browser, which just happens to support HTML) to become commonplace, their use will unquestionably change the way we create Web pages. You can define your documents to best handle your own particular tasks, rather than tasks that fit best in a language meant to format physics papers. You can create complex functionality that can be referenced as easily as a simple paragraph tag, and you can change the functionality by specifying a different style sheet. With the click of a button, you can make a document more suitable for print, or for audible reading, or for displaying as a spreadsheet. Finally, the very meta-structure of the document becomes easy to navigate; what used to take dozens of lines of HTML-centered JavaScript code can be easily accomplished in a handful of XML-centric code lines."

  • [December 01, 1999] "Schemas Take DTDs to the Next Level. Use schemas to prepare XML for the demands of e-business and e-commerce." By Norbert Mikula and Ken Levy. In XML Magazine Volume 1, Number 1 (Winter 1999/2000), pages 81-82. ['The W3C XML Schema is far from being finalized, but it offers a promising direction for document type definitions (DTDs) to prepare XML for the demands of e-business and e-commerce.'] "For XML documents to make sense, the attributes and elements of the document must be defined prior to being parsed by an XML browser or application. Traditionally, a Document Type Definition (DTD) is used to describe the elements and attributes in an XML or SGML document. The format for DTDs is an existing worldwide standard and will likely exist and be improved upon for years to come. However, because of the inherent limitations of DTDs, and the increasingly data-oriented role that XML is being asked to assume because of developments in e-business and e-commerce, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards body is promoting a new standard called XML Schemas, rather than attempting to push the current DTD standards any farther. We will describe the differences between DTDs and XML Schemas, the pros and cons of each, and will then offer a number of recommendations to help you decide which would be the best technology for your needs... To understand why XML Schemas are important, let's look at the two major shortcomings of DTDs as they relate to XML: a separate syntax and lack of support fordata-typing."

  • [December 01, 1999] "Transform Your Data With XSL. Here's a real-world example of how you can use XSL to convert an XML-based résumé into various data formats to suit your needs." By Kurt Cagle. In XML Magazine Volume 1, Number 1 (Winter 1999/2000), pages 76-80. ['The Extensible Stylesheet Language gives you the power to convert your data into different formats based on your needs. This real-world example shows how to transform an XML-based résumé into various formats using XSL.'] "XSL, or Extensible Stylesheet Language, is often compared to CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) as a way of applying specific formats to XML tags. However, this comparison is actually a little misleading. CSS reads each XML element as it is scanned in the document and applies styles in that order. In other words, CSS doesn't change the structure of the XML; it only changes the visual appearance of each node. If you put your name at the bottom of the XML document, CSS will place your name at the bottom of the document unless you explicitly position it elsewhere with position:absolute. Furthermore, CSS will treat each tag of a given type in exactly the same manner-there's no mechanism for doing things like placing a rule above the first paragraph in a set of paragraphs without explicitly renaming the paragraph class. XSL, on the other hand, is a transformational language. It can take an XML document (or a rigorously valid HTML document) and convert it to another XML document, an HTML document, a printable HTML document, a standard ASCII text file, a proprietary text format, or conceivably even a binary representation. Given that a significant proportion of all computer programs out there exist for the sole purpose of transforming one set of data into a different set of data, the potential for XSL is in some respects even broader than the already burgeoning interest in XML."

November 1999

  • [November 30, 1999] "Microsoft Offers SOAP to IETF." By Bob Trott. In InfoWorld (November 30, 1999). "Microsoft plans to submit the first version of its Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) specification to the Internet Engineering Task Force on Tuesday for consideration as a standard, according to a company representative. SOAP, based on Internet standards such as HTTP and Extensible Markup Language (XML), enables Remote Procedure Calls to be sent as XML syntax across the Web's HTTP architecture. The specification will be built into forthcoming versions of Microsoft's Windows Distributed interNet Applications architecture. The goal, according to the company officials, is to offer a standards-based interoperability protocol that will enable 'new and existing applications to become Web services that communicate seamlessly.' The protocol is key to Microsoft as it gears up for the rollout of Windows 2000, which is due to launch Feb. 17 2000. After getting feedback from partners and major customers who are unhappy with the prospect of ripping out and replacing legacy and non-Windows systems, the company in the past couple of years has focused on interoperability with those and other infrastructures, such as Java. Microsoft officials hope that this approach will prove to be a selling point for Windows 2000, the upgrade to Windows NT 4.0." See "Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP)."

  • [November 30, 1999] "Microsoft Proposes Net software Specification." By Mike Ricciuti. In CNET (November 30, 1999). "Microsoft today will submit a draft of a proposed Internet communications specification to a key standards body. The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant will publish and submit version 1.0 of the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) specification to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) as an Internet draft. SOAP, based on the increasingly popular Web standard for data exchange called the Extensible Markup Language (XML), will let business software programs communicate over the Internet, regardless of the programming model on which they are based. Microsoft is attempting to gain an advantage over competitors, including Sun Microsystems, IBM and others, by establishing SOAP as an Internet standard and incorporating it into its server-based software. In many ways, SOAP, and Microsoft's plans to establish it as a standard, represent a reversal of Microsoft's past attempts to steer the software development business. The company many times has been accused of attempting to control the market with Windows, a de facto proprietary standard. With SOAP, Microsoft is proposing an open standard that would nullify a competitor's proprietary advantage. SOAP, which doesn't require any Microsoft software, is a network protocol that lets software objects developed using different languages communicate with each other. Microsoft sees it as effectively leveling the playing field between Windows and development strategies based on Java. Instead of being forced to choose one model, companies will be free to select whichever is best suited to solving the problem at hand, Microsoft reasons..." See "Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP)."

  • [November 24, 1999] "Presentation and Exchange of Business Models With CIMOSA-XML." By Giuseppe Salvato, I.J. Leontaritis, P. Winstone, M. Zelm, Daniel Rivers-Moore [etc.]. In Computers in Industry [ISSN: 0166-3615] Volume 40, Number 2-3 (November 1999), pages 125-139. On CIMOSA (CIM Open System Architecture) and XML, see [a hint in] CIMOSA - News from Vol. 6/1, 99-02-15: "A working group in the PRIMA project with the CIMOSA Association and Rivcom, UK has developed the Document Type Definition (DTD) of the CIMOSA-XML Meta-model. This Meta-model is the basis for a common set of modelling constructs in order to build enterprise models, which can be presented in different views to different users. The presentation of the CIMOSA model starts from the functional hierarchy (decomposition) of the domain and enterprise functions (Domain Processes, Business Processes and Enterprise Activities). The behavioural description of the XML model is presented as a graphic representation. Information view and resource view are presented by listing Object Views, Capabilities and Capability Sets with a description of the enterprise functions that employ them as function inputs, function outputs, needed capabilities etc. The specification of a Document Type Definition (DTD) for most CIMOSA constructs has been based on their formal definition in EXPRESS language. The population of an XML file with data from a particular CIMOSA model with CIMOSA DTD enables the model representation into Manager, Business and Technical type of description. The partial CIMOSA model 'Quality Document Management' described in a business functional requirements study has been used as a DTD prototyping example. The benefits can be summarised as: Exchange of CIMOSA models in a neutral form, style sheets that give users the ability to interact more with the model and the definition of logical links between information elements. The results of this work are reported in the PRIMA project deliverables and in a paper titled 'Process Repository as a management tool' by G.Salvato to be published in the upcoming special issue of Computers in Industry." See further the table of contents for Computers In Industry, Volume 40, Issue: 2-3, November 1999.

  • [November 24, 1999] "Web DNA: XML Builds Powerful Publications." By Liz Levy. In Imaging & Document Solutions Volume 8, Number 11 (November 1999), pages 18-26. ['XML provides the structure for living documents. We look at two very different companies that are using XML to build applications that support the dynamic assembly of content and Web delivery.'] "They're two very different companies with two different challenges, but they've both found an answer in XML (eXtensible Markup Language). What they have in common is a need to organize and add structure to their documents with an eye toward delivering the content across multiple media including the Web. Read on to find out how Practitioners Publishing company plans to customize and reuse its financial reference material for delivery via print, the Web and CD-ROM. And there's Guidant, a leading maker of life-saving pacemakers and defibrillators. Using XML, this manufacturer is creating structured documents that can be dynamically composed for each product they manufacture. (1) Practitioners Publishing Company (PPC) offers a variety of reference materials used by CPAs and financial planners. There are 300 employees in PPC's office in Fort Worth, TX, where they publish more than 125 titles a year averaging more than 1,000 pages in length... XML facilitates the reuse of content by storing information at an element level rather than a document level. This fit PPC because some of their products have the same sections and subsections but they don't have the same chapters. (2) Guidant (Indianapolis, IN) is a $1.9 billion, 6,000-employee manufacturer of cardiovascular products. The company's Cardiac Rhythm Management Group is a market leader in defibrillator systems, which treat life-threatening rapid heart rhythms. Based in St. Paul, MN, the group also produces pacemakers and other products, all of which require thousands of pages of documentation to support manufacturing processes. The Guidant group decided to rewrite all of their manuals in XML (eXtensible Markup Language) to improve document structure, organization and creation..."

  • [November 24, 1999] "Web DNA: WebDAV Brings the Basics Online." By Lawrence Drinkwater and Doug Henschen. In Imaging & Document Solutions Volume 8, Number 11 (November 1999), pages 29-35. ['WebDAV is a new protocol that provides a way to write, edit and share information over the Web to and from any supporting application. We compare WebDAV to other document management standards and see where the industry is headed.'] The Web is struggling to move beyond a read-only medium. WebDAV is a new protocol that provides the basics for writing, editing and sharing information across intranets, extranets and the Internet. Not only has it gained broad, high-level support, it just may leave less Web-savvy standards behind. WebDAV (short for Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning) will enable distant collaborators to read and write documents across the Internet in much the same way they now can in local client/server environments. A document created with a word processing or Web authoring tool from Microsoft, for example, will be viewable and revisable using different authoring tools. WebDAV extensions to HTTP will let you store files in any file system (e.g., Unix, Windows, Mac) and manage them with any WebDAV-supporting application (document management, workflow, groupware, etc.)...Two document management standards are currently in the crossfire of this controversy: ODMA (Open Document Management API) and DMA (Document Management Alliance). The ODMA standard is a client-side API specification that provides interoperability between multiple ODMA-compliant clients or applications operating on a single vendor's (proprietary) document management system. In this sense, WebDAV is similar to ODMA in that it provides multiple Web-based clients running on a Web server to interoperate. DMA delivers the full breadth of document management capabilities, including some that are currently absent from WebDAV, such as cross-repository search, multi-property and multi-condition search and auto-discovery of document management system features (though some anticipate that this functionality will eventually be supported by WebDAV). DMA also addresses both client and server interfaces, whereas WebDAV's interoperability is currently restricted to the client side..."

  • [November 24, 1999] "[] - Keyflow Enables E-Commerce." By Liz Levy. In Imaging & Document Solutions Volume 8, Number 11 (November 1999), page 16. ['Keyflow Enables E-Commerce Joining workflow, XML forms and Web doc management.'] "Keyflow Commerce has three core modules: a Workflow Server, an Active Document Workspace and a new XML Engine. The software's use of message-based workflow in conjunction with online XML-based forms is quite powerful. The online forms will handle transactions such as online purchasing, user registration and bill presentment, and the workflow portion will speed the processing, improving customer service and relationships. Keyflow Commerce will support Microsoft's BizTalk Framework by employing an XML (eXtensible Markup Language) workflow schema. BizTalk is a set of guidelines for publishing schemas in XML,and it will allow software programs to work together.The schemas are used within Keyfile's XML forms to define how the information will be received and processed in an e-commerce transaction. This allows Keyflow Commerce to exchange data with any application or system that also supports BizTalk."

  • [November 24, 1999] "Web Profiling. Marketers collect data on your Web habits. Would you like to see what they see?" By Sebastian Rupley. In PC Magazine [Online] (November 23, 1999). "There's an old saying: 'The devil you know is better than the devil you don't know.' As online privacy issues have grabbed headlines in recent months, it's apparent that marketers are collecting far more information about our online shopping and surfing habits than most of us realize. At the same time, a large working group of companies, ranging from Compaq and Oracle to Net Perceptions and Andromedia, is working on a new standard, dubbed CPEX (Customer Profile Exchange), for how consumer information is collected and shared. Unlike most of the current subterranean efforts to collect information about your surfing and shopping habits, CPEX is designed on an open-source model where customers may have new levels of control over what they allow to be disseminated about them. The newly proposed CPEX standard for collecting online shopping and surfing information is gaining broad backing. CPEX is designed to integrate online and off-line customer data in an XML-based format for use by companies that want to gather information about consumers. As such, it has the potential to draw the ire of consumers." See "Customer Profile Exchange (CPEX) Working Group."

  • [November 24, 1999] "Simpletons vs. DocHeads. SML: Simplifying XML." By Robert E. La Quey. From (November 24, 1999). ['Do you think XML is too complicated? The proposers of a move to standardize a 'Simplified Markup Language' (SML), a cut-down version of XML, certainly do. They claim that many implementations just don't use the more esoteric features of XML, such as processing instructions (PIs). That's OK, but why standardize? Well, if everyone only uses a bit of XML, there'll be conflict with exactly which bits are supported and which aren't. Hence the effort to pare XML 1.0 down to the bare essentials that implementors can agree on. So is SML a brave continuation of the XML revolution, or is it a distraction from the business of developing higher level XML applications? This week, Robert La Quey gives some background on the recent SML discussions, and makes the case for a standard simplified XML.'] "Of late, there are those that are thinking beyond this simplification of SGML into XML, and are pushing for an even simpler standard. Simple Markup Language (SML) is the newly-coined name for a de facto stripped-down variant of XML being used by two groups of developers. The first of these groups of SML users comprises those who believe that the revolution stopped too soon. The second, a much larger group, started using the core of XML and have no need for additional complexity. The first group knows its XML history and believes that SGML revisionists added document-centric complications that complicate XML beyond what is really needed for data-centric applications both on and off the Web. In fact, the reality is that many developers are already using a Simple Markup Language -- essentially XML without DTDs -- to build useful systems. In a recent message to the XML developers' mailing list XML-dev, Don Park explored a definition of SML. He characterized it as a subset of Canonical XML (a standard form of XML being specified by the W3C), but having: No Attributes, No Processing Instructions (PI), No Document Type Declaration (DTD), No non-character entity-references, No CDATA marked sections, Support for only UTF-8 character encoding, No optional features. . . A number of the leading figures in the XML community have not been amused by the SML discussions. This is understandable -- any call for experts to re-examine their basic assumptions, to go back to ground zero, is guaranteed to evoke strong reactions. Especially when it comes at a time when the experts thought they had already done just that. XML is, after all, a vast simplification of SGML..." See also: "Simplified Markup Language: Your Responses."

  • [November 24, 1999] "Document Management for the Masses." By Patrick D. Coleman. In Server/Workstation Expert Volume 10, Number 11 (November 1999), pages 50-57. Thanks to the Web, and emerging technologies like XML, document management systems are at last providing users with a robust environment for gathering, storing, and sharing information..." [not online yet]

  • [November 24, 1999] "XML: The Language Of Integration. The meta-language standard provides an easy and available way to identify and share data." By Alan Radding. In Information Week Issue 759 (November 01, 1999), pages 141-148. "Application developers are suddenly finding a better way to achieve data integration. Instead of hammering out specialized data exchange formats, writing proprietary parsers to pull data out of messages, and maintaining custom data connectors for multiple applications and data sources, they are turning to XML, the Extensible Markup Language. Unlike electronic data interchange, a cumbersome, overhead-laden approach to data exchange, XML is lightweight, easy, and increasingly available. XML is popping up everywhere. For example, Microsoft's latest Windows DNA 2000 product-strategy announcement specifies XML throughout the product line. However, Microsoft is one of many vendors turning to XML. 'It's nice to get the approval of the industry's 800-pound gorilla, but XML wasn't waiting for Microsoft,' says Mark Driver, research director with the Gartner Group's E-Business Technology service. Many software vendors are rushing to support XML. XML is not a product or a platform. Neither is it the second coming of Java, nor a latter-day SQL. It is an enabling technology, like IP itself, Driver says. XML is a meta-language standard for specifying a document-markup language based on plain-text tags. It's a subset of the Standard Generalized Markup Language. HTML, another subset of SGML, is a similar tag-based cousin of XML, but where HTML tags tell the browser how to display various elements on a Web page, XML tags specify what those elements are."

  • [November 24, 1999] "Privacy plan tied to XML. Consumers would control information about themselves." By Jim Kerstetter. In PC Week [Online] Volume 16, Number 47 (November 22, 1999), page 3. "More than 20 vendors, ranging from net.Genesis Corp. and Vignette Corp. to IBM, Siebel Systems Inc. and Oracle Corp., are trying to offer a technical solution to consumer online privacy problems. Last week, the group held a series of meetings here and unveiled the Customer Privacy Exchange, or CPEX, a proposed XML (Extensible Markup Language) standard that, when completed, will allow companies to share information about consumers while allowing consumers themselves to control the information. Unlike many such efforts in the privacy space, developers say CPEX isn't about heading off government intervention in consumer privacy. Intervention, they say, is a foregone conclusion and has already happened in most European Union countries. 'Whatever the government decides to do, we want to make sure companies can deal with it,' said Matthew Cutler, chief e-business intelligence officer at net.Genesis, in Cambridge, Mass. CPEX is still far from completion. The initial specification is expected to be published as an open-source reference by the middle of next year. Developers said they hope to have interoperability demonstrations ready late next year. They also want CPEX to work with the varied XML schemata already in development, such as the Internet Content Exchange and Microsoft Corp.'s BizTalk." See "Customer Profile Exchange (CPEX) Working Group."

  • [November 24, 1999] "Gates: It All Starts With Software. Microsoft CEO discusses business transformation, software distribution, and more." By . In Information Week (November 22, 1999). ". . . take all these things about Extensible Markup Language and how people are having to think about XML standards. There's going to be so many standards, so how do you map from one XML schema to another schema? That's a tough software problem; in fact, there's going to be more innovation in computer languages in the next couple of years than there have been in the last 10 as we expand existing languages with XML and we get new computer languages that are really designed around XML. And that's partly why our strategy is language neutral. Visual Basic, Java, C, even the traditional languages ... and you can't tell people to go rewrite stuff because that's not where you get interoperability. By mapping their stuff in the schemas and then being able to map between schemas, we'll have a level of interoperability we've never had before. This XML thing has a lot of promise to it. Just because you use XML doesn't deliver the promise, it's just sort of the starting point of it. Again, a very tough software problem, fascinating software problem that we'll go after just like all these tool things that we've done. [Windows 2000:] There's a new version of SQL Server, which is the one designed for XML. SQL 7 has been doing super well, but this is the first time where we've got XML at the center of the database design."

  • [November 24, 1999] "XML unleashes data. Red-hot technology builds bridges between enterprise apps by letting data move easily among them, regardless of original format. [Cover Story]." By Timothy Dyck. In PC Week [Online] Volume 16, Number 47 (November 22, 1999), pages 36-38. "Providing a simple, universal way to exchange information between otherwise incompatible systems, XML is the closest thing to a Holy Grail of e-commerce data interchange that PC Week Labs has seen. Since Extensible Markup Language gained World Wide Web Consortium Recommendation status in February 1998, its text-based structure has proved easy to understand and use. The specification was written with such stringency that for 21 months it has remained immune to the kind of incompatibilities that have dogged HTML. In addition, steady work within many industries such as health care and finance over the past several months -- coordinated through sites such as --has further smoothed the data path. For example, the automotive industry uses XML to exchange information among component suppliers; technical publishers use XML to produce manuals; and human resources managers use XML to store and categorize candidate résumés. In many instances, businesses can exchange information without intermediate format conversions, provided they use the same XML document formats. XML is the best available interoperability technology for business-to-business communication, particularly if it is transmitted over a secure channel such as a virtual private network or a Secure Sockets Layer connection..."

  • [November 24, 1999] "XML smooths flow of object interactions in distributed architectures." By Peter Coffee. In PC Week [Online] Volume 16, Number 47 (November 22, 1999), page 38. "There is a tendency among managers, especially those not immersed in new technol ogy, to view new standards that address similar needs as substitutes for one another. As in most such cases, the situation isn't that simple in the complementary coexistence of DCOM, CORBA and the emerging XML. Microsoft Corp.'s Distributed Component Object Model and the multivendor Common Object Request Broker Architecture are distributed component architectures; that is, they both provide ways for computers to find and run software componentsthat lets them exchange information without rigid prior agreement on data formats. Microsoft is trying to bridge the gap between these two domains with SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol), a technology that merges XML's labels with DCOM/CORBA's underlying software agents..."

  • [November 24, 1999] "Execs foresee steady growth in use of XML." By Anne Chen and Antone Gonsalves. In PC Week [Online] Volume 16, Number 47 (November 22, 1999), pages 36, 38. "XML is gaining acceptance in corporate IT departments as a cross-platform vehicle for moving data, but the technology must mature before gaining a foothold within the enterprise, according to IT managers. Extensible Markup Language 'has a lot of potential, but the biggest flaw is actually taking that potential and implementing and executing on it,' said Fred Kauber, vice president of technology and operations at ClickMail Inc.'s 'You're seeing it in small departmental applications right now. But to have XML leverage its full potential within the enterprise, it's going to take a lot more work'."

  • [November 24, 1999] "Web technology development focuses on XML." By Jim Rapoza. In PC Week [Online] Volume 16, Number 47 (November 22, 1999), page 38. "Sweeping statements are not popular at PC Week Labs, but in the case of XML, we'll make an exception: Extensible Markup Language is the future of the Web. In fact, if the World Wide Web Consortium wants its moniker to reflect its mission, it should consider a name change from the W3C to the XMLC..."

  • [November 22, 1999] "Haskell and XML: Generic Combinators or Type-Based Translation?." By Malcolm Wallace and Colin Runciman. In SIGPLAN Notices Volume 34, Number 9 (September 1999), pages 148-159, with 16 references. Published in the Proceedings of the International Conference on Functional Programming (ICFP '99, Paris, France, 27-29 September. 1999). "We present two complementary approaches to writing XML document-processing applications in a functional language. In the first approach, the generic tree structure of XML documents is used as the basis for the design of a library of combinators for generic processing: selection, generation, and transformation of XML trees. The second approach is to use a type-translation framework for treating XML document type definitions (DTDs) as declarations of algebraic data types, and a derivation of the corresponding functions for reading and writing documents as typed values in Haskell. . . This paper is about processing XML using the functional language Haskell.1 Modern functional languages are well-equipped to deal with tree-structured data, so one expects the language to be a good fit for the application. Even so, a key issue is just how to represent documents, and in particular how to reconcile the DTD datatype definitions included in XML documents with the data types that can be defined in Haskell. We have investigated two complementary approaches: (1) Define an internal data structure that represents contents of any XML document, independent of all DTDs. (2) Given the DTD for some XML documents of interest, systematically derive definitions for internal Haskell data types to represent them. These definitions are closely based on the specific DTD. Advantages of (1) include genericity and function-level scripting. Generic applications handle a wide class of XML documents, not just those sharing a specific DTD. One example of a completely generic application is searching documents to extract contents matching some pattern. Our Xtract is an interpreter for a regular XML query language." [local archive copy]

  • [November 22, 1999] "XML to unify Web profiles." By Susan E. Fisher. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 47 (November 19, 1999), page 18. "A frequent traveler books a hotel room online. When he gets to the hotel, he explains that he'd like to apply frequent-flyer points he's earned from a program affiliated with the hotel toward a free night's stay. The clerk at the hotel shakes his head; they have no record of the frequent-flyer award. The customer is dissatisfied and considers never doing business with the hotel chain again. The scenario - in which a customer's demands are unfulfilled because the failure of customer information to flow from one application to another - is not uncommon, according to electronic-commerce leaders pledged to solve this problem with the Customer Profile Exchange (CPEX) standard. The consortium this week announced the formation of a working group for CPEX, billed as a vendor-neutral open standard for sharing customer data across disparate applications and systems. For IT professionals who implement e-commerce solutions, trying to achieve that consistent view through application integration takes development time and money, they note. Because customer data resides in a variety of applications and offline repositories, e-businesses are hard- pressed for a consistent, unified view of customers. 'Wouldn't it be great if everyone had the same way of representing [customer] data?' said Steven Mason, vice president of e-business solutions at the Billerica, Mass.-based data technologies division at Harte-Hanks, a CPEX consortium member. The consortium's 21-member working group boasts leading vendors in the e-business and e-customer application arena. The standard they are developing will be based on Extensible Markup Language (XML), integrating customer profiles for back-office and front-office applications, and the Web. CPEX could potentially affect all aspects of how companies manage their customer relationships, including customer support, sales tracking, marketing campaigns, order tracking, enterprise relationship management, and decision support. According to organizers, CPEX will include a data model, transport, and query definitions. Plus, CPEX will encode privacy requirements with the customer data, so customers have a measure of control over what of their personal information is distributed. The need for such a standard is clear. More than 90 percent of companies interviewed by Forrester Research, in Cambridge, Mass., believe that a single, integrated view of the customer is critical. Yet only 2 percent say they have achieved it." For related references, see "Customer Profile Exchange (CPEX) Working Group."

  • [November 22, 1999] "XML and CORBA." By Dirk Hamstra. In Dr. Dobb's Journal Volume 24, Number 11 (November 1999), pages 98-100. "The XML/IT toolkit from CareFlow allows you to automatically tag the results returned from calls to CORBA-based services, and then format them using XML. It also includes utilities that support the conversion of XML-tagged documents to Java structures, and vice versa. In addition to assuming the existence of CORBA-based back-end services, XML/IT assumes the use of interface definition language (IDL) to Java compilers to generate Java stubs and skeletons, and uses CORBA's Dynamic Invocation Interface (DII) standards specification. The main client program routine (DIICall) can be embedded inside other Java-based clients, CGI scripts or Java servlets." See also the code listings. For related references, see "XML and CORBA.

  • [November 22, 1999] "XPath Tutorial." By Miloslav Nic (Department of Organic Chemistry, ICT Prague). November 22, 1999. ['XPath tutorial: XPaths are just wonderful. I really hope that they will be used as much as possible so there is my little contribution to their propagation.'] See also the larger collection of 'Zvon' tutorial materials by Dr. Miloslav Nic.

  • [November 22, 1999] "IBM's chief XML evangelist examines how the language will change e-commerce." By Martin LaMonica. In InfoWorld (November 22, 1999). ['Imagine being a small division that recommends strategic directions to a technology behemoth like IBM. Several years ago, you proposed that the company invest heavily in Java, an untested technology owned and branded by one of your competitors. To your amazement and delight, IBM agreed, betted heavily on Java to bridge its multiple platforms, and became a driving force for a technology that quickly became commonplace. To hear the full story, talk to Simon Phipps, IBM's chief Extensible Markup Language (XML) and Java evangelist, because that's exactly what he did. With Java well entrenched in IT shops, Phipps' latest kick is XML, a simple technology that he predicts will become the assumed data format by the end of 2001. After his keynote speech at the Software Development East conference in Washington, D.C., two weeks ago, InfoWorld News Editor Martin LaMonica sat down to discuss the quickly evolving role of XML in electronic business.'] [Phipps:] "... you have to first of all understand that the most important XML standard is actually XSL [Extensible Style Language], not XML. What's going to happen with XML is that people are going to represent their business data structures as hierarchical data structures marked up with XML. Let's assume that you and I are in the same business. We have a different business model because we are in different businesses. Therefore, it's likely that we will have different hierarchical data structures for the way we represent data. So, just for you and me -- in the same business -- to express ourselves, we will probably need to have slightly different vocabularies. Consequently, the lifeblood of all business to business in XML is going to be transformation. And if the lifeblood of XML is going to be transformation, it doesn't really matter if vendors produce slightly different XML standards because at least the data's all marked up. If you are great at transformation, you can go from his version of whatever it is to their version of whatever it is. So, I don't think that's a big fear for me. What's more of a fear is that vendors will try to do proprietary branding on technologies and introduce changes to the technologies to try to prevent technologies from being freely available. I think that's more of a worry. There's one blatant example of that now, but I'm sure we'll see other attempts to try to organize XML. And it isn't about having diverging standards. It's about taking the standards that are diverging and branding them or trademarking them. What do you do if the vocabulary that you thought you were going to use, one of the key words, is a trademark of the company that's providing it to you? You're going to have to cite [its] trademark. And what if the repository Web site has a legal statement that makes everything there [its] property? That means that proprietary vendor is going to end up owning everything you do. That's why we are so behind We see it as a neutral ground to reach agreement. There will be different vocabularies, that will be a fact of life, just like you can't get the Canadians to speak all English or all French..."

  • [November 22, 1999] "XML Stumbling Blocks. E-commerce companies in vertical industries face the challenge of taking XML forward on their own, with conflicting standards and support from vendors." By Michael Lattig. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 47 (November 22, 1999), pages 34-35. "In the past month alone, many leading vendors, such as Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft, expanded XML support in their development tools, databases, and application-integration infrastructures, generating a great deal of exposure and anticipation for the potential business benefits of the standard. However, like most standards, XML is experiencing growing pains, many of which stem from the inevitable vendor tug-of-war that follows the emergence of almost any truly useful technology. For XML, the issues go beyond how the standard itself will evolve. Because XML on its own merely defines data, which means it must be properly formatted to provide any real-world benefit, questions have surfaced about how and where the technology should be implemented, and who -- vendors, vertical industries, or individual companies -- should dictate that decision...Another problem posed by the simplicity of XML is that the standard was designed to be highly extensible. That, combined with user confusion over how and where it should be implemented, has left the standard open to a variety of interpretations that some worry could splinter it... One of the most glaring examples of potential XML appropriation is Microsoft's BizTalk program, which provides a framework for developing XML schemas that are an integral part of any XML implementation. Without such a framework, says James Utzschneider, director of business frameworks at Microsoft's business solutions group, in Redmond, Wash., XML's potential may never be realized. Dror Liwer, chief technology officer at Context Integration, in New York, a Web systems integration company that is involved in a number of digital exchange projects, says that XML is clearly the language of choice for digital exchanges between companies within their respective industries, but the overarching question of who will define the XML standards, or vocabularies, remains, and XML's greatest strength -- its simplicity -- may also be its weak point."

  • [November 22, 1999] "XFDL: The Extensible Forms Description Language." By John Boyer. In Dr. Dobb's Journal Volume 24, Number 12 (December 1999). "The Extensible Forms Description Language is an XML extension language that addresses key problems involved with doing electronic commerce on the Web. Additional resources include 'xfdl.txt' code listings." See "Extensible Forms Description Language (XFDL)."

  • [November 22, 1999] "Expert Viewpoints on the role of XML." By Amy Lincicum. In Dr. Dobb's Journal (November 1999). "As web sites deliver increasingly data-rich content, panelists Kurt Kanaskie, Elliot Rusty Harold and Christian Gross see a role for XML 'everywhere' during a Thursday afternoon power panel.' SD '99 Conference.

  • [November 19, 1999] "The Birth of XML: A Personal Recollection ." By Jon Bosak [Solaris Global Engineering and Information Services]. From 'Java Technology' - (November [?] 1999). "XML arose from the recognition that key components of the original web infrastructure -- HTML tagging, simple hypertext linking, and hardcoded presentation -- would not scale up to meet the future needs of the web. This awareness started with people like me who were involved in industrial-strength electronic publishing before the web came into existence. I learned the shape of the future by supervising the transition of Novell's NetWare documentation from print to online delivery. This transition, which took from 1990 through 1994 to implement and perfect, was based on SGML. The decision to use SGML paid off in 1995 when I was able single-handedly to put 150,000 pages of Novell technical manuals on the web. This is the kind of thing that an SGML-based system will let you do. A more advanced and heavily customized version of the same system, built on technology from Inso Corporation, is used today for Solaris documentation under the name AnswerBook2. You can see it running at, which looks like an HTML web site but in fact contains no HTML; all of the HTML is generated the moment it's needed from an SGML database. (You can get XML from this site if you know how -- but that's another story.)..."

  • [November 19, 1999] "Working with XML." By [Staff]. From Java Software []. November, 1999. Java Software [] Presents an XML Tutorial. "Confused about XML? Not sure of what it is or what it can do for you? Then be sure to read 'The Java XML Tutorial,' a new feature now making its debut on this Web site. You can read the tutorial online, and there's source code that you can download and experiment with while you're learning XML... Using step-by-step walkthroughs and lots of code examples, the Tutorial is divided into three major parts that cover the following topics: (1) Understanding XML and the Java XML APIs explains the basics of XML and gives you a guide to the acronyms associated with it. It also provides an overview of the Java XML APIs you can use to manipulate XML-based data. (2) Serial Access with the Simple API for XML (SAX) tells you how to read an XML file sequentially, and walks you through the callbacks the parser makes to event-handling methods you supply. (3) Manipulating Document Contents with the Document Object Model (DOM) explains how to create a hierarchy of objects from an XML document so you can randomly access it and modify its contents. This is also the API you use to write an XML file after creating a tree of objects in memory."

  • [November 19, 1999] "Ask Expresso Man." By Ron Kleinman [Chief Technical Evangelist for Sun Developer Relations]. From Sun The Java Developer Connection (JDC). (October 1999). JDC welcomes Espresso Man and Little Grasshopper whose Q & A sessions have been a long-running feature in Sun publications. In this session, they discuss the more important implications of the sudden emergence of the eXtensible Markup Language (XML) and the tremendous opportunities this provides to developers of Java applications. ... Before a pair of applications can exchange and correctly interpret a set of XML data messages, they must first agree on the type of data that the message will contain, and the tag names used to identify this data. In an exactly analogous manner, two CORBA programs must first agree on the interface to a service before the client can invoke methods on the server object that implements that interface. In the case of an XML message, transmitter/recipient agreement is achieved via publicizing a message schema, typically defined according to one of two widely recognized standards: (1) Document Type Definition (DTD), or (2) XML Schema. XML Schema is an improvement in that: Unlike a DTD, an XML Schema is itself an XML document. This allows creation of 'meta' XML Schema specifications (which define other XML Schemas rather than XML messages). [Also,] An XML Schema allows enclosed text to represent simple data types other than strings (example: integer customer IDs). These can then be automatically interpreted and verified for the message recipient, whereas with DTDs, such verification must be explicitly provided by the recipient code. The important point is that whether an XML Schema or a DTD is used to specify the data fields in an XML message, the actual contents of the resulting message are identical..."

  • [November 19, 1999] "A Beginner's Guide to the XML DOM." By Brian Randell. In MSDN Online Web Workshop (October 1999). ['Summary: This article discusses how to access and manipulate XML documents via the XML DOM'] "You are a Visual Basic developer and you receive some data in the form of an eXtensible Markup Language (XML) document. You now want to get the information from the XML document and integrate that data into your Visual Basic solutions. You could of course write code yourself to parse the contents of the XML file, which after all is just a text file. However, this isn't very productive and negates one of the strengths of XML: that it is a structured way to represent data. A better approach to retrieving information from XML files is to use an XML parser. An XML parser is, quite simply, software that reads an XML file and makes available the data in it. As a Visual Basic developer you want to use a parser that supports the XML Document Object Model (DOM). The DOM defines a standard set of commands that parsers should expose so you can access HTML and XML document content from your programs. An XML parser that supports the DOM will take the data in an XML document and expose it via a set of objects that you can program against. In this article, you will learn how to access and manipulate XML documents via the XML DOM implementation, as exposed by the Microsoft. XML Parser (Msxml.dll). Before you read any further, you should look at a raw XML file to get an idea of how a parser can make your life easier. The following code exposes the content of the file Cds.xml that contains compact disc items..."

  • [November 19, 1999] "W3C Finalizes Two XML Technologies." By Carol Sliwa. In InfoWorld (November 19, 1999). "Two technologies that are expected to help companies using the Extensible Markup Language (XML) for data presentation have reached "recommendation status," the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) announced Wednesday. Recommendation status is the final step in the W3C's process of creating technology for the Web. One of the technologies -- Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations (XSLT) -- assists in transforming one XML document into another, restructured XML document. The other -- XPath -- is a language that lets users address pieces of an XML document. For example, a book represented by an XML document might contain chapter headings, paragraphs of text, and footnotes. Using an XSLT engine, the chapter headings could be transformed into a new XML document that serves as the book's table of contents. XPath would let the user associate a name with chapters 1, 2, and 3, for instance, so they can make sure those chapters are listed in the proper sequence in the table of contents. Vendors that wrote and developed the XSLT specification included Adobe, IBM, Lotus, Microsoft, Novell, Oracle, and Sun Microsystems." See the news item and the W3C announcement.

  • [November 19, 1999] "XML Bible XSLT and XPointer." [XML Bible XSLT and XPointer Chapters updated.] November 19, 1999. "I've updated the online versions of Chapters 14, XSL Transformations, and 17, XPointers, of the XML Bible to match the November 16, 1999 W3C Recommendations of XSLT and XPath. The main change in Chapter 14 is that a DOCTYPE declaration is no longer output by default for HTML files. Otherwise the changes were extremely minor."

  • [November 18, 1999] [ and OASIS]. By Laura Walker. From (November 12, 1999). "At the XML One Santa Clara event, Laura Walker, Executive Director of OASIS, provided attendees with an update on OASIS,, domain applications of XML. The presentations are available online: (1) "OASIS and XML Industry Applications", (2) "OASIS and Overview."

  • [November 18, 1999] "Encoded Archival Description: An Introduction and Overview." By Daniel V. Pitti (Project Director, Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, University of Virginia). In D-Lib Magazine [ISSN: 1082-9873] Volume 5, Number 11 (November 1999). "Encoded Archival Description (EAD) is an emerging standard used internationally in an increasing number of archives and manuscripts libraries to encode data describing corporate records and personal papers. The individual descriptions are variously called finding aids, guides, handlists, or catalogs. While archival description shares many objectives with bibliographic description, it differs from it in several essential ways. From its inception, EAD was based on SGML, and, with the release of EAD version 1.0 in 1998, it is also compliant with XML. EAD was, and continues to be, developed by the archival community. While development was initiated in the United States, international interest and contribution are increasing. EAD is currently administered and maintained jointly by the Society of American Archivists and the United States Library of Congress. Developers are currently exploring ways to internationalize the administration and maintenance of EAD to reflect and represent the expanding base of users." EAD is a major SGML/XML application currently implemented by over 38 institutions (research libraries, archive centers, museums, digital library consortia). See "Encoded Archival Description (EAD)."

  • [November 18, 1999] "TMWG Recommendations On XML." Techniques and Methodologies Working Group (TMWG). UN/CEFACT/TMWG/N089/Rev.5 (12 pages). 10-September-1999. "On behalf of UN/CEFACT's, TMWG has monitored closely the development of XML, the eXtensible Markup Language, and recognizes fully its potential to play a major role in facilitating all Web based business transactions. TMWG especially recognizes the opportunities that XML offers to small and medium sized companies, to developing countries and to economies in transition. It enables them to enter easily into the world of electronic business and, as a consequence, could bring very significant additional growth to world trade. XML has rapidly become the standard for defining data interchange formats in Internet applications. XML was developed by the World Wide Web Consortium to bring the power of SGML to the Web in a simplified form to overcome HTML's inherent limitations. XML makes it possible to encode information with meaningful structure and semantics in a very accessible notation that is both human-readable and readily processable by computers. Many forward-looking individuals and companies have started to work together to develop XML-based specifications for the information they most often need to exchange in a particular industry or domain. However, there is considerable redundancy to these specifications, because some of the information models they specify are common to multiple industries or marketplaces. Some concepts and constructs needed in these 'vertical' specifications apply to all business domains, but each new specification seems to 'start from scratch' and reinvent them. The overlapping scope and lack of standard content models and semantics clearly impedes interoperability. In principle, translating UN/EDIFACT directories into XML data elements seems like a way to provide a set of standard data elements that could be used by all XML vertical applications, thereby facilitating interoperability. However, there is as yet little agreement about the best method for encoding UN/EDIFACT data elements in XML. Recasting UN/EDIFACT semantics into Unified Modeling language (UML) Models first, while adding the missing process documentation into the models, would produce unambiguous XML vocabularies generated from the UML models..." See "Electronic Business XML Initiative (ebXML)."

  • [November 18, 1999] "Recommendations For ebXML Kick-Off Meeting." Techniques and Methodologies Working Group (TMWG). UN/CEFACT/TMWG/N104, 12-NOVEMBER-1999. "The UN/CEFACT Techniques and Methodologies Working Group met during the week of November 8-12, 1999 in Concord, CA. The XML Project Team met to continue its discussions on interoperability, and formulated recommendations for first ebXML meeting. The XML Project Team felt strongly that the first ebXML must have tangible outcomes. At minimum the team concluded that if project teams were formed, and deliverables were agreed upon, the first ebXML meeting would be a success. This document serves as a contribution from UN/CEFACT/TMWG to the first meeting of ebXML. It defines a proposal to structure ebXML into six project teams: (1) Messaging and Packaging; (2) Semantics and Message Architecture; (3) Semantic Foundation; (4) Registry and Repository; (5) Technical Support; (6) Marketing and Awareness. Attached is a matrix that addresses the main key issues that TMWG sees as essential that these project teams cover. We would like the ebXML attendees to review this document for consideration in the formation of project teams. With these working groups, the XML Project Team feels confident that interoperability of application to application data interchanges can be achieved..." See "Electronic Business XML Initiative (ebXML)."

  • [November 18, 1999] "Microsoft XML Parser (MSXML.DLL) Conformance." By David Brownell. From (November 18, 1999). ['More on XML parser conformance: Last September, David Brownell conducted a review of XML parsers for, testing them for conformance to the XML 1.0 specification. In this follow-up article, he tests Microsoft's MSXML.DLL parser, as found in Internet Explorer 5. The results of the tests gave the Microsoft parser a "pretty good" rating, in the top 25% for conformance. They did however reveal a serious flaw with DTD handling and validation, for which Brownell presents a workaround.'] "Some readers were also confused about Microsoft's Java XML processor, called 'MSXML' in that earlier review. Briefly, Microsoft has had several implementations of XML processor technology. While today one tends to only hear about the latest version of such technologies, they have all been called 'MSXML,' or 'MS XML,' in common usage, by numerous people, including some Microsoft staff. Since the Java processor hasn't been updated in well over a year, some confusion seems inevitable. The Java processor was formally called the Microsoft XML Parser for Java. I hope that helps to clarify the distinctions between the various packages; the details of the two reviews should also help. The version of the Microsoft XML (MSXML) processor reviewed here is the one that has been bundled with Microsoft's Internet Explorer 5.0 web browser. It can be accessed as 'MSXML.DLL,' and can be redistributed with other software, as part of Win32 applications. Since it provides a COM API, it can be used from JavaScript, C/C++, Visual Basic, and other COM-aware programming languages. It can even be used from Java, but for most Java developers, that support is not particularly useful since it requires using Microsoft's JVM, and does not support the standard SAX or W3C DOM APIs (org.w3c.dom.*)." For other references on XML/DOM conformance, see "XML Conformance."

  • [November 18, 1999] "An Introduction to C++ XML programming. [Tutorial.]" By Fabio Arciniegas A. From (November 17, 1999). ['Using C++ to write XML applications: SAX or DOM? Fabio Arciniegas A. examines the various libraries available, from expat to the DOM, and contrasts their suitability for different applications.'] "C++ is a popular programming language for which many XML related efforts already exist. The aim of this article is to introduce and analyze the different options available when using C++ for your XML applications. We will examine two things: the main APIs and strategies for parsing and manipulating XML in your C++ application, and the practical uses and tradeoffs of approaches to XML parsing. To get the most from this article, a basic understanding of the C++ language is required. Static model diagrams are illustrated in UML: the diagrams used show mainly inheritance and simple relationships and may not require previous UML knowledge. Nevertheless, we provide a basic UML guide containing all you need to know in order to understand the examples."

  • [November 18, 1999] "Death of a DTD. [Beyond HTML.]" By Michael Floyd. In WebTechniques Volume 4, Issue 12 (December 1999), pages 44-47. ['Will the proposed XML schema standard be the death of the DTD? What's the difference between internal and external DTDs?'] "Before I proclaim the death of the DTD, let me first say that although I believe DTDs will eventually go away, they're still very important. Despite its arcane appearance, the XML DTD syntax is actually quite easy to write. And understanding it will give you an appreciation for other proposed standards like XML schema..."

  • [November 18, 1999] "Self-Service Syndication with ICE. Building Informative Web Pages and Catalogs Automatically." By Dan Greening (Andromedia). In WebTechniques Volume 4, Issue 11 (November 1999), pages 57-63. ['While traditional customer support is mostly reactive, another model is emerging for moving content around the Web. Based on XML, the Information and Content Exchange (ICE) protocol provides structure to streams. Dan explains what this means for syndication, and how Andromedia is using the protocol to simplify some of its programming tasks.'] "Newspapers, product retailers, and Web portals face a common problem: How can they provide the most up-to-date content? They can invest in developing their own original content, as does Web Techniques magazine, or they can assemble material from several outside sources and rebrand it under their own name. [But] without a standard protocol, syndication doesn't scale very well on the Web... To address these problems, a consortium of application server and content companies, led by Vignette, created a standard syndication protocol based on XML -- Information and Content Exchange (ICE). XML is a simple standard to represent data-hierarchies using familiar HTML-style tags. The syndicate/subscribe model ICE defines is almost the same as what computer scientists call "publish/subscribe." And it turns out that ICE is most similar to binary publish/subscribe protocol standards, such as CORBA and DCOM. But in ICE, messages are delivered through XML, typically delivered over an HTTP connection, as opposed to a lower-level binary protocol. ICE is much easier to read and use, but it is also much more verbose. If you're constrained by network bandwidth, either compress the ICE packets or use something else. Finally, ICE defines many typical syndication operations and constraints that CORBA and DCOM leave to vertical industry implementations... The ICE protocol defines a set of request-response pairs coded in XML. The ICE standard doesn't specify the underlying transfer protocol, but does suggest an implementation using the HTTP POST/response mechanism called "ICE/HTTP". The body of the HTTP POST contains the ice-request, and its associated HTTP response contains the ICE response. As far as I know, all current ICE implementations use ICE/HTTP. This article assumes ICE/HTTP is the transport." See "Information and Content Exchange (ICE) Protocol" and the W3C NOTE: "The Information and Content Exchange (ICE) Protocol" (NOTE-ice-19981026, W3C Note 26 October 1998).

  • [November 18, 1999] "Oracle 8i, Java, and the Mustang Index. [Database Developer.]" By Ken North. In WebTechniques Volume 4, Issue 11 (November 1999), pages 30-33. ['Oracle's DBMS has continued to grow over the years, to where it now requires 50 times more disk space and 8 to 16 times more RAM than its ancestors. Ken North takes us on a tour of this expansion as he discusses what's new with Oracle 8i.'] "Right out of the box a DBMS can apply security and data rules, distribute processing, and encapsulate application logic in the database. Programmers can also augment out-of-the-box features by writing database extensions using Java or other languages. Web developers can also use databases for storing diverse information, such as entire Web sites, museum collections, and repositories for XML documents and document type definitions (DTDs). This month's examples show SQL and Java techniques for working with tables containing data such as images, HTML, XML, video, and audio. We'll see how to store and retrieve the HTML and background GIF image for Figure 1, a Web page with event-planning information. This month's examples work with Oracle, so before examining the code, let's explore the DBMS..."

  • [November 18, 1999] "Serving XML with Active Server Pages." [Beyond HTML.] By Michael Floyd. In WebTechniques Volume 4, Issue 11 (November 1999), pages 46-49. ['Combining Active Server Pages with the MSXML parser, Michael Floyd shows you how to deliver XML dynamically.'] "As it turns out, there are a lot of ways to serve XML. If you're a Perl programmer, you can use the XML::Parser module in Perl to load XML documents into the DOM. The XML::Parser module is definitively top-shelf software. The module was developed by Larry Wall, Perl's inventor, and later modified by Clark Cooper. The module provides an interface to James Clark's Expat parser, which coincidentally will be the parser of choice in the long-awaited Navigator 5. (I also have it on good authority that Infoseek uses the Expat parser in its add-on to Ultraseek Server.)... This month, I would like to look at another solution for delivering XML dynamically. That is, the use of Active Server Pages (ASP). By combining ASP with the MSXML parser, you automatically have a quick and reliable solution for XML. Of course, to deploy the examples presented here, you must have Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) running on Windows NT Server Edition. You can also experiment with these samples using Personal Web Server (PWS) on Windows 98. On Windows NT Workstation, you can use PWS or the older Peer Web Services. I should mention that you'll need some familiarity with ASP to use the techniques described here."

  • [November 18, 1999] "A Look Inside JavaServer Pages. [Lab Note.]" By Ethan Henry. In WebTechniques Volume 4, Issue 11 (November 1999), pages 71-76. ['Server-side includes, or Sun's answer to Active Server Pages? Regardless of the answer, JSP is a clever bridge between Jave servlets and HTML. Ethan Henry provides an overview of the technology and examples that demonstrate dynamic page generation and database access.'] "The new JavaServer Pages (JSP) API, part of the Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE), gives Web and Java developers a simple yet powerful mechanism for creating these sorts of applications. JSP provides developers with two important abilities. First, it provides the ability to access remote data via mechanisms like Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB), Remote Method Invocation (RMI), and Java Database Connectivity (JDBC). Second, it lets developers encapsulate and separate program logic (Java code) from the presentation (HTML tags), to help maximize code reuse and flexibility. This separation of logic and presentation is a major advantage over other Web application architectures, like Java servlets and CGI scripts. A JSP page looks a lot like an HTML or XML page -- it contains text that's marked up with an assortment of tags. While a regular JSP page isn't a valid XML page, there is a variant JSP tag syntax that lets you use JSP tags within XML documents. What's different about JSP compared to regular HTML is that the tags aren't all processed by the browser -- the Web server processes the special JSP tags, allowing the page content to change dynamically. This is very similar to other dynamic page-generation systems, like Microsoft's Active Server Pages (ASP) or Allaire's ColdFusion..."

  • [November 16, 1999] "Extranets Automated -- Debut Product From Start-Up Bowstreet Uses Directories And XML." By Richard Karpinski. In InternetWeek Issue 789 (November 15, 1999) [Section: E-Business Applications]. "A closely watched software start-up touting directory services and XML as a means of automating the production and management of large-scale extranets released its first product last week. Bowstreet Software is championing a drastically different approach to Web and application development, leveraging the distributed power of XML and directories, as well as new concepts like e-services, to speed the development of business-to-business e-commerce. The company is also leading the push toward the Directory Services Markup Language (DSML) standard, which uses XML to mediate differences between proprietary directory structures. Bowstreet and other vendors-including IBM, Microsoft, Novell, Oracle and Sun-will publish the first version of the DSML draft next month. Bowstreet's first product, the Web Automation Factory, does just what it says: It lets users crank out thousands of extranet Web sites, almost like a factory. Today, users are depending more heavily on extranet links with their partners, but the technology to create such connections is complex, costly and time-consuming, said Bob Crowley, president and CEO of Bowstreet."

  • [November 16, 1999] "Vendors Debut XML Development Tools." By Ellis Booker. In InternetWeek Issue 789 (November 15, 1999) [Section: News & Analysis]. "To satisfy the growing interest in XML, several vendors introduced development tools last week for building applications that adhere to the Internet data format. Oracle last week debuted a free version of the XML development kit the developer has been using internally to access the XML features of the Oracle8i database and Oracle Application Server. Called the Oracle XML Developers Kit, the tool will be available for C++, Java and PL-SQL (Oracle's proprietary database scripting language). It includes an XML Parser; an Extensible Style Language (XSL) processor for designating format transformations; an XML class generator for creating XML documents from data; and XML Transviewer Beans, a collection of JavaBeans components that lets any Java development environment work with XML documents. Object Design Inc., maker of the eXcelon XML server, last week said it has begun shipping eXcelon Stylus, a visual development tool for generating XSL for XML documents into Web pages. At the start of October, ODI acquired Transformis LLC, maker of XSL Stylus, an XSL tool for building e-business applications. Pricing for the Object Design tool is $199. Bluestone Software Inc. announced the release of Bluestone Visual-XML 1.1, a new version of its XML applications design tool...."

  • [November 16, 1999] "Vendors Tag Team On XML Integration." By Richard Karpinski. In CMPNet TechWeb News (November 15, 1999). "Application integration vendor Active Software this week is turning to upstart Netfish Technologies for XML technology to fuel Web-based business-to-business integration. The partnership brings together Active Software's adapter technology for traditional front- and back-office apps and Netfish's expertise with the Extensible Markup Language (XML) and focus on Web-based collaboration. Active Software will use Netfish's XML Data Interchange (XDI) system to help fuel its 'project broadband' initiative. The initiative, due in the first quarter of next year, will target Web-based e-business integration, said Zack Urlocker, Active Software's vice president of marketing. 'This gives us the opportunity to offer an end-to-end integration solution,' said Urlocker. The Netfish XDI system is written in Java and uses XML to help users quickly establish links with partners and suppliers via the Web, regardless of the apps, formats and systems being connected. The technology will be integrated with Active Software's ActiveWorks 4.0 integration suite. Released earlier this month with new 'InterActions' templates, adapters and graphical tools, the suite speeds the integration of legacy and e-commerce applications..."

  • [November 16, 1999] "Distributed Development -- Enhanced Services In Windows 2000 Make It Easier To Extend Your COM Code Into The World Of Distributed Applications, Letting Your Business Finally Enjoy The Benefits Of Applications That Integrate Many Hosts." By Logan Harbaugh. In InformationWeek Issue 761 (November 15, 1999) [Section: Labs Windows DNA 2000]. "The new version is based on Windows 2000 Server, which contains the core of DNA, including COM+ services, Internet Information Services Web, and transaction and messaging services. DNA 2000 adds: (1) Commerce Server 4.0, which provides business-to-consumer commerce software for easier and better user personalization, additional site analysis tools, and new catalog features. (2) BizTalk Server, which allows integration of applications throughout the enterprise and between businesses via the exchange of Extensible Markup Language (XML) documents... (3) - Microsoft SQL Server 'Shiloh,' the next generation of the SQL Server 7.0 database server, which adds native XML support and integrated data-mining capabilities, and takes full advantage of Windows 2000 for greater scalability and availability... Most of these server updates add XML support. XML promises to make it easier for distributed applications to pass data between different platforms, in ways that are only starting to be explored. Among the electronic processes XML is expected to facilitate: billing, purchase orders, and other forms. Because most vendors have adopted XML as the core of the integration strategy, Microsoft's suitewide support for XML makes integration with existing non-Microsoft platforms easier, if you're willing to upgrade to the most recent release of these non-Microsoft systems. XML is likely to solve another problem common to tying these systems: directory synchronization. XML, for example, will be the basis for exchanging information between directory services such as Novell Directory Services and Microsoft Active Directory. Native support for XML throughout Windows 2000, DNA 2000, and Visual Studio 6.0 ensures that future applications will take advantage of XML as it becomes more widely used and supported throughout the business world."

  • [November 16, 1999] "XML Less Than It's Defined To Be." By Jon Siegel. In InternetWeek Issue 789 (November 15, 1999) [Section: Gray Matter]. "There's a lot of talk around the industry about XML and its role in interoperability, and sometimes people assume that XML is more than it's defined to be. For example, the article's sidebar was careful to refer to XML only as a data exchange format-which it is-but the headline implied that it could serve as a protocol as well. XML is only a data format-syntax, with no transport or semantics. To do anything with it, companies need to agree on transport (how to get your XML document from sender to receiver) and semantics (what to do with the message once it gets there). The requirements of Internet and enterprise computing will not be satisfied by giving XML just basic semantics, because these demanding environments require much more: transactional assurance, security, high throughput, fault tolerance, event handling, and integrated naming and directory services. How will the industry add these capabilities to XML? In the past, it has taken years to design, build, debug and optimize standard protocols and environments that meet enterprise needs..." [in response to "App Servers Branch Out" (Oct. 4, page 57).]

  • [November 16, 1999] "Internet marketers to develop data standard. Makers of Internet tracking and analysis applications plan standard way to create, store and exchange data on Web users." By Susan Kuchinskas. In ZDNet News (November 15, 1999). "Internet marketers should move a step closer to their Holy Grail of knowing just about everything about everybody in cyberspace on Monday, when nearly 25 makers of Internet marketing, tracking and analysis applications announce they are building a standard way to create, store and exchange data on Web users. Their moniker, CPEX, stands for Customer Profile Exchange. Release of the first version of the standard is targeted for June 2000. The CPEX standard would for example, let an e-commerce site that uses an Oracle Corp. database to store customer information combine the data with that collected by telemarketers for its print catalog. 'Businesses don't have a good picture of who their customers are and what they need, so they can't service them well,' said Matt Cutler, co-founder and chief ebusiness intelligence officer for net.Genesis, of Cambridge, Mass., a maker of Web site analysis software. 'It's our organization's point of view that having an integrated customer view is critical, because, in the Net economy, your competition is just a click away.' The announcement was due at the Personalization Summit, a conference sponsored by Net Perceptions on the role of personalization marketing, which uses the Internet to target marketing to individuals based on knowledge of their tastes and interests. Proponents of Web tracking like to call it personalization -- the back-end applications that let Web users sign up for regular stock quotes, get the local weather and be greeted by name when they log onto a portal. It is even more useful for marketers, who can use the same collected information to target ads and promotions based on users' profiles... 'It will remain the decision support system that differentiates companies,' said Brad Husick, vice president of standards and evangelism for Vignette. 'We're saying we shouldn't argue over the language we speak, but over what we do with that information and the certain conclusions we derive'." On the XML connection: see "Customer Profile Exchange (CPEX) Working Group."

  • [November 16, 1999] "Schematron: An Interview with Rick Jelliffe." By Simon St.Laurent. From (November 15, 1999). ['Rick Jelliffe is the developer of the Schematron, a schema language that takes a very different approach from every other XML schema language proposed so far.'] "What inspired such a different approach? [A] It became clear when writing my book The XML & SGML Cookbook: Recipes for Structured Documents, especially the central pages on patterns (which are pretty novel), that DTDs merely provided an 'assembler language' to represent them. Even if you make parameter entities into first class objects and call them archetypes, you still are stuck with regular grammars at heart. When I started my book I wanted to produce something much more like what Liam Quin has independently and subsequently done, but I found that that many interesting patterns are not clear to express using parameter entities... Anyway, I tried lots of different approaches. The 'path model' and the 'axis model' were two which basically act to allow more powerful right-hand-sides of the BNF production, as it were. They are comparable to Dave Raggett's 'assertion grammars' which works by allowing patterns on the left-hand-side of a production. I wrote a little note about using XSL as an implementation for validation that was well-received. So I guess that Schematron combines path models and assertion grammars, specified using XPaths, implemented through XSL... Schematron rejects the idea that the result of validation is a binary valid/invalid. The purpose of a schema is to make various assertions that should constrain a document; to report on the presence or absence of patterns. So the result of validation may be a complex set of values. Various backends should make use of that set of information, each in their way..." For general discussion on schemas, see "XML Schemas."

  • [November 16, 1999] "Novell reaches for Utopia in GroupWise. Upgrade will enable customization." By Stephanie Sanborn. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 45 (November 08, 1999), page 12. "Novell's next release of GroupWise, code-named Utopia, will take on more of a modular approach, allowing users to choose only the components they need, and will incorporate more Extensible Markup Language (XML) functionality, according to Novell sources. Due in the latter half of 2000, Utopia presents a more customizable development platform for the GroupWise groupware and messaging system. The upgrade is also expected to contain Novell's home-grown public key infrastructure security software and an instant-messaging client. Utopia will use XML tags to describe server functions and features, exposing server functionality via XML meta data, according to James Kobielus, an analyst at The Burton Group, in Alexandria, Va. The product will also contain server-side application-development and object APIs to customize GroupWise. The Utopia plan, particularly a technology referred to as XIS [XML Integration Services], gives [Novell] some more of this open-end/back-end hook to the system.' XIS works via the GroupWise engine to watch messaging events that occur in the platform and gives developers a tool to connect to Utopia, Ulanch said."

  • [November 16, 1999] "Oracle Stepping Up XML Efforts. Database giant vies to capture key real estate in market." By Michael Lattig. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 45 (November 08, 1999), page 30. "Oracle in the coming weeks will add to its stable of Extensible Markup Language (XML)-related offerings, looking to be the lead dog in what is quickly becoming a race to see which key players will define the way XML is implemented. The database behemoth this week will introduce an XML Developer's Kit, replete with revised versions of the company's XML parser and Extensible Style Language processor, which company officials claim will provide the low-level plumbing for Oracle's entire product line. Oracle will also offer support services for the Developer's Kit, which the company's vice president of server marketing, Jeremy Burton, said has become increasingly important as XML becomes a larger part of companies' business-to-business infrastructures. In addition to the tools products, Oracle will further enhance its XML offerings at the Oracle OpenWorld '99 conference in Los Angeles next week, making what Burton called 'a big announcement around middleware.' According to a source familiar with those plans, the company will introduce XML support for its application server via a new servlet engine. The company will also roll out a beta version of WebDB3 with XML support, and the next version of the company's application suite, Oracle11i, will contain an XML gateway." [See the announcement: "Oracle Announces XML-Based Integration Server Software to Make the Connected E-business a Reality. Oracle Integration Server Provides Infrastructure To Link Customers, Employees and Trading Partners Through New E-Business Processes."

  • [November 16, 1999] "Oracle, Siemens Join Forces on Directories. Meta directory to ship next year." By Mary Lisbeth D'Amico and Stephanie Sanborn. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 45 (November 08, 1999), page 20. "Oracle and Siemens have joined forces to create technology that allows companies to unify multiple directories into one Web-based directory of directories. The companies will jointly develop and market the meta directory, and they plan to launch it in the first half of 2000 -- a time line that places them beside Novell and Microsoft in the meta-directory push. The new Oracle-Siemens product aims to tackle the problem of managing information in multiple directories by combining Siemens' DirXmetahub software, which enables businesses to bring together corporate directories, with Oracle's Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directory. Novell is also developing a meta directory in the form of its DirXML technology, but Oracle chose not to expand its relationship with Novell, although the two have partnered on directory technology in the past."

  • [November 16, 1999] "Dell and Compaq Fight It Out Online." By Dan Neel. In InfoWorld (November 15, 1999). "As third-generation electronic-business models driven by Extensible Markup Language (XML) begin to emerge on the Web, Dell Monday will relaunch its Web site as part of a concerted effort to stay on the cutting edge of Web technologies. At the same time, however, archrival Compaq is not sitting idle. In January, Compaq will unveil a mega-portal offering a vast range of product solutions and services, including those of competing vendors, on a still-unnamed Web site., meanwhile, is getting a front-end face-lift and is one of the first large commercial Web sites driven by XML... 'Having an XML-backed site also gives us the ability to update any page and replicate it globally around the world,' [John] Fruehe [business manager of Dell Online] said. 'The real benefit of XML is that it will become a business-to-business language, so we can drop an entire database from the site right into a customer's purchasing system.' Fruehe pointed out that visitors to the site will still enjoy a fast-booting HTML-style layout, with an improvement in getting information to customers."

  • [November 16, 1999] "Why XML? [Create Web pages and much more, with Extensible Markup Language]." By Simon St. Laurent. In WebDeveloper's Journal (November 08, 1999). "The computing press has found a new savior for the ills that afflict computing and the Web: XML. XML is new, it's exciting, and it's got to be good, because the specification for it looks indecipherable. XML's hype level has already drawn fire from some quarters, from those accusing it of 'balkanizing the Web' or of increasing the load on an already strained Internet. Most important, many developers are wondering why exactly they need to learn yet another language. Web developers are the initial target audience, but database developers, document managers, desktop publishers, programmers, scientists, and other academics are all getting involved. XML provides a simple format that is flexible enough to accommodate wildly diverse needs. Even developers performing tasks on different types of applications with different interfaces and different data structures can share XML formats and tools for parsing those formats into data structures that applications can use. XML offers its users many advantages, including: simplicity, extensibility, interoperability, openness, [and] a core of experienced professionals."

  • [November 16, 1999] "E-Business Links To Back-Office Systems. Enterprise application integration vendors use XML to extend capabilities to the Internet." By Jeff Sweat. In InformationWeek (November 08, 1999), page 26. "Enterprise application integration vendors are trying to set themselves apart from rivals in the crowded EAI market by introducing products that make it easier to integrate E-business and back-office operations. Oberon Software Inc. this week will beef up its integration suite with tools that make it simpler to connect to partner and customer applications across the Internet. Oberon's Business Integrator will handle business-to-business integration mainly through the use of the Extensible Markup Language, letting partners connect applications even if Oberon software isn't used on each end. Oberon Commerce does the same for business-to-consumer interchanges and includes Bluestone Software Inc.'s Sapphire/Web E-commerce server product. Analysts say Bluestone's software is a powerful tool that supports E-commerce functions such as order processing, payment, and catalogs. And Oberon's data transformation and routing strengths can make E-commerce more dynamic. "Your back-office systems need to know who the customer is, what the order is, and which systems need the order," says Beth Gold-Bernstein, an analyst at Hurwitz Group. The Oberon suite starts at about $200,000. BEA Systems Inc. is also adding E-commerce capabilities with an XML adapter. BEA's eLink integration product contains adapters for many enterprise application platforms, including Clarify, Oracle, PeopleSoft, SAP, Vantive, and IBM's MQSeries. The adapters aim to make it simpler to connect front-office and back-office data, and connect to third-party apps. ELink pricing starts at $50,000 to $70,000. Scribe Software Corp., a longtime integration player, this week will unveil updates to its flagship products: Scribe Integrate, which builds permanent connections between applications, and Scribe Migrate, which handles one-time transfers of data from one platform to another..."

  • [November 15, 1999] "XML: Beyond the Standards Debate. IT Executives Praise XML And Pine For A Standard. But some experts say only industry-specific specs will do." By Charles Waltner. In InformationWeek (November 08, 1999), pages 96-98. Andy Astor [Dun & Bradstreet Corp.'s program director of Internet product development [designing a] Global Access electronic information-delivery system]: "'I don't believe there will ever be one standard way of exchanging XML data,' Astor says. 'So I just decided to grab something that was ready to go.' What he grabbed was an XML specification known as FinXML, based on work done in conjunction with the Open Financial Exchange, a specification for the electronic exchange of data among financial-services companies. Astor's not betting that FinXML will become the only way to use XML -- but it was one Astor knew could work for his company and his partners. He's not alone. IT executives are realizing that XML is more accessible, less expensive, and easier to develop than most intercompany communication technologies, in particular EDI. For example, Dun & Bradstreet's Global Access system provides customers with an easy way to download business information, such as credit reports, marketing lists, or purchasing sources, from the company's global network of offices. The use of XML technology makes it easier for these companies to access such information and integrate it into their own applications, Astor says. Still, EDI is a standard; XML is not. That's the basic dilemma for most IT managers interested in using XML. Though it would be comforting to have one monolithic XML standard to reference, that's not possible, industry experts say. The best IT managers can do is to use a version of XML most relevant to their data exchange needs. Laura Walker, executive director of Oasis, an international nonprofit consortium in Boston dedicated to the development of product-independent data exchange, says there are thousands of initiatives under way to develop XML specifications, and most industries are starting to develop their own XML vocabularies and formats. Walker says IT managers in most industries shouldn't expect to see a formalized XML specification for a year to 18 months."

  • [November 15, 1999] "Gates kicks off Comdex with vision, DOJ jokes." By Bob Trott and Dan Neel. In InfoWorld (November 15, 1999). "Microsoft Chairman and CEO Bill Gates kicked off the 20th Fall Comdex show here with a few light-hearted jabs at the U.S. Department of Justice's antitrust case... With no new Microsoft products or initiatives to unveil, Gates outlined his vision for the Internet's future -- dubbed 'The Personal Web' -- and boosted the soon-to-be-released Windows 2000 as the way for companies to take their business to the Web. 'Every CEO is asking himself, "What is my Internet strategy?"' Gates said. Keys to Gates' 'Personal Web' strategy include the Extensible Markup Language (XML), Microsoft's BizTalk initiative and, of course, Windows 2000 -- in fact, he dubbed the coming years the 'Windows 2000 generation.' Gates called the upgrade to Windows NT 4.0 the biggest product shift since Windows 95, which boosted personal computing from the 16-bit architecture to 32-bit." ["Looking ahead to the new year, Gates said six trends in the technology industry are combining to transform the Internet and personal computing: XML will become a key Internet technology, becoming more visible than even HTML..." See the text of the announcement.]

  • [November 15, 1999] "XML, Win 2000 will drive Web, Gates tells Comdex." By David Orenstein. In Computerworld (November 15, 1999). "Bill Gates's annual address to thousands of Comdex attendees this year had more original and at times surreal humor than serious revelations, but it provided users with an overview of where Microsoft's software strategy is headed based on recent announcements. He positioned the upcoming Windows 2000 and the BizTalk server products as the engines that will drive Web sites, offering end users a variety of software-based services with scalability and reliability. "XML is very central to this," he said. Gates and a Microsoft employee demonstrated a sample Web application that not only planned a route from Las Vegas to Seattle, but also calculated when the new Ford car would run out of gas, found gas stations just before those points and imported current gas prices from those stations. The external data sources -- Ford and the gas stations -- presented the data to the trip-planning application using XML."

  • [November 12, 1999] "Apache and industry leaders debut XML suite of tools. Industry leaders contribute XML and XSL technology to Apache Software Foundation." By Chris Rumble and Scott Cosby. From From IBM developerWorks (November 1999). "In response to developers clamoring for open-source XML tools, the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has unveiled the Apache XML Project and a suite of open-source XML tools. The tools were contributed by a handful of industry vendors and individual open source XML developers. Contributing vendors include DataChannel, IBM, Exoffice, Lotus Development Corporation, Sun Microsystems, and Textuality. The suite of open-source XML tools includes XML4J and XML4C Parsers from IBM, OpenXML from Exoffice and Assaf Arkin, LotusXSL from Lotus Development Corporation, XPages from DataChannel, FOP from James Tauber, Cocoon from Stefano Mazzocchi and the Java-Apache community, Java Project X and XHTML Parser from Sun Microsystems, and XSL:P from Exoffice and Keith Visco. The Apache XML Project calls its parser technology Xerces, which will be based on IBM's XML4J and XML4C technologies. The next version of this technology will include features of Sun Microsystems' parser and other contributions from the open source community. Following an industry-wide open source development process, the Apache XML Project plans to provide a set of XML- and XSL-related libraries and applications to demonstrate the power of these technologies in both Web server and client environments." See description and references in "Apache XML Project."

  • [November 12, 1999] "Less Is More In E-Business: The XML/edi Group." By Alan Kotok and David Webber. From (November 10, 1999). [David Webber from the XML/EDI Group, in an article co-authored with Alan Kotok from the Data Interchange Standards Association (DISA), presents his perspective on the integration of XML with EDI. The XML/edi Group's "XML for E-Business Initiative" seeks to deliver on the promise of XML for the many businesses currently unable to use established electronic business mechanisms. In this article, the authors explain the initiative and argue strongly for simplicity in XML specifications.'] "Enabling businesses to realize the benefits of XML in data exchanges was the motivation for the founding of the XML/EDI Group in July 1997. The grass-roots group is formed around an Internet mailing list, now with around 1,400 participants spread throughout the world. The group's focus is on fusing the benefits of traditional EDI with XML, thereby making this new technology more accessible to the vast majority of companies who previously found business-to-business electronic transactions too expensive and cumbersome. With chapters in North America and Europe, the XML/EDI Group has proposed guidelines for business data exchanges using XML, written a white paper on global XML repositories, and now seeks refinements and simplifications in XML itself to make it a better business engine. The Graphic Communications Association Research Institute provides management support for the group, while the group remains independent, receiving no funding from vendors of XML systems, networks, or services. In this article we explore critical issues in XML and e-business, and present the XML/EDI Group's XML for E-Business Initiative."

  • [November 12, 1999] "Apache XML Project Launches." By Edd Dumbill. From (November 10, 1999). ['This Tuesday saw the launch of the Apache XML Project, an effort to provide an open source, commercial-quality platform for XML. The project has been bootstrapped by the contribution of tools from the open source community, and commercial vendors including IBM and Sun.'] "Most noted for their Apache web server project, the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has turned its attention to XML in response to a growing demand for open source XML and XSL tools. The project is being seeded by the contribution of XML tools from commercial vendors, including Sun and IBM, and existing open source projects. Not since Netscape's decision to release the source code to Mozilla has the open source world seen such a significant commitment by commercial tools vendors." See description and references in "Apache XML Project."

  • [November 12, 1999] "IBM evangelist predicts XML will speed e-business." By Martin LaMonica. In InfoWorld (November 12, 1999). "Because it allows companies to share information with customers or business partners without first negotiating technical details, Extensible Markup Language (XML) will grease the skids of electronic business and become the assumed data format at the end of 2001, said Simon Phipps, IBM's chief XML and Java evangelist, here Thursday. Other successful Internet technologies let people run their systems without having to take into account another company's own computer systems, notably TCP/IP for networking, Java for programming, and Web browsers for content delivery. XML fills the data formatting piece of the puzzle, said Phipps, who gave a keynote at the Software Development East conference...Phipps contended that the IT industry has moved on from the era of vendor-imposed standards, but he did caution users against vendor attempts to co-opt XML."

  • [November 08, 1999] "Bowstreet Looks to XML to Link Commerce Sites." By Matthew Nelson. In InfoWorld (November 08, 1999). "Bowstreet Software intends to make the daunting task of connecting disparate business commerce sites together easy, using XML (Extensible Markup Language) and its derivatives in the Bowstreet Web Automation Factory. Bowstreet's Web Automation Factory allows users to integrate information between different Business to Business (B2B) partners using a combination of XML and directory services entitled Directory Services Markup Language (DSML). Bowstreet has already lined up IBM, Microsoft, Novell, Oracle, and the Sun-Netscape Alliance to support DSML. The Web Automation Factory is intended to allow for easy integration and connection of data between Web sites when new members are added to a B2B site, according to the company. The Publisher component is used by IT professionals to create and publish business processes in XML as a directory of Web services, to make them available for use by other businesses. An Automator component is used to create templates that enable customized functionality and processes to be built into Web sites, including loosely coupled 'Builders' within the template to automate the calls to the various processes and data at run time. The Customizer aspect is a browser-based system that is used by line-of-business managers to create and manage user profiles that drive the behavior of the Web site or application. The Bowstreet Web Automation Engine then manages all metadata in corporate directories and generates Web sites based on the profile of the user. The Web Automation Engine supports DSML connections to all major directories including those from IBM, Microsoft, Novell, Oracle, and Sun-Netscape, according to the company." See the announcement: "Bowstreet's Web Automation Factory Breaks Major Bottleneck to e-commerce Adoption: Time, Cost and Pain of Customizing B2b Web Sites. Breakthrough technology for mass-customizing B2B Web sites targeted at Fortune 1000, B2B trading portals and application service providers (ASPs)."

  • [November 08, 1999] "New Language to Sidestep E-com Directory Woes." By Scott Berinato And Jim Kerstetter. In PC Week [Online] (November 08, 1999). "A group of big-time developers - led by a small New Hampshire startup - is seeking to cure many of the interoperability woes involving directories with a new language tailored for e-commerce. Vendors such as Microsoft Corp. and Novell Inc. are integrating DSML (Directory Services Markup Language) into their directory services, hoping to jump-start development of directory-based e-commerce applications that are smarter and more agile than the business-to-business software infrastructure available today. The DSML working group, which is headed by Bowstreet Inc., of Portsmouth, N.H., and includes Microsoft, Novell, Oracle Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc. and IBM, plans to submit the technology to the World Wide Web Consortium standards body this month. The group also will announce at that time that as many as 20 developers, including Cisco Systems Inc., Red Hat Software Inc. and Oblix Inc., plan to incorporate the specification into their software, sources said. DSML working group members declined to comment on their standardization efforts or new partners. DSML applies the lingua franca capabilities of XML (Extensible Markup Language) to directory schemata, which define how data is stored in a directory... despite its promise, DSML faces challenges similar to XML's. Developers that have tried to use XML to cure interoperability woes in other fields, such as electronic data transfer, have struggled with maintaining similar DTDs (Document Type Definitions) when applying XML to applications. DTDs are used to tag XML documents, and if a vertical market segment creates its own DTDs, it can disrupt data exchange." See: "Directory Services Markup Language (DSML)."

  • [November 08, 1999] "Apache to Create XML Open-Source Tools." By Wylie Wong. In CNET (November 08, 1999). "The Apache Software Foundation, a nonprofit organization that builds free Web technology, is now turning its attention to Extensible Markup Language, an increasingly important Web technology, with the help of IBM and Sun Microsystems. Apache plans to develop new Extensible Markup Language (XML) tools with technology donated by IBM, Sun, other tech firms, and independent software developers. The group plans to launch the new effort -- called the ' Project' -- tomorrow [1999-11-09]. Their goal is to further drive the adoption of XML, a popular Web standard for exchanging data, by making tools that are 'open source,' meaning every software developer can view the source code, modify it, and use it for free. IBM and Sun Microsystems have donated their XML parsers for the new effort. A parser dissects and reads XML text within an application, much like a Web browser reads HTML to generate Web pages on a computer. The project is open to every developer or company, but Microsoft -- which has its own XML tools -- has not joined the effort. Industry observers fear the company is trying to use XML to their advantage, but Microsoft executives have scoffed at the notion, saying they support open industry standards." [alt URL] See references in "Apache XML Project."

  • [November 08, 1999] "Building a Common E-business Framework." By [CSC Staff]. From Computer Sciences Corporation (November 08, 1999). "Interoperability is the key word in e-commerce today. E-commerce is expanding rapidly, but so are the standards for conducting that commerce. The proliferation of standards threatens to create an electronic marketplace dominated by what Dr. Marty Tenenbaum, chairman of CommerceNet, calls 'commerce islands.' That is, Net markets could become isolated by differing proprietary protocols and domain standards. The pressure to conduct business in real time is driving entire industries toward a common framework for conducting e-commerce. CSC is actively promoting the development of a common framework in two ways: by participating in the eCo Framework Working Group of CommerceNet, the world's largest independent consortium of e-commerce users, providers and developers; and by founding Ontology.Org, a research organization focused on defining a reference architecture for large-scale electronic markets. The need for standardization is most acute in the burgeoning field of XML (eXtensible Mark-up Language)."

  • [November 08, 1999] "XML as a Distributed Application Protocol. The Technology and the Politics." By Richard Deadman. In Java Report Volume 4, Number 10 (October, 1999). ['Richard explores why XML is so hot, shows how XML can be sed as a distributed computing protocol, and looks at its advantages, disadvantages, and appropriate uses.'] "It's the latest buzzword in the Internet application arena; XML, the open-standards child of SGML that promises to provide platform- and language-neutral data encapsulation and separate application logic from application data. It's hot. It's powerful. Everyone loves it. But isn't this exactly what CORBA already provides? We will explore why XML is so hot, show how XML can be used as a distributed computing protocol, and look at its advantages, disadvantages, and appropriate uses. We will also speculate on some of the non-technical forces driving the XML phenomenon."

  • [November 08, 1999] "Error Handling With XML." By Steven Jones. In Java Report Volume 4, Number 10 (October, 1999). ['Steven presents a unique solution for handling errors in a language and a platform-independent way of using XML.']

  • [November 08, 1999] "So, What's XML? [Editor's Note.]" By Dwight Deugo. In Java Report Volume 4, Number 10 (October, 1999).

  • [November 08, 1999] "Quick Study: WAP." By Amy Helen Johnson. In Computerworld (November 08, 1999). "The Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) is a set of specifications, developed by the WAP Forum, that lets developers using Wireless Markup Language (WML) build networked applications designed for handheld wireless devices. WAP was designed to work within the constraints of these devices: a limited memory and CPU size; small, monochrome screens; low bandwidth; and erratic connections. WAP is a de facto standard, with support from more than 200 vendors. The WAP Forum isn't a standards body, but it does work with international standards organizations and offers its specifications for official recognition. What makes WAP work as a de facto standard is that the major players in the wireless market all support the specification. Jill House, an analyst at Framingham, Mass.-based International Data Corp. (IDC), lists three of WAP's strong points: 'It's got industrywide support, it's nonproprietary and it's well-suited to the devices it's being ported to.' WAP is important, House says, because more and more information is going out over the wireless network. Recent IDC reports predict that sales of smart phones -- just one type of device that supports WAP -- will reach 2.6 million units in the U.S. and 539 million units worldwide in 2003. The WAP Forum has a three-stage, public-comment process for including wireless standards specifications in its WAP Specification Suite, now at Version 1.1." [See also: WAP Resources]. For background, see "WAP Wireless Markup Language Specification (WML)."

  • [November 08, 1999] "Today's Style Sheet Standards: The Great Vision Blinded. [Internet Watch.]" By Philip M. Marden, Jr., and Ethan V. Munson. In IEEE Computer Volume 32, Number 11 (November 1999), pages 123-125. "W3C has two style sheet standards: Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) for HTML and the Extensible Style Language (XSL) for XML. Although CSS's architecture appears to be well suited to the Web, its language contains flaws that would hinder good engineering practices even if it were fully supported by browsers. However, XSL, the Web's next-generation style sheet standard, appears to contain even more significant flaws. . . We are skeptical that XSL can fulfill its envisioned role as XML's style sheet companion. XSL is a much larger language than CSS, and it defines a formatting vocabulary within the larger framework of a transformation language. Most XSL standardization efforts have focused on its transformation language. On the positive side, XSL supports separation of presentation and content, and it has considerable expressive power, including the ability to handle arbitrary mathematical expressions. Unlike CSS's architecture, XSL's architecture doesn't allow end users or their clients to supply style sheets to control document presentation. While the specification doesn't explicitly preclude user-provided style sheets, it also doesn't directly address the issue. This issue's importance can't be overemphasized: Client-supplied style sheets are critical to the goal of making the Web accessible from any device by any user. Without client-supplied style sheets, users have to depend on Web sites to support their devices and special needs. We doubt that large numbers of Webmasters would choose to publish versions for low-usage clients like aural and Braille devices, and we are certain that they can't anticipate every new browsing device's characteristics... A second difficulty with XSL derives from its declarative transformation language. Document transformations arrange the material in a document in the order that it will be laid out on the page or screen. XSL advocates believe that its declarative approach is fundamentally easier to use than the imperative approach of scripting or programming languages. We disagree. Declarative languages are only easy to use when the user doesn't need to understand the language's underlying processing model. But, to write an XSL style sheet effectively, you need to understand processing models for both tree transformation and formatting. . . Our research into style sheet systems and languages (Proteus and PSL) shows that there are alternatives to CSS and XSL that more closely meet the above criteria. The PSL style language has a syntax especially designed for the style sheet task and has traditional computational features including mathematical expressions and conditionals. In contrast to XSL, PSL does not emphasize transformations, and it uses constraints, rather than flow, to specify layout. Furthermore, there are other style languages, such as the Thot structured document toolkit's P language and the more recent Constraint CSS. While we realize that substantial resources have been invested in CSS and XSL, we nevertheless urge the Web community to more fully explore alternate approaches to style sheets." [subscription]

  • [November 08, 1999] "XHTML 1.0 Sent Back to HTML Working Group." By Edd Dumbill. From (November 08, 1999). ['Tim Berners-Lee has announced that the XHTML 1.0 specification, currently a Proposed Recommendation, is to be returned to the HTML working group for further revision.'] "Tim Berners-Lee, the Director of the W3C, announced today that the XHTML 1.0 Proposed Recommendation is to be returned to the HTML working group for further revision. XHTML 1.0 is a reformulation of HTML 4 into XML: the first stage in bringing the rigor of XML into web pages. The XHTML 1.0 specification attracted significant controversy within the XML community during its transition from last-call Working Draft to Proposed Recommendation (the final stage before Recommendation, after which no changes can be made). The controversy, which raged for a long time in the XML developer's mailing list XML-dev, centered on the introduction of three separate XML namespaces for the three flavors of XHTML: 'strict', 'transitional' and 'frameset'."

  • [November 08, 1999] "The W3C, P3P and the Intermind Patent." By Lisa Rein. From (November 08, 1999). ['What danger do claims of patent infringement hold for implementors of the W3C's Platform for Privacy Preferences framework?'] "Last week, the W3C published an analysis from Pennie & Edmonds LLP on whether implementations of their Platform for Privacy Preferences Project (P3P) would infringe a patent held by Seattle-based Intermind Corporation. The analysis confirmed that it would be possible to implement P3P without infringing the patent -- great news for implementors and users of the new standard -- but the episode raises important issues about protection of the freedom to implement open standards. A peculiar twist to this case is that Intermind themselves were involved in the W3C working groups on P3P, and had declared during that time that they had a patent pending that may impact the new standard. P3P itself is a good example of the flexibility and extensibility that is the promise of XML and RDF. Essentially, a P3P implementation informs a user of a web site's privacy practices and allows them to control what information they disclose to a site, and how the site is allowed to use it... This model is not restricted to P3P: software agents performing automatic negotiations are likely to be a prominent feature in the e-commerce systems of the near future. Thus the issue of exactly what the Intermind patent does and does not claim is of prime importance for today's XML implementors. In this article we examine the claims of the Intermind patent, the reasons P3P doesn't infringe the patent, and review the implications for the future."

  • [November 06, 1999] "Bluestone Visual XML 1.1. XML Development Environment. Visual XML Eases Integration. [Product Review.]" By James R. Borck. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 45 (November 08, 1999), page 57. "More companies are turning to the efficiencies of Extensible Markup Language (XML) to enable diverse communications, such as integrating legacy applications or tying together disparate data sources. Thus, toolsets capable of rapidly integrating partners and suppliers into the workflow are becoming increasingly indispensable. Bluestone Software fills this gap with Visual XML, Version 1.1, a development environment for binding XML documents and Document Type Definitions (DTDs) to back-end data sources. With Visual XML, developers can create XML-based server applications to automate business-to-business transactions. Its easily navigable graphical interface, step-by-step development wizards, and built-in editors offer a comprehensive foray into XML development that will improve productivity through faster prototyping and deployment of XML-based communications. Using Bluestone's Universal Listener Framework (ULF), you can create Java and XML applications that generate, receive and act upon communications, such as purchase or fulfillment orders, enabling companies of any size to improve their Internet-commerce effectiveness. Adding this functionality opens communication between your XML applications to receive and respond to XML documents and messages. From disparate sources and protocols, including HTTP, Secure Sockets Layer, Java Messaging Service, IBM's MQSeries messaging product, and e-mail, these listeners can field requests and trigger responses that will automate the supply chain or office workflow..."

  • [November 08, 1999] "eXcelon, Version 2.0. eXcelon leverages legacy data with XML." By James R. Borck. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 45 (November 06, 1999), pages 58, 62. "Combining an Extensible Markup Language (XML) data server with well-integrated caching technology, eXcelon 2.0 from Object Design Inc. (ODI) provides a scalable middleware solution that improves data availability to your enterprise applications and Web servers, regardless of format. With new features such as support for Microsoft Transaction Server and a development toolset for quickly XML-enabling legacy systems, enterprise resource planning systems, and other heterogeneous back-end data, eXcelon provides an affordable and effective means for businesses of any size to store, manage, and distribute data using XML."

  • [November 06, 1999] "ABC's of Schemas." By Dan Rogers. In [BizTalk Forum] (November 04, 1999). "The mission statement - 'removing the technology barriers' to XML take-off - is the reason that exists. One of those barriers is the lack of a broad understanding of the relevance of XML in a hyper-commerce market. In this market, data travels between systems without the need for different business partners to agree on what computer systems or software vendors two systems need to use to communicate. Using XML, a standard for making data understandable on any platform, businesses can technically interlink their systems. This mark-up standard isn't rich enough on it's own to express the agreements and technical contracts that have traditionally driven business relationships. A way to describe a technical agreement is required, and a third party source for storing and referencing these schemas is essential. Today, the library is pleased to announce the opening of a new learning resource. You'll find the first chapter 'A business language view of schemas' in the community section of the library. It's interactive, so you can ask your own questions and help shape future chapters. New chapters will appear periodically."

October 1999

  • [October 27, 1999] "Examining CommerceNet's eCo Framework. Interoperability in e-commerce." By Edd Dumbill [ Managing Editor]. From (October 27, 1999). ['The eCo Framework Project from CommerceNet will provide a fundamental level of integration and interoperability among e-commerce applications that are written for different vertical markets. Edd Dumbill analyzes the project's two key documents: the eCo Semantic Recommendations and the eCo Framework Specification.'] "XML is making a big impact in the world of e-commerce. Many recent initiatives in e-commerce interchange protocols are based on XML. These protocols tend to concentrate on solving the problems of a particular industry: they're solutions for 'vertical' markets. One example of such an initiative is the ICE protocol, geared to syndication between content providers: it has applicability not just for networks of publishers, but also for example, syndicating product catalogs to resellers. Another initiative is RosettaNet, which is particularly focussed on creating electronic business interfaces in the IT supply chain. These initiatives are great news for companies involved in those particular segments. However, if you look at each of these applications, there are certain things they've got in common: the notion of parties wanting to trade or exchange, the notion of a product, and so on. In each of these efforts the implementation of these notions is different. If you wanted to start such an initiative in your own industry, you'd have to reinvent a lot of these basic concepts as well. In addition to having commonality in entities, many of the existing e-commerce initiatives share common processes: the registration of a new customer/trading partner, the exchange of product data, etc. Processes like these would also have to be reimplemented if you were to start an e-commerce protocol for your own industry. This is where the recently announced eCo Framework comes in: its aim is to provide basic framework specifications on which vertical e-commerce applications can build. In doing so, common entities and processes are identified and implemented as a foundation."

  • [October 27, 1999] "Electronic Mail Merge." By Claude Duguay. In Java Pro Magazine (October 1999). ['Building enterprise Java applications often means combining several technologies. Claude demonstrates the process with a broadcast e-mail application that leverages the strengths of JDBC, XML, and the JavaMail API.'] "In this article, we're going to develop a program that lets you mail to a list of recipients pulled out of a database using JDBC, merging custom fields from the database into a message template written using XML, and sent through Internet-based e-mail using the JavaMail API. Both the message and the SQL query used to define the mailing criteria are part of the XML message template, so you can construct as many of these as you like. Any field that is part of the JDBC result set returned by the query can be used in the e-mail template."

  • [October 25, 1999] "Dell links e-commerce systems to legacy systems at customer sites." By Michael Vizard and Matthew Nelson. In InfoWorld (October 25, 1999). "Dell Computer this week will fill a major hole in it electronic-commerce strategy by signing an alliance with webMethods, a provider of XML-based middleware. Dell will use webMethod's software to integrate its on-line commerce operations with customers' existing enterprise resource applications, which will allow Dell customers to simplify their procurement process. Right now, most major Dell customers already have their own internal procurement system, so when customers order systems from Dell on-line they have to enter the purchase request twice: once in the Dell system and again in their own system. To alleviate this redundancy, Dell will bundle webMethod's software on the Web servers that it delivers to its major on-line customers. Those servers will then be linked with a customer's internal procurement system to complete the e-commerce chain..." See the announcement: "Dell Chooses webMethods Solution for B2B Direct Initiative. webMethods B2B Securely Connects Customers to Contracted Information Via Dell's Integrated Initiative."

  • [October 23, 1999] "Ontologies as Conceptual Models for XML Documents." By Michael Erdmann and Rudi Studer (Institut für Angewandte Informatik und Formale Beschreibungsverfahren (AIFB) University of Karlsruhe, D-76128 Karlsruhe, Germany). Paper presented in the section "Ontologies and Metadata for Knowledge Retrieval" at the Twelfth Workshop on Knowledge Acquisition, Modeling and Management (Voyager Inn, Banff, Alberta, Canada, October 16-21, 1999). "Abstract: Access to XML-based documents currently relies on query languages that are closely tied to the document structures, i.e., when looking for information one has to be aware of this structure and cannot easily specify the information needs conceptually. Our approach uses ontologies to access sets of distributed XML documents on a conceptual level. We integrate conceptual modeling, inheritance, and inference mechanisms on the one hand with the popularity, simplicity, and flexibility of XML on theother hand. We present an approach that defines the relationship between a given ontology and a document type definition (DTD) for classes of XML documents. Thus, we are able to supplement syntactical access to XML documents by conceptual, i.e., real semantic access." [And from the introduction:] "XML is designed to describe document types for all thinkable domains and purposes... XML documents are explicitly structured textual documents that can be easily accessed by application programs (via standardized interfaces like SAX and DOM. This is one main strength of XML that will probably lead to the emergence of XML-based repositories in businesses in the near future, that represent e.g. yellow pages, project and skill descriptions, or publication lists. Thus, XML could play an important role as a basic technology in the context of knowledge management and dissemination and also when it comes to managing large scale web sites. XML supports such techniques as corporate design, style sheets, automatic generation of customized views to documents, consistency between documents, superior linking facilities (XLink, XPointer) etc. All this is based on an individually definable tag set that is tailored to the application needs. The tags have semantic purposes, in contrast to pure layout purposes as in HTML, so that they can be exploited for several tasks such as those mentioned above or as metadata that supports intelligent information retrieval. In spite of these positive features and prospects of XML it must be clearly stated that XML is solely a description language to specify the structure of documents and thus their syntactic dimension. The document structure can represent some semantic properties but it is not clear how this can be deployed outside of special purpose applications. We will define in this paper how to add true semantics to XML documents by relating the document structure to an ontology. By mapping ontology concepts and attributes to XML elements via the definition of a DTD, XML documents can be authored that represent facts that are compatible with the designed domain model, i.e., an ontology. An ontology is a 'formal specification of a conceptualization' and thus, provides a basis for semantics-based processing of XML documents. We will argue that ontologies are the appropriate level for structuring the contents of documents because they speak about concepts and semantic relationships rather than element nesting or sequential order. Of course concepts and relationships have to be expressed and stored in linear form in documents; but this is pure representation, i.e., DTDs and the document structure are not enough to give XML a sound semantics. The representation can be derived automatically from a conceptual description as it can be defined by an ontology. If the ontology is the primary source for structuring documents these documents can be accessed in a more convenient, i.e, semantic way. Conceptual terms can be used to retrieve facts. Thus, the ontology is a kind of mediator between the information seeker and the set of XML documents. It unifies the different syntaxes/structures of these documents and can add background knowledge to the process of answering a query. Our approach allows true semantic queries to the contents of XML documents and relieves the information seeker from knowing and accessing the structure of all relevant documents." In section 4 of the paper ("Deriving DTDs from Ontologies"), the authors present "the tool DTDMaker that produces an XML Document Type Definition (DTD) based on a given ontology. This is done by mapping ontology concepts and attributes to XML elements, thus that these documents are compatible with the ontology." Ack: this reference was graciously provided to me by Kevin Poulter, Chief Technology Officer for Ontology.Org and member of the CommerceNet eCo Working Group. [local archive copy]

  • [October 22, 1999] "Conceptual Knowledge Markup Language: The Central Core." By Robert E. Kent (Washington State University). Paper presented in the section "Ontologies and Metadata for Knowledge Retrieval" at the Twelfth Workshop on Knowledge Acquisition, Modeling and Management (Voyager Inn, Banff, Alberta, Canada, October 16-21, 1999). "The conceptual knowledge framework OML/CKML needs several components for a successful design. One important, but previously overlooked, component is the central core of OML/CKML. The central core provides a theoretical link between the ontological specification in OML and the conceptual knowledge representation in CKML. This paper discusses the formal semantics and syntactic styles of the central core, and also the important role it plays in defining interoperability between OML/CKML, RDF/S and Ontolingua. . . The OML/CKML pair of languages is in various senses both description logic based and frame based. . . Simple OML is a intended for interoperability. Simple OML was designed to provide the closest approach within OML to RDF/S, while still remaining in harmony with the underlying principles of CKML. In addition to the central core of CKML, Simple OML represents functions, reification, cardinality constraints, inverse relations, and collections. This paper shows how the first-order form of Simple OML is closely related to the Resource Description Framework with Schemas (RDF/S), and how the higher-order form of Simple OML is intimately related to XOL (XML-Based Ontology Exchange Language), an XML expression of Ontolingua with the knowledge model of Open Knowledge Base Connectivity (OKBC). . . XOL (XML Ontology Exchange Language) is a frame-based language with an XML syntax that is currently being designed for the exchange of ontologies for molecular biology. XOL produces an XML expression for Ontolingua through the OKBC application programming interface (API). In this section we show how the frame-based language XOL can be modeled by the central core of OML/CKML with higher-order entity types, the version of the classification-projection diagram..." [local archive copy]

  • [October 22, 1999] "Parsing the 'Semantic Web'. [Pondering the possibilities of the 'semantic Web'.]" By Jim Rapoza. In PC Week [Online] (October 20, 1999). "There's a lot of concern right now about how information is used on the Web. Mainly this centers on privacy issues and how companies use data. However, while individual Web sites can be made pretty smart through data mining and personalization technologies, when it comes to data, there's only one thing that can be saidabout the Web itself: It's stupid. In the next few years, though, this statement may no longer be true. Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web, discusses both its past and its future in his new book, Weaving the Web. . . Berners-Lee is essentially describing a Web where applications, agents and Web pages will be able not just to know what's on a Web site, but actually to understand the meaning of it. Enter RDF. How is this possible? Mainly through the use of XML, RDF (or Resource Description Framework, which is based on XML) and the schemas used to describe both. In a nutshell, RDF lets site developers describe all the elements on a page in a format that can be read by programs. Considered on a single page, this seems helpful enough. But when one realizes that programs could potentially access every RDF schema on the Web, the ability to build seemingly incredible applications becomes obvious."

  • [October 22, 1999] "Modeling Web Application Architectures with UML." By Jim Conallen (Rational Software Corporation). In Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery Volume 42, Number 10 (October, 1999), pages 63-70. [Note: This article is one of several in this special section of CACM 42/10, "UML in Action." The lead article is an "Introduction (to UML)" by Guest Editor Grady Booch.] "This article is intended as an introduction to the issues and possible solutions for modeling Web applications. It focuses on the architecturally significant components particular to Web applications, and how to model them with UML. It is assumed that the reader is familiar with UML, object-oriented principles and Web application development. The work described in this article is based on some fairly innocuous assumptions: (1) Web applications are software-intensive systems that are becoming more complex, and are inserting themselves in more mission-critical roles; (2) One way to manage complexity in software systems is to abstract and model them; (3) A software system typically has multiple models, each representing a different viewpoint, level of abstraction and detail; (4) The proper level of abstraction and detail depends on the artifacts and worker activities in the development process; and (5) UML is the standard modeling language for software-intensive systems. Models help us understand the system by simplifying some of the details. The choice of what to model has an enormous effect on the understanding of the problem and the shape of the solution... It is expected that native XML browsers will be on the market soon. XML combined with XSL will provide many of the same features as HTML with the significant advantage of increased separation of content and presentation. Although the ideas expressed in this article mostly revolve around HTML, it is expected they can be extended to handle XML-based systems, once their usage patterns have been defined... The creators of the UML realized that there would always be situations in which the UML, out of the box, would not be sufficient to capture the relevant semantics of a particular domain or architecture. To address this purpose, a formal extension mechanism was defined to allow practitioners to extend the semantics of the UML. The mechanism allows us to define stereotypes, tagged values and constraints that can be applied to model elements. A stereotype is an adornment that allows us to define a new semantic meaning for a modeling element. Tagged values are key value pairs that can be associated with a modeling element that allow us to tag any value onto a modeling element. Constraints are rules that define the well-formedness of a model. They can be expressed as free-form text or with the more formal Object Constraint Language (OCL). The work discussed in this article introduces an extension to the UML for Web applications. This extension, in its entirety, is beyond the scope of this article; however, most of the concepts and explanations are discussed here... [Conclusion:] The ideas and concepts discussed in this article are an introduction to issues and solutions for modeling Web application specific elements with UML. The goal of this work is to present a coherent and complete way integrate the modeling of Web-specific elements with the rest of the application such that the level of detail and abstraction is appropriate for designers, implementers, and architects of Web applications. A first version of a formal extension to the UML for Web applications is near completion. This extension will provide a common way for architects and designers to express the entirety of their Web applications design with UML. The most recent information on this extension can be found on the Internet in the Rose and UML sections of Rational Software web site."

  • [October 22, 1999] "Big Blue to counter BizTalk with XML schema initiative." By Michael Vizard and Michael Lattig. In InfoWorld (October 22, 1999). "The XML standard may seem like an 'all-for-one-and-one-for-all' proposition, but a schema skirmish has already broken out, centered on IBM's questioning of whether Microsoft's BizTalk campaign is truly open. IBM is beginning to pull together a broad range of allies that will develop an independent approach to the development of Extensible Markup Language (XML) schemas for electronic-business applications. The effort will counter a similar BizTalk campaign that Microsoft launched earlier this year. Both initiatives seek to help vertical industries define a broad range of XML schemas that will make it easier to conduct electronic business by defining how certain types of transactions will be handled. IBM officials initially were cautiously optimistic about Microsoft's BizTalk standard, which Microsoft describes as an effort to standardize the development of XML schemas that can be gathered into a schema library and made accessible to a broad range of developers. However, since the launch of BizTalk, IBM officials say it has become increasingly apparent that what Microsoft has in mind is a derivative of XML that is not customizable and can be accessed only through The Microsoft Network, said John Swainson, general manager of applications and middleware at IBM's Software Solutions group..."

  • [October 22, 1999] "IBM Revamps its Approach to Software." By Michael Vizard and Ed Scannell. In InfoWorld (October 22, 1999). "Under an initiative internally referred to as its e-Business Integrator program, IBM will increasingly move its focus away from individual products and toward developing customizable platforms. These custom platforms will be aimed at specific types of tasks, including electronic commerce, corporate portals, and customer relationship management, IBM officials said. As part of that effort, IBM will bring to market an enterprise application integration (EAI) tool that combines WebSphere, MQSeries, and its transaction-processing technologies into a single offering. The IBM platforms will then be interconnected using IBM's EAI tools, which will be repackaged to give the company an edge over rivals that cannot yet combine support for components, messaging, Extensible Markup Language (XML), and transaction processing in a single offering. 'If you think about it, we're going to be the only company that can trigger transactions based on the content in the message because we can combine MQSeries with a transaction-processing engine that keeps track of state,' Swainson said. Once that product is in place next year, IBM will also deliver an XML-based rapid-application development tool that will make it easier for average developers to create workflow applications that make use of what have traditionally been powerful but arcane IBM middleware technologies."

  • [October 22, 1999] "Netfish unveils XML-based e-comm server." By Ellen Messmer. In Network World (October 19, 1999). "Netfish Technologies this week unveiled an application server for converting business documents into XML. The Netfish XML Data Interchange (XDI) server, based on the Enterprise Java Beans specification, can take data from either an Oracle or SAP enterprise resource planning system and convert it into XML. An emerging standard from the World Wide Web Consortium, XML is a neutral format for data, allowing it to be converted into HTML, proprietary formats or Electronic Data Interchange. Each business document received by the XDI server is stored in a mailbox designated for a trading partner. The XDI server can be set up to schedule encrypted delivery of these documents over the Internet via Secure Sockets Layer or S/MIME to another XDI server. The XDI's workflow capabilities let the user set up a business process within the document to ensure it's sent to specific people or departments in a particular order. To really make use of XML, trading partners have to agree on how XML metatags will be used in the business documents they exchange. Netfish XDI will support the XML tagging conventions and so-called Partner Interface Processes specified by RosettaNet, an industry consortium. In theory, Netfish XDI should be able to process business documents sent by other vendors' XML application servers that also conform to the RosettaNet specifications. These vendors include WebMethods and Extricity. GE Information Services and Sterling Commerce are involved in RosettaNet pilot projects as well. Kingburn says the RosettaNet interoperability tests are proceeding well, but he claims other servers don't support the Netfish workflow features." [Also on CNN.Com News.]

  • [October 21, 1999] "Customizing the DocBook DTD. An Excerpt from DocBook: The Definitive Guide, by Norman Walsh and Leonard Muellner." By Norman Walsh. From (October 20, 1999). ['In this three-part excerpt from his new book, Norm Walsh describes how to modify the DocBook DTD and customize it for your own applications. The DocBook DTD [is] a mature SGML DTD that was developed for computer documentation and is enjoying wide use today at companies like Sun and Red Hat. A version of this DTD now exists for XML and Norm Walsh, along with Lenny Muellner, have written a new book called DocBook DTD: The Definitive Guide [soon to be] published by O'Reilly. In this issue, we have an excerpt from the DocBook book that describes how you can customize the DTD to eliminate features you might not need.'] "This excerpt is from Chapter 5, Customizing DocBook. Not surprisingly, the specific examples in this excerpt relate to DocBook, but the principles apply to any DTD that you may write or use. The only real requirement is that the DTD be appropriately parameterized. . ." [Note: the book may be ordered from O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.; at last check with the author (1999-10-19), I heard that "the book isn't really out yet...It's still in Ann Arbor being printed." Meantime, one may look on the book's Web site to find raw sources. I'll post an announcement when the book is actually available. -rcc]

  • [October 21, 1999] "The Making of the DocBook DTD." By Dale Dougherty. From (October 20, 1999). ['Dale Dougherty has contributed this article "which describes how this DTD evolved and explores the close connection between its development team and the leaders of XML development today. The DocBook DTD project, now affiliated with OASIS, has been a quiet success story, the work of committed volunteers who have solved a common problem." The DocBook DTD grew out of the Davenport Group, and many of the people who contributed to this DTD for computer documentation have gone on to take leading roles in XML development.'] " The volunteers who produced the DocBook DTD first came together as The Davenport Group around 1990. I organized the Davenport Group initially, along with several members of a documentation team from HaL Computer Systems. Davenport meetings were informal sessions intended to explore how software manuals could be exchanged between companies more easily. Up until then, these companies, most of whom were UNIX vendors, were shipping printed manuals with computer workstations. CD-ROM was beginning to emerge and companies such as Sun Microsystems, HP and SGI were investing heavily in online documentation systems..."

  • [October 21, 1999] "'X' Marks the E-Commerce Spot." By Shannon Henry. In Washington Post Thursday. October 21, 1999. [Page E01] "If the Web language called XML is really the Next Big Thing, as companies such as Microsoft Corp. and visionaries such as Web creator Tim Berners-Lee are suggesting, no one will be happier than Phillip Merrick. 'The first 12 to 18 months, it was difficult to get money, business-to-business wasn't hot, XML was unheard of and we were in the wrong place, according to people in [Silicon] Valley,' says Merrick, chief executive of software firm webMethods Inc. of Fairfax. Now he has venture capital, from local funds as well as Mayfield Fund in Silicon Valley and Goldman Sachs in New York. Some of the top names in technology -- 3Com, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Compaq -- are customers. WebMethods is working with Microsoft on the giant software company's own XML offering, called BizTalk, expected out next year. And Dell chief executive Michael Dell has personally invested an undisclosed amount in webMethods. While webMethods is not quite a household name in Washington, Silicon Valley's high-tech magazine, Red Herring, named it one of the nation's top 50 private companies. And industry sources say the company will likely file for an initial public offering before the end of the year. Simply put, XML (eXtensible Markup Language) is a Web language, like HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), but one that is more interactive and well suited for electronic commerce because the coding contains markers that make it easy to standardize information across the Internet. That allows the use of 'intelligent agents' to seek out consistent information and then act on what they find..."

  • [October 21, 1999] "WebSphere Pushes Midtier Higher. IBM's application server and tools nicely service high-end deployments." By Maggie Biggs. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 42 (October 18, 1999), pages 67-68. "WebSphere Application Server is available in three editions: Standard, Advanced, and Enterprise. The Standard Edition will meet the needs of many customers with its support for deploying Web applications that contain dynamic content. New Extensible Markup Language (XML) and database connectivity improvements in this release make it easier to integrate external data. The Standard Edition also includes useful site-analysis tools and offers integration with IBM's Tivoli system management software. Version 3.0 of Advanced Edition includes added XML support that enables customers to parse, generate, validate, or modify XML and Extensible Style Language content. Moreover, IBM has included its SecureWay Directory Server and Lightweight Directory Access Protocol support with this edition. Sites that need to support high-volume, transaction-based Web applications will want to evaluate the Enterprise Edition of the WebSphere Application Server. This version contains all of the functionality found in the other two WebSphere editions but also adds integration with IBM's Component Broker and TXSeries products. This form of support is similar to BEA's integration of its WebLogic and its Tuxedo and WebLogic Enterprise products. I found some new wizards in this Studio release that will be helpful to both experienced developers who need to save time, as well as to those who are less experienced with Web-application creation. The graphical wizards support the creation of JSPs, JavaBeans, and servlets. Other useful additions in this version of Studio include an applet designer that is based on Net-Objects' BeanBuilder, art design tools to create graphic images, and Net-Objects' ScriptBuilder. The latter supports both XML and the Wireless Markup Language."

  • [October 21, 1999] "XML Extends its Reach. XML finds favor in many IT shops, but it's still not right for everyone." By Amy Helen Johnson. In ComputerWorld Volume 33, Number 42 (October 18, 1999), pages 76-81. "Employees need several hundred pages' worth of products, policies and procedures to service customers of San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co. But the information in those pages changes frequently, so if it can't be updated easily, it's virtually useless. Enter XML. Robert Bean, vice president at Wells Fargo's Minneapolis-based institutional trust division, says the bank solved its updating problems by putting service information into a database of Extensible Markup Language (XML)-tagged documents on the company intranet. An employee who needs the latest policy or form simply aims his Web browser at the online manual. 'The most current version is resident in one spot,' says Bean. That means employees make fewer mistakes than before. Content management is one of the things XML does best. Nearly every large company interested in messaging, component technology or the Internet is building XML applications, says Mike Gilpin, an analyst for application-development strategies at Giga Information Group Inc. in Cambridge, Mass. But early adopters are finding that today's XML picture isn't all rosy; the current state of XML standards and applications is about where the Internet programming language HTML was years ago, and that's not saying much."

  • [October 21, 1999] "XSLT: Transforming XML." By Bob DuCharme. In <TAG> Volume 13, Number 9 (September 1999), pages 5-6. "XSLT is pure XML: you specify how to convert one document type into another by creating a special type of XML document. XSL offers various specialized element types and attributes to specify different tasks you want performed, and you need to get familiar with them before XSLT will do what you want... The real advantage of representing transformation specifications as XML documents is that this is a closed system. XSL stylesheets define transformations in XML terms, just as the schema for relational database tables are themselves relational database tables. So what does XSLT look like? [...] In the next issue we will look at some of the fancier transformations possible with XSLT such as changing element order, converting attributes to child elements and vice-versa, string manipulation, comment generation, and sorting. These and other features make this budding standard a very powerful, promising contribution to the XML world..."

  • [October 21, 1999] "XSLT: Transformation von XML-Dokumenten." By Henning Behme. In iX - Magazin für professionelle Informationstechnik (October 18, 1999) [Web-Programmierung]. "Fast zwei Jahre, nachdem das W3C die Syntax von XML festgeschrieben hat, sieht es aus, als stünden Teile der Formatierung vor dem Abschluss. Bei XSLT und XPath handelt es sich um die Entwürfe für die Dokumententransformation von einer in die andere Struktur..."

  • [October 21, 1999] "XML Linking and Styling: Standards Status Report." By Bob DuCharme. In <TAG> Volume 13, Number 8 (August 1999), pages 4-5. ['Bob DuCharme untangles the web of work being done by the W3C working groups on XML-related standards. Several standards, such as XSL and XLL, have been split into others. A helpful chart shows dependencies and relationships.'] "When XML became a Recommendation in February of 1998, we heard that the next big steps were the XLL linking language and the XSL styling language, and that we'd then be able to build the Web applications we dreamed of. Just as XML was a simpler, easier-to-implement W3C version of the ISO standard SGML, XLL and XSL were going to be simpler, easier-to-implement W3C versions of the ISO standards HyTime (for hyperlinking and related benefits) and DSSSL (for transformation and presentation of XML elements). So what's happened to XLL and XSL since then? Not enough or too much, depending on who you ask. Those who say 'not enough' hoped that linking, transformation, and styling specifications would reach Recommendation status by now so that we would have stable standards to work with. Those saying 'too much' are frustrated with the splintering of XLL and XSL into five different interdependent standards, none of which is done yet. This splitting into multiple pieces is a big factor in the length of the process. Why so many pieces? It's similar to writing a large, complex application: breaking it up into well-designed, independent units means that each piece is more versatile, and that various systems can use each piece with no undue dependencies on unrelated material tied to that piece..."

  • [October 21, 1999] "SMIL - Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language. Moving to the beat." By Lloyd Rutledge [CWI (Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica]. In iX - Magazin für professionelle Informationstechnik (October 1999). "The Web used to stand still. SMIL gives the Web a sense of timing and adaptation. In order to prevent everyone from moving to their own beat, a standard like the Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language is needed... With SMIL's adaptive features, we ourselves become factors as well, since SMIL documents can adapt to individual users and playback environments. You could for example define that an audio file only starts after a certain delay to make sure to provide a soundtrack for a specific video sequence. SMIL (pronounced like the English word "smile") is Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language, the W3C format for multimedia on the Web. The World Wide Web Consortium released version 1 in June of last year and introduced the modular successor SMIL Boston on 3 August of this year which was followed by a second version already on 20 August. Its HTML-like syntax encodes the timing, screen layout, interaction and adaptivity of multimedia presentations. With at least three players currently available, and with more and more presentations appearing on the Web, SMIL promises to do for interactive multimedia what HTML did for hypertext: bring it into every home with an easy-to-author, readily implementable format, and with easily accessible players for it. These benefits of multimedia have long been achievable through closed formats or with Java programs. What is novel about SMIL is not with new multimedia functions, or that multimedia can be done on the Web, but that it is encoded in a standardized XML-defined format. Because it is in XML, and because it was developed to work with the family of XML-related standards from the W3C (especially with CSS, XPointer, XLink and namespaces) SMIL places multimedia within the developing Web framework at a higher level than a programming format like Java can. But more importantly, because it is a simple, descriptive format and not a programming language, you don't have to be a programmer to write it - making the creation of Web multimedia possible for many more people than ever before."

  • [October 21, 1999] "The World Wide Telephone." By Suzanne Hildreth. In WebServer Online Magazine (October 1999). "Considering adding telephone access to your Web site or making some of your Web content speech-enabled? You might want to hold off a few more months. That's because the VoiceXML Forum, a group formed last March to work on developing a common standard for integrating voice, telephony and Web content, is getting set to send its first version of the VoiceXML specification to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for review. Founded by AT&T Corp., IBM Corp., Lucent Technologies and Motorola Inc. -- and joined by 57 other companies -- the VoiceXML Forum hopes to establish a standard markup language for speech-enabling Internet content and for integrating traditional telephony with the Web. In August, the group released Version 0.9 of the specification for public comment. Version 1.0 of the VoiceXML specification is due to be submitted to the W3C by the end of the year, with products based on it appearing as early as mid-2000, says Gerald Karam, division manager for AT&T, New York, NY." See "VoiceXML Forum."

  • [October 20, 1999] "XML Data Servers: An Infrastructure for Effectively Using XML in Electronic Commerce." By Doug Barry. From Barry & Associates, Inc. October, 1999. "[The report] looks at all the architectural options for XML data servers and provides analysis of each architecture along with checklists of features that should be considered... This report provides various architectural options for an XML infrastructure, with an emphasis on application development in the middle-tier. When you've read the report, you will be able to make decisions about the type of XML data server that is best suited for your application needs. This report is about using XML data servers to provide an infrastructure for effectively using XML. It is not a primer on XML, is not intended to teach XML, nor is it intended to provide programming needed to use XML. Although a little of each of these things is provided in this report, they are merely intended to give a background that will make infrastructure development understandable. There are two main audiences for this report. The first audience is managers, who will find the report to be an excellent overview of technical issues and infrastructure needs. Managers can read through the report to create a vision of how to support XML for their business. The second audience is the technical folks - analysts, software architects, and technical management - who dig into technical work. The technical folks will find the architectural options and the reasons for these options extremely helpful in designing their work. Also, the detailed checklists in the pertinent chapters provide the groundwork for in-depth understanding of product features and why they might matter in various architectural options."

  • [October 20, 1999] "Does XML Need Corba?" By Rachel Chalmers. In ComputerWire Issue 3754 (September 24, 1999). "With the Object Management Group (OMG) and the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) now each other's greatest fans and working together to integrate XML with Corba, the only question that remains is whether it should be done at all. Spearheaded by Dave Winer, CEO of UserLand Software Inc, one group has come up with a way to use XML to bypass Corba altogether. They call it XML-RPC (for remote procedure calling). In July 1999, Digital Creations Inc made its Zope content management system interoperable with UserLand's Frontier through XML-RPC. Earlier this week, no less a behemoth than Microsoft Corp threw its weight behind the standard. . . The truth is that both could have their place. 'What it depends on is the trade-off between how fully-featured a solution you want and how much work you're willing to put in,' says Bray. 'If you just need to get something simple and straightforward running in a couple of weeks, that might be a job for XML-RPC.' OMG's VP of technology Andrew Watson is less sanguine about XML-RPC. 'I'm very much in favor of the things XML is trying to achieve and what the XML designers had in mind for XML and this is not one of them,' he states. 'This is not an idea that's got legs. It really is using XML for something it's not designed for.' Like Bray, Watson rests his argument on the fundamental limitations of XML. It doesn't have support for transactions, security, session management or long-term association of client with state at the server end. 'This is really what objects are about,' he says. He concedes that the idea of using human-readable XML to debug a protocol is appealing, 'but I come back to this idea that every problem has a solution that is intuitive, appealing and wrong'." See: (1) "CORBA & XML Resource Page" with links to OMG's XML activities and (2) "XML and CORBA.

  • [October 20, 1999] "Iona Technologies to Offer iPortal Tools." By Wylie Wong. In CNET (October 18, 1999). "Iona Technologies is jumping into the exploding e-business software market in hopes of turning itself around. The development software maker today announced plans to offer a package of tools used to link businesses customers, employees, partners, and suppliers online. At the heart of its suite of products is an application server that helps businesses create e-commerce Web sites. Including the application server, Iona will ship a new Component Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) object request called Orbix 2000 and an 'integration server' that handles messaging and connects the app server to human resources, financial, and accounting software. The integration server also links software developed using the CORBA model to programs written to work with Microsoft's Component Object Model (COM) programming model, and to other products. Iona will also ship software, called iPortal Server, that handles security and routes users -- customers, partners, and employees who are trying to access information from their Web browsers -- to the appropriate Web pages. The technology will support Extensible Markup Language (XML), a growing Web standard for businesses to exchange data. With the move, Iona is diving into a crowded market, where it competes with dozens of companies, from start-ups such as SilverStream to software behemoths, such as IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle. They're all fighting for a share of the application server market, expected to grow to $2 billion in revenue by 2002, according to Forrester Research."

  • [October 19, 1999] "XML Spreads Across the Board. [SSF '99 Report.]" By Mark Walter. In Seybold Report on Internet Publishing Volume 4 Number 2 (October 1999), pages 21-26. (subscription) ['The Extensible Markup Language is winning converts, as vendors struggle to make their systems ready to interoperate with the Web. The top news was Quark's preview of Avenue.Quark ("an Xtension for Xpress that adds a series of functions for exporting XML-tagged text from Xpress documents"); we take a look at how it compares to the alternatives. Also inside: commitments from the database vendors, Arbortext's new XML-in-Word offering, and user reports.'] In a special report section covering Seybold San Francisco '99, Mark Walter quotes from Simon Phipps' address at SSF '99: "'Our past experience is not enough. Our new innovations are not enough. To avoid entropy death, we have to redeem the best of the past and bring it to the future.' So declared IBM's Simon Phipps, as he addressed a standing-room-only crowd at the XML special interest day at Seybold San Francisco. Phipps placed XML in a context that explained why publishing vendors are paying attention to it, why users are adopting it faster than Java, and why we can expect to see much more of it in the very near future. 'XML is the last piece of the puzzle,' declared Phipps, in the 'new world order' of computing, 'one in which we begin to remove the co-dependencies that make scaling networked systems to the enterprise level so expensive to support.' In a rousing and often humorous keynote at the XML special interest seminar, Big Blue's chief XML evangelist explained why XML has caused such a buzz, not only in publishing, but in all of computing: In a market awash in vendor rhetoric, this is one technology that promises to break the hold vendors have had over the information we keep in their systems. Phipps painted a compelling picture of the impetus for a new computing model. 'As long as you have software and hardware dependencies, then complexity grows exponentially, not linearly, in response to linear growth of your system. As you enlarge your system with more users and more software applications, you quickly approach entropy death,' said Phipps, noting that the costs of supporting and maintaining large networked systems rocket toward infinity, 'unless you can remove the co-dependencies among data, software and networks.' [. . .] There was real evidence that XML is becoming a core technology for vendors serving broad markets. Indeed, it seems there's hardly a publishing software supplier today who doesn't have some sort of XML plans. That's in stark contrast to a few years ago, when most suppliers wed data to their software, and publishers had to go to high-end, specialty vendors to find support for a more generic, vendor-neutral approach." Walter surveys the advance of XML publishing technologies displayed or announced by suppliers (Adobe, Microsoft, Quark), database vendors (Sybase, Object Design, IBM, Oracle), and end users (RIA, Pearson Education). "In addition to the expressions of support for XML from various vendors and segments of the publishing industry, there were a few vendors in San Francisco who introduced XML-specific products. For authoring, Arbortext unveiled round-trip XML editing in Microsoft Word. On the data conversion front, Quark announced a tool for extracting XML out of XPress and Texterity announced a service that extracts XML out of PDF files. For Web publishing, LivePage introduced an upgrade to its XML-enabled system. Apart from those highlights, XML cropped up all over the floor -- in asset- and document-management systems, in page makeup programs (Pageflex Mpower) -- even in graphics. (Corel announced an SVG filter for Corel Draw.) Though PDF and EPS may still be the preferred language of expression for pages and graphics, one couldn't help but notice the groundswell for using XML as the language for revisable interchange..."

  • [October 19, 1999] "E-Books: Microsoft/OEB vs Adobe/PDF? Rights Management and E-Books." By Victor Votsch. In Seybold Report on Internet Publishing Volume 4 Number 2 (October 1999), pages 5-8. "Microsoft's announcement of a book reader compatible with the new Open E-Book (OEB) format was countered by Adobe's introduction of the Web Buy plug-in for Acrobat. Both moves are forcing smaller players in the e-book and rights management market to adjust their positions. . . Now publishers interested in testing the e-book waters can use PDF or OEB, Acrobat or MS Reader. We've been here before in this industry, and this round is likely to be much like the last. Dueling standards will create confusion for a few years until all the parties can agree on how to proceed. There will be hard-core adherents on both sides and a market in the middle that doesn't much care, as long as the results look OK to the customers. The OEB partisans tend to come from the SGML/XML camp with dreams of structured repositories and an animus toward PDF with its intermingling of presentation and content. Folks in the PDF camp tend to have a publishing background and an understanding of the nitty-gritty workflow issues involved in actually getting work out the door." See references in "Open Ebook Initiative."

  • [October 19, 1999] "HotMetal 6.0 Arrives. Latest upgrade addresses scalability, improves CSS features." By Luke Cavanagh. In Seybold Report on Internet Publishing Volume 4 Number 2 (October 1999), page 36. "SoftQuad ( has released version 6.0 of its professional Web development tool complete with new features in key development and asset management areas. HotMetal Pro 6.0 addresses FTP functionality, provides improved support for imported HTML code, and allows for customizable macro and scripting options. Support for the use of proxy servers, firewalls, ASCII transfers and synchronized site updates in the latest release are designed to enhance HotMetal's ability to handle the growing demands of publishing high-traffic sites. . . HotMetal Pro 6.0 will be shipped later this month for Windows 9x and NT 4.0."

  • [October 18, 1999] "PRISM Group Formed to Work on News Metadata Standards. Magazines Seek a Standard to Help with Syndication." [Subscription] By Mark Walter. In Seybold Report on Internet Publishing Volume 4 Number 2 (October 1999), page 23. "At Seybold San Francisco, a group of magazine and news publishers revealed their intentions to develop a set of requirements and corresponding DTD for use with news stories, feature articles and associated material, such as pictures and graphics. The working group developing Publishing Requirements for Industry Standard Metadata (PRISM) is expected to complement the work of the Information Content Exchange (ICE) protocol for exchanging syndicating content over the Web. Participants in PRISM thus far include representatives from Time, Waveo (aka Wavephore) and Getty Images on the publisher side and Quark, Vignette, Shiftkey, Artesia and MarketSoft among the vendors. Adobe and Xerox have also participated in PRISM meetings." Objectives include the support of: (a) personalized content, (b) active threading, (c) research and fact checking, (d) rights management. To be sponsored under the Graphic Communications Association Research Institute (GCARI); contact Linda Burman. [Note: this communiqué is part of a larger Special Report in Seybold San Francisco '99, "XML Spreads Across the Board."]

  • [October 18, 1999] "Vendors See XML Technology Playing Strong Biz-to-Biz Role. XML gets business focus." By Michael Lattig and Ed Scannell. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 42 (October 18, 1999), page 10. "As major players continue to throw their collective weight behind the Extensible Markup Language (XML), it is moving from being a mere tagging language to an integral component of business-to-business application-development platforms. Companies gearing up to add more XML support to their middleware offerings over the next several weeks include IBM, Persistence Software, Scriptics, Merant, and Object Design. Although IBM has strongly endorsed and implemented XML in some of its products for more than a year, the company appears on the verge of making a much more serious commitment to the technology. Next month, company officials -- who regard XML as the 'lingua franca of e-business development' -- will lay out a road map to tightly integrate XML into the next versions of its key middleware products, such as MQSeries, CICS, Websphere, Domino, and IMS. IBM reportedly will outline plans to use XML as an enabler of standard communication among electronic-business applications and to support several industry initiatives."

  • [October 18, 1999] "The Web Standards Project (WaSP) praises Microsoft's decision to focus on standards in Mac IE5." From Web Standards Project (September 21, 1999). "The Web Standards Project today praised Microsoft's decision to focus on implementing key Web Standards in its upcoming release of the Macintosh version of Internet Explorer 5.0. Microsoft has said its new rendering engine, 'Tasman,' is intended to allow Mac Internet Explorer 5.0 to provide 100 percent support for two key Web standards, developed by the World Wide Web Consortium, and nearly full support for a third. According to Microsoft, the company plans to provide 100 percent support for HTML 4.0 and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) 1.0, which allows precise control over the appearance of Web pages. Microsoft officials have said they're planning on supporting more than 90 percent for the Document Object Model (DOM) 1.0, which allows scripting languages to manipulate Web pages."

  • [October 18, 1999] "XML: HTML Extreme. What is XML and why should you care?" By Elizabeth Clark [Special Report Editor]. In Network Magazine Volume 14, Number 10 (October 1999), page 37. Special Report Editor Elizabeth Clark introduces three other articles in this issue of Network Magazine. "Think HTML and the Extensible Markup Language (XML) are just for Web developers? Think again! Forces such as the tsunami of browser-based applications and the Internet invasion are requiring network management and support staff to work more closely with these markup languages. On the electronic commerce front, XML is being leveraged as a standardized framework through which businesses can exchange data with their partners as well as with customers. While there is no consensus on a single standard, initiatives such as Microsoft's BizTalk and Internet Commerce Exchange (ICE) indicate the need for an enabling technology that can jump-start robust electronic commerce communications. XML is also helping to solve the interoperability problems that plague enterprise management efforts. The Web-based Enterprise Management initiative incorporates XML as a mechanism for representing management data in a standard manner. A workable means of transferring this type of information between management applications and devices is essential to obtaining the Holy Grail of enterprise management interoperability."

  • [October 18, 1999] "Network and Systems Management with XML. As a result of the Web-based Enterprise Management movement, XML is rapidly becoming a crucial technology for management application interoperability and presentation." By Steve Steinke. In Network Magazine Volume 14, Number 10 (October 1999), pages 50-55. "In response to the lack of a single management model, the Web-based Enterprise Management (WBEM) initiative was formed. It began as a plan to use the standards-based interoperability and security of Web technology and apply it to systems and network management. In 1998, the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF, formerly the Desktop Management Task Force) inherited responsibility for WBEM from Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Compaq Computer, BMC Software, and Intel. As WBEM has matured within the DMTF, three key components have emerged: the Common Information Model (CIM), a collection of object-oriented schemas for management information; HTTP, the universal transport protocol for Web-based information; and the Extensible Markup Language (XML), a simple yet powerful method for creating information payloads for HTTP to carry from one application to another, from a browser to an application, or from a browser to a managed object."

  • [October 18, 1999] "XML: Ready for Prime Time. This standard will, for once, make your life easier. But your competitors may not adopt it until consumers force them to." By Jonathan Angel. In Network Magazine Volume 14, Number 10 (October 1999), pages 38-43. "The Extensible Markup Language (XML), however, is the real deal. Though any new technology has a learning curve associated with it, XML is not going to give you a migraine. It's a standard that's not going to evaporate. Best of all, it's ultimately going to make your life easier, not harder. The most important thing about XML and its companion technology XSL (Extensible Stylesheet Language) is that they separate formatting from content. This might seem a familiar claim to anyone who's worked with CSS -- or the style sheets in Microsoft Word, for that matter. However, if standard HTML is a snapshot of a building, then CSS is just instructions you give to the photo lab as to how to develop the picture. Every door can be made red, every wall can be made pink, and the roof can be rendered in gray. But without access to the blueprint of the building, no fundamental changes can be made. XML, unlike HTML, lets developers expose and manipulate data. To understand the beauty of XML, you need to contrast it with HTML..."

  • [October 18, 1999] "XML Extends Itself. Putting XML to work calls for better document descriptions and a push into the realm of messaging." By Robert Richardson. In Network Magazine Volume 14, Number 10 (October 1999), pages 44-49. "One trend in the XML world is to make document descriptions both more expressive and more regulated to meet the requirements of cross-industry business exchange. I'll look at how this is shaping up by examining the Microsoft-led BizTalk Framework initiative and the XML Schema system it has adopted to describe its documents. XML has also gotten discursive; it's not just about standalone, content-bearing documents anymore. Much of the work in the XML world right now centers on using XML to define sequences of messages composed in XML. You can see evidence of this within BizTalk, but perhaps the most fully fleshed-out example is the Internet Content Exchange (ICE) protocol. ICE is a great example of how an industry can solve problems using XML-based message exchanges."

  • [October 16, 1999] "SOAP Could Slip Up Microsoft Rivals." By Wylie Wong. In CNET (October 15, 1999). "Microsoft has developed a new technology for exchanging information over the Web that could give the software giant an advantage over Sun Microsystems, IBM, and other competitors if adopted by a standards body. The new technology, called the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), based on the increasingly popular Web standard for data exchange called the Extensible Markup Language (XML), will let business software programs communicate over the Internet, regardless of the programming model on which they're based. SOAP would replace Microsoft's current proprietary protocol called DCOM for communication over the Internet. Because SOAP is based on XML, it's compatible with all programming models and allows businesses to easily exchange data with each other over the Internet, said analyst Mike Gilpin, of Giga Information Group. Microsoft plans to submit the new protocol to an international standards body for approval soon. Like many software firms, Microsoft is supporting XML in its entire product line, and the company says it has no plans to hijack the Web standard..." See "Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP)."

  • [October 15, 1999] "Universal Plug and Play, XML Upgrade Net." By Alec Saunders. In Electronic Engineering Times [Online] (October 11, 1999). "Implementing Universal Plug and Play requires very little development work and only a small amount of system resources and footprint. Furthermore, the Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based description principle provides a method to enable flexible device functionality without invoking unnecessary overhead for added system resources. Essentially, XML is an emerging standard that, within the context of Universal Plug and Play, is used to provide the description of services and capabilities of smart devices. If a client selects a smart object, its features can be made visible by using XML to allow manipulation of the device. For example, if the device is a camera, the client's browser can direct the camera to zoom in or out or adjust contrast using the mechanism of XML. Both the Announce and Discovery packets also contain a link or a URL to an XML file that is used to describe the actual device. XML, which is much more general than the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), contains all the facts about the device. XML can also have URLs that point to appropriate style sheets (Extensible Style Language, or XSL, files) that are used for optimal presentation..."

  • [October 14, 1999] "Practical XML with Linux, Part 1. Find out how to use XML to build a better document-exchange platform on Linux." By By Uche Ogbuji. In LinuxWorld Magazine (September 30, 1999). "In March, I wrote an article about the Extensible Markup Language and its affinity to Linux and the Linux way of doing things. Due to overwhelming reader feedback, LinuxWorld has scheduled a series of follow-up articles. In this article and others to follow, I'll take a closer look at some of the practical things you can do with XML. Luckily for this purpose, the Linux community has taken to XML as well as I could have hoped. Many Linux development projects and languages use XML processors and libraries. The Cocoon project is building around Apache an XML-processing system that is, in at least one area, ahead of most commercial equivalents. KDE, the K Desktop Environment, uses XML as the native file format for its impressive KOffice. GNOME has an entire menagerie of XML tools, libraries, and applications, some part of the general releases and some strictly in CVS, the Concurrent Versions System. It is also nice to see that a trickle of apps -- mostly GNOME Toolkit apps using libxml -- are moving to XML-based config files, as I advocated in April. In commercial space, Oracle 8i has come to Linux with an aggressive adoption of XML and many tools for XML document management. As I write, IBM's DB2 Universal Database 6.1 should be winging its way by courier to those who signed up for development copies; it, too, makes a strong commitment to XML. The other Universal DBMS engines for Linux are not far behind. But there's no need for me to trot out a long list of the XML projects for Linux. A quick search of Freshmeat with keywords such as XML, DOM, and XSL will yield riches for XML newbies and gurus alike..."

  • [October 14, 1999] "Bean Markup Language, Part 2. Use the Bean Markup Language (BML) to create event-driven applications." By Mark Johnson. In JavaWorld Magazine (October 1999). "In August's JavaBeans column, Mark Johnson explained how to use IBM's Bean Markup Language (BML) to configure instances of JavaBean components. This month, he shows how you can wire JavaBeans together into a running application, execute JavaBeans methods, and bind JavaBeans to JavaScript. This month, I'll show you how to create instances of several objects in BML and then use BML to wire these objects together. I'll also show you how to execute any method of an object from BML, extend BML to handle conversions between data types, and explore binding Java objects created in BML to a scripting language (in this case, JavaScript). Since I assume you've read the first article, let's dive right into this month's sample code. See also by Mark Johnson, "XML JavaBeans." In JavaWorld, 3 parts: Part [1], Part [2], Part [3].

  • [October 14, 1999] "IBM launches developerWorks. Big Blue aims to lure developers with open source and cross-platform focus." By Theresa Gonzalez. In JavaWorld Magazine (October 1999). "With the recent launch of its developerWorks portal site, IBM enters the competition, along with Microsoft and Sun, to win the hearts of developers. With its focus on open standards and cross-platform development, IBM may just lure developers to its products and technologies. In an effort to compete in a playing field that includes Microsoft and Sun, on September 27 IBM officially launched its developerWorks portal site, which has been in beta since June. The free online developer resource is a concrete expression of IBM's commitment to open standards and cross-platform development. The site includes seven zones: Open Source, Linux, Security, Unicode, Web Architecture, XML, and Java. Through its commitment to provide product- and platform-independent information, IBM aims to make this site the ultimate resource for ebusiness application developers."

  • [October 14, 1999] "XML Inter-Application Protocols." By Edd Dumbill. From (October 13, 1999). ['Dumbill presents a case why XML is already in a position to form the links between these services. He makes a case for XML as the agent for making those links. Web sites like Ebay, E*Trade, Amazon, and online calendars all perform some level of service for the user. Today, however, it's difficult to make these services work in conjunction. Edd says XML's extensibility, human readability, and international acceptance put it in position to form the links between these services. He cites the experience of Userland Software to show how openness in exchange of information helped one company by building a community of people to help test its ideas and products.'] Summary: "In this article I've demonstrated the ever-increasing importance of inter-application protocols for web applications. The acceptance and openness of these protocols is important for the development of communicating applications -- and ultimately for the satisfaction the user gets out of web applications. XML is the new hyperlink: a conduit for integrating applications with each other. It provides a great starting point for open standards. There's nothing fundamentally superior in the use of XML-based protocols over existing ones (e.g., CORBA, EDI) -- but the human-readability, low barriers to entry and sheer enthusiasm surrounding XML give it a huge advantage."

  • [October 13, 1999] "Technology Advances Meet Needs of Mobile Workers." By Timothy Dyck. In PC Week [Online] (October 11, 1999). "Organizations shifting to Web-based applications face a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea when trying to support their mobile workers. On the one hand, they can deploy centralized, easily maintainable Internet applications that force their mobile workers to stay dialed in to use them. On the other hand, they can stick with client/server applications that let mobile workers work whenever they need to but are costly and nightmarish to support. Oracle's Project Panama, scheduled for launch this month, provides a set of services for dynamically converting HTML and XML (Extensible Markup Language) content for display and manipulation on PalmPilots, Windows CE devices and Global System for Mobile Communications-compliant mobile phones. Meanwhile, IBM is launching a similar, as-yet-unnamed, effort. IBM officials told PC Week Labs the company will provide beta code for its product as a free download this month, with final code available by early next year. The software is part of IBM's larger Pervasive Computing initiative, which uses Java and XML to transport code and data, respectively, among all sectors of the enterprise."

  • [October 13, 1999] "Lotus to Offer XML, COM Support in Domino." By Christa Degnan. In PC Week [Online] (October 07, 1999). "Lotus Development Corp. announced Wednesday at Internet World in New York that it is adding native support for XML and Microsoft Corp.'s COM technology to its Domino application platform. Expected with the next R5 update within 30 days, the Domino upgrade will allow developers to present a view of information as an Extensible Markup Language document. Lotus officials said the support was added so developers can use the Domino server's indexing and processing facilities to create Web applications, such as a Java applet that charts view information presented as XML." See the press release: "Lotus Delivers XML and Microsoft COM Support To Advance Rapid Application Development."

  • [October 13, 1999] "HP, IBM Step Up WAP Attack." By Carmen Nobel. In PC Week [Online] (October 12, 1999). "At the Telecom 99 conference in Geneva this week, Hewlett-Packard Company and IBM both have announced plans to push forward initiatives based on the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), which enables devices such as cell phones and PDAs to receive scaled-down Internet content. HP announced several products and services designed to push forward its Mobile E-services initiative, which has the support of Motorola Inc. and Nokia, among other leaders in the wireless industry. HP's Integrated Mobile E-services platform consists of servers equipped with WAP plus HP technologies such as e-speak along with several third-party partner solutions. For security, HP will integrate its own encryption technology and VirtualVault software, a Department of Defense Grade B secure operating system, into the platform... IBM will combine Nokia WAP technology with its Pervasive Computing middleware, which includes future wireless applications such as transcoding XML languages between devices, as well as existing products such as WebSphere, Tivoli, and IBM Enterprise Connections."

  • [October 13, 1999] "Nokia, Palm Join Forces on Handhelds." By Rob Garretson. In InfoWorld (October 13, 1999). "3Com's Palm Computing and Nokia will jointly develop products that wed the pen interface of handheld Palm computers with wireless phones, the companies announced Tuesday. In addition to new pen-based products from Nokia, the joint development will produce new wireless communications capabilities for future Palm branded and licensed products, including implementations of WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) and Bluetooth technology for wireless local area networking. The alliance with Nokia is the latest in a series of recent endorsements of WAP by Palm Computing and brings together seemingly competitive schemes for delivering Web content to wireless devices. The jointly developed technology will incorporate Palm Computing's 'Web clipping' system as well as WAP, both designed to allow Web content specially prepared for handheld devices to be delivered over wireless connections to the Internet." See "Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)."

  • [October 13, 1999] "Informix Integrates XML Data Handling." By Charles Babcock. In Inter@ctive Week [Online] (October 08, 1999). "Informix is capitalizing on its purchase of the object-relational system, Illustra, four years ago by translating Illustra's broad data handling characteristics into advanced eXtensible Markup Language data handling capabilities. Informix announced earlier this week at the Fall Internet World show in New York that it has built eXtensible Markup Language (XML) data handling capabilities into its core Foundation 2000 database engine. XML support is available immediately through the Informix Web DataBlade module. DataBlades are a feature of the former Illustra system that plugged a particular object handling capability into the database system. With the module, Foundation 2000 users can generate dynamic XML data and documents through the use of the relational database's Structured Query Language access language, said Jeff Menz, Informix' executive director of marketing. Later this year, Informix will offer a way to store and retrieve XML structures in their native format, through a feature called Hierarchical XML Data Storage." See the announcement: "Informix XML-Enables Internet Foundation.2000. Defines Roadmap for XML Strategy."

  • [October 12, 1999] "Riding the Next XML Wave." By Christy Hudgins-Bonafield. In Network Computing (October 18, 1999) [Business-to-Business]. "Network communication, like human interaction, moves in a progression from the physical to localized tribal dialects (the LAN) to a limited Esperanto (HTML). With automated servers based on XML comes the next big network infrastructure leap -- a transition that stands to define who will succeed in business-to-business commerce models. Over the next six to 12 months, a new breed of automated directory-based XML (AX) servers will emerge. What makes AX servers critical, next-generation infrastructure? And isn't XML just a fancy extensible HTML that uses tags to indicate that a chunk of data might be a price, an application or a service? Most first-generation XML 'servers' are all about translating data or services into XML. But the real potential lies in taking services and mixing and matching them across B2B networks. It's the 'automated XML' server and related application that recognizes a given XML pricing/inventory request, calls for specific database lookups, sets the process in motion, and routes a customized and custom-formatted response. Initially, products such as Microsoft's BizTalk Server or those from new channel software provider Comergent will tap specific XML schema sets in combination with standards-based hard-coded routing technology, known as PIPs, to accomplish this task. Ultimately, the best B2B architectures will be based on the tight integration of AX servers with directory services -- making it possible to modify business applications in a single location and govern authentication and corporate data rights."

  • [October 08, 1999] "Multipurpose Web Publishing Using HTML, XML, and CSS." [w/ subscription] By Håkon Wium Lie and Janne Saarela. In Communications of the ACM Volume 42, Number 10 (October, 1999), pages 95-101 (with 12 references). "The World Wide Web Consortium devised these document-markup and style-sheet languages in the interests of Web device independence, content reuse, and network-friendly encoding. Since its conception in the early 1990s, the Web has become a critical component in the strategic thinking of content providers around the world. But targeting the Web as the delivery vehicle for content poses several questions, including: How should the publishing process change to take advantage of the Web? and How should content be represented to support device independence, searchability, and efficient network throughput? The protocols and data formats in use on the Web constitute a framework within which applications and services can be built. Emerging Web standards can be used to implement multipurpose publishing, where the same content is presented on a range of Web devices. We discuss three specifications in some detail - the HyperText Markup Language (HTML), the eXtensible Markup Language (XML), and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). All three can help content providers face some of the most important challenges of delivering content on the Web: (1) Device independence, (2) Content reuse, (3) Network-friendly encodings... Today, users should want more from the information they access. Those authoring HTML can enhance their content by using the full semantics of HTML and adding style sheets. Those authoring content in other formats before putting it on the Web should ensure that translating it to HTML preserves the original semantics. This requires additional effort during authoring but pays off as new Web applications become possible. XML allows content providers to encode highly structured data and should be given careful consideration when designing new Web applications. In general, such declarative data formats as HTML, XML, and CSS are recommended over scripts and applets for stylistic effects in multipurpose publishing. Declarative data, which is easily converted to other formats, is more likely to be device-independent and tends to live longer than programs. The Web is generous enough to accommodate any content we place there. We should therefore ensure that our content meets the Web's high standards."

  • [October 08, 1999] "Scriptics XML Tools Build Integration." By Antone Gonsalves. In PC Week [Online] Volume 16, Issue 40 (October 04, 1999), page 35. "Scriptics Corp. will release in beta this week a new integration server that uses XML to connect applications running on multiple platforms. The Mountain View, Calif., company's BizConnect product includes a set of development tools, called BizConnect Author and used for writing Extensible Markup Language documents, and Tcl, an open-source scripting language that can be used to attach actions to XML elements. Tcl is also used in writing business logic to establish workflow and in translating XML schemata between applications. BizConnect Author contains a GUI that uses wizards for many tasks, including validating fields within an XML document and mapping elements of the document to a relational database table. Wizards are also available for writing Tcl scripts and for establishing workflow." See the press release: "Scriptics Unveils XML-Based Business-to-Business Integration Platform. BizConnect Dramatically Reduces Time, Complexity and Cost of Web-centric Business-to-Business Application Development." - "Scriptics Corporation, a leading developer of business integration tools founded by Tcl creator John Ousterhout, today unveiled a breakthrough business-to-business integration server. Known as BizConnect, the new software platform delivers the industry's first easy-to-use XML infrastructure for developing business-to-business applications..."

  • [October 08, 1999] "Scriptics' BizConnect Brings the Power of Tcl Scripting to XML Business-to-Business Integration." From the Aberdeen Group (September 24, 1999). "Enterprises that refrain from leveraging XML for global business-to-business application integration risk being left behind by their competition. However, users today require substantial investments of time and resources to XML-enable existing applications - in addition, Document Type Definitions and XML have many flavors and are undergoing continuous change. To handle XML's challenges, users should select an integration approach that ensures scalability of the enabled applications, flexibility of the approach to cope with ongoing enterprise change, easy integration, rapid development, and ease of deployment of the solution. Scriptics' BizConnect is a strong XML integration solution addressing these issues."

  • [October 08, 1999] "Internet Vet Ventures Into Funds." By John Cook. In Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Friday, October 8, 1999). "David Pool knows a thing or two about Internet start-ups. His first company, Bellevue-based Spry Inc., was sold to CompuServe in 1995 for $103 million. His second company DataChannel, also of Bellevue, has grown to 128 employees in the past three years and is considered a leader in the burgeoning field of XML technology. So what does a proven entrepreneur like Pool do for an encore? Well, like so many other folks these days, the 37-year-old Washington State University graduate is forming a venture capital firm. But Pool's new venture fund, which will manage about $50 million and was announced earlier this week, is quite different from the other funds popping up around Seattle these days. Dubbed the XML Fund, Pool plans to invest only in companies that are working with XML technology. If a specific market niche is not being exploited using the programming language, Pool said he will 'incubate' the concept himself..."

  • [October 07, 1999] "Lotus Domino supports XML, Microsoft COM." By Stephanie Sanborn. In InfoWorld (October 06, 1999). "Lotus on Wednesday unveiled Domino Release 5 (R5) server support for XML and Microsoft Component Object Model (COM) technology at Internet World in New York, setting its sights on electronic-business application development. Calling it 'the common language of business-to-business e-commerce,' Lotus will leverage XML in Domino Application Server R5, providing an XML-based application-development environment for users. Combining Domino with the Lotus Extensible Style Sheet (XSL) processor extends Domino applications to clients such as browsers and handheld wireless devices via XSL stylesheets. Support for XML begins with the next quarterly update of Domino R5, allowing information to be viewed as an XML document. Domino R5 and Lotus Notes R5 Client will also support Microsoft COM, giving users the ability to create integrate Domino workflow, security, and messaging and collaboration capabilities into applications for Microsoft Windows. Microsoft Office users can add Notes and Domino data and workflow to desktop applications as well." See the press release: "Lotus Delivers XML and Microsoft COM Support To Advance Rapid Application Development." - "At Internet World, Lotus Development Corp. announced Domino Release 5 (R5) server support for two emerging technologies: Extensible Markup Language (XML) and Microsoft Component Object Model (COM). These two technologies enable organizations to develop powerful collaborative e-business applications that build strong relationships among employees, suppliers and customers. . ."

  • [October 07, 1999] "Oracle woos developers with e-commerce tools." By Wylie Wong. In CNET (October 06, 1999). "In hopes of attracting more developers, Oracle is shipping new tools for building e-commerce software and has spruced up its Web site to give programmers the resources they need to create their applications. Oracle is also shipping prebuilt Java software code called Oracle Business Components for Java. The prewritten code, which handles connections to databases, for example, saves developers time because it is reusable, Burton said. The prebuilt code also supports XML, a Web standard that helps businesses exchange data easily. The XML support allows developers to customize their applications by simply editing the XML information, he said. Oracle's updated developer Web site, called Oracle Technology Network, gives users detailed information on XML, Java, and Linux, and the resources to build applications using Oracle's software tools, Burton said. While Oracle's database is widely used for e-commerce Web sites, analyst Anne Thomas of the Patricia Seybold Group said Oracle still needs to convince non-Oracle users that they can rely on the company as a one-stop shop for all their development needs. 'The true-blue Oracle customer uses the Oracle application server, but not many folks view Oracle as the answer to all things,' Thomas said. 'They're trying to provide the complete solution. They want to be recognized as a major player, but anyway you look at it, they're a database company'."

  • [October 07, 1999] "XHTML: Three Namespaces or One?" By Lisa Rein. From (October 06, 1999). ['It sounds like a religious debate from the days of the Byzantine empire. Whether XHTML should have three namespaces or one has been a question that's consuming the top minds in the XML community for the last month.] "XHTML 1.0 is a 'reformularized' and 'modularized' XML-compliant incarnation of HTML 4.0, produced by the W3C's HTML Working Group. When it reached Proposed Recommendation status in mid-August, it sparked what became a great debate on xml-dev. A big question is how much work should be required to make an HTML document XML-compliant. Does XHMTL make it more confusing than it need be? XML and HTML actually work together very nicely. XML parsers don't care about the names of HTML element tags, as long as they are well-formed, and HTML ignores anything it doesn't understand. It's a match made in heaven. So why attempt to implement a strict conformance architecture for use with HTML documents? Few have ever needed validation before in HTML -- certainly not for the HTML that was being served up to browsers!" For the thread, see the XML-DEV archive, and particularly for September 1999.

  • [October 07, 1999] "Mission-critical Data." By Dale Dougherty. From (October 06, 1999). ['The recent loss of a spacecraft on Mars points out just how mission-critical proper data interchange is.'] "This mission- critical data interchange problem highlights the importance of XML as a standard and why many applications require DTDs or schemas as a means of validating data. It is, of course, a hard lesson that bad data, like bad news, travels fast and far."

  • [October 07, 1999] "Informix is Latest to Lay its Chips on XML." By Michael Lattig. In InfoWorld (October 07, 1999). "Searching for its niche in a database market that has gravitated toward becoming the exclusive domain of industry giants IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle, Informix has laid out a plan that will see the company rely on standards, most notably Extensible Markup Language (XML), to compete. With the introduction of its Internet Foundation 2000 database last month, the company made its first foray into XML support. Now the company is expanding on that message, defining its road map for the incorporation of XML across its entire product line and proclaiming its desire to simplify the development and integration of applications and data for e-business. Currently XML is supported in the Internet Foundation.2000 database through the Informix Web DataBlade module, which allows the database to generate dynamic XML data and documents via a SQL interface. That will allow users to publish XML data over the Internet, either to an XML Web browser or XML enabled-applications using the HTTP protocol, officials said. Informix is also planning to support other XML-related standards, such as XSL, XML Schema, XML Query Language (XQL), XML Linking, and XML Infoset, as each is finalized by the World Wide Web Consortium, which Informix recently joined." See the announcement: "Informix XML-Enables Internet Foundation.2000. Defines Roadmap for XML Strategy." - "Informix Corporation, technology leader in enterprise database-powered solutions today announced support in Informix Internet Foundation.2000 for eXtensible Markup Language (XML), the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) standard for universal data exchange. With XML, Internet Foundation.2000 customers will be able to integrate existing data with their new E-commerce applications and efficiently exchange data with their customers, partners, and suppliers..."

  • [October 07, 1999] "XML SQL Technology Preview." From MSDN Web Workshop (September 30, 1999). "This Microsoft SQL Server XML Technology Preview demonstrates XML capabilities using SQL Server and Internet Information Server (IIS). It is an IIS ISAPI extension that provides HTTP access to SQL Server and XML data formatting and updating capabilities. Please take special note that this is a preview with unreleased product code, and as such it has not been thoroughly tested in the high load and high stress testing conditions that a heavily loaded Web server is likely to generate. Do not expect the level of performance of final, generally available Microsoft products. With the appropriate configuration, it will allow URL queries like: http://IISServer/northwind?sql=SELECT+*+FROM+Customers+FOR+XML+AUTO or allow you to store 'canned' queries (including stored procedure calls) on your IIS server that can be executed with optional parameters from the URL or POSTed from an HTML form. The layout of the XML returned can be specified in many ways (including a useful 'Auto' mode) and includes the ability to include schema information either in DTD or XML-Data formats."

  • [October 07, 1999] "XML Tools And Architecture for Named Entity Recognition." By Andrei Mikheev, Claire Grover, and Marc Moens (University of Edinburgh, HCRC Language Technology Group). In Markup Languages: Theory & Practice [ISSN: 1099-6621] Volume 1, Number 3 (Summer 1999), pages 89-113 (with 13 references). "'Named Entity recognition' involves identifying expressions which refer to (for example) people, organizations, locations, or artifacts in texts. This paper reports on the development of a Named Entity recognition system developed fully within the XML paradigm. In the section 'Named Entity recognition' we describe the nature of the Named Entity recognition task and the complexities involved. The system we developed was entered as part of a DARPA-sponsored competition, and we will briefly describe the nature of that competition. We then give an overview of the design philosophy behind our Named Entity recognition system and describe the various XML tools that were used both in the development of the system and that make up the runtime system (section "LTG text handling tools"), and give a detailed description of how these tools were used to recognize temporal and numerical expressions (section "TIMEX, NUMEX") and names of people, organizations and locations (section "ENAMEX"). We conclude with a description of the results we achieved in the competition, and how these compare to other systems." See also the annotated Table of Contents for MLTP 1/3, edited by B. Tommie Usdin and C. M. Sperberg-McQueen.

  • [October 07, 1999] "Structured Markup on the Web: A Tale of Two Sites." By Joshua Lubell (NIST). In Markup Languages: Theory & Practice [ISSN: 1099-6621] Volume 1, Number 3 (Summer 1999), pages 7-22 (with 20 references). "Businesses and organizations are increasingly finding that HTML (Hyper-Text Markup Language) offers no help whatsoever in managing the information on their web sites. SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) provides the flexibility and reuse lacking in HTML. However, SGML alone does not address the problems involved in maintaining online document repositories. Although traditional database management systems are clumsy at managing hyperlinked documents, a system combining SGML, database technology, and the protocols of the Web can provide a reasonably robust environment for developing and maintaining a web site. Two possible site designs employing SGML are discussed and evaluated with respect to a set of design objectives and choices. The likely impact of the emerging XML (Extensible Markup Language) standard on web site design is also discussed. The emerging XML standards promise to provide web site developers with the best of both worlds, allowing them to enjoy most of the benefits of SGML while not sacrificing the convenience of HTML and interoperability with the rest of the Web." See also the annotated Table of Contents for MLTP 1/3, edited by B. Tommie Usdin and C. M. Sperberg-McQueen.

  • [October 07, 1999] "IBM's TaskGuide: An XML-based System for Creating Wizard-Style Helps." By (Doug Tidwell, IBM). In Markup Languages: Theory & Practice [ISSN: 1099-6621] Volume 1, Number 3 (Summer 1999), pages 23-39. "IBM's TaskGuide technology gives Technical Writers and Human Factors professionals the ability to create wizards. Based on the premise that task analysis is the most difficult part of creating an effective wizard, our tools let you focus on design, not writing code. This paper discusses the basics of wizard technology, followed by a discussion of the XML-based system we have created. We cover some of the key design decisions we had to make, and introduce some of the unique features of our product. We also discuss the changes we have made to our product as technology has changed around us. Finally, we demonstrate a recursive document, a wizard that creates another wizard." See also the annotated Table of Contents for MLTP 1/3, edited by B. Tommie Usdin and C. M. Sperberg-McQueen.

  • [October 07, 1999] "REX: XML Shallow Parsing with Regular Expressions." By Robert D. Cameron (Simon Fraser University). In Markup Languages: Theory & Practice [ISSN: 1099-6621] Volume 1, Number 3 (Summer 1999), pages 61-88 (with 5 references, 3 appendices). "The syntax of XML is simple enough that it is possible to parse an XML document into a list of its markup and text items using a single regular expression. Such a shallow parse of an XML document can be very useful for the construction of a variety of lightweight XML processing tools. However, complex regular expressions can be difficult to construct and even more difficult to read. Using a form of literate programming for regular expressions, this paper documents a set of XML shallow parsing expressions that can be used as a basis for simple, correct, efficient, robust and language-independent XML shallow parsing. Complete shallow parser implementations of less than 50 lines each in Perl, JavaScript and Lex/Flex are also given." See also the annotated Table of Contents for MLTP 1/3, edited by B. Tommie Usdin and C. M. Sperberg-McQueen.

  • [October 07, 1999] "Whither &#38;#38;?" By Tony Graham (Mulberry Technologies). In Markup Languages: Theory & Practice [ISSN: 1099-6621] Volume 1, Number 3 (Summer 1999), page 40. "The declarations for predefined &amp; and &lt; entities provided in section 4.6, Predefined Entities, of the XML Recommendation may be confusing at first sight because the leading ampersand in each numeric character reference is itself escaped as a complete numeric character reference. [shows how <!ENTITY my-amp "&#38;#38;"> will eventually yield strings like "AT&T" (internally) in an application after reparsing...]" See also the annotated Table of Contents for MLTP 1/3, edited by B. Tommie Usdin and C. M. Sperberg-McQueen.

  • [October 06, 1999] "Nuance Touts Voice as Next Major Web Interface ." By Ed Scannell. In InfoWorld (October 06, 1999). "Claiming it will do for the emerging 'voice Web' what browsers did for the Web, Nuance here at Fall Internet World Tuesday unveiled a voice browser that lets users with ordinary phones reach voice-enabled Web sites to access information and conduct electronic business. Called Voyager, the new software's voice interface gives users a way to navigate through a voice Web using spoken hyperlinks and common-sense commands. Users can personalize the range of capabilities in the product by streamlining access to their most commonly used numbers and voice sites. The company used its speech recognition and voice authentication to build Voyager. In concert with the introduction of Voyager, the company also debuted V-Builder, a development tool that allows users to build voice interfaces to Internet sites and speech applications that users can then access through Voyager. According to company officials, V-Builder uses a combination of the company's SpeechObjects, essentially a series of reusable application components, and VoxML programming language." [From the press release: "Voyager is built on Nuance's market leading speech recognition and voice authentication software. The powerful and easy-to-use Voyager voice user interface is rendered through a combination of SpeechObjects and the VoxML (or the forthcoming VoiceXML) language and is based on many years of Nuance experience designing speech applications. Not only can Voyager access the full range of functionality in any application that is built with SpeechObjects or VoxML, but it can also access all other speech applications."]

  • [October 06, 1999] "Scripting XML with TCL. [Script Junkie]." By Steve Ball (Zveno). In WebTechniques (October 1999). ['What happens when the glue language of the Internet bonds with the data epoxy of the future? Steve Ball uses the results to create two strong XML parsers.'] "One thing I really like about Tcl is that it plays nicely with other languages. Tcl was designed from the beginning to be embedded within a program written in another language, such as C, C++, or Java. In addition, Tcl itself can be extended with components written in those lower-level system-programming languages. It's this adaptability and easy integration that has earned Tcl the nickname 'the glue language of the Internet.' When it comes to storing data or shipping it around the network between applications, what's needed is a data format that is independent of any particular language or platform -- one that can be used to represent any arbitrary data structures that a program uses. XML, the eXtensible Markup Language, looks like it will fill this role quite well. If two applications need to exchange information, they can use XML as an intermediate data format. As long as the applications both have support for the XML document type being exchanged, they can communicate. Recently I wrote a couple of support modules that take advantage of this concept: a Web-based workflow system using a SAP R/3 Financial Management System installation and a Tcl interface to the XML-RPC. XML-RPC combines XML with HTTP to provide a simple protocol for performing remote procedure calls. We'll study these two examples in close detail in this article." [Note: Steve Ball's company is developing the Zveno Swish XML Editor.]

  • [October 06, 1999] "The Case of the Missing Text." By Michael Floyd. In WebTechniques (October 1999) [Beyond HTML]. ['Michael Floyd has discovered a few differences between the XSL draft specification and Internet Explorer's implementation thereof. This month he unravels the mystery of the missing text.'] "In the June issue, I presented an XSL style sheet that used patterns to locate objects within the document tree, and showed how you can specify template rules to format these objects. The example was interesting in that it demonstrated the process of transforming XML into HTML and showed how you can combine CSS style rules to format the HTML output. Originally, I had written and tested the example using IBM's LotusXSL style sheet engine. In that arrangement, the style sheet was to be served along with its accompanying XML document from a Java servlet. However, at the end of that column I suggested that, while it hadn't been tested, the style sheet should run in most XSL processors, including Internet Explorer 5's. Apparently, many of you tested that assumption and things didn't run as advertised. The symptom in all cases was that the entire document, save one word ("by"), was missing. In tracking down the problem, I discovered a few differences between the XSL draft specification and Internet Explorer's implementation. In fairness to Microsoft, the differences reflect the quickly changing specification. Nevertheless, an understanding of how IE processes style sheets will save you countless hours of head scratching."

  • [October 06, 1999] "Dell Digs Deep Into Integration." By Edward Cone. In Inter@ctive Week [Online] (September 27, 1999). "Dell Computer is moving quickly into the next phase of interbusiness commerce: deep integration. The Austin, Texas-based giant is opening its manufacturing systems to the procurement systems of its customers, allowing for the automation of almost the entire purchasing process. Dell expects the program, which it calls direct commerce integration, to save large customers millions of dollars apiece in procurement costs, while at the same time creating efficiencies that will help preserve the computer maker's margins as hardware prices trend downward. That's the message Chief Executive Michael Dell will share with analysts at a briefing next month. While many manufacturers are opening up to specific ERP systems and portals, Dell is inviting everyone to the party by making extensive use of the eXtensible Markup Language (XML). Dell's link to Oracle's purchasing site gives more than 250 customers access to its production. XML, a follow-on language to the HyperText Markup Language, includes tags that facilitate systems integration."

  • [October 06, 1999] "WebMethods Broadens XML Integration Server." By Antone Gonsalves. In PC Week [Online] Volume 16, Issue 39 (September 27, 1999), page 31. webMethods Inc. plans to ship this week the latest upgrade of its namesake XML integration server, which has been enhanced with wider support for standards used in business-to-business commerce. Other improvements in webMethods B2B 3.0 include higher scalability and reliability through the introduction of load balancing and fault tolerance, company officials said. In addition, webMethods offers new versions of the server that target vertical markets. The new products include web Methods B2B for Portals and webMethods B2B for Partners. Clarus Corp., of Atlanta, includes the webMethods engine within its hosted procurement application, according to Steve Hornyak, vice president of strategy and business development for Clarus. webMethods for Portals has self-managing features that enable Clarus to upgrade the server at the hub and distribute the upgrade to all the companies hosting the Clarus application, Hornyak said. webMethods B2B server technology automatically generates and distributes documents in XML from information drawn from databases. The new version more ably passes XML documents among businesses through wider support of open and proprietary XML implementation methods, or schemata."

  • [October 06, 1999] "Tutorial: XML Programming in Java." By Doug Tidwell. From IBM developerWorks. (September 1999). "In his newest tutorial, Senior Programmer Doug Tidwell goes back to the blackboard to show you how to write Java code that works with XML. This tutorial shows you how to use an XML parser and other tools to create, process, and manipulate XML documents. We'll also talk about some useful, lesser-known features of XML parsers."

  • [October 06, 1999] "Tutorial: Practical transformation using XSLT and XPath ." By G. Ken Holman [Chief Technology Officer, Crane Softwrights Ltd.] From IBM developerWorks. (September 1999). "Transforming XML documents is one of the hottest topics in the XML community today. XML's flexibility allows users to create simple, descriptive tags; for effective data interchange, those tags must be transformed into another set of tags. The most common transformation is converting an XML document into HTML so it can be viewed in a browser. However, as new XML vocabularies emerge, other transformations will become popular as well. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is currently working on two proposed standards for transforming XML documents: XSLT and XPath. To help you understand these important standards efforts, we're pleased to present an introductory version of Ken Holman's 'Practical transformation using XSLT and XPath (XSL transformations and the XML Path Language)'."

  • [October 06, 1999] "Sun Netscape Alliance Adds E-Billing Partners." By Stuart Glascock. In CMPNet TechWeb News (October 05, 1999). "The Sun Netscape Alliance is extending its iPlanet BillerXpert product by adding the services of four new partners: Portal Software, Solect Technology Group, Vantive and SAIC, the companies said Tuesday. The goal of the consortium is to provide a new level of end-to-end online billing capabilities to telcos and ISPs, said Daphne Carmeli, Sun Netscape Alliance vice president of market development. The new pact also intends to tighten the integration among BillerXpert, backend systems and customer service. The new joint offering, which expands the iPlanet electronic bill presentment and payment products with applications and integration services, is available immediately. Citibank and First Union are existing customers who will be taking advantage of the new services, Carmeli said. Portal, Cupertino, Calif., and Solect, Toronto, are widely known for their billing and rating engines. Through the partnership with Portal and Solect, there will be a direct connection between the BillerXpert and the billing and rating technologies using XML to eliminate the need to break down print image data."

  • [October 06, 1999] "IBM Ramps Open-Source Support." By Amber Howle. In Computer Reseller News Issue 862 (October 04, 1999). "IBM Corp. jumped onto the open-source bandwagon last week with new additions to its developerWorks Web site. The site features Linux, Java and XML zones, which provide developers free, vendor-neutral resources and tips. In addition, IBM put up an Open Source Zone featuring its Jikes Java Compiler, Classes for Unicode and Open Visualization Data Explorer. The developer also added a Security Zone to help developers write secure code for Web-based applications. Although developerWorks offers information about competing products and development methods, the site encourages developers to use IBM's Application Framework for E-Business, Bahr said. Application Framework is a set of architectural principles used to ensure IBM's development products operate with its other products, as well as those of competitors such as Sun Microsystems Inc. It encompasses IBM tools including the WebSphere application server."

  • [October 06, 1999] "Bluestone Offering an E-business Whitewash." By Michael Lattig. In InfoWorld (October 05, 1999). "For companies struggling to find a scalable platform for developing electronic-business applications, Bluestone Software thinks it has an easy answer. At Internet World on Tuesday, the company introduced what it is calling a Total-e-Business product suite, based on its Sapphire/Web application server infrastructure and XML Suite integration server, both of which are based upon JavaServer Pages and Extensible Markup Language (XML) standards. The goal of the solution, according to Bluestone, is to simplify the integration of e-business and legacy systems by offering a scalable infrastructure upon which corporations can deploy best-of-breed content management, personalization, and e-commerce applications. In addition to the Sapphire/Web application server infrastructure and XML Suite integration server, Bluestone's Total-e-Business suite includes a content management system, pre-built e-commerce components, and a personalization and recommendation engine for analyzing and targeting business information to the needs of individual users."

  • [October 06, 1999] "Hedge Automata: A Formal Model for XML Schemata." By Murata Makoto (Fuji Xerox Information Systems). October 1999. The author has published a preliminary version of a document on 'hedge regular languages' (aka 'forest-regular languages and tree-regular languages'). The research note describes "preliminaries of the hedge automaton theory. In the XML community, this theory has been recently recognized as a simple but powerful model for XML schemata. In particular, the design of two schema languages for XML, namely RSL (Regular Schema Language) and DSD (Document Structure Description), is directly derived from this theory. First, we introduce hedges. Informally, a hedge is a sequence of trees. In the XML terminology, a hedge is a sequence of elements possibly intervened by character data (or types of character data). In particular, an XML document can be considered as a hedge. [Then] we introduce hedge regular grammars (RHGs). An RHG is a mechanism for generating hedges. In other words, an RHG describes a set of hedges. Since the primary role of an XML schema is to describe a set of valid documents, an RHG can be considered as a formal representation of a XML schema. [Then we introduce] deterministic hedge automata and non-deterministic hedge automata. . . The set of parse trees of an extended context-free grammar is said to be a local tree language. A lot is known about the relationships between local tree languages and regular hedge languagess. We mention two observations which are directly relevant to XML. (1) A local tree language is a regular hedge language (in other words, for any extenced context-free grammar, we can construct a DHA.), and (2) For any regular hedge language that contains trees only, there exists a unique minimal local set that includes the language. Observation '(1)' implies that HRGs are more powerful than DTDs, while '(2)' ensures that given any HRG, we can construct a reasonable DTD." For context, see: "SGML/XML and Forest/Hedge Automata Theory."

  • [October 06, 1999] "HTML Gets Xtended. Extensible HTML brings structure to future Web-page formatting." By John Tibbetts and Barbara Bernstein. In Information Week [Developments] (October 04, 1999). "Welcome, XHTML! We've had excellent results using this next-generation page markup language on a recent project, and now the World Wide Web Consortium ( is about to make it official. XHTML 1.0 is the recommended successor to HTML, the Hypertext Markup Language, which has been specifying (often inelegantly) the graphical layout of Web pages for years. . . On our recent XHTML project, we used the fast, stable, and free IBM XML parser to prepare the pages and extensions that we had defined. This saved us the long and complicated effort involved in extending HTML. In addition, the parser's extensive linguistic analysis of the page language let us verify the correctness of the pages at build time. We didn't have to perform exhaustive manual testing to find every missing 'table' tag. We also found a real team-organization benefit to XHTML. We were able to structure our Web-application project as two distinct subprojects. There was a crisp boundary between the work done by the Web team (the page artists) and the object team (the code-pushers). Neither side needed to know anything about the other except how to communicate through the XHTML extensions. The artists could simply indicate something like "FieldData," and the developers would extend a servlet to understand and implement that tag. The increase in productivity was astounding."

  • [October 05, 1999] "SilverStream ramps up its latest EJB server." By Dana Gardner. In InfoWorld (October 05, 1999). "SilverStream Software is upgrading its application server and tools to better support key Java standards, and is splitting off the server run time from its tools package to give users of other Java tools easier access to the platform. Arriving in beta this month with general availability toward year's end, SilverStream Application Server 3.0 supports the Java2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) specifications, including full Enterprise JavaBeans 1.1 functionality and support for CORBA 2.3, Servlets, and JavaServer Pages, said David Litwack, president and CEO of Silverstream, in Burlington, Mass. SilverStream's latest upgrade also includes an extensible markup language (XML) parser, and XML is used in the server to link to third-party development tools and for storing meta data on applications, Litwack said."

  • [October 05, 1999] "Intershop Revamps E-commerce App with XML, EJB." By Michael Vizard and Matthew Nelson. In InfoWorld (October 04, 1999). "At Fall Internet World in New York this week, Intershop will demonstrate a complete re-write of its electronic-commerce application that makes use of native XML tightly coupled with a modular component architecture based on Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB). Now christened enfinity, the Intershop offering is based on a custom-built, lightweight transaction engine that runs on top of an application server from Persistence Software in San Mateo, Calif. In addition, the Intershop application includes an XML-based application development environment and a rapid application development tool for workflow applications called the enfinity Management Center. Some industry analysts are impressed with Intershop's use of XML, which will assist them in the uphill battle against larger commerce engine vendors. Intershop enfinity is slated to ship Oct. 25, with pricing ranging between $150,000 to $200,000, depending on configuration, with support for Sun Solaris and Windows NT."

  • [October 05, 1999] "NCR and MicroStrategy roll out products, join forces." By Michael Lattig. In InfoWorld (October 04, 1999). "The worlds of business intelligence and data warehousing grew even more intertwined Monday as NCR and Microstrategy announced new products and an agreement that will see the two companies share technologies and marketing might. The two companies announced separate agreements that will see NCR become the OEM for MicroStrategy's product suite and MicroStrategy take over the development of NCR's TeraCube online analytical processing (OLAP) engine. The OEM agreement is valued at $27.5 million. . . Designed to offer increased scalability and available immediately, MicroStrategy 6 includes updated versions of the existing suite of MicroStrategy offerings -- Broadcaster, Server, Web, Agent, and Telecaster -- as well as one new product, MicroStrategy InfoCenter. InfoCenter is a light-weight, XML (Extensible Markup Language)-based Web interface that acts as a subscription server, allowing users to set parameters for what types of information services they would like to receive as well as when and how they receive it."

  • [October 05, 1999] "XML on Your Net. From Directories to Network Management Tools, XML Marches Toward the Enterprise." By Amanda Mitchell Henry. In Network World (September 27, 1999), pages 83-84. "To be sure, XML is a hot topic. Mention the three-letter acronym and vendors prick up their ears, proclaim their commitment to this rising Internet star and exalt its magic. XML will make interoperability among network applications better, network managers' jobs easier, data interchange simpler and reusing Web content faster, they assert. Yes, the list of claimed benefits that the emerging XML standard brings to enterprise users is long. But while vendors are announcing support for XML at a frenzied pace, enterprise users struggle to understand what XML is and why they should deploy it. . . But XML deployment is slim. In a recent survey, CAP Ventures of Norwell, Mass., found that less than one-quarter of 250 respondents were implementing or planning XML projects this year or next. However, respondents did indicate that spending on XML would increase from there. . ." See also "Net Management with XML."

  • [October 05, 1999] "Internet Time Ain't What It Used to Be. Old browsers and unsecured e-mail still abound. [on CSS]." By Jon Udell. In Byte Magazine (October 04, 1999). ". . . No CSS. Don't risk alienating even a single user who may berunning an antiquated browser. I'm OK with this decision. It makes me uncomfortable to withdraw any kind of legacy support. Likewise, I'm turned off by sites that expect me to acquire and use a newer browser, or to download plug-ins or applets. I really do treasure the fact that the vanilla HTML 3.2 browser has defined a universal lowest common denominator. We like to pretend that we're all still running on 'Internet time,' but is that really true? According to one view of evolution, it isn't a constant process but rather a series of rapid bursts separated by periods of no change -- that is, a punctuated equilibrium. I think the failure of CSS to catch on is just one of many indications that, media hype to the contrary, we're sitting on a plateau in the evolution of the Web. I was sure in 1996 that a year later we'd all be using style sheets to make Web pages work a little more sensibly. Weren't you? Doesn't it seem strange that a feature we've taken for granted for 15 years in our word processors still seems too radical for general use on the Web? CSS isn't the only initiative that's stalled. Encrypted and digitally signed mail is another key piece of infrastructure that was just around the corner in 1996, and still is. . ." On CSS, see "W3C Cascading Style Sheets."

  • [October 05, 1999] "DCOM? CORBA? RMI? Why Not Just XML-RPC?" By Jon Udell. In Byte Magazine (August 30, 1999). "At UserLand Software, Dave Winer recently deployed the kind of simple, elegant, and useful application of Internet technology that always puts a smile on my face. At his site, you can run a Mail To The Future application that enables you to send mail to yourself (or, actually, anyone) at some future date. This is, all by itself, a wonderful idea. Even more wonderful, in my opinion, is how Dave did it, and the deep (positive) consequences of his approach: using some of the features of XML, he implemented control of the CGI-based service in a way that not only lets it be invoked interactively by a person employing a Web browser, but also, just as readily, by another script -- in the language of distributed computing, by using a Remote Procedure Call (RPC). What's this got to do with XML? In addition to revolutionizing content management, XML is going to change how we build and use Web- based software components. In this article, I'll demonstrate one way that XML can do that. But first, let's review the basics of HTTP-style component programming..."

  • [October 05, 1999] "E-Tools Turn The Page On Customizing Catalog Data." By Richard Karpinski. In InternetWeek Issue 782 (September 27, 1999) [Section: News & Analysis]. "Poet Software this week is introducing a platform that solves e-commerce suppliers' greatest challenge: storing and delivering custom catalog data to a variety of buyers and marketplace sites. Poet's eCatalog Suite leverages XML, Java and object storage to help suppliers extract, manage and distribute catalog data. Today suppliers often have to create and store various cuts of data for different customers, a labor-intensive process that negates many of the efficiencies gained through e-commerce automation. The typical supplier must deliver data to a variety of buyers, e-procurement platforms and networks, and vertical marketplace sites. Each of those end points may require unique data formats based on different dialects of XML schemas. Poet eCatalog Suite insulates suppliers from these differences by letting them keep a data store that can deliver data on the fly into the appropriate delivery format and with the correct degree of customization. buyers in most cases want their catalog data to reflect negotiated pricing and product selection. And finally, suppliers must support a variety of buyer- and marketplace-specific XML formats, such as cXML, BizTalk and more. Poet eCatalog suite extracts catalog data from legacy systems and stores it in a separate master catalog, where users can edit the data to specific buyers' needs -a process called data normalization. Custom catalogs are then generated for each buyer according to a profile. The data is then transmitted via the Internet using the appropriate XML dialect." See the press release.

  • [October 05, 1999] "App Server Vendors Bet On XML." By Lenny Liebman. In InternetWeek Issue 783 (October 04, 1999), pages 57-62 [59]. Part of the article "Web Development -- App Servers Branch Out -- The Next Generation Of Web Servers Is Taking Applications Beyond The Corporate Enterprise." - "One of the effects of the growing emphasis on site-to-site integration is that Web server vendors are beginning to make a lot of noise about extensible markup language. XML has the potential to become the de facto standard for exchanging Web data between applications across the Internet. 'XML forms the basis for creating integration servers that will enable a whole new set of portal businesses,' says Bluestone senior marketing vice president John Capobianco. 'It's a very convenient standard for data interchange, and it's being widely adopted across the industry.' That kind of integration is already starting to happen. Inktomi Corp., for example, is pulling product catalog information from companies like and making it available to content aggregators, who can then sell those goods and grab a commission off the top."

  • [October 05, 1999] "Microsoft Ships Beta of New Database Software." By Wylie Wong. In CNET (October 04, 1999). "Ten months since releasing its SQL Server 7.0 database software, Microsoft has designed an upgrade, code-named Shiloh, that the company hopes will better compete with rivals Oracle, IBM, Informix, and Sybase. Microsoft has shipped the initial beta version of this next-generation database software, featuring more Web support and improved analysis of business information. Barry Goffe, Microsoft's lead product manager for SQL Server, said Windows 2000 and Shiloh, its next-generation database, will be powerful and reliable enough for large businesses and e-commerce Web sites. Shiloh will let its users analyze data with a Web browser for the first time. It will also support XML, a Web standard that simplifies the exchange of data over the Internet and corporate networks, Goffe said. Olofson, of IDC, said many of the new features Shiloh offers are, or will be, supported by its competitors. The XML support is important, he said, because it allows businesses with different databases to easily exchange data."

  • [October 04, 1999] "The New Integration Imperative." By Nelson King. In Intelligent Enterprise Volume 2 Number 14 (October 05, 1999), pages 24-31. "Enterprise application integration (EAI), as cutting-edge as it sounds, is hardly that; organizations have been wiring their stovepipe apps together for years. Now the Internet and object orientation are enabling new approaches to this well-understood challenge. . .True, application integration is a familiar problem. But what's different about today's EAI is that two new forces -- object orientation and the Internet -- are driving innovative techniques as well as bringing a renewed sense of urgency to the old challenge of making disparate applications cooperate. At the risk of oversimplification, object orientation, fostered by the success of object-oriented programming, is combining with e-business drivers to blaze new trails toward integrated applications. Perhaps more importantly, this combination highlights the need for more systematic and architectural approaches to EAI -- something different from the more random (that is, chaotic) approaches of the past. But there is a downside to the new EAI: Application integration may be an old story, but now it's a very hot one, as well. Consequently, every vendor with a middleware, messaging, or application development product is (or will soon be) touting its EAI brand, stretching the meaning of the term beyond all well-defined boundaries. The fog of hype makes it difficult to evaluate EAI products and strategies, but in this article, I'll provide some suggestions nonetheless. [XML and LDAP]: Some of the biggest changes in the data side of application integration are quite recent. These changes are a result of the emergence of two quite new Internet technologies: extensible markup language (XML) and lightweight directory access protocol (LDAP). As an Internet standard, XML is a boon for database applications because it identifies and classifies data within Web pages. It's also used extensively for electronic data interchange (EDI) because it can expose the data mapping between two sources. If you think this flavor of EDI sounds like application integration, you're right. Many EAI vendors are now rushing to incorporate XML features into their products. EAI vendors will increasingly use LDAP not to transport data, but probably for process automation so that application servers can search and locate variable data sources. Thus, the more applications involved in an integration and the more far-flung they are, the more LDAP will enhance enterprise scale integration."

  • [October 04, 1999] "XAS: E-Application Server Ascendant." By Mark M. Davydov. In Intelligent Enterprise Volume 2 Number 14 (October 05, 1999), pages 32-38. "For businesses Web-enabling their infrastructures, the limited data integration capabilities of today's middleware force a patchwork of Web servers, gateways, and custom code. The XML application server (XAS) may offer a more feasible solution. A new class of middleware called the XML application server (XML-AS or XAS for short) -- a combination of XML, middleware, and database access technologies -- is the next logical step in evolution of the multitier paradigm, a step that will obviate its shortcomings for Web-enabled information infrastructures..." [BEA Systems, Bluestone, IBM, Microsoft, Reachcast, Sequoia Software, TSI, WebMethods]

  • [October 04, 1999] "Integration Factory. A Conversation with Ken Ouchi [Vice President and CIO, Solectron.]" By Justin Kestelyn. In Intelligent Enterprise Volume 2 Number 14 (October 05, 1999), pages 42-46. ['Solectron Corporation may be the world's biggest contract manufacturing company, but as CIO Ken Ouchi explains in this exclusive interview, its core competency is in integrating internal and business-to-business processes.'] Ken Ouchi discusses 'Solectron's journey from the EDI-driven supply chain toward Value Web', including the significance of RosettaNet.

  • [October 04, 1999] "Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server Emerges." By Stephanie Sanborn. In InfoWorld [Electric] (October 04, 1999). "During the opening keynote of the Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC) '99 here on Monday, Microsoft revealed that the Exchange server formerly code-named Platinum is now called Exchange 2000 Server and the beta 3 version is now available. Exchange 2000 Server features enhancements to messaging and collaboration platforms through integration with Active Directory and single-seat administration with the Microsoft Management Console, as well as an improved Outlook Web access client, a distributed architecture, and Web store collaboration, company officials said. Exchange 2000 Server will also be "tightly coupled" with Windows 2000. Microsoft Vice President of Server Applications Paul Gross explored several of Microsoft's forays into the knowledge management aspects of Exchange Monday, including Web stores and mobility/wireless solutions. Gross described Microsoft's Web store as 'deeply native Web and deeply Windows,' adding that 'the store will use XML to represent the objects'."

  • [October 04, 1999] "Oracle, Microsoft Vie for Standards." By Michael Lattig. In InfoWorld (October 01, 1999). "Oracle and Microsoft are going head to head in promoting separate meta-data standards for data warehouses, although a compromise could eventually be reached. Oracle last week joined a group of vendors, including IBM and NCR, in submitting a Common Warehouse Meta data Interchange (CWMI) specification to the Object Management Group (OMG). The announcement comes a few weeks after Microsoft submitted a similar specification, the Open Information Model, to a separate standards body, the Meta Data Coalition (MDC). Meta data is information about the origin of data in a warehouse. While both specifications are designed to simplify the development and deployment of data warehouses and business-intelligence applications by standardizing meta data, the inability of Oracle, its partners, and Microsoft to reconcile on a single standard could lead to divergent meta-data camps. Users may have to choose one or the other." See for details on the specifications: (1) "Open Information Model Overview" and (2) "OMG Common Warehouse Metadata Interchange (CWMI) Specification." Both proposals in draft specification support an XML representation.

  • [October 01, 1999] "The IMS, Metadata, and Web-Based Learning Resources." By Dick Vacca. In The Gilbane Report - News and Analysis of E-Content Technology and Trends Volume 7, Number 7 (July/August 1999), pages 1-8. "Since the emergence of XML the number of metadata specifications being developed for vertical and horizontal applications has soared. Soon we will have many more than we need and competition will prune the number of offerings. Metadata specifications that are designed with application and information integration in mind are much stronger candidates for utility and success. IT strategists are increasingly aware of this integration requirement, yet one area that still seems to escape attention is corporate training. The overlap in IT requirements for corporate training applications and other areas involving information management and delivery, such as technical documentation, is significant, and the lack of attention surprising. In this issue, Dick Vacca reports on an effort to develop a metadata specification for educational and training applications. While still a work in progress, this activity looks like it could be important and should be tracked by anyone responsible for implementing corporate training technology. In fact, because this project is paying careful attention to the need to integrate with other corporate systems, including e-commerce systems, anyone involved in corporate IT strategy should be aware of it... IMS [ca. 'Instructional Management Systems project'] has an ambitious goal: to enable an open architecture for online learning, and to develop specifications for the commercial systems that make it possible. IMS is not in the software or content business; rather, it is defining technical specifications for products to follow to enable application and content interoperability. This covers not only educational content and web delivery, but also the financial and administrative systems behind instruction. IMS touches all the right bases: systems interoperability and convergence, content management, XML, e-commerce, and rights management. And it all starts with the metadata specification for web-based learning resources... XML figures heavily in the IMS plan. IMS created a specimen DTD as an XML binding of its metadata, and the released specification was accompanied by an array of sample DTDs, XML bindings, and example instances. Like other projects with similar goals, such as RosettaNet and BizTalk, IMS developers are using XML heavily..." See: "Educom Instructional Management Systems Project (IMS) Metadata Specification."

  • [October 01, 1999] "XML Promises Simple Object Interoperability ." By Dana Gardner. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 39 (September 27, 1999), page 6. "With its newest role of middleware patch, Extensible Markup Language (XML) is emerging as a kind of industrial-strength duct tape to fix cracks and fissures throughout an enterprise's application foundation. XML is not replacing synchronous object request brokers (ORBs) or asynchronous message-queuing products, which still form the bricks and mortar of interoperability. But XML is playing out as a fast, convenient way to add a loosely coupled Internet conduit to swap data in and out of disparate back-end systems -- including incompatible Microsoft and CORBA-based components. Last week, Rogue Wave Software said it will deliver the Nouveau ORB in November, a CORBA object request broker that will support Microsoft's Windows DNA 2000 development platform, providing another means of interoperability with Microsoft platforms. With Rogue Wave's new ORB ready to support Microsoft's Component Object Model (COM) and its Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) for exchanging XML data, XML can soon be used to link Windows 2000 to CORBA services -- a key linkage in enterprise systems, Rogue Wave officials said.""With its newest role of middleware patch, Extensible Markup Language (XML) is emerging as a kind of industrial-strength duct tape to fix cracks and fissures throughout an enterprise's application foundation. XML is not replacing synchronous object request brokers (ORBs) or asynchronous message-queuing products, which still form the bricks and mortar of interoperability. But XML is playing out as a fast, convenient way to add a loosely coupled Internet conduit to swap data in and out of disparate back-end systems -- including incompatible Microsoft and CORBA-based components. Last week, Rogue Wave Software said it will deliver the Nouveau ORB in November, a CORBA object request broker that will support Microsoft's Windows DNA 2000 development platform, providing another means of interoperability with Microsoft platforms. With Rogue Wave's new ORB ready to support Microsoft's Component Object Model (COM) and its Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) for exchanging XML data, XML can soon be used to link Windows 2000 to CORBA services -- a key linkage in enterprise systems, Rogue Wave officials said."

September 1999

  • [September 30, 1999] "Corel, Others Legitimize Alternative IM [Instant Messaging] Software." By Paul Festa. In CNET (September 28, 1999). ", a grassroots effort to craft an instant messaging service under the open-source software development model, got a boost this week with Corel's decision to implement Jabber's software in Corel's Linux desktop operating system and applications. Corel will add the instant messaging client in a partnership with Webb Interactive Services, which has taken a keen interest in Jabber's project to produce an instant messaging client based on Extensible Markup Language (XML)." ["Jabber is an Instant Messaging system, providing online status and instant message delivery to participating users via the Internet. There is already a proven need for this functionality based on the large volume of users of other systems such as ICQ and AIM, but already the first generation problems and commercial attitude of those systems is hampering their functionality and slowing their users. The key features of Jabber include: (1) Distributed Servers; (2) ISP-level service, similiar to most other Internet services; (3) XML based Protocol; (4) Simplistic in function, allowing simple and pervasive clients; (5) Embedable and Extensable in every way; (6) Back-end compatibality with all other IM systems (you can communicate with ICQ and AIM users, and future IM systems)" [from the Web site]. See also: "Webb Interactive Services, Inc. Sponsors New XML-Based Open Source Instant Message Technology. Webb to Integrate Jabber, a Leading Edge New IM Platform, Into its CommunityWare/XML Platform and Commerce Services."

  • [September 30, 1999] "Tracing XML-based Bank Transactions. Can We Catch the Crooks? [Take the Money and Run.]" By Alan Kotok. From (September 29, 1999). ['Does XML make money laundering easier? Alan Kotok looks into how the Web's new banking and investment services, many based on XML vocabularies, might help to catch the bad guys.'] "XML can increase auditability: In a recent e-mail message Eric Cohen, a CPA from Rochester, NY and leader in the development of XML vocabularies for accounting, says XML systems could both help and hinder this problem. He says XML specifications for example can limit the addition, deletion or change of entries to reduce errors, yet at the same time the Web can open up internal networks to unauthorized outside intrusion. Cohen notes that XML documents are by design both human and machine-readable and thus have greater transparency for auditing purposes. He cites other audit specialists who believe that the combination of electronic and financial standards increase the auditability of business systems by increasing their visibility, thus making it easier to develop effective analytical procedures. In other words, XML has the potential to provide tools for better control of Internet-based financial services."

  • [September 30, 1999] "X Marks (up) the Language. Parsing XML, Part 1.." By Eric Bohlman. In PerlMonth Issue #4 (August 1999). "When we talk about parsing a language, we mean the process of taking a piece of code or data written in that language and breaking it up into its constituent parts as defined by the rules of that language. Parsing is an essential task for any program that wants to use language- based data or code as input. In our last column, we talked about how "newline-separated records, with fields separated by commas" was actually the specification for a very simple language. In Perl, we'd normally parse it using something like... All these considerations mean that writing an XML parser is a demanding task not for the faint of heart. One of the W3C's original design goals for XML was that someone with a degree in computer science could write an XML parser in a week. That turned out to be one of the goals that wasn't quite achieved, and the development of new XML facilities like namespaces makes it even less realistic. The complexity of XML parser design has not prevented many talented individuals and organizations from writing XML parsers, many of which are available for free. Thus, nearly everyone who wants to write programs that use XML for input will want to use a pre-written parser to do all the dirty work. In the Perl world, this means using parsers that have been packaged as Perl modules."

  • [September 28, 1999] "Forms of Unicode." By Mark Davis [IBM developer, and President of the Unicode Consortium]. From IBM DeveloperWorks (September 1999). "In the beginning, Unicode was a simple, fixed-width 16-bit encoding. Under its initial design principles, there was enough room in 16 bits for all modern writing systems. But over the course of Unicode's growth and development, those principles had to give way. When characters were added to ensure compatibility with legacy character sets, available space dwindled rapidly. Many of these compatibility characters are superfluous, and were required only because different platform technologies at the time couldn't handle the representation of those characters as originally designed. So 16 bits were not enough anymore. Unicode needed an extension mechanism to get up to a larger number of characters. The standard mechanism uses pairs of Unicode values called surrogates to address over 1,000,000 possible values. There are no characters in surrogate space yet, although there should be by the end of the year 2000. Additionally, some systems couldn't easily handle extending their interfaces to use 16-bit units in processing. These systems needed a form of Unicode that could be handled in 8-bit bytes. Other systems found it easier to use larger units of 32 bits for representing Unicode. As a result of these different requirements, there are now three different forms of Unicode: UTF-8, UTF-16, and UTF-32. A great deal of thought was put into the development of these three forms, so that each form is most useful for its particular environment, and each can be quickly converted to and from the other forms as needed. It is important to understand both the capabilities -- and the limitations -- of each these forms. . .".

  • [September 28, 1999] "The XML Schema standard: A way to make XML datatype definitions more specific and flexible." By George Lawton. From IBM DeveloperWorks (September 1999). "The Schema standard-in-progress goes Document Type Definitions one better and gives you ways to define datatypes explicitly, to combine them in data structures, and to associate comments with datatypes. If, as Ashok Malhotra says, XML is the glue for mapping between databases and other data models, then Schema is the tool for spreading the glue exactly where you want it. XML Schemas promise to greatly simplify the ability to integrate databases wih a wide variety of other applications. The forthcoming Schema standard, now in draft form, will better define the datatypes and structure needed to create interoperable applications. Two working groups are together developing the standard for the World Wide Web Consortium (W3) to provide the industry with the tools to ensure a smooth flow of data from application to application. To date, the Schema standard draft includes datatype definitions, structures that combine datatypes, a standard for comments, and a conformance proposal. The most obvious use for XML is to permit exchange of data from database to database and between databases and other applications; Schema standards are designed to make that work easier. Ashok Malhotra, Research Staff Member at IBM, and a representative on the Schema Working Group said, 'I think the real issue is for connecting to databases, and that is how Schemas will evolve. People are starting to think of XML as a universal glue for mapping between databases and alternative representations of things'."

  • [September 27, 1999] "XML's the Language as OASIS Spreads the Word." By Grant Butler. In The Australian Financial Review (September 28, 1999). "Australian electronic commerce firms are being urged to join a global effort to develop a standard system for the use of XML, a supercharged version of HTML, the language used to make web pages. Mr Bill Smith, president of the Organisation for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), was in Australia last week to address a UN meeting on the issue. '[XML is] going to provide a simple infrastructure for people and machines to communicate and exchange documents,' he told The Australian Financial Review. 'That's pretty important to the new economy and the way business is going to be done in the next century'. . .".

  • [September 27, 1999] "Software Companies Hope Standard Helps Joint Operation." By Erich Luening. In CNET (September 27, 1999). "A group of leading software companies is pushing a new standard that would help businesses integrate e-commerce systems and exchange data. Oracle, Unisys, IBM, NCR, and Hyperion today announced the submission of the common warehouse metadata interchange (CWMI) standard to the Object Management Group (OMG), an industry consortium. The proposed standard, CWMI, defines a data format for all data warehouse and business intelligence products. By cutting both the software compatibility testing time and the costs associated with standard warehouse implementations, the CWMI standard ensures that mission-critical data required for business decision-making can be shared among all internal systems, supporters of the standard claim. The CWMI standard is a submission that follows the creation of the Extensible Markup Language (XML) by the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) and XML Metadata Interchange (XMI) by the OMG." For details, see "OMG Common Warehouse Metadata Interchange (CWMI) Specification"

  • [September 27, 1999] "Related-Resource Discovery for XML." By Tim Bray. September [27] 1999. "Many applications of XML are designed to process XML resources in combination with other related or supporting resources. Such resources currently include DTDs, stylesheets, RDF metadata, human-readable documentation, and executable code; many other types of related resource are in active development. In general, there is no standardized interoperable way for an XML resource to include information to aid applications in retrieving such related resources. W3C recommendations currently provide syntax for XML documents to include pointers to DTDs and to stylesheets. These methods are ad-hoc, not compatible with each other, and represent nobody's idea of a general solution to the problem of retrieval of related resources. . ." [From TB's note on XML-DEV: "I (and I think some other people) are becoming increasingly convinced that the need for some sort of an 'XML Packaging' facility is becoming increasingly urgent. I was asked to write up a motivating statement for the XML Plenary meeting that is happening this Wednesday [1999-09-29]."

  • [September 27, 1999] "IBM readies transcoder beta for simplified content delivery." By Dana Gardner. In InfoWorld (September 24, 1999). "It has been a promise by many vendors for some time: the capability to use a single data source to deliver specific interfaces to individual client types on the fly. IBM says it has finished this task, and will deliver a free beta version of its transcoding server in early October, with plans to deliver the finished product in March 2000. The currently unnamed server, which can run as a proxy, on a Web server, or on host access programs, will determine client types via their respective browsers and deliver the appropriate data and user interface, said Snehal Parikh, brand manager for IBM's network computing software division, in Raleigh, N.C. One of the first uses will be for translating rich HTML documents into stripped-down HTML for handheld devices. Internet service providers and Web sites will be able to quickly deliver their pages in thin form to such devices as browser-equipped cell phones and personal digital assistants. [Said Snehal Parikh:] 'You do not have to manipulate the source, but you allow it to go in [the] adapted form to different devices. It's also a new wave of business-to-business communications. You can take existing applications and data, and adapt them to XML [Extensible Markup Language] or even EDI [electronic data interchange]'."

  • [September 27, 1999] "Using the SAX Interface of LibXML." By James Henstridge. "Most users of the libxml (aka gnome-xml) library tend to use the DOM style tree interface for reading documents. This is generally quite an easy interface to use, but can use quite a bit of memory. An alternative is to use the SAX interface in libxml, which is a port of the Simple API for XML library for Java. This article is aimed at people who understand and have used the libxml DOM style interface and want to explore the SAX interface. Some examples are biased toward use in GTK+/GNOME programming. . . [the article should give] you a good idea about how to think about writing SAX parsers, and how to implement them with libxml. If you want more information about the other callbacks, look at the libxml API documentation." For other description and references, see "GNOME (GNU Network Object Model Environment) XML Library [libxml, gnome-xml]."

  • [September 27, 1999] "Gnome World DOMination." By Raph Levien. 14-April-1999. "The Gnome DOM (Document Object Model) architecture promises to create a framework for seamlessly integrating smaller components into polished applications. Authors choosing to write DOM-based applications need only write code for rendering and editing the document fragments specific to the application. Much of the remainder of the application is provided by the framework, including XML-based loading and saving, undo, and plugins. The central piece of the Gnome DOM architecture is Gdome, the Gnome DOM engine. Generic DOM engines have three major shortcomings that are addressed in the Gdome design: (1) Forcing apps to use the DOM's data structures for storage of all the app's state. (2) Extravagant memory usage -- 10x the document size is typical. (3) Garbage collection is difficult, particularly in distributed operation such as with plugins. . . Gdome addresses these issues by using the "sliding DOM" concept. In short, the sliding DOM interface shifts some of the responsibility of keeping track of changes in the tree structure from the server to the client. In the traditional DOM scenario, clients are written in scripting languages and servers are generally implemented in web browsers. In the Gnome World DOMination scenario, by contrast, the emphasis is on making applications as easy as possible, including integrating with existing codebases that use their own data structures to represent document contents and state."

  • [September 24, 1999] "ASP Technology and the XML DOM." By Alan McBee [guest columnist for Charlie Heinemann]. In Extreme XML [Microsoft MSDN Column] (September 20, 1999). "There is an alternate approach to using ASP technology to work with the XML DOM -- one that should help your server-side XML processing go much faster. Here it is: September, 1999. The U.S. football season has started, new television shows are about to debut, and the XML DOM doesn't scale well to multithreaded late-bound Automation controllers, such as Visual Basic Scripting Edition (VBScript) in ASP. Huh? It's true, at least for now: The performance of a Web application, where the application is written in Active Server Pages (ASP) code, and the script uses the XML Document Object Model (DOM), will begin to suffer under load. Microsoft is currently working on this problem. I'll talk about an alternate approach to using ASP technology to work with the XML DOM -- one that should help your server-side XML processing go much faster."

  • [September 24, 1999] "Adept at XML? O'Reilly Labs Review: Arbortext Adept 8 Editor Review." By William Brogden and Ed Tittel. From (September 24, 1999). ['Adept 8 from Arbortext is an XML editor with extensive SGML roots. In this week's O'Reilly Labs review, William Brogden and Ed Tittle delve into Adept, installing it on an NT system and testing how well it works for editing complex documents. We've put together a "slide show" using animated GIFs to give you a sense of the look-and-feel of the Adept editor. The reviewers pick over Arbortext's XML editor and find it an easy-to-use, and effective tool for beginners or power users. Read the review then take a "slide show" tour of the Adept 8 interface.'] "Installing Adept 8 on a Windows NT system proceeds smoothly, but you need plenty of free disk space, on the order of 250 Mbytes. The main thing you have to decide is how many of the optional document types and language support packages to install. Spelling dictionaries for 15 languages are available. Standard document types include a bunch of business forms, HTML, and the DocBook DTD. Adept is strictly for creating and editing SGML and XML documents; creating a custom DTD requires the Arbortext Architect product or some equivalent tool (or hacking out a DTD in ASCII with a text editor, which is how two users of Adept that we interviewed handle this sometimes daunting task). . . Adept is best described as an industrial strength editing tool for SGML that is also quite usable for HTML, XML, and other simpler document types. Although this tool is both expensive and complex, it is well worth the money for organizations that must build complex documents, be they in XML or its more venerable parent language, SGML."

  • [September 24, 1999] "Report from Interdoc's XML World in Ottawa." By Dave Sims. From (September 22, 1999). ['Lessons in EDI, knowledge management, and scalable vector graphics from Interdoc's annual XML conference. Dave Sims files a report on last week's XML World event in Ottawa, Canada. He provides some insight into SVG and other XML technologies discussed at the event. He quotes the keynote speaker, Dave Thomas of Object Technology International, in a talk on knowledge management, as recommending that companies should give away your nonessential knowledge to others: "It may be the cheapest way to maintain it."'] "Microsoft's XML evangelist, Dave Turner, was preaching to the converted when he told the crowd at Interdoc's XML World last week, 'the investment made by major companies in XML ensures that this is real, and that it will become a major part of how we build our systems.' The 350 people who came to Ottawa's Chateau Laurier for four days of tutorials and sessions already knew that. What was on many of their minds was how to build the systems, and what they should include. If there was a theme, it was probably that XML was the tool to take the web from a presentation platform to a system of services. Most of these services will center around e-commerce, and many are in the same space that EDI occupies (though many are not). Hot discussions included how to gather effective repositories and whose schemas should be adopted. Occasionally, one could spot the EDI veterans rolling their eyes or shaking their heads in the back of their room, as if they had heard many of these promises before."

  • [September 22, 1999] "XML and CORBA. [How do XML and CORBA fit? That's a game a lot of people are playing lately. A close look uncovers some interesting synergies.]" By Mark Elenko and Mike Reinertsen [Xenotrope]. In Application Development Trends Volume 6, Number 9 (September 1999), pages 45-50. [Middleware] Two acronyms which "have been floating to the top [in acronym soup] and sticking together in an increasingly noticeable way are XML and CORBA. Both are important in their own right; used together, they offer systems architects valuable synergies. . . The most immediate uses of XML in CORBA systems are configuration, as a portable document format, design metadata and some in-system application data. . ." Note that several presentations on XML and CORBA are available from the "Resources" section of the Xenotrope Web site. For example: (1) Distributed Architecture with XML and CORBA (I & II), by Henry Balen and Mark Elenko; (2) Using Java, CORBA and XML for a Distributed Object Architecture, by Mark Elenko; (3) XML and CORBA: Why, What, and A Few Hows, by Mark Elenko; (4) CORBA and XML: Enabling Flexible Web Architectures, by Mike Reinertsen.

  • [September 21, 1999] "Ardent proposes new information infrastructure." By Michael Lattig. In InfoWorld (September 20, 1999). "Ardent Software, in a move company officials said is aimed at bridging the worlds of structured and unstructured data, introduced Monday their strategy for providing an enterprise information infrastructure (EII). Specifically, Manby said, Ardent's vision is to create an information bus that underlies a company's business intelligence infrastructure, adding value through ubiquitous access to rich meta data. To provide that access, the company will rely on standards such as XML. 'XML shifts the balance of power to where corporations and users are able to create their own meta-models to help them do what they want to do,' said Manby. 'Ultimately what it's all about is making money and adding confidence to the decision making process'. The Data Stage Suite is comprised of three major components, DataStage 3.6, DataStage XE, and DataStage Enterprise, designed to serve the independent functions of data movement, management, and quality assurance. In the future, Ardent will add a portal feature to it's EII in an effort to provide a single point through which users can access meta data and business intelligence reports." For other details, see the press release: "Ardent Software Unveils Strategy to Bridge Worlds of Structured and Unstructured Information. Ardent's Enterprise Information Infrastructure Provides a Unified Solution for Timely, Relevant, and Reliable Information."

  • [September 17, 1999] "UML as a Schema Language for XML based Data Interchange." By David Skogan (Department of Informatics, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1080 Blindern, N-0316 OSLO, NORWAY). WWW. Paper submitted to UML'99. With 26 references. 1999-05-14. Abstract: "The Unified Modeling Language (UML) is here used as a schema language to define data interchange formats based on the Extensible Markup Language (XML). UML is a powerful and flexible modeling language and XML is expected to be the next generation data interchange format for the Web. UML's declarative expressiveness and intuitive visual form overcome XML's current declarative powers. The use of UML as a schema language combined with XML as a data representation language addresses both semantic and syntactic interoperability. A mapping from UML to XML is defined and two prototype implementations are presented. The mapping is inspired by Object Management Group's (OMG) XML Metadata Interchange specification (XMI). It is developed as a part of the ongoing standardization work creating an international standard for geographic information (ISO 15046). It is generic and may easily be adapted to other application domains." Cited in connection with a docment on the document Geographic Information BROWSER" - 'A prototype XML import/export facility and browser. Encode, decode, navigate, and edit Geographical Information.' "The GI Browser has been developed in the DISGIS project and is based on ISO CD 15046-18 Geographic Information - Encoding, a standard currently being developed by ISO/TC 211." [local archive copy]

  • [September 17, 1999] ISO CD 15046-18 - Geographic information - Part 18: Encoding. Document reference: ISO/TC 211/N709, 1999-03-16. Under preparation by the Technical Committee ISO/TC 211 Geographic information/Geomatics. "The Encoding standard specifies the encoding rule that shall be used to enable international data interchange. It allows geographic information defined by application schemas and standardised schemas to be coded into a system independent data structure suitable for transport and storage. The encoding rule depends extensively on the Extensible Markup Language (XML) and the ISO/IEC 10646 character set standards. For readers unfamiliar with XML, please read Annex C. For a short introduction to ISO/IEC 10646 see Annex D. Annex E contains examples of the application of this standard." See also Annex B (normative) - Required DTD elements(and GI DTD package). ISO 15046 is a nineteen-part International Standard. [See also the previous entry.]

  • [September 17, 1999] "IBM Gears Portal for Software Developers." By Wylie Wong. In CNET (September 16, 1999). "IBM is courting developers with a new Web site aimed at giving them the news, resources, and advice needed to build better software. The site, called DeveloperWorks, takes a look at the Java programming language, the XML Web standard, as well as the open-source Linux operating system. The site also plans to focus on the software infrastructure needed for building e-commerce sites, and Unicode, which helps developers build software using languages other than English. The site, which will officially launch in two weeks, has been in beta testing for several months. IBM said it plans to offer a mix of industry news, downloadable programming tools, and free tutorials on the site. In a thinly veiled swipe at rival Microsoft, which is also attempting to court developers with its own Web site and tools, IBM executives say DeveloperWorks will give developers the resources they need to build software using technology based on open standards."

  • [September 17, 1999] "XML/SGML: On the Web and Behind the Web." By Alfred Attipoe and Philippe Vijghen [The SGML Technologies Group]. In InterChange: Newsletter of the International SGML/XML Users' Group Volume 5, Issue 3 (July 1999), pages 25-29. "There is some confusion as to when [to] use SGML and when to use XML. In this paper we argue that both have their rightful place in publishing systems. We discuss the impact of the new Web technologies on publishing systems by clarifying the relationship between XML and SGML. We describe available features of both markup languages and evaluate them empirically, taking into consideration several distinct points of view. Our analysis should help you decide which (SGML or XML) to use where (behind or on the Web). . . we argue that XML, devoid of SGML complexity, is ideally suited for the exchange and publication of documents/information on the Web. However, XML lacks some features which are very useful when creating behind-the-Web systems where reqirements stress the need for expressive information models and data-processing functionality..." For related discussions, see "XML and/versus SGML."

  • [September 17, 1999] "Wireless Internet Is On The Way." By Guy Middleton. In CMPNet TechWeb News (September 15, 1999). "The wireless world converged in London this week at the Wireless Application Protocol Forum meeting, just as commercial deployment of the mobile Internet technology is beginning. At a media briefing on Wednesday, board members from leading hardware and service providers spoke of the momentum behind the technology -- a technology many service providers are geared to deploy, once production volumes of handsets are available. Skip Bryan, WAP Forum board member representing Ericsson said his company was into the launch phase and seeing rapid growth in content providers and portals working with WAP. . . He also said WAP was geared to integrate with enterprise data systems, 'you see Sun, Oracle, and IBM implementing XML and that's where WAP is'." On XML in WAP, see "WAP Wireless Markup Language Specification."

  • [September 17, 1999] "Quick-Start XML." By Michael Gellis. From DEV-X ['Ask the VB Pro 10-Minute Solutions'] (September 15, 1999). "So, you've been too busy earning an honest living to get into XML, and your data couldn't be more disorganized. Don't worry, because building upon the Visual Basic skills you already possess, you'll learn XML (eXtensible Markup Language) in no time, and everything will be tidy again. We'll begin right away by creating a simple XML document . . ."

  • [September 17, 1999] "FIPS security nod is coming for Windows NT." By [GCN Staff.] In Government Computer News (September 06, 1999). "Microsoft Corp. president Steve Ballmer said that Windows NT 4.0 will receive security certification under Federal Information Processing Standard 140-1 by the end of next month. The forthcoming Service Pack 6 for NT 4.0 will contain the FIPS-evaluated code, Ballmer said. Ballmer used the Air Force conference to take a shot at Java, the development language touted by Microsoft rival Sun Microsystems Inc. He predicted that the Extensible Markup Language, not Java, will be viewed as 'the biggest architectural revolution of the late 1990s.' Microsoft developers see XML as the 'core to all future product functions,' he said. He said the company will deliver a tool called Biztalk designed to let developers create an XML framework as a universal information exchange medium for components."

  • [September 16, 1999] "Concurrent Document Hierarchies in MECS and SGML." [Abstract] By C. Michael Sperberg-McQueen and Claus Huitfeldt. In Literary and Linguistic Computing [Journal of the Association for Literary and Linguistic Computing, ISSN 0268-1145] Volume 14, Number 1 (April 1999), pages 29-42, with 16 references). "Applications of computers to humanistic research rely increasingly on SGML or XML markup; it is a persistent challenge to find suitable representations, in these tree-based formalisms, for the overlap of textual features. [The most persistent complaint of SGML's critics among humanists is that SGML simply cannot handle such overlapping features. In the general form stated, this claim is untrue, but it is fair to say that handling overlap requires some substantial extensions to what is otherwise a rather simple data model. Overlapping features, however, are common enough in existing texts that almost every system designed for scholarly text processing has some facility for handling overlap, either in the form of dual logical and physical hierarchies (as in John B. Smith's interactive concordance program ARRAS) or in the form of non-hierarchical coding (as in the COCOA tagging supported by the Oxford Concordance Program and other systems). Overlapping textual features are an inescapable fact of textual life.] SGML lends itself to a straightforward data model with a simple relationship between markup (elements and attributes) and features or structures in the text. Barnard et al. (Computers and the Humanities, 22:265-276, 1988; 29:211-231, 1995) and the TEI ( Guidelines for Electronic Text Encoding and Interchange, 1994) have presented methods for registering the existence of overlap using SGML notations, but these methods are often felt to be unsatisfactory, in part (we argue) because they complicate the otherwise straightforward SGML data model. [This paper will first describe the fundamentals of what we will call the 'basic' SGML data model and explain how overlap presents a problem for this basic SGML model. It will then discuss two notations invented to overcome that problem: the Multi-Element Code System (MECS) developed by the Wittgenstein Archive at the University of Bergen and the CONCUR feature of SGML itself, and explore some problems which arise in translating between these two notations. In conclusion, it will describe some possible avenues for future work on overlap and related markup problems.] The MECS and CONCUR notations described here allow the straightforward markup of overlapping textual features. CONCUR further allows the formulation of useful document grammars for concurrent hierarchies of textual features. The theoretical and practical advantages outweigh the practical disadvantages, and the humanities computing community should begin serious experimentation with CONCUR. . . The advent of the Extensible Markup Language (XML), however, may change the practical situation: it is much easier to implement CONCUR for the fully normalized documents prescribed by XML than to handle all of its complex interactions with features present in SGML but omitted in XML. [N.B. XML does not include the CONCUR feature, and there is no real prospect that it will. But the normalization and well-formedness constraints XML defines can be used to simplify the definition of an XML-like language which does include CONCUR." For literature references, see "SGML/XML and (Non-) Hierarchy" and see the ALLC/ACH paper abstract.

  • [September 16, 1999] "Leveraging Distributed Software Development." By Junichi Suzuki and Yoshikazu Yamamoto. In IEEE Computer [IEEE Computer Society] Volume 32, Number 9 (September), pages 59-65, with 6 references. "... while Internet collaboration offers a number of advantages, the friction created by distributed -- therefore delayed -- communication typically increases the overhead associated with sharing project information. And the technology itself -- including system interoperability and the synchronous or asynchronous collaboration tools -- can create problems in a distributed development environment. As the complexities of distributed collaborative development environments increase, frameworks designed for such environments will become essential. The authors describe one such framework -- called SoftDock -- and the new technologies it exploits. It lets developers analyze, design, and develop software from component models. SoftDock uses the Object Management Group's Unified Modeling Language (UML) for modeling components. For exchanging information about these UML models, SoftDock uses an application-independent interchange format called the UML eXchange Format (UXF). SoftDock distributes UXF descriptions through W3C's Document Object Model (DOM) interface, which is implemented on top of OMG's Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA). [Figure 1] illustrates SoftDock's architecture. SoftDock stores the XML documents representing UML models -- that is, UXF descriptions -- in a resource server, which can create, log, and delete documents. The resource server sends notification to client-side applications when a document changes. In theory, this repository could maintain documents either as flat files (for storing model descriptions) or as full-fledged objects in a repository. Currently, though, SoftDock supports only flat file management. In SoftDock's architecture, the resource server has two ways of distributing or exchanging model information. In the first method, an HTTP route provides one-way broadcasting to client applications. These client applications -- including XML-capable Web browsers -- access UXF descriptions that the resource server replicates to a Web server through an FTP connection. When a UXF description is updated in the resource server, the server pushes the updated description to the potentially remote Web server. Personalizing model information We deploy Persona,3 a toolkit we developed for personalizing the content and presentation of XML documents, at the back end of a Web server, where it recognizes every participant's role in the development process by focusing on the client-side information that is transferred with incoming HTTP requests. In response to these requests, Persona delivers customized content and presents information appropriately tailored to each development role, such as project manager, architect, programmer, or customer. Persona provides two levels of personalization. The first level involves simply generating an HTML document from a requested XML document by applying a particular XSL style sheet. The second level involves rearranging the content or presentation of the generated document. For example, when a project manager accesses a Persona-enabled Web server through the SoftDock HTTP connection, Persona can create a document -- based on state-based development processes -- that displays a current development status report for all software deliverables. If the same request were made by a programmer, Persona could present detailed model information instead of a status report. . ." On UXF, see "UML eXchange Format (UXF)" and the UXF Home Page. SoftDock is also described in "SoftDock: a Distributed Collaborative Platform for Model-based Software Development."

  • [September 16, 1999] "Conformance Testing for XML Processors." By David Brownell. From (September 15, 1999). ['Not all XML parsers are alike, especially when it comes to how carefully they follow the XML 1.0 specification. Dave Brownell tests Java-based XML parsers and lets you know how closely they conform. This multi-part article evaluates the results of testing a dozen XML processors (XML parsers) against the OASIS Conformance Suite to see how well they follow the XML specification.'] - "One indication of XML's success is that a dozen or so implementations of an XML processor exist. These processors, spanning a variety of programming environments, are at the core of a new generation of web tools that are revolutionizing the dynamic generation of HTML and enabling new types of web applications, including business-to-business data messaging. But are all XML processors doing what they are supposed to do? Will the tools built with those processors create rivers of interoperable messages and documents? Will they create islands of data that can only be used with a single set of tools? This article looks at most of the XML processors available today for use in Java-based XML systems and evaluates how closely they follow the XML 1.0 specification. We will provide you with the hard data from our tests, so you can independently evaluate every claim made in this article and reproduce the results yourself. The results leverage the freely available OASIS XML Conformance Test Suite. While that suite has only been published relatively recently, many of its key components have been well known to the XML community for over a year and a half; they shouldn't come as a big surprise for any implementor. Many of these tests have been used for basic quality testing in a variety of XML processors." For related references, see the section: "XML Conformance" and the XML Conformance Test Suite news item. For background, see NIST XML/DOM Conformance Testing, organized through NIST's Software Diagnostics and Conformance Testing Division [SDTC], under Mary Brady. See also the announcement for the test suite, "OASIS XML Conformance Test Suite Now Available. International Consortium Provides Set of 1,000 Tests for XML Parsers."

  • [September 16, 1999] "Ballmer Extols Virtues of XML in the Evolution of the Programmable Web." By John Waters. In Application Development Trends (September 13, 1999). "Microsoft Corporation envisions a future in which software is a service and Websites are programmable -- an evolution to be enabled by XML and the company's WindowsDNA 2000 distributed Web application development platform. Speaking to a ballroom full of reporters and IT industry analysts gathered in San Francisco's Sheraton Palace Hotel, Microsoft president Steve Ballmer described his company's vision of a new breed of Web services that do more than deliver pages to a browser. The evolution of this programmable third-generation Web, Ballmer explained, is possible because of the eXtensible Markup Language, the futuristic 'lingua franca' of data on the Web. XML facilitates the integration of heterogeneous applications and the interconnection of disparate services across the Internet. A cornerstone of Microsoft's XML effort Microsoft's Distributed interNet Architecture (DNA), which, Ballmer said, builds on an XML foundation. DNA 2000 represents an 'across-the-board investment in XML for integration and interoperability as well as transparent integration with a wider variety of legacy systems,' a Microsoft spokesperson said. Microsoft's DNA 2000 product family includes: Windows 2000, Commerce Server 4.0, BizTalk Server, Babylon Integration Server, AppCenter, SQL Server ('Shiloh,'the next gen SQL Server 7.0), and Visual Studio."

  • [September 15, 1999] "Microsoft's Maritz Puts the Flesh on DNA." By Michael Lattig. In InfoWorld (September 14, 1999). "Microsoft has outlined the products and priorities company officials hope will help users turn ordinary Web pages into living, breathing, programmable services. The cornerstone of Microsoft's approach will be native support for the Extensible Markup Language (XML) across Microsoft's product line as well as the ability to loosely couple XML and messaging services. Paul Maritz, vice president of Microsoft's developers group, underscored that point with a comparison between Microsoft's vision and Sun's Java/Jini combination. According to Maritz, a successful Web services architecture must be open and standards-based, and not rely on one language. Sun's solution, through which developers work with homogeneous objects written in Java and interacting through Java Native Interface, is 'technically valid but has serious issues,' Maritz said. 'We think instead that [a Web services architecture] will involve a model that starts with standards and builds upon that,' Maritz said. 'It will be message-oriented and loosely coupled, with services connected by XML-based messages and contracts written in many languages.' In addition to adding native support for XML to its product line, Maritz said Microsoft is evolving COM to provide full support for the new Web services model. The result will be an architecture that is open to virtually any system using XML. The overarching goal of the COM evolution and the changes to the product line, Maritz said, is to ride the 'tidal wave of support' that has already made XML a de facto standard to build decentralized platforms consisting of clients, services, and megaservices."

  • [September 14] "XML in 10 points (7, really...)." By Bert Bos [W3C]. [Cited] from the W3C Extensible Markup Language (XML) Page, by Dan Connolly, XML Activity Lead. (Updated August 23, 1999). "XML, XLink, Namespace, DTD, Schema, CSS, XHTML,... If you are new to XML, it may be hard know where to begin. This summary in 10 points attempts to capture enough of the basic concepts to enable a beginner to see the forest through the trees. And if you are giving a presentation on XML, why not start with these 10 points? They are hereby offered for your use..."

  • [September 14, 1999] "Microsoft DNA 2000 aims at Web development." By Jack McCarthy. In InfoWorld (September 14, 1999). "Citing what he terms the third generation of Internet development, Microsoft President Steve Ballmer on Monday laid out the software giant's Web applications development strategy. Ballmer outlined a broad strategy for Microsoft Windows Distributed interNet Architecture (DNA) 2000, a platform with services designed to link application, servers, and devices with one another over the Internet. Microsoft's DNA platform includes the Windows NT Server network operating system, SNA Server, Site Server Commerce Edition, BizTalk Server, SQL Server, the Visual Studio development system, and AppCenter, software that deploys and manages DNA-based servers. 'Now we are entering the third generation, where people can program the Web for themselves,' Ballmer said. Windows DNA 2000 builds on XML (Extensible Markup Language), which Ballmer terms as "the crucial standard for integration'."

  • [September 14, 1999] "The DNA 2000 Strategy." By Charles Babcock. In Inter@ctive Week [Online] (September 12, 1999). "Microsoft on Monday sought to regain ground that it's in danger of losing to competitors with a promise to knit together its diverse technologies into a 'megaservice' of downloadable components for future Web applications. Dubbed DNA 2000, for Distributed interNet Architecture for the Windows 2000 operating system, the set of technologies will counter what Microsoft terms the lack of tools and shared conventions of other vendors' products for building Web applications. Microsoft will concentrate on ease-of-programmer Web development, using a wide array of building blocks. Paul Maritz, group vice president of the Developer Group, said one cornerstone of its approach will be Extensible Markup Language, or XML, in the form of a BizTalk JumpStart Kit, available immediately for free download from its BizTalk Web site. Microsoft's BizTalk site has been a proving ground for about 100 XML schema proposals for business-to-business communication in Web applications. Microsoft Consulting Services and other parties have generated the BizTalk Framework for rapid development of applications running on different platforms but able to exchange documents, forms and catalogs. DNA 2000 will include BizTalk Server, a server that uses BizTalk Framework to integrate applications across businesses. The server recognizes Framework-formatted documents and does the XML parsing to send and display them. 'XML is a key enabler of a new generation of opportunities,' Maritz said. . ."

  • [September 14, 1999] "Microsoft Web plans win some initial praise." By David Orenstein. In Computerworld (September 14, 1999). "The principles behind Microsoft's new model for Internet application development, Windows DNA 2000, won some initial praise from users and analysts yesterday. In practice, though, analysts hastened to add, the model remains fuzzy. Microsoft officials, including President Steve Ballmer, said the future of development on the Web will be based on application components that use the industry standards Extensible Markup Language (XML) and Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) to interoperate. Reliance on those standards could free developers to incorporate components in their applications regardless of platforms or middleware, analysts said. In this model, components could reside anywhere on the Web and still be used in an application. They would communicate with one another using messages. 'This XML-based, loosely coupled federation of applications is exactly where it should go,' said analyst Larry Perlstein of the San Jose-based Dataquest unit of Gartner Group Inc. 'Microsoft has put this together and has enough of all the pieces to show you what it might look like in the real world'."

  • [September 14, 1999] "Ballmer: 'Share Your Data'." By John Gartner. In Wired News (September 13, 1999). "The future of e-business can be summed up in three words, according to Microsoft president Steve Ballmer: 'Share your data.' And the tool to carry out Microsoft's version of the future also comes in three words: 'Extensible Markup Language', or XML. In a Monday press conference that outlined his company's e-business future, Ballmer stressed that consumers will require personalized service, which requires the consolidation of personal data stored on the Web sites they use. That means that data has to be readily accessible to developers and e-commerce partners to ensure a speedy transaction. The way to do that is to use XML, a markup language designed by the World Wide Web Consortium that provides a consistent method to describe and categorize data. . ."

  • [September 14, 1999] "Developers split on proposed Web language standard." By Paul Festa. In CNET (September 14, 1999). "Efforts to craft a new language for building Web pages may stall because of rifts within the development community, which is debating a proposed standard. Last month the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) proposed Extensible Hypertext Markup Language (XHTML), turning it over to the development community for a final review period, but since then the process has lost some momentum. Developers have not been to agree on a naming convention that orients Web browsers to their tasks. XHTML would rewrite Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), the Web's most commonly used language. The rewrite would make it easier for individual industries to design Web pages that meet their specific needs. At stake is how browsers will make sense of the Web when it is written in a potentially infinite variety of individually tailored languages. . . W3C representatives characterized the contentious debate over XHTML namespaces as a normal part of the W3C review process." [alt URL]

  • [September 14, 1999] "Microsoft brass herald era of distributed Web development." By Antone Gonsalves. In PCWeek (September 13, 1999). "Microsoft Corp. today unveiled its vision of the Web as a huge, decentralized development platform in which services are integrated with any application in order to reach consumers or business partners. Microsoft President Steve Ballmer unveiled the company's view of the future of Web development at a news conference here with reporters and analysts, two days before Microsoft's Developer Days '99, the software giant's day-long workshops for developers held across the nation. Key to Microsoft's emerging architecture is XML (Extensible Markup Language), which will be the foundation for the exchange of data with enhanced features, such as qualifying service providers or imposing requirements such as deadlines for responses to requests. 'XML is really the critical foundation,' Ballmer said, describing the markup language for moving data between disparate applications as the 'secret sauce' for developers."

  • [September 13, 1999] "An end to the Uber-Operating System." By Dave Winer. Part of the DaveNet website. (September 12, 1999). "On Monday morning, along with Microsoft and Developmentor, we released a specification called the Simple Object Access Protocol, or SOAP. It's available on The URL follows later in this piece. SOAP, as its name implies, is an object access protocol. It is more complex than the XML-RPC specification, which is deployed on a wide variety of operating systems and scripting languages. The purpose of both specs is to enable scripted web applications to cross operating system boundaries. I am an author of both specs, along with Don Box of Developmentor and a small group of Microsoft architects and engineers, including Gopal Kakivaya, Andrew Layman, Satish Thatte, and for the earlier spec, Bob Atkinson and Mohsen Al-Ghosein. . ." On SOAP, see "Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP)."

  • [September 13, 1999] "Cisco Uses XML to Monitor Service-Level Agreements." By Paul Krill. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 37 (September 10, 1999), page 12. "Cisco Systems this week will demonstrate a set of technologies to help users ensure that service providers are complying with service-level agreements (SLAs). The technologies, to be revealed at the Networld+Interop conference in Atlanta, rely on the Extensible Markup Language (XML). Cisco will also reveal partners who are backing the technologies. Service-level management is becoming critical for verifying that the correct levels of service are being provided to customers. The CiscoWorks2000 Service Management Solution, due by March 2000, lets enterprise customers and service providers monitor service levels via XML-based APIs that link to the Service Assurance Agent monitoring software in Cisco's Internetwork Operating System (IOS)."

  • [September 10, 1999] "XML to the Rescue." By James Kobielus. In Network World Volume 16, Number 36 (September 06, 1999), page 51. "XML and related specifications, such as XML Namespaces and XML Schema, are well on the road to widespread enterprise deployment in the next three to five years. Adoption is always the sincerest form of flattery, and vendors are implementing or have implemented XML in their core product architectures. XML renders traditional platforms irrelevant. It provides a versatile language for decoupling distributed applications from their operating environments. Vendor-dominated operating environments will take a subordinate role to cross-platform services, such as directories, Web publishing and electronic commerce. And these cross-platform services will increasingly implement XML down to their cores. Most fundamentally, XML is helping shift industry momentum away from tightly coupled computing models and toward messaging-oriented middleware (MOM). XML's emergence is contributing to a broad decline in platforms' reliance on remote procedure calls and other inter-application communication schemes, such as Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) and Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA), that bind distributed objects tightly to one another. Integration of XML with Lightweight Directory Access Protocol Version 3 directory infrastructures, under the Directory Services Markup Language initiative, should only accelerate the trend toward using XML syntax to define directory-resident metadata pertaining to workflows, services and applications. This all just goes to show that XML will be like oxygen in the networked environment of the 21st century: vital, pervasive and taken for granted." alt URL, local archive copy.

  • [September 10, 1999] "Adaptive Java applications -- XML makes it possible. Create an adaptive, dynamic, and extensible messaging system using Java, XML, and the DOM." By Gad Barnea. In JavaWorld Magazine Volume 4, Issue 9 (September 1999). "The powerful triangle of Java, XML, and the DOM (Document Object Model) provides the key for creating adaptive systems -- systems in which data is separate from behavior -- in Java, based on Internet standards. In this article, Gad builds upon more than a year's worth of design experience using these new technologies. . . With the introduction of XML and its subsequent adoption by the major players of the software industry, data can lead its own life. An XML document is, in many ways, a database, a fact that can be exploited to build adaptive systems. In an adaptive system, careful design thought is given to isolating objects from one another and isolating data from the behavior (for example, the operations and methods) defined in the object. To demonstrate how this works, we will design a simple messaging system that hides the communicating objects from one another and holds the data manipulated by the objects in a parallel universe -- as XML. [...] We now have a fully operational miniature messaging system that achieves maximum flexibility through the separation of data from behavior. This application can be used as a basis for many others. We've seen how a simple and adaptive messaging system can be created using XML, DOM, and Java. This combination promises to minimize the extent to which object-oriented programs rely on hard-coded data. The implications for this approach are important for designers of mission-critical, enterprise-scale systems."

  • [September 10, 1999] "XML and Java: A potent partnership, Part 4. [Learn how Java, laced with JavaScript, pushes XML's flexibility into new dimensions.]" By Todd Sundsted. In JavaWorld Magazine Volume 4, Issue 9 (September 1999). ['In this final installment of his four-part series on XML and Java, Todd Sundsted completes his integration of JavaScript and Java and brings the ease-of-use and flexibility of a scripting language to his XML framework.'] "XML is quickly becoming the standard for both document markup and data exchange. Many factors are driving XML's popularity, including its inherent flexibility, exemplified by its ability to be extended to include tags not found in the original tag set. [. . .] XML's tools must be as flexible as the XML they work with. They must 'do the right thing' when they encounter a novel tag in their XML input. They must expect the unexpected. Java, with its ability to dynamically load code into an executing program, provides a clean solution to this problem. A Java-based XML tool can load code and, thereby, flexibly extend its core functionality to meet the needs of any document it encounters. I hope my efforts for the last four months have demonstrated XML's potential and have convinced you of the potency of the combination of XML and Java (and a scripting language such as JavaScript). The framework I've designed for you currently is being used in an evolving tool that generates models from XML descriptions. Keep your eyes on XML. It's not going to solve every problem facing developers today, but, like Java, it's going to help solve a great many of them. We've barely crossed the starting line."

  • [September 10, 1999] "Orchestrating Today's E-Commerce." By Christy Hudgins-Bonafield. In Network Computing Issue 1018 (September 06, 1999). "Commerce-server software platforms are a clattering parade of transaction, payment and personalization engines, tax and currency offerings, workflow automation and content management software, database and ERP (enterprise resource planning) integration modules, proprietary and open application servers, customer-service offerings with "800" number phone support integration, XML-HTML translators and smart catalogs. What's next? [...] EJB and XML support (at least in some primitive form, such as HTML translation) will be announced or delivered by most of the major commerce providers by mid-2000. . . BroadVision: 'The company plans to enhance its C++ base with XML to let Java applets work on a native basis in 5.0, which should be in beta or shipping by year's end.' Intershop Communications: 'Intershop is moving away from its own application server to a Java server and was expected to announce an XML cartridge this summer, to move content and transactions into and out of its product via XML APIs.' Silknet: 'Silknet plans to keep expanding its e-business push, with officials having a particular interest in marketing and sales automation. In August, Silknet was expected to announce an eBusiness Toolkit with a graphical GUI to extend or create new applications and to create dynamic relationships based on XML schema.' [...] business partners that have opted for disparate commerce platforms may find a point of coalescence in a kind of directory negotiator empowered to deliver the goods. The first step toward realizing this vision was announced in July by a coalition of players that includes Bowstreet, IBM Corp., Microsoft Corp. and Novell. The group is organized around a new Directory Services Markup Language to share directory content using XML (see [Novell's Michael] Simpson says he believes the directory could also use XML schemas to work with different back-end databases."

  • [September 10, 1999] "Enterprise Management Gets Web Standards." By Guy Middleton. In CMPNet TechWeb News (September 07, 1999). "A key model for enterprise management information has been completed by the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF), the industry body announced Tuesday. The DMTF said the specification would enable cross-vendor interoperability using Internet standards and would cut through the complexity and incompatibility in much of today's management systems. The announcement marked the completion of the group's work on the specifications of a Web-based enterprise management (WBEM) framework, built on what it described as a Common Information Model. The addition of the CIM over the HTTP standard would allow "implementations of CIM to interoperate in an open, standardized manner." The CIM over HTTP specification adds to the existing CIM and CIM over XML standards." See: "DMTF Common Information Model (CIM)."

  • [September 10, 1999] "W3C's World Wide Power." By Gary H. Anthes. In Computerworld Volume 33, Number 36 (September 09, 1999), pages 74-75. "The Semantic Web: The W3C is mapping out technology to support a 'semantic Web,' in which all the world's knowledge becomes computer-accessible. 'Querying a database is not exciting,' Berners-Lee says. 'But querying a database that gets linked so as to query the whole planet is very exciting.' The W3C, based at MIT and research centers in France and Japan, last year took a giant step toward that goal by publishing XML. It can describe Web pages with far more power than Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), the Internet programming language developed by Berners-Lee in 1990 at CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics in Switzerland. Unlike HTML, which describes the structure of a page, XML allows developers to make up their own tags, or metadata, to describe information content on the page. The W3C is also working on the Resource Description Framework (RDF), a language that uses XML to enable application and content developers in different domains to share vocabularies -- their own metadata -- in ways that allow them to link diverse databases. XML and RDF promise to make the Web much more powerful by enabling search engines to 'understand' the meaning of information."

  • [September 10, 1999] "Vendors jockey over packet-circuit approaches." By Loring Wirbel. In Electronic Engineering Times [Online] Issue 1077 (September 06, 1999). "The recent debut of a Call Policy Markup Language for programming hybrid packet-circuit switches is only the first shot in what promises to be a continuous volley of new offerings from vendors this fall and winter. Abatis Systems Corp., a Canadian startup that introduced a new service-provisioning architecture last spring, is launching a service scripting language called XML/Services this week. Like CPML, the new services language is an offshoot of the popular Extensible Markup Language. . . XML for allocating service If the CPML work was intended to bring XML into the area of describing call features, Abatis wants to use XML as a means to let carriers and ISPs provision service to customers. Fields such as service subscriptions, billing methods (including per-packet charges) and network identifiers can be handled as typical XML fields in the new XML/Services language. Amar Shan, director of product management at Abatis, said that the network ID functions could include the identification of nodes and subnetworks as well as physical-layer network characteristics, such as delay and jitter. Although Abatis wants to work with router and mediation-switch vendors, its XML/Services language is tied to the company's three-layer notion of "IP Consumables" contracting. At the network layer, Abatis' hardware platforms, or service points, allocate services and bandwidth to customers. At the contract layer, a new software platform called the Network Services Contractor (originally for Solaris platforms, but soon for NT 4.x as well) uses the XML/Services language to set up contracted services for customers. On a higher services layer, customers can contact carriers and ISPs through open service portals. Originally, Abatis had intended to help customers create Web portals, though the open nature of XML/Services will allow carriers to build these portals on their own." ["XML/Services is an open, flexible language based on XML that facilitates the rapid creation, subscription, and delivery of advanced IP services. XML/Services provides the common framework required for network service providers, application retailers and application vendors to specify the business and technical requirements of an IP service, independent of the underlying IP network technology."] See also "Call Policy Markup Language (CPML)."

  • [September 10, 1999] "RosettaNet Put To The Test." By Barbara Jorgensen. In CMPNet TechWeb News (September 09, 1999). "Four key members of the electronic-components supply chain have successfully exchanged business information over the Internet using the RosettaNet XML standard. Several weeks ago, Marshall Industries and Solectron became the first to test RosettaNet XML-based database descriptions to exchange data between online catalogs. More recently, Arrow Electronics and Intel successfully used the RosettaNet specification to send and receive data over the Web. RosettaNet, a nonprofit consortium formed last year to promote common Internet business communications standards, has created a framework using XML to streamline the computer product and IT supply chain. The group has also developed about 100 XML-based business processes, known as Partner Interface Processes (PIPs). Arrow and Intel were able to send and receive secure purchase orders over the Net through a data-transformation software. The software used in the process is a version of GE Information Systems' Application Integrator, enhanced to support XML and the RosettaNet PIP specifications. The purchasing PIP provides a mechanism for creating, canceling, or exchanging a purchase order between various business partners."

  • [September 10, 1999] "Round Two For OBI Spec." By Richard Karpinski. In CMPNet TechWeb News (September 09, 1999). "One of the Web's 'missing in action' standards is making its belated debut. OBI, or Open Buying on the Internet, was a pioneering effort to define business-to-business e-commerce practices. After some holdups, the most recent keeper of the OBI standard, CommerceNet, has released what it calls the first 'implementable' version of the specification, OBI 2.0 Even as it has been eclipsed by vendor-specific projects such as Ariba's cXML or Microsoft's BizTalk, OBI still has some high-profile champions -- including Office Depot and Ford Motor -- and helps define some 'top-of-mind' concepts, such as supplier-managed catalogs. At the next OBI meeting later this month, sources said, the group will set a timetable for the XML-ready version of OBI, expected sometime in the next four to six months."

  • [September 10, 1999] "Sybase To Offer Upgrade. Database server to support XML and Java, E-business, portal services due." By Rick Whiting. In Information Week (August 30, 1999), page 36. "Sybase Inc. last week unveiled an upgrade to its flagship database server and detailed plans to provide technology and services for building E-commerce systems and enterprise information portals Due to ship early in the fourth quarter, Adaptive Server Enterprise 12.0 will offer Extensible Markup Language and native Java support. Sybase's core database system has lagged behind other vendors' products in providing these capabilities. ASE 12.0 will also include a Java virtual machine and Java-SQL functions, new high-availability and failover features, and Web transaction-management capabilities. By supporting XML and Java, ASE 12.0 and Sybase's new Enterprise Event Broker middleware are capable of being used within an enterprise information portal system . . ."

  • [September 10, 1999] "Luminate Sheds New Light On SAP R/3 Apps." By Tim Wilson. In InternetWeek Issue 779 [Section: News & Analysis] (September 06, 1999). "For many businesses, a slowdown in SAP R/3 means a slowdown in productivity. But for IT help desks, finding and fixing the source of the slowdown means navigating a maze of confusing management data. Luminate Software Corp. last week unveiled several new tools designed to provide a more direct route through that maze. The new products help IT managers tie Luminate's SAP R/3 performance-monitoring software with help desk and other management applications, company officials said. Luminate's new products include Performance Analyzer, a troubleshooting tool designed for SAP experts; the OpenData Initiative, an XML interface that lets other applications work with Luminate tools; and partnerships with AMC Technology LLC and SAS Institute to link R/3 performance management with help desk and chargeback capabilities." See the announcement: "Luminate For SAP R/3 Delivers XML-Based Interface to Open the Most Complete and Powerful Repository of SAP R/3 Application Management Information. SAS Institute Inc. and AMC Technology L.L.C. Deliver Unique Applications Through Luminate Software's OpenData Initiative."

  • [September 10, 1999] "Is XML changing the future of Web publishing? How XML is becoming the new standard for building and managing content. " By R. Allen Wyke. In SunWorld Magazine [WebMaster Column] (September 1999). ['XML appeared several years ago as an upcoming standard and partial replacement to HTML. Since then there's been a lot of talk, but no one has really specified how Webmasters can use it to their advantage on an everyday basis. This month, Allen walks you through the development of XML and its various Web implementations, and gives you a preview of what you can expect to see over the next year.'] "Over the last three months, XML has begun taking root, just as its inventors predicted. Financial institutions are now creating languages based on it that define the data they send back and forth; ecommerce vendors are using it for transactions; and reporting tools are using it to import data for ad hoc queries. You shouldn't count on XML to save the world -- but it can help you describe, consolidate, and validate your data, and basically make your job a whole lot easier. If you have to process Web logs so that your managers can determine their traffic numbers, peak hours, and the type of browsers used to access the site, XML may be your solution -- especially if these aren't the only numbers your managers have to analyze."

  • [September 10, 1999] "First draft of proposed XML TC for Unicode 3.0." By John Cowan. Presented on XML-DEV. (September 07, 1999). "This is version 0.1 of a proposed technical corrigendum to XML 1.0 to incorporate the new characters of Unicode 3.0 into the allowable sets used in XML Names. It presumes that XML should not remain limited to an obsolete version of the Unicode and ISO 10646 standards." [Note 1999-09-14, "The Unicode 3.0 data files are now in final form at the Unicode FTP site (, although the Unicode 3.0 book won't be available until January. There are no changes to my XML/Unicode 3.0 proposal as a result."

  • [September 10, 1999] "Interviews: Simon Phipps: IBM's Chief Java & XML Evangelist." By [Dale Dougherty]. From (September 08, 1999). ['Dale Dougherty interviews Simon Phipps, IBM's Chief Java and XML Evangelist on Java as platform-neutral programs and XML as software-neutral data that will allows networked computer systems to scale.'] "Phipps describes a component model for open, networked computing systems using XML and Java that eliminates the kind of platform-centric dependencies that makes it difficult for partners to do business. He believes that such business relationships will be built around data analysis and transformations, enabled by XML and XSL..."

  • [September 10, 1999] "Applied XML: Using XML for Object Persistence." By Ralf Westphal. From (September 08, 1999). ['The article examines object persistence and the role XML can play in serializing an object's data. Ralf Westphal, the editor-in-chief of Germany's leading Visual Basic magazine, BasicPro, walks us through the issues involved in serializing data and shows how to use an XML data format to ease the process. Ralf wrote on building a better meta-search engine for earlier this summer.'] "What does 'object persistence' or 'serializing an object' mean and how can XML help with it? Several technologies out there try to assist you in serializing objects into XML strings. They deal with Java, CORBA and COM-objects, so you should take a look at them. . . When storing an object, you separate data from code. Object persistence is all about extracting the information in an object so it is not lost when the object itself is destroyed. Once the data is separated from the object, it can be saved in a file or sent over the Internet to some other computer. Sometimes, objects are supposed to not only store their data but also their code. That's cool, too, and has its uses (for example, in mobile agent scenarios), but we won't discuss that in this article..."

  • [September 10, 1999] "XML evolves into latest must-have technology." By Darryl K. Taft. In Computer Reseller News Issue 858 [Section: Applications & Tools] (September 06, 1999). "What primarily was a hot buzzword only a year or so ago now is a key technology that a growing number of companies are supporting or integrating into their products. Extensible Markup Language (XML) has matured into a must-have technology for applications ranging from enterprise data integration to business-to-business E-commerce. The business-to-business market is especially keen on XML's ability to deliver structured data and documents in a standard way. The technology stands as a possible successor to electronic data interchange (EDI) initiatives for several companies, said analysts. An example of XML's increasing maturity and its importance to E-commerce is the emergence of security technology for XML documents and systems. Last month, Baltimore Technologies PLC, a Dublin, Ireland-based E-commerce and enterprise security-system maker, unveiled X/Secure, a solution for securing XML documents and systems, which is scheduled to ship this fall. X/Secure uses public key infrastructure (PKI) technology to deliver a trusted system with identification requirements essential for secure online commerce. For example, an X/Secure user can digitally sign a purchase order and ensure to a supplier that the order is legitimate and the information in it has been kept confidential."

  • [September 10, 1999] "Lotus Notes/Domino upgrade will add XML. Windows, Office 2000 support on tap." By Dana Gardner. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 35 (August 30, 1999), page 16. "Lotus Development will build native Extensible Markup Language (XML) storage, Windows and Office 2000 integration, and Linux versions of its Notes and Domino products in a series of point upgrades to its Release 5 (R5) lines, culminating in the arrival in mid-2000 of a new full edition, code-named R-Next, Lotus officials said last week. The current R5 version of Notes/Domino, which arrived in the second quarter, will be improved by a richer, browserlike desktop with enhanced searching. The Domino server component will gain additional knowledge-management attributes via XML and added scalability to meet the needs of the nascent application service provider industry, according to Lotus, an IBM division."

  • [September 10, 1999] "Web specification to give XML a boost." By Laura Kujubu. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 35 (August 30, 1999), page 5. "Hoping to jump-start widespread adoption of the Extensible Markup Language (XML), the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) last week released for review XHTML 1.0. XHTML 1.0 is a reformulation of HTML 4.0 as an XML 1.0 application, according to W3C officials. The hybrid language allows users to migrate from HTML to XML, as users can create documents using HTML but also mix in XML functions. . ."

  • [September 10, 1999] "Pervasive Adds XML To Development Studio. Developers Can Use Tango 2000 As An Interface To Bring Together Multiple Databases." By Robin Schreier Hohman. In InternetWeek Issue 779 [Section: News & Analysis] (September 06, 1999). "Pervasive Software is about to ship Tango 2000, a visual development studio that adds support for object-oriented data and XML. The studio is optimized for publishing existing databases to the Web. This version also adds support for COM objects and Java Beans, so developers will be able to add elements that contain business logic to their applications via drag-and-drop, without having to know anything about the underlying code. Tango 2000, an upgrade from Tango version 3.5, also includes support for XML, so developers can create extensible applications that can be changed on the fly. . .developers can use Tango as the interface to bring together multiple databases or ERP applications, if they're XML-enabled. The developer can use Tango to save the files to a common location in order to manipulate the data."

  • [September 09, 1999] "Salomon Smith Barney taps XML for Web documents." By Ellen Messmer. In InfoWorld (September 08, 1999). "Salomon Smith Barney is adopting Extensible Markup Language (XML) for presentation of its research materials on the Web. The goal? To help investors and analysts quickly find specific information without having to download an entire file. The investment house plans to have this XML-based Web document search capability available on its Web site within a few months, says Steve Clifford, senior vice president and director of interactive marketing for the company. 'We will provide this for documents in HTML and PDF,' Clifford said. 'XML will also allow you to search across these documents for specific information, such as earnings'."

  • [September 09, 1999] "Broker taps XML for Web data." By Ellen Messmer. In Computerworld (September 08, 1999). "Salomon Smith Barney is adopting Extensible Markup Language (XML) for presentation of its research materials on the Web. The goal? To help investors and analysts quickly find specific information without having to download an entire file. The investment house plans to have the XML-based Web document search capability available on its Web site,, within a few months, said Steve Clifford, senior vice president and director of interactive marketing at the company."

  • [September 09, 1999] "XML document-creation tool. Able XML Pro still rough around the edges." By Gess Shankar. In InfoWorld [Product Reviews, InfoWorld Test Center] (September 06, 1999). " . . . developers using XML to solve problems related to Web content management, data interchange between disparate databases, and Internet-commerce document exchange, for example, need a way to acquire solid XML skills to quickly create prototype XML documents. Vervet Logic's XML Pro, Version 2.0, meets this need. This low-cost tool for creating validated XML documents frees developers to concentrate on the application rather than focus on XML tags and coding errors. But although it has made strides since its pioneering first version, developers accustomed to the Windows environment may find it lacks bells and whistles. XML Pro is not for XML novices or HTML developers accustomed to WYSIWYG tools. Developers must have a clear understanding of XML's basic building blocks and the Document Type Definition (DTD) requirements associated with edited documents. . . This Extensible Markup Language (XML) editor has a fairly limited feature set but is adequate given its datacentric development focus. It's the only tool currently available suited to developers for whom an XML document is a content-modeling mechanism or a data container and not structured narrative text."

  • [September 08, 1999] "XML and Databases." By Ronald Bourret (Technical University of Darmstadt). 1-September-1999. "This paper briefly discusses the relationship between XML and databases and lists some of the software available to process XML documents with databases. Although it is not intended to be exhaustive or provide in-depth evaluations of all the available software, I hope that it describes some of the major issues in using XML with databases. It is somewhat biased towards relational databases simply because that is where my experience is."

  • [September 04, 1999] "Programming Internet Telephony Services." By Jonathan Rosenberg (Bell Laboratories), Jonathan Lennox (Columbia University), and Henning Schulzrinne (Columbia University). In IEEE Internet Computing [IEEE Computer Society] Volume 3, Number 3 (May/June1999), pages 63-72. "[Programming new Internet telephony services requires decisions regarding such things as where the code executes and how it interfaces with network protocols. The authors propose a CGI solution for trusted user/developers and the Call Processing Language for untrusted user/developers.'] ". . . While SIP CGI is an ideal service creation tool for trusted users, it is too flexible for service creation by untrusted users. We have therefore developed a new scripting language, called the Call Processing Language (CPL), which allows untrusted users to define services. Users can upload CPL scripts to network servers. The logic can be read in and verified, and the service instantiated instantly. In this section we overview the requirements for a language that can be used in this fashion, describe its design, and discuss its primitive constructs. . . XML can be produced and read by both humans and machines, satisfying another design goal of CPL. XML is also a good choice because it is easily extended. Every tag and attribute has an explicitly specified name; thus, a parser can immediately determine whether it can support all requested features, and decide what to do if it cannot support them. Furthermore, XML has built-in mechanisms for adding new tags and attributes, which can come from namespaces specified in the head of the document. XML is by no means perfect. It tends to be verbose, requiring relatively long programs for simple services. In addition, since XML is not a programming language, but rather a syntax, inclusion of certain language features, such as variable assignment, are awkward. However, its limited flexibility is more an advantage than a disadvantage in this application. Mapping the CPL onto XML is straightforward. There is an enclosing XML tag named call that contains an entire CPL script, indicating the point where execution begins. Both nodes and their outputs are represented as XML tags; parameters are represented as XML tag attributes. Node tags typically contain output tags, and vice versa, representing descent down the decision tree. Convergence (where several outputs point to a single node) is represented with links. . ." See references in "Call Processing Language (CPL)."

  • [September 03, 1999] "Assertion Grammars." By Dave Raggett (HP Labs). (May 20, 1999). "This document describes experimental work in progress at HP Labs - Bristol on formal techniques for describing combinations of modular tagsets for documents written in XML. The motivation is provided by the increasing diversity of web browsers, running on desktops, television, handhelds, cellphones or voice browsers. The goal is to provide a means for document to be described in terms of an algebra operating over modules, which in turn are described as collections of assertions. It is hoped that this work will provide an interesting comparison with traditional approaches based upon Document Type Declarations, and more recent approaches, such as the drafts published by the W3C XML Schemas working group. . . XML documents are principally comprised from elements, attributes and text. The permitted arrangement of elements and their associated attributes varies according to the purpose. This specification provides a basis for defining a group of documents sharing a common syntax for elements and attributes. The approach goes well beyond what can be represented with XML document type definitions (DTDs), providing much more precise definitions of attribute values and linked data formats. For instance, image formats, style sheets and scripts. A schema specifies an unordered collection of modules, for example, headings, lists, tables and graphics. Each module is defined as an unordered collection of logical assertions. The underlying theoretical framework is founded upon sub-tree matching, sets and a simple mechanism for overriding inherited properties." [Note 'DTDGEN' - "An Open Source software utility available free from HP Labs. It is written in portable C++ and automatically creates XML 1.0 DTDs from assertions; contact Dave Raggett for a prerelease.]

  • [September 03, 1999] "XML and Corporate Portals." - Conference Paper. August 31, 1999. Extract from Building Corporate Portals using XML, by Clive Finkelstein and Peter Aiken, McGraw-Hill (September 1999) [ISBN: 0-07-913705-9]. This white paper is sponsored by the "XML For Information Resource Managers" conference, October 27-29 in Dallas. Co-author Clive Finkelstein will present a full-day tutorial called "Introduction to XML for Data Management." Co-author Peter Aiken will present a session called "Engineering Enterprise Portals: Metadata Engineering in Preparation for XML-based Delivery of Data." For other information, see the main conference entry.

  • [September 03, 1999] "IP Telephony: Toward a Telephony Markup Language. ['XML is CT's Next Big Breakthrough: A Tool for Making the Web into a Framework for Distributed CT and Messaging Apps.'] By [Staff]. In Computer Telephony (August 1999). "[TML - 'Telephony Markup Language'] . . . we decided that we would simply nurture TML along, report on progress, encourage companies to participate in the standard-making process, and help with coordination. We next turned to Dr. Setrag Khoshafian at Technology Deployment International. TDI is doing massive amounts of research into XML and offers a basic service pack that consists of strategic training for XML as well as an analysis of how TDI's expertise can customize and emphasize XML technologies for your company.On a conference call with Chang and Khoshafian, Computer Telephony did some brainstorming as to how to get our telephony markup language initiative going. Here's the plan as of mid-July: TDI [Technology Deployment International] and SoloPoint will contribute to our initiative by atomizing call and messaging functions in an effort to start formulating a list of possible telephony and messaging tags. There's also the organizational structure of the language that must be considered, the base types and the enumeration types that need to be listed. Those assist in defining constraints -- such as the default values assumed by attributes when those are unspecified in a particular document. Our little group will hold a working session soon, and with our knowledge and expertise in the various domains, we can come up with a first-order approximation of TML. Then we'll go through an RFQ process, revisions, you know the drill, and finally come up with something we can show to grown-ups. Meanwhile, if anybody reading this would like to get involved in the great TML crusade, send us an e-mail." See provisional references in "Telephony Markup Language (TML)." [local archive copy]

  • [September 03, 1999] "Tutorials: Using Expat." By Clark Cooper. From September 01, 1999. ['Clark Cooper offers a detailed explanation of Expat, the C language library for XML parsing, and provides a directory of Expat functions. This week looks at James Clark's expat, a small but powerful engine of the XML revolution. Known as expat because its developer is a British expatriate living in Thailand, this C language libary for XML parsing is embedded in Netscape's Mozilla and Perl's XML::Parser, to name just two examples. Clark Cooper, the custodian of Perl's XML::Parser, shows developers how expat works. Part 1 shows the basics of working with the library, including communication between handlers, character encoding, and namespace processing. Part 2 supplies a directory of Expat functions, including code and explanations on each.'] "As demonstrated in my benchmark article, it's very fast. It also sets a high standard for reliability, robustness and correctness. This library is the creation of James Clark, who's also given us groff (an nroff look-alike), Jade (an implemention of ISO's DSSSL stylesheet language for SGML), XP (a Java XML parser package), and XT (a Java XSL engine). James was also the technical lead on the XML Working Group at W3 that produced the XML specification. Expat is a stream-oriented parser. You register callback (or handler) functions with the parser and then start feeding it the document. As the parser recognizes parts of the document, it will call the appropriate handler for that part (if you've registered one). The document is fed to the parser in pieces, so you can start parsing before you have the whole document. This also allows you to parse really huge documents that won't fit into memory. Expat can be intimidating due to the many kinds of handlers and options you can set. But you only need to learn four functions in order to do 80% of what you'll want to do with it..."

  • [September 03, 1999] "Moving from the 'Community of Experts' to the Community." By Simon St.Laurent. September 03, 1999. "After XML Developer Days in Montreal, my head's been buzzing with ideas about the prospect of a very different approach to XML vocabulary and application development than the committee model that is typically presented as the 'best' approach now. It's part 'worse is better', part 'let users think for themselves', and part 'so how can we harness this anarchy and make it productive?'" - 1999-09-03 draft: "Many of the ideas in this document were inspired by Walter Perry's editorial at the 1999 XML Developer Days, as well as David Megginson's presentation on RDF and assorted conversations throughout the conference. All blame for this essay, of course, is mine."

  • [September 03, 1999] "META is the Word." By Rich Seeley and Jack Vaughan. In Application Development Trends Volume 6, Number 8 (August, 1999), pages 43-48. [In-depth article on metadata and the role of XML in metadata repositories. Discusses metadata solutions being developed by the Meta Data Coalition (OIM) and the Object Management Group (XMI).

  • [September 03, 1999] "Good-Looking Documents You Can Get Along With." By Eve Maler. Issue #2 in Eve's Advisory Column, from the ArborText Think Tank (July 21, 1999). ['Q: What standards are there for stylesheets to be used with XML? How will these stylesheets compare to DTDs?'] "So how can you design layout charters that your documents can really stick to over time? Also, if you publish the same documents to various media, such as the Web, paper, and CD-ROM, how can you resolve the natural stylistic conflicts in these media? With XML, this proposition is entirely achievable. To the extent that your documents are coded in a 'pure' way, without embedded style information, you can write formal rules that say how to format documents for the target you have in mind, whether it's a printer, a browser, a Braille reader, or something else. These formal rules, taken together, make up a stylesheet. Stylesheets are similar to DTDs in that their rules can be read and applied by software rather than by fallible humans. But the job they do is very different, so they don't really compete. For example, while it's the job of a DTD to say what's allowed inside a section, it's the job of a stylesheet to say how to make section titles appear on the page or screen. Because of this difference, for every set of documents governed by a single DTD, you might have a whole host of stylesheets: one for regular print publishing, one for large-size print, one for printing to a different size of paper for worldwide markets, one for your Web site, one for a proprietary browser used on your CDs, ... well, you get the idea. It's just like having lots of pairs of black shoes in your closet: the style has to fit the occasion. Just as with DTDs and schemas, you have a choice of multiple different languages for writing stylesheets..."

  • [September 03, 1999] "Who Does Industry Schemas?" By Brian Travis [Managing Editor]. In <TAG> Volume 13, Number 7 (July, 1999), pages 1, 5. "Schemas are supposed to provide a way to share information between parties. This is especially important in the e-commerce supply chain. So who creates these shared schemas? The hot topic this month is schema development and registration. In the SGML world, there wasn't a single place to register DTDs, although many people said it would be a crisis if we didn't get one real soon. Somehow, ATA-2100, JCALS, and J-2008 (to name three) were created and maintained their health without a central authority for registration. When the Graphic Communications Association ( GCA) finally created a registration site for public identifiers, the effort was ill conceived, poorly executed, and was received with all the excitement of the new Arena Football season. I hear everyone talking about the need for a schema registry, but I don't want to see a repeat of the failure of the SGML registry. XML is different, however, in the way it handles external namespaces, and excitement about XML is exponentially ahead of SGML, so maybe it's time for a registry..."

  • [September 03, 1999] "Tutorial: XML-based Web Publishing System. Part II: Conversion." By [<TAG> Online Staff]. In <TAG> Volume 13, Number 7 (July, 1999), pages 1-5. "In this article, we will cover the first part of creating an XML-based publishing system: capturing information as a set of XML documents. Most companies have a collection of legacy data that needs to be converted to a known structure before it can be intelligently delivered on the Web. Once you have performed your document analysis session, you will have the information you need to create the schema. Currently, the only type of schema that works with most XML systems is the document type definition, DTD."

  • [September 03, 1999] "Catching Up." By Bob DuCharme. In <TAG> Volume 13, Number 7 (July, 1999), pages 6-8. ['Our XML Beat columnist catches up on some things, including the state of the W3C schema proposal work, RDF, Palm Pilots, and a dispute with <TAG> Editor, Brian Travis.'] On Non-WG Schema Proposals [Not Dead Yet]. Whither RDF? [It is used in the XMLNews specs for exchanging news over the Web and in various features of the Mozilla Web browser under development, but in my research-and I've looked-not one major company has revealed any interest in moving forward with RDF-based projects.] On DTDs, Schemas and Confusion [While many will use the new schema spec when it's available, it won't replace traditional DTDs for a long time-the XML 1.0 way is simpler, more concise, and compatible with all SGML applications. The new way will be more expressive, and GUI tools will eventually hide the complexity of their syntax, but that will take a few years...]"

  • [September 03] "Tips and Techniques." By [<TAG> Online Staff]. In <TAG> Volume 13, Number 7 (July, 1999), pages 8-10. "This month's article shows you how to create an XML schema in accordance with the current draft spec from the W3C XML Schema Working Group. 1. Create XML schema, 2. Create document according to schema, 3. Point to schema using namespaces. Remember that this article is based on a working draft of the XML schema specification. The final recommendation might look slightly or completely different from this, but the concepts will remain the same. . . The example shows the structure of our Joke Markup Language. The root element is 'Joke', which contains three elements (Setup, PunchLine, and OneLiner) and two attributes (Type and FirstUsed)." [See]

  • [September 03, 1999] "XML Central to Lotus' Future. Internet standard to open up Domino." By Cynthia Morgan and Dominique Deckmyn. In Computerworld Volume 33, Number 35 (August 30, 1999), page 8. "Domino's proprietary environment will open up to the emerging Extensible Markup Language (XML) standard, Lotus Development Corp. officials said last week. 'Our goal for Domino is to store XML data natively,' said Michele Daziel, Lotus' general manager of the Web application market. XML technology will gradually be added to Domino, with a major update likely in the second half of next year. But Lotus wouldn't commit to full native support by then. Native XML support in Domino is high on the wish list of Brad Hertenstein, manager of e-commerce and Web services at staffing and training firm Romac International Inc. in Tampa, Fla. Romac, which wants to export job-offer information to third parties, picked XML as its standard format. Today, that requires a Java servlet to pull data from a Domino database and convert it to XML. XML is also key to Lotus' knowledge management plans, currently code-named Project Yoda, where XML will be used to help summarize and categorize data in Domino databases, Web pages and other documents."

  • [September 03, 1999] "Super solution to record storage?" By Patrick Thibodeau. In Computerworld Volume 33, Number 36 (September 02, 1999). "When President Clinton leaves the White House in January, his legacy will include an e-mail system with some 40 million messages on it. Those records, by law, must go to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The NARA has the task of storing and preserving those messages for as long as it has to, which is pretty much forever. But 'for practical purposes, there is no durable digital media,' said Kenneth Thibodeau, director of the electronic records program at the NARA. The NARA has been working with the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) to attempt to resolve these storage issues. Using a million e-mail messages as a test, SDSC has 'shown us through massively parallel processing that you can handle this,' Thibodeau said. SDSC is using a supercomputer to speed migrations of data to new media, reformatting to meet new standards and importing metadata into new catalogs, among other things. SDSC has also been using Extensible Markup Language (XML) tags to keep track of all the documents -- something 'which has a lot of market support,' Thibodeau said."

  • [September 03, 1999] "Quark, Adobe help print publishers get online." By James Niccolai. In InfoWorld (September 1, 1999). "While the Internet is busy turning the publishing industry on its head, executives from Quark and Adobe Systems hawked new products here today that they said are helping their traditional print customers face the online challenge. Chuck Geschke, president, co-founder, and chairman of Adobe, agreed with his rival. Adobe's goal is 'to assist the migration of our print customers to this new world,' he said. Both executives [of Quark and Adobe] pointed to Extensible Markup Language (XML) as a technology that will allow customers to write content for catalogs, magazines, and newspapers that can more easily be reformatted for delivery in other formats. Quark's answer to the problem is avenue.quark, an XML-based product announced here this week and designed to allow publishers to prepare content written in QuarkXpress for online delivery. A prerelease of avenue.quark is available here at the show, with Version 1.0 of the product due to ship in the first half of next year, Gill said."

  • [September 03] "XML: The Web is Just the Beginning." By David Chappell. In ent - The Independent Newspaper for Windows NT Enterprise Computing [Online] Volume 4, Number 14 (August 18, 1999). "How many different ways are there to represent stored data today? Off the top of my head, I can think of a whole bunch: relational tables, ISAM and VSAM files, ordinary flat files containing plain ASCII text and many more. Having one common way to describe all kinds of data, whether it's stored in a database, sent across a network or used in some other way, would be a step forward. We're almost there. XML, the universal mechanism for describing data, has arrived. The first clear proof of this is in Web browsers, where XML support has become a critical feature. But I think people place too much emphasis on XML's use on the Web. . . Depending on how it's accessed, the same information can be viewed as relational data or as an XML document. XML as a lingua franca for information storage and exchange is a powerful idea, and technologies like this one lead the way. We are approaching a day when a majority of new data formats, whatever their use, will be defined using XML. Whether the problem is to define the layout of information in a database, specify header formats for a new protocol or represent information exchanged between applications, some XML schema will be used to describe the data."

  • [September 03] "Extensibility Jumps on BizTalk ." By Brian Ploskina . In ent - The Independent Newspaper for Windows NT Enterprise Computing [Online] Volume 4, Number 14 (August 18, 1999). "While most of the industry waits for a BizTalk server to be released from Microsoft Corp. later this year, Extensibility Inc. jumped in with XML Authority 1.1, the first commercial product designed for the BizTalk Framework. XML Authority 1.1 will provide import and output support for BizTalk-compatible schemas and for [XML?] schemas from standards bodies such as the World Wide Web Consortium. "The BizTalk Framework aims to accelerate the adoption of XML with a set of design guidelines that encourage the consistent development of XML schemas,' says James Utzschneider, director of business frameworks at Microsoft. 'Extensibility's XML Authority will facilitate this goal by providing [a] migration tool that customers can easily use to migrate their existing XML schemas to the BizTalk Framework.' Developers can use Authority to create and exchange schemas compliant with BizTalk, while existing formats can be ported to the Microsoft framework."

  • [September 03] "MS XML Developer Center Launched." By Brian Ploskina. In ent - The Independent Newspaper for Windows NT Enterprise Computing [Online] (August 26, 1999). "Microsoft Corp. launched the XML Developer Center on its MSDN Web site on Wednesday. The site is a tool for developers who need information on building XML enabled applications. Features of the site include technical information, an XML developer's guide, technical articles, XML samples and downloads, expert chats and peer help. The site discusses ways to make legacy apps work on the Internet using Microsoft's still-to-be-released BizTalk XML server, native XML capabilities in the still-to-be-released Windows 2000 operating system and other helpful articles."

  • [September 03] "ERP, Say Hello To Web -- Web, Say Hello To ERP." By Tim Wilson. In (September 03, 1999). "ERP, meet the Web. That's the message from two of the biggest names in ERP -- PeopleSoft and SAP -- which this week unveiled strategies for bringing their back-office applications to thefront lines of business-to-business e-commerce. PeopleSoft introduced PeopleSoft 8, a new version of its enterprise software suite designed for thin clients and with XML underpinnings to improve integration with other applications. XML provides a road system for these communities. PeopleSoft 8 and rely heavily on this language as the primary means of linking applications, both within the suites and across third-party applications. SAP is using XML to promote collaboration -- such as joint design, engineering, and procurement processes -- across enterprises. An XML-based metadata repository hosts information on how to get the right message in the right format to the right place and provides the relevant data structures for Internet applications."

  • [September 03] "Tibco Expands Middleware for Web Commerce." By John Cox. In Network World Volume 16, Number 34 (August 23), page 34. "The latest release of middleware from Tibco Software adds a set of programs designed to let customers more easily blend back-end applications with new Web-based electronic commerce systems. In Version 2.0, Tibco has added a half-dozen new or improved parts. For example, the TIB/Adapter for Active Database tracks changes to a database and then messages relevant applications. A new version of TIB/Message Broker now supports data schema based on XML. Message Broker will now be able to 'read' information about a purchase order created by SAP AG's R/3 business software, for example, store it in XML, and then share it with any other application that also supports XML."

  • [September 03] "Why Fight? Print, Web Publishing Merges Macromedia, Adobe, and Quark stride toward cross-media publishing." By Cameron Crouch. In Network World (September 02, 1999). "As publishers debate print versus digital media, publishing technology developers move toward convergence. Traditional print folk Adobe and Quark have joined Web broadcast guru Macromedia to find new ways to merge tools and shift print publishing to the Internet and create a true cross-media platform. While Macromedia, Adobe, and Quark target different customers, the three share an interest in developing standards for cross-media publishing. Macromedia is pushing Flash as the Web format, while Quark and Adobe look to XML and its companion standards. Announced this week, Avenue.quark is a way to take Quark XPress content and move it to the Web and other media using XML tags. True to Quark's customer base of print publications, company representatives demonstrated the tool by dragging content from a Quark XPress layout for the San Francisco Bay Guardian newspaper into an XML workspace. XPress automatically extracts formatting such as headlines, subheads, and bylines. You can then post the content on a story server. Due to ship in late September, Quark XPress 4.1 promises better support for PDF and Web tools for developers."

  • [September 03] "Getting Cozy With XML. [A Hands-On Look at XML.]" By Liz Levy. In Imaging and Document Solutions Volume 8, Number 9 (September 1999), page 16. [A review of Adept version 8.0.]

  • [September 02] "Heavy into XMetaL." By Dale Dougherty. In WebTechniques (September, 1999). "Many Web developers see themselves as coders rather than as page authors. They write code, run it in a browser, and then modify it when problems arise. Despite WYSIWYG alternatives, it was hard to beat a text editor such as Emacs, long revered by programmers as well as many tech writers. Emacs could be customized for specific applications and for coding in programming languages, like C or Perl, or markup languages, like LaTeX or SGML (see also Yuri's Legacy). This is because Emacs itself is programmable, which lets the coder be more productive by building tools for editing. XMetaL, a new XML editor from SoftQuad, looks like a cross between a visual development environment and a word processor. Because it's highly programmable, XMetaL can become almost any kind of editor you want, maybe even an editor for people who don't care much about XML coding. You can customize XMetaL to create a complex and powerful editing environment that can be integrated into publishing and information-management applications. Like its sister product, HoTMetaL, an HMTL-only editor, XMetaL provides three distinct views of a document: First there's a plain-text view, similar to the way you might view a document in Allaire HomeSite. There's also a Normal, or display, view in which the markup is hidden from view and the elements are formatted based on instructions in a style sheet -- similar to the views available in Macromedia Dreamweaver or Microsoft FrontPage. Finally, there's a Tags-On view, a hybrid of the two previous views in which the tags are visible as symbols in a formatted document. These views are nicely integrated, as is the ability to preview the document in Internet Explorer 5..."

  • [September 02] "XML and the Enterprise. A Conversation with DataChannel's Norbert Mikula." By Michael Floyd. In WebTechniques [Beyond HTML] (September, 1999). ['Michael Floyd chats with Norbert Mikula, one of the early pioneers of XML, about DataChannel's XML Framework and the latest version of RIO.'] "As one of the early XML pioneers, Norbert Mikula is credited with developing the first 'validating' XML parser in Java. He has worked in the SGML community, having written both an SGML parser and a Document Style Semantics and Specification Language (DSSSL) style-sheet engine. As a member of the technical staff at DataChannel, Norbert has had a significant role in the development of XML technologies. As you may know, DataChannel was founded in 1996 by Dave Pool and Tim Gelinas (the team behind Internet In A Box and Mosaic In A Box), and helped define enterprise information portals (EIP) as a new class of Web application. Recently, Norbert was promoted to the chief technology officer post at DataChannel. I also learned that he is the chief technical officer of the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS). I recently sat down with Norbert to discuss DataChannel's XML Framework, including its new XPages technology, and the latest version of RIO. What follows in an excerpt from that conversation. The complete interview can be found at . . XPages is what I would like to call taking XML and XSL to the enterprise level. In our mind the DOM is going to be the API to data in the future. How do I get my data into the DOM, and once I have it there, what do I do with it? The problem of how to get data there is solved by providing a plug-in architecture for connectors to various legacy data systems and converting the data to XML and into the DOM. So, now we have data coming from different data sources. Let's call them XML data streams. What we allow you to do in XPages is that you can now work with data streams. You can mix them. What we came up with is the HTTP object broker. What the HTTP object broker allows you to do is to specify on a URL, how you navigate through your DOM structure to a specific node. RIO is an enterprise information portal. In other words, it is about personalizing access to stream information: personalize it on a per-user basis; personalize it on a per-group basis; and so on. Now if we combine XPages with this functionality, you can control who gets what part of the DOM to see; you can control who is allowed to execute what on the DOM. So we have per-use and per-group administration, and we have access controllers that define who is allowed to do what on which section of the DOM. We also add notification. That means whenever something predefined changes in your DOM -- say you add a new node, you add a new subtree -- those changes are being sent to a notification server. The notification server in turn knows what to do when a state change happens. In our world, everything is a DOM node. So you get a very coherent architecture where the DOM is at the core..."

  • [September 02] "Yuri's Legacy." Sidebar to "Heavy into XMetaL." By Dale Dougherty. In WebTechniques (September, 1999). For any who do not know of Yuri Rubinsky's legacy, see "Tributes to the memory of Yuri Rubinsky" for his influential role in advancing SGML and The Yuri Rubinsky Insight Foundation (YRIF). YRIF "is dedicated to commemorating the genius of the late Yuri Rubinsky by bringing together experts from a broad spectrum of disciplines to stimulate research, development and educational initiatives that will ensure access to advanced information technologies..." [local archive copy]

  • [September 01] "Sun Gives Away StarOffice Applications." By Guy Middleton. In CMPNet TechWeb News (August 31, 1999). "Sun Microsystems said Tuesday it would give away productivity applications following the acquisition of Fremont, Calif.-based desktop software house Star Division. The acquisition gives Sun an office suite deployable across diverse clients, with the current release running on Windows, OS/2, Solaris, and Linux, in addition to a network computer-oriented Java release and the technology to build a portal-based productivity application service. Palo Alto, Calif.-based Sun said it would make StarOffice's source code available under the Sun Community Source License (SCSL) program, an arrangement extended to Java developers. 'It's difficult to see exactly what Sun's strategy is, although they are hoping to kill a major Microsoft revenue stream. This is a serious threat to Microsoft,' said Robin Bloor of Bloor Associates, in Milton Keynes, U.K." For the XML connection, see the main news entry.

  • [September 01] "Publishing Titans To Display New Wares." By Stuart Glascock. In CMPNet TechWeb News (August 27, 1999). "From Adobe to Xerox, an encyclopedia of printing, graphics, and Internet-savvy publishing companies are converging next week at the Seybold San Francisco 21st Century Publishing Conference. Among the hundreds of companies displaying technologies are Apple, Adobe, Canon, Canto Software, Eastman Kodak, Heidelberg, Noosh, Quark and Xerox. In all, the exhibitors cover markets in online and print publishing, color proofing, digital media, intellectual-property rights and Web tools. Conference organizers are expecting 35,000 attendees, including more than 3,000 paid attendees for a series of educational tutorials. Quark is planning the first public showing of a new tool, avenue.quark, which introduces an XML tool for the Macintosh platform. It is designed to address the need to repurpose QuarkXPress content for multiple uses on the Internet, according to internal documents."

  • [September 01] "XML Vendors Fight Uphill Battle. Technology is drawing customers, but questions loom over deployment." By Lee Pender. In PC Week [Online] Volume 16, Number 35 (August 30, 1999), page 25. "IT users want XML technology, but where to get it remains the question. While some customers are signing on with Extensible Markup Language application providers such as DataChannel Inc., of Bellevue, Wash., others are betting that the technology will rapidly find its way into wares from more established vendors. XML eases the transfer of data between systems by providing a universal format for files in transit. While users see the value of XML, they must consider the different methods used to deploy it. Some corporations have turned to XML technology that is embedded in e-commerce applications from vendors such as IBM. Bill Barnett, manager of the distributed object integration team at First Union Corp., in Charlotte, N.C., is deploying XML within IBM's e-commerce framework and says the technology has helped his company share data among applications. Some analysts and large vendors are touting the type of XML deployment First Union has undertaken as the future of XML adoption: XML will simply be a useful technology housed in other applications, one analyst said. 'Three years from now, there will be no XML market,' said Alexis DePlanque, an analyst at Meta Group Inc., in Stamford, Conn. 'XML will simply be a component of things we already use'."

  • [September 01] "US: Accountants Try to Harness the Internet." By Richard Waters. In Financial Times [London] (September 01, 1999). "The US accounting establishment has thrown its weight behind an internet technology that could eventually transform the online use of financial information about US companies. Provided it is able to win wide support in corporate America, the initiative would potentially make it much easier for investors and others to search for, and analyse, financial data over the internet. Using the new specification, known as XFRML, it would become possible to search for information across a range of companies with a single instruction and collate information from a number of sources, the AICPA said. The information could then be downloaded on to a spread sheet and be used to analyse and compare financial performance across a range of companies. The Big Five accounting firms, along with Microsoft and several other technology companies, have joined the development project." See "Extensible Financial Reporting Markup Language (XFRML)."

  • [September 01] "Linking mobile devices to business software." By Erich Luening. In (August 30, 1999). "Microsoft and German software giant SAP are teaming up to connect mobile devices with enterprise software. The two companies announced plans to develop technology for connecting Microsoft Windows CE-based and other mobile devices to SAP's business applications using the Internet and the Microsoft's BizTalk Framework. The project uses Microsoft BizTalk Framework program and the work SAP is doing to integrate new technologies that will enable handheld or wearable Internet appliances to intelligently interoperate and interact with, the company's portal service. The companies plan to demo products based on Microsoft's BizTalk Framework and SAP business applications at SAP's Saphire '99 user conference next month. The BizTalk framework is a scheme to tie together industry-specific versions of XML, which is gaining widespread attention as a way to conduct e-commerce over the Internet."

  • [September 01] "Sun Offers Up Free StarPortal Office Apps Suite." By Dan Briody and Nancy Weil. In InfoWorld (August 31, 1999). "Sun Microsystems on Tuesday announced the upcoming release of StarPortal, a free Web-based software suite targeted as a competitor to Microsoft's Office and based on technology acquired when Sun bought Star Division. The StarOffice software suite, which contains word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation applications, is immediately available for free download from Sun's Web site. The 65MB version for 'fat' clients, will be followed early next year by StarPortal, the Web-based version that will be accessible from any device with a browser, Sun said. Sun is in talks with Internet service, Internet outsourcing, and network hosting providers and with vendors of enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, and sales-force automation software to promote acceptance of its network services model through use of StarPortal." For the XML connection, see the main news entry.

August 1999

  • [August 31, 1999] "Sun to Offer Microsoft Office Competitor for Free." By Stephen Shankland. In CNET (August 31, 1999). "As part of Sun Microsystems' acquisition of software firm Star Division, the computing company will put more pressure on Microsoft by giving a Microsoft Office competitor, called Star Office, away for free to anyone, the company said. In line with the plan to become more open, Star Office file formats eventually will become XML, and the standard for interacting with it will become published openly and contributed to the ECMA standardization group, Marco Boerries said. . . In addition to giving the software away for free, Sun will make the original programming instructions, or 'source code,' available under the Sun Community Source License, said Brian Croll, a marketing director in Sun's platforms and software group. Though Sun's Community Source License allows people to look at the source code of software such as Java and later Star Office, advocates have criticized it as not being open enough because Sun maintains ultimate control over the software and requires royalties for people who use it in commercial products." For the XML connection, see also the main news entry. [alt URL]

  • [August 31, 1999] "Sun to Offer Star Division Office Apps for Free." By Nancy Weil. In InfoWorld (August 31, 1999). "Sun Microsystems on Tuesday announced the upcoming release of StarPortal, a free Web-based software suite targeted as a competitor to Microsoft's Office and based on technology acquired when Sun bought Star Division. Sun said it will launch what it calls an "early access" version of StarPortal later this year. The site will offer Web-enabled office productivity software including word processing, presentation graphics, spreadsheet, and other office functions via any Web browser and also will be offered for portable devices at some point, Sun said. Sun also is offering the current StarOffice desktop software for free download. StarOffice 5.1 runs on the Linux, Windows, Solaris, and OS/2 operating systems. Users will be able to import various software file formats, including those from PowerPoint, Excel, and Microsoft Word." For the XML connection, see the main news entry.

  • [August 31, 1999] "Sun to Acquire StarOffice for Hosted Applications." By Dana Gardner. In InfoWorld (August 27, 1999). "Sun Microsystems on Tuesday in New York is expected to announce the acquisition of Star Division's StarOffice 5.1 suite of Java-based productivity applications and will add them to Sun's growing arsenal of 'dot-com' products for ISPs, application service providers (ASPs), and enterprises, according to sources. Analysts and observers said that Sun's main objective with the multilanguage Star products is to rush to become the leading global provider of Internet-based applications hosting infrastructure -- from hardware platforms to application servers to hosted e-mail to Java productivity applets -- for the fast-growing service provider and portals businesses. Sun will use Fremont, Calif.-based Star's word processing, spreadsheet and charts, presentations, database, HTML editor, vector and bit-map graphics editors, e-mail, calendar, and task management applications to target both home and business users. And the ability for home-based users to access a robust set of free applications from free PCs over inexpensive Internet connections may soon prompt a radical shift at corporations away from such large PC client packages as Microsoft Office, analysts said. According to the Gartner vision: When the third generation of network computing devices emerges in 2002, many home and mobile users will mirror their PC- or in-office network-based data to ASP sites that store the files and provide the applications for their use from any Java- or Extensible Markup Language (XML)-enabled interface device. The need for Java in such devices, a high priority for Sun, will grow because ASPs won't be able to handle on servers all of the processing and data retrieval needs of millions of simultaneous users." For the XML connection, see the main news entry.

  • [August 31, 1999] "SAP Launches All-Out Web Assault." By Jessica Davis. In InfoWorld (August 31, 1999). "SAP helped pave the road for businesses that want to move transactions onto the Web when it introduced its Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based Internet-Business Framework, made up of Workplace technology and XML-based WebFlow and Web messages. The Internet-Business Framework initiative was one of several announcements SAP made Monday at its SAP TechEd developer's conference here. Others centered on the Linux platform, the Enjoy SAP initiative, and SAP on TAP. The Internet-Business Framework adds support for XML to all SAP software. The Framework's Business Connector translates RFCs, SAP's BAPIs, and other information into XML so that it can easily flow to both SAP and non-SAP systems. Business Connector is available for download now and works with R/3 and 3.1 and higher." See the Microsoft and SAP announcments.

  • [August 31, 1999] "XPath: XML Path Language." By Norm Walsh. In ArborText Think Tank (August 09, 1999). "Welcome to the first regular issue of Standard Deviations from Norm. In this column, we will explore existing and emerging XML standards, learn how they work, and examine ways that you can use them in your next project. Deviating, if you'll pardon the pun, from my own plan of action, this column is not going to be as 'hands-on' as I anticipated. Instead, I'm going to introduce a relatively new but important building block for future specifications -- XPath. In future issues, we'll get to roll up our sleeves and try XPath out in the trenches. In this issue, we'll discuss the July 9, 1999 Working Draft of XPath, the XML Path Language. XPath emerged from the XSL and XPointer Working Groups. It provides a common foundation for solving a fundamental problem: How do you locate elements, attributes, and other XML document nodes in a concise, interoperable way?"

  • [August 30, 1999] "Vendors Tout Publishing Technologies at Seybold." By Laura Kujubu. In InfoWorld (August 30, 1999). "Vendors spotlighted products designed to help ease the Web publishing process at the Seybold San Francisco show on Monday. eBusiness Technologies launched DynaBase 3.2, an Extensible Markup Language (XML)-enabled content management and delivery solution for developing and deploying Web applications across an enterprise. DynaBase 3.2, which provides a built-in search engine to search structure content, now features a Multiple Webs function for managing changes in large data sets; fine-grained searching via indexed structure documents; and dynamic document assembly, in which several scripting language functions allow you to extract and serve chunks of large documents. DynaBase 3.2, available at the end of September, is priced starting at $60,000 per package. In addition, Arbortext, provider of XML-based content software, announced its Epic 2.0 product, which allows round-trip conversions between Microsoft Word and XML. Epic 2.0 allows for the creation of XML content using Word, enabling users not literate in XML to gain the benefits of XML by using familiar tools, according to the company. Epic 2.0, which runs on Window NT and Sun Solaris, is available immediately, priced starting at $96,000 for a 45-seat system. . ."

  • [August 27, 1999] "O'Reilly Labs Review: Object Design's eXcelon 1.1." By Jon Udell. From August 25, 1999. ['Jon Udell (of Byte magazine fame) takes an in-depth look at one of the emerging XML data servers, Object Design's eXcelon. Udell writes that while not everyone agrees that XML should become a full-fledged data management system, "object-database vendors are busily repositioning their object-database products as XML data servers." How does eXcelon measure up? Udell finds it a solid product for helping pplications talk to data stores. Read his review to find out why.'] "One of ObjectStore's hallmark features is an aggressive 'cache-forward' architecture that maximizes the in-memory performance of persistent objects, while allowing these cached objects to be shared by many such programs in a transactionally-consistent way. Users familiar with ObjectStore can infer that it's the engine under eXcelon's hood, but the hood is shut tightly. Why? eXcelon aims squarely at a market-website content-management-that's attuned not to object-oriented programming with persistent data, but rather to a hodge-podge of tagged-text files, scripts, images, and techniques. eXcelon aims, therefore, to enable users and integrators to build XML-oriented content repositories that leverage the strengths of ObjectStore- caching, transactional integrity, and querying..."

  • [August 27, 1999] "Report from Montreal. XML Right On evidenced by this year's MetaStructures 99 and XML Developers' Day in Montreal." By Lisa Rein. From August 25, 1999. ['Lisa Rein reports from the Metastructures 99, held last week in Montreal. If you couldn't go, find out what people were saying there, what soared and what flopped.'] "Last week's MetaStructures 99 Conference and XML Developers' Days conferences left quite an impression on those who attended. Over the course of the week, many new concepts and technologies were presented, familiar issues were expanded upon, and numerous XML-related software applications were demonstrated live. By week's end it was clear to all that many of these technologies that were once considered purely theoretical and impractical to implement were finally coming of age and ready to prove themselves in the marketplace, once and for all." See also the Metastructures 1999 program listing.

  • [August 27, 1999] "Allaire's Spectra Unites Content Management, E-Commerce, and Personalization." [Subscription] By Victor Votsch and Mark Walter. In Seybold Report on Internet Publishing Volume 3 Number 12 (August 1999), page 21-22. ['Allaire's bold move up-market. We review Spectra, a suite encompassing content management, roles-based security, personalization and syndication.'] "Allaire has developed an Open Source, XML-based technology called WDDX (Web Distributed Data Echange) to enable inter-application and content interaction. Though Spectra is not XML-based (it does not handle arbitrary DTDs), its tag-based approach, built on top of Cold Fusion, will be one with which many Web developers will be comfortable." On WDDX: "WDDX stands for Web Distributed Data eXchange. WDDX is a mechanism for exchanging complex data structures between application environments. It has been designed with web applications in mind. WDDX consists of a language and platform neutral representation of instantiated data based on XML 1.0 (which is defined using this DTD) and a set of serializer/ deserializer components for every environment that uses WDDX. The process of creating an XML representation of application data is called serialization. The process of instantiating application data from a WDDX XML representation is called deserialization." See the Spectra Web site and the press release, "New Allaire Spectra Unites Content Management, E-Commerce and Personalization. Packaged System of Internet Best Practices Helps Companies Embrace the Web as Strategic Center of their Businesses." Also: WDDX FAQ, Resources, and Web Sites."

  • [August 26, 1999] "Microsoft Launches XML Support Center for Developers." By Dana Gardner. In InfoWorld (August 25, 1999). "In a bid to offer developers a one-stop shop for Extensible Markup Language (XML) tools and support, Microsoft on Wednesday launched the MSDN XML Developer Center on the Web. Microsoft is banking on developers being able to quickly leverage XML in Web and enterprise applications as a language-neutral, standards-based data transformation and exchange technology to work across disparate systems, according to the Redmond, Wash.-based company. Edgar Data Service, for example, is using Microsoft's XML-oriented products to deliver Securities and Exchange Commission filings to customers across multiple platforms, according to Microsoft officials. The use of XML allows Edgar Data Service customers to also query and access such structured information across systems. The new MSDN XML Developer Center offers Microsoft's XML parser, as well as sample code and guides for using Microsoft Visual Studio, Office 2000, and BizTalk framework initiative to exercise XML in new applications."

  • [August 26, 1999] "Variable-Data Standard to Use XML. [The Latest Word.]" By [Staff]. In The Seybold Report on Publishing Systems Volume 28, Number 20 (July 26, 1999), page 34. The Personalized Print Initiative personalization standards group (part of the Print on Demand Initiative) decided that its specification "will be an XML-based evolution of existing products that are already in the marketplace. . ." See also below, "Personalized Printing Mark-up Language (PPML)." And earlier: "Variable Data Standards Group Gets off to a Good Start," in The Seybold Report on Publishing Systems, Volume 28, Number 17.

  • [August 26, 1999] "Personalized Printing Mark-up Language (PPML)." By Peter Davis (Pageflex Inc.). Revision 0.2. May 21, 1999. "Traditional printing workflows have evolved toward efficiently making many identical copies of some set of pages. Variable data printing, however, has altered the requirements by introducing the possibility that no two copies are the same. The kinds of processes which ensure efficient production of identical copies no longer apply. Efficient variable data printing demands the elimination of redundant processing. Frequently, this can be achieved by segregating recurring elements from the data stream, processing them as far as possible in isolation and caching the results, to be re-composed with the remainder of the page each time they occur. This document presents the Personalized Printing Mark-up Language (PPML), a proposed format for describing printable documents which may contain reusable page elements. Reusable page elements are collections of text, vector graphics and/or raster images which occur multiple times in a document or set of documents. PPML is an application of the XML mark-up language. (For an overview of XML, see Appendix A.)" PPML was first presented (May 02, 1999) to the PODi/PPi standards working group in New York.

  • [August 26, 1999] "Oracle Special Report: The i Gets Bigger at Oracle." By Michael W. Bucken. In Application Development Trends Volume 16, Number 8 (August 1999). ['The database giant rolls along by adding Internet technologies to its database, tools and application software; turns to Java, XML and other open technologies to help IT join the i wave.'] "Today, Oracle is re-inventing itself as, surprise, an Internet company. The company has moved quickly -- especially quickly considering its multibillion dollar size -- canceling plans for a complex line of repository-based client/server development tools while adding Internet and Java technologies to its Oracle database. As a matter of fact, its flagship relational database is now dubbed Oracle 8i . . . the i stands for Internet, of course. The company has embraced Java in both its database and tools products. Oracle 8i incorporates an application server in addition to its Java Virtual Machine code. And officials say XML has become a key technology for each of Oracle's businesses over the past year or so. Oracle's embrace of standards represents a radical shift from the old Oracle and is garnering high marks from analysts. Many observers say the firm's Internet strategy is giving Oracle an edge in a hotly contested applications business in which most suppliers are struggling to maintain flat revenues. Said Jeremy Burton, vice president of Internet platform marketing. 'We need to make developers successful. The thing that impresses developers is a tool that has all the latest and greatest features. If they can use the tools to learn Java, to learn XML, they can make a lot of money...'."

  • [August 26, 1999] "XML and XSLT: A Formal Semantics of Patterns in XSLT." By Philip Wadler. Submitted to Markup Technologies 99. July 16, 1999. 15 pages. "This note presents a formal semantics of the pattern language from the 16 December 1998 draft of XSLT. The semantics is clear and concise, summarizing in one page of formulas what required about ten pages of prose to describe. With the aid of the semantics one can rigorously state and prove properties of the language; these properties helped to guide future development of the XSLT design. The semantics was developed using standard techniques from the programming language community, and this article provides a tutorial introduction to these techniques. While little here will be new to the language theorist, some of what is here may be of use to the markup technologist. . . The formal semantics is given in a style known as denotational semantics. There are several fine introductions to this subject, including those by Schmidt and Winskel. In addition to denotational semantics, the well-stocked semanticist's toolbox also contains operational semantics and axiomatic semantics, but they seem less appropriate here. The formal semantics also draws upon techniques from the functional programming community. Again, there are several fine introductions, including those by Bird and Paulson. The semantics was developed and debugged by transliterating it into the functional language Haskell, and a copy of the Haskell program may be had by contacting the author. In related work, Haskell programs for manipulating XML have been developed by Wallace and Runciman. The same techniques used here can be extended to give a denotational semantics of the entire XPath language, and such a semantics has been written. However, XPath is considerably more powerful than the pattern language of the December 1998 XSLT, and the semantics is correspondingly more complex. The semantics given here seems more appropriate for a gentle introduction." Also available in Postscript format.

  • [August 26, 1999] "Two Semantics of XPath." By Philip Wadler. July 26, 1999. "This note summarizes two approaches to a formal semantics for XPath. It was written to facilitate discussions in the XSL W3C WG. [This note presents two semantics for XPath, devised by Phil Wadler after conversations with James Clark at the 19-21 July XSL Face-to-Face meeting. The semantics are somewhat simplified, focussing on the role of axes in selection and on the special functions position() and last(). Some cases are omitted, and we ignore the coercions between nodesets, numbers, strings, and booleans. The first semantics is given in Figure 1, the second in Figure 2, and both semantics use some auxiliary functions on axes, given in Figure 3. (I consider the second semantics superior, but I gather that James disagrees, so I have presented both.)]" Also available in Postscript format. Note also, from Dan Connolly's Research Notebook "Specifying Web Architecture with Larch": XPathWadler, XMLWadler, WadlerProps.

  • [August 26, 1999] "Specifying Web Architecture with Larch." On Web semantics. From the Research Notebook of Dan Connolly (W3C XML Activity Lead).

  • [August 26, 1999] "Standards Body Translates Web for Devices." By Paul Festa. In CNET (August 24, 1999). "The basic language of the Web is due for an overhaul -- one that proponents say will make it easier for an array of Web browsing devices to read Web pages. [The] standards body World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) today released a proposed recommendation -- the penultimate stage in the W3C recommendation process -- of Extensible Hypertext Markup Language (XHTML). The proposed recommendation would rewrite Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), commonly referred to as the Web's lingua franca, in Extensible Markup Language (XML), a newer technology for creating Web languages." See the news entry and the XHTML 1.0 specification.

  • [August 24, 1999] "Web Languages Call Out to Closed Telco Switches." By Loring Wirbel. In Electronic Engineering Times [Online] Issue 1075 (August 23, 1999). "Derivatives of the Internet's Extensible Markup Language are taking center stage in the effort to force open the formerly closed world of circuit-based switches in the telephone company central office. The advent of tools that leverage Web scripting languages could presage what hardware designers hope will be the eventual demise of the complex and burdensome Signaling System 7 protocol. A handful of proposals, including the Call Policy Markup Language from telco switch maker Digital Telecommunications Inc. (Boca Raton), take a fresh approach to converged voice-and-data networks that could open a new market avenue for third-party software. They may also challenge the business model by which carriers and OEMs alike develop and deploy voice features on an increasingly Internet Protocol-based network. . . 'We want to make CPML simple enough to enable a third-party independent software market to develop,' Digital Telecommunications CEO Richard Graves said of the Call Policy Markup Language. 'But we expect carrier-developed applications will emerge much faster.' Chuck Harris, vice president of marketing at telco switch startup Tachion Networks Inc. said his company is a fan of CPML but that carriers will want to ensure that software developed by independent startups will not harm network stability. The tricky balance that Digital Telecom must strike is between using CPML to enhance the feature set of its own hardware and advocating its open nature to attract other hardware vendors to open scripting. Given the popularity of HTML and XML, Graves said, it's likely that the industry will favor an XML derivative, and his company is betting that CPML is furthest along in definition." See "Call Policy Markup Language (CPML)."

  • [August 24, 1999] "Web Development -- Innosoft International DirectoryPortal Products." In Network Computing Issue 1017 (August 23, 1999). "Web Development -- Innosoft International DirectoryPortal Products New. Three new products from Innosoft integrate XML and LDAPv3 to provide a directory-enabled Web application server platform. DirectoryPortal deploys Web applications that dynamically access and integrate content from LDAP directories. The DirectoryPortal Builder is the application development platform that enables the development and deployment of the Web applications. It includes an Extensible Template Language (XTL) interpreter for development and an XTL compiler. The DirectoryPortal Servlet provides a production application server that executes precompiled XTL applications."

  • [August 23, 1999] "XML Greases Supply Chain." By Ellis Booker. In InternetWeek (August 20, 1999), pages 1, 55. "XML-driven supply chains are moving into production even faster than expected. This week, two IT trading partners said they are on track to deploy one of the first supply chain systems using XML technology. Marshall Industries, a large distributor of electronic components, and Solectron Corp., a leading electronics manufacturer, are using XML-based database descriptions developed by the RosettaNet consortium to exchange data between their online catalogs. The link, which will go into full production early next year, would be one of the first supply chain systems based on the XML standard. RosettaNet, a nonprofit consortium formed last year, has been busy creating frameworks that use XML to streamline the IT supply chain. Along with a 3,600-word 'dictionary' of IT products, released in June, the group has also been building some 100 XML-based business processes, known in RosettaNet parlance as Partner Interface Processes. Thirty-five more PIPs are in development. The PIP that Marshall and Solectron use handles three online catalog functions: subscription, update and new product introduction. It lets the companies add new products, including standardized technical specifications and part numbers, into each other's catalogs. XML watchers said parallel efforts will not fracture standards because XML schema can be mapped to one another. But RosettaNet appears to be furthest along to date. The group has detailed a number of recent tests among its members, which include American Express, Cisco, EDS and Federal Express. Last month, RosettaNet members Marshall, Solectron, Ingram Micro, MicroAge, Insight and American Express successfully exchanged RosettaNet messages. . ."

  • [August 23, 1999] "XML: The Key to E-Business." By John Makulowich. In Washington Technology Volume 14, Number 10 (August 16, 1999), pages 32-42. [Multi-part article.] " While storage giant EMC Corp. may focus on e-infostructure, software king Microsoft Corp. on BizTalk, and turnkey titleholder IBM Corp. on e-business, all of them along with major and minor electronic commerce players are turning increasing attention to XML development. Extensible markup language, or XML, is nothing less than the skeleton key for e-business, the master that frees the data bound by the chains of HTML. Technically, XML is a metalanguage, a language to describe other languages. It lets developers design their own markup for federal clients and specific industries. It is also a subset of the standard generalized markup language, or SGML, the international standard adopted by the International Organization for Standardization in 1986. For Laura Walker, executive director of the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), in Billerica, Mass., ( and and a key figure on the SGML and XML playing fields, interest in the XML standard is unprecedented. One factor is the attention of the analyst community and the trade press, which have recognized the key role XML can play in smoothing the way for e-business."

  • [August 23, 1999] "BizTalk Could Spur XML And E-Business. Microsoft makes big investment in latest XML Framework." By Don Kiely. In Information Week (August 23, 1999), pages 74-76. "BizTalk, Microsoft's new electronic-commerce framework for XML schemas, attempts to provide flexible data exchange between distributed applications--a large and growing need these days. As interest in Extensible Markup Language for standard data interchange of applications over the Web increases, XML's limitations become more evident as well. For example, XML's flexibility can also be a weakness at times; it's so flexible that two uncoordinated efforts to design schemas using XML produce incompatible results. And while XML is quite powerful for a lot of applications, it's also too easy to create XML schemas that are usable only in a single application--for example, when competing industry groups develop different schemas for all members of that industry, such as auto manufacturers, building contractors, or clothing wholesalers. . ."

  • [August 23, 1999] "Clarus Changes E-Procurement Rules." By Richard Karpinski. In Information Week (August 19, 1999). "Just when you thought buyers and sellers were in agreement on the best way to handle Web procurement, along comes a renegade. Clarus plans to do away with registration and per-transaction charges--for both buyers and sellers--on purchases run through its system. Instead, it will charge buyers a flat $995 per month for unlimited transactions. Perhaps just as significantly, Clarus is also stepping into the middle of the XML schema wars. But as a middleman rather than a schema creator, it is positioning itself as an inclusive and open alternative to the emerging catalog format standards. Clarus' XML play is just one portion of its two new supplier programs, dubbed SupplierUniverse and SupplierXchange. Other vendors involved with Clarus include WebMethods, which will provide a good chunk of the XML-based technology underlying SupplierXchange, as well as catalog aggregators TPN Register and Harbinger. . ."

  • [August 23, 1999] [Test Center Rx Column.] Before jumping in head first, get to know and understand XML." By Laura Wonnacott and Brooks Talley. In InfoWorld (August 23, 1999). ['Got an XML strategy? Make sure you don't stray too far from upcoming standards.'] Q: "We are currently battling with our XML [Extensible Markup Language] strategy. We're looking for the places where deploying it makes the most sense, and we're trying to avoid building on a "standard" before it's settled. What are your thoughts around XML and the products that now support it?" Answers follow. [See the Test Center Rx column for other articles.]

  • [August 20, 1999] "Standard sought for billing of IP services. Key companies join forces to develop XML-based plan." By Ted Smalley Bowen. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 32 (August 09, 1999), page 10. "A newly formed industry group is looking to codify a standard means of metering and billing IP (Internet Protocol) services to bring coherence to the current babel of formats. [IPDR = 'Internet Protocol Detail Record'.] The IP Detail Record group (, which held its initial meeting last week, is positioning itself as a catalyst for usage-based tracking and billing of IP services. According to observers, it could ultimately simplify IT managers' tracking of expenses and performance. is working to define a standard, extensible record format for exchanging usage information among network equipment, network management systems, mediation, operation support billing, and other systems used in providing IP-based services. Not surprisingly, the group has tabbed the World Wide Web Consortium Extensible Markup Language to be the means of exchanging IPDR data. The current confusion of formats and conventions for gathering and exchanging IP data stands in the way of widespread usage-based billing for such services as voice over IP, videoconferencing, high-speed Internet access, and others, according to Matthew Lucas, the group's acting chair. . . The group will coordinate its activities with the Internet Engineering Task Force, American National Standards Institute, and relevant telecommunications industry standards bodies, Lucas said. can be reached at" The IPDR effort involves a collaborative team of leading Internet system integrators, network providers, and billing, mediation and equipment vendors. [AT&T, Amdocs, Andersen Consulting, Convergys, Hewlett-Packard Company, Narus, Oracle, Portal, Savera, Sun, Ten Others.] The IPDR working group membership is open to everyone in the Internet community. One of the goals of the initiative is to "provide a repository for defined IPDR formats. Work is underway to define prototype IPDR formats for common services, and represent the usage in state-of-the-art encapsulation techniques such as XML. After the preliminary work is complete, the IPDR formats will be taken public in an industry-wide effort to reach consensus on IP service definitions, core usage metrics and optional usage metrics. The IPDR formats will be published in a repository and evolved over time as needed."

  • [August 20, 1999] "Bluestone Software's XML Suite: Promising App, Rough Around the Edges." By Barry Nance. From (August 18, 1999). ['The reviewer tested Bluestone's XML Suite (XML Server and Visual XML) on the Windows NT platform, simulating a two-way exchange of business information between a book publisher and book stores. The results were encouraging, with a few caveats.'] "XML Suite 1.1 consists of two components, XML Server and Visual-XML. XML Server, running in the background on a central computer, generates XML by interfacing with database-oriented document handler components that you create. In the opposite direction, document handlers can also turn incoming XML into database updates. XML Server's interfaces include HTTP, SSL, FTP, e-mail and JavaBean. Future versions, the vendor claims, will support DCOM, database triggers, message queues, RMI, IIOP, EJB, JMS, scheduling and MTS. XML Server is a subset of Bluestone's Sapphire/Web application server product specially tailored to publishing XML documents. Not surprisingly, Bluestone recommends upgrading to Sapphire/Web if you need to process more than a low volume of XML applications. The other component, Visual-XML, is a design tool for creating XML Server document handlers as well as editing XML, Java and DTD files. . ."

  • [August 20, 1999] "CBL: Ecommerce Componentry. A Conversation about CBL with Bob Glushko of Commerce One." By Dale Dougherty. From (August 18, 1999). ['In this audio interview, Bob Glushko of Commerce One talks about the Common Business Library (CBL) as a set of building blocks for XML document types and schemas used in ecommerce. Glushko talk about the development of CBL as a set of "horizontal" semantics that can be used across vertical industries.'] "CBL is not the Canadian Basketball League. It is the Common Business Library, an effort to identify the semantic building blocks of XML document types used in ecommerce. CBL defines in an XML syntax for elements such as date/time, measurement, and currency. CBL is but one more example where XML forms the basis for standardizing ecommerce. Yet CBL is also an example of XML's biggest challenge: to find a flexible yet formal way to make agreements about the contents of any document exchanged by two parties. CBL was first a research project at Veo Systems, a startup founded by Dr. Jay (Marty) Tenenbaum who launched CommerceNet. Earlier this year, Veo Systems was acquired by Commerce One, which then became a public company in July. Specializing in business-to-business ecomerce, Commerce One has focused on electronic procurement applications. Inside a company, Commerce One can automate and coordinate purchasing (the buying of computers, travel services, paper, etc.) across different departments and sites. Beyond the company, Commerce One works to link buyers and suppliers together to form real-time trading communities. An example of such a community is the Commerce One site, In many ways, Commerce One is taking advantage of the Web and the emergence of open standards to change the way goods are bought and sold within and among corporations. In late July, a new version of CBL was announced that reflects the experience and interests of Commerce One. It incorporates EDI semantics based on EDIFACT."

  • [August 20, 1999] "Axis Models & Path Models: Extending DTDs with XPaths (Was: 'Validation on Different XPath Axes')." By Rick Jelliffe (Academia Sinica Computing Centre, Taipei, Taiwan). (August 01, 1999). "This note looks at two two intriguing possibilities for structural validation raised by the XPath draft: (1) axis models are regular expression models that validate on different XPath axes: an XML content model is an axis model where the axis is 'children'; (2) path models are regular expression models in which each term is an XPath: an XML content model is a path model where each term is a child. As an example, I express RDF using path models. RDF has structural constraints that cannot be expressed using DTD content models. However, these constraints can be expressed using path models."

  • [August 20, 1999] "XML's Legacy -- The Extensible Markup Language Is Becoming The Preferred Way To Make Legacy Data Available To Users Via The Internet." By Charles Waltner. In Information Week Issue 747 (August 09, 1999). "Interest in the Extensible Markup Language as a way to make data from legacy applications available to large numbers of users over an intranet, extranet, or the Web is intensifying as more companies pursue business-to-business electronic commerce and supply-chain automation. But conflicting standards and the lack of development tools are making the development and deployment of XML applications a challenge. It's unlikely that a worldwide XML standard will ever emerge. But a universal standard may not be necessary for XML to fulfill its promise. XML can work if specific industries, such as finance and insurance, settle on a vocabulary and formatting approach for exchanging the most common types of information in that industry. . ."

  • [August 20, 1999] "Will XML Spell The End Of EDI?" By Charles Waltner. In Information Week Issue 747 [Section: Web-To-Host Technology] (August 09, 1999). "Electronic data interchange has been beyond the reach of many small and midsize companies because it's costly and difficult to implement. XML offers an easier and more cost-effective way to pull data from existing legacy systems and share it via the Internet with business partners and clients, which could make EDI obsolete. Tom Gwydir, Dun & Bradstreet Corp.'s director of Internet development, says his initial XML project has gone so well that he'll likely move all of the company's existing EDI processes to the language."

  • [August 18, 1999] "Schemas: Tapping the Potential Within." By Charlie Heinemann. In Extreme XML [Microsoft MSDN Column] (August 16, 1999). ['In the following article, I will explain how to work with the benefits of schema I described in last month's article "Describe Your Data." I will show how to take advantage of the fact that schemas are extensible and open, and I will demonstrate how you can annotate schemas to further describe your data and understand those annotations when processing the data.'] "Extending Your Schemas: To extend the functionality of your schemas, annotate them with elements and attributes. This is useful if you want a more specific description of a node than a specific schema processor currently allows. Having annotated your schema with additional type information, it is useful to add comments explaining the meaning of the annotations. Because a schema is an XML document, you could add the standard XML comments. However, there is another mechanism for adding further meta-information: the 'description' element. This can be placed in the schema anywhere that an element can be placed. . . The great thing about schemas is that they are just XML documents. This allows you to extend them as you would any XML grammar and access them as you would any other XML document. Through annotations, I can further describe my data so my processor can better understand it. Through the object model, I can get at the annotated schema to process the data accordingly."

  • [August 18, 1999] "XML Comes Of Age." By Oliver Rist. In InternetWeek Issue 777 (August 16, 1999), pages 31-36. [Reviews.] "Along Comes XML: What makes the Extensible Markup Language so attractive is that it's compatible with HTML, yet manages to address the aforementioned problems. XML is a markup language meant to define data in a readable format without presentation constraints. In the same way that HTML is platform-independent, XML is database- and file format-independent. Plus, it's a truly extensible language, which means it doesn't necessarily need a browser. . . The field of XML tools is a bit amorphous. As the new darling of the Web development world, XML is continuously being tugged in new directions. The result is that XML tool manufacturers have a difficult time keeping up with new trends. We tested the latest XML offerings from vendors who are attempting to keep up. SoftQuad sent us their XMetaL, which allows users with little or no knowledge of XML to create content-something that's critical to XML's evolution as a common data format. The other products featured in this roundup are more traditional XML development tools that split the field between content creation and editing, and tools designed to build XML applications. These tools include Bluestone Software's Visual-XML, Extensibility's XML Authority, Icon Information-Systems' XML Spy and Vervet Logic's XML Pro. As you can see, the field is rife with new players and there is relatively little representation from the established players in HTML..."

  • [August 18, 1999] "XMetaL Captures The Gold." By Oliver Rist. In InternetWeek Issue 777 (August 16, 1999), page 36. "Choosing an overall winner in this lab test proved difficult because of the variety of target audiences that were being addressed. After all, XML tools can be used on three different levels: content design, document-type definition and schema creation, and application development. Two products stood out within their respective fields, while one emerged as our overall winner. On the application development front, we liked Icon Information-System's XML Spy and Bluestone Software's Visual-XML. . . SoftQuad's XMetaL is the premiere tool of its kind in the industry. Designed as a tool both for advanced XML content creators as well as complete neophytes, it manages to satisfy both these audiences with unmatched aplomb. This tool is practically as easy to use as is a standard WYSIWYG word processor, yet can satisfy most XML content creation needs-short of actual DTD design."

  • [August 18, 1999] "Tibco Targets E-Businesses With Updated Middleware." By Ellis Booker. In InternetWeek Issue 777 (August 16, 1999). "Tibco Software Inc. will seek a higher profile among e-businesses this week when it rolls out the second version of its TIB/ActiveEnterprise middleware suite. Among the highlights of the message-oriented middleware product is a component called TIB/IntegrationManager, through which customers can model a business process as a Unified Modeling Language model and call on various Tibco or third-party mid-dleware as services. Also new is TIB/Adaptor for ActiveDatabase, which mediates messages between any ODBC data source and a TIB environment. . .Tibco has re-engineered TIB/ActiveEnterprise so that all the components now communicate using XML and a common repository."

  • [August 18, 1999] "The ABC's Of WBEM And XML." By Charles Hebert. In HP Professional (July, 1999), page 34. "One of the first standards under the WBEM umbrella was the Common Information Model or CIM. The DMTF defines CIM as a conceptual information model for describing management that is not bound to a particular implementation. This should allow for the interchange of management information between systems and applications. The communications can be between 'agent to manager' and 'manager to manager.' Another emerging technology that will leverage WBEM is the EXtensible Markup Language (XML). A subset of the Standardized Generalized Markup Language (SGML), XML is a markup language used for representing structured data in a textual form. One of the main goals of XML is to keep the descriptive power of SGML while removing its complexity. XML is similar to HTML, but whereas HTML is used to convey graphical information about a document, XML is used to represent structured data in a document. XML should give us the ability to access CIM data easily over the Web. WBEM is backed by more than 70 major vendors today. Watch for HP, IBM/Tivoli, Compaq and Microsoft to come out with new products this year. Microsoft will be including WBEM in Windows 2000 and in their latest versions of SMS. HP and Computer Associates are actively supporting WBEM in their new management architectures. Unfortunately, most of these initial tools, though based on standards, will be pretty limited. Time is what these products need. Time will evolve the products, mature and refine the standards and give developers time to catch up with expectations. . ." See "DMTF Common Information Model (CIM)."

  • [August 18, 1999] "XML: Chaotic Content." By T. V. Raman (Adobe Systems). In Scientific American (August 1999). "With regard to Jon Bosak and Tim Bray's article "XML and the Second-Generation Web," all technology is a double-edged sword -- and the same is true of Extensible Markup Language. On the one hand, XML is good for producing alternative presentations of information because it separates form from content. But it derives its power from enabling users to create many customized mini applications. So in this 'let a thousand flowers bloom' scenario, one risks in principle a plethora of content that is hard to access because each instance is custom-built. To draw an analogy, people spent years making computer interfaces accessible; however, when the World Wide Web came along it turned every Web author into an interface designer, which chaotically resulted in each designer placing the controls on a page in some weird, specialized spot. Whereas in a standardized interface you know where to look for a given control, on a Web application you start from square zero each time. The double-edged potential behind XML comes from its ability to do precisely the same on the content front."

  • [August 18, 1999] "XML Software with a Splash of Java." By Jacques Surveyer. In Java Pro Magazine (June 1999). ['Can XML help you put an end to isolated islands of information? Jack Surveyer assesses the latest software offerings for this increasingly popular data/object interchange mechanism. Java has become the cross-platform language of choice; XML is becoming the data/object interchange mechanism of choice.'] "XML doesn't just provide a standard format for storage but also a defining text-based schema file -- a Document Type Definition (DTD) -- so that documents stored in XML tagged format can be readily searched, queried, validated, and interchanged by any program that has a XML parser. And because the best XML parsers are currently written in Java, and Java dominates server-based Web developments, it is no stretch to say that Java+XML are rapidly becoming e-commerce stalwarts as a standard of data interchange. Diverse applications -- from Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to document management to workflow management to table and catalog creation to XMI-XML Metadata Interchange -- are all rushing to use XML as a common means of storage and data interchange. . . Java is indeed a natural scripting partner to XML. Not only is Java open and cross platform but also rich in functionality and modes of deployment (applets, Beans, servlets, applications, and EJB) while offering ever-improving run-time performance. Perhaps just as important is the support for Java as a uniform stored-procedure language in major databases from IBM, Informix, Oracle, and Sybase among others. As these same vendors add XML support to their databases and Web application servers, the XML+Java fit becomes even more compelling. With Web and Internet mania reaching the stock market, it probably marks the point where the network really has become the computer. And Java+XML is rapidly becoming the primary language of the network as the computer."

  • [August 18, 1999] "Revolt into Style: What does XML have to offer servlet programmers?" By Larry O'Brien. In Java Pro Magazine Volume 3, Number 9 (September 1999). " . . .you're a Java programmer, so you understand the benefits of a language designed to solve modern problems. If you expect me to follow that sentence with the statement that XML is another such language, you'll be surprised: XML, to a computer programmer, is not a language at all. XML has been called "The ASCII of the future," but I find myself thinking of it as the pointer of the future (or 'the reference of the future'). It is the fundamental connector that allows the creation of data structures. Just as the shift in software architectures from hierarchical, procedural architectures to message-based, object-oriented architectures simplified the internal design of complex systems, so too will the shift in data interchange from proprietary to linguistically based data structures revolutionize the external design of such systems. For a hint of how important such a shift will be, consider the success of SQL, which is the current lingua franca for data-structure interchange. Aesthetically, though, SQL serves two masters -- it must be both a data description language and a retrieval and manipulation mechanism. XML is only the former, which is why I say that it is not a complete programming language. Rather, it must be coupled with a specific specification of behavior and an implementation of that behavior. Enter Java. Object-orientation is, as far as I'm concerned, the best known way to describe the structure and behavior of complex software systems. This is such an accepted viewpoint in the software world that it took me a long time to understand that XML is not object-oriented. You probably know that the structure of a particular XML application is governed by a Document Type Definition, an external file that specifies the tags and their relationship to each other. For instance, a DTD specifying HTML would say that a list item tag can only occur within a pair of tags specifying the list as ordered or unordered. Most XML authoring tools have an all-or-nothing approach to DTDs. Some, like Microsoft's XML Notepad, do not interact with DTDs at all, while others, like SoftQuad's XMetaL insist upon a DTD file. While ignoring DTDs makes XML editing simple, I prefer the type safety of DTD-based editing. Oddly, DTDs are not expressed using the normal XML document syntax. This makes it impossible to use a tool like XMetaL to specify a DTD. Higher-level tools that create DTDs from UML Notation or Database Description Language are still not available (if you know of any, please let me know!) Crafting a DTD is similar to mapping an object-oriented design into a relational database schema. While it's not hard to write a schema for a simple object, it's hard to write a good one for a large or extensible object model. . ."

  • [August 18, 1999] "Transform Your Data With XSL." By Kurt Cagle. In Web Builder Magazine (August 06, 1999). ['Here's a real-world example of how you can use XSL to convert an XML-based résumé into various data formats to suit your needs.'] XSL, or Extensible Style Language, is often compared to CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) as a way of applying specific formats to XML tags. However, this comparison is actually a little misleading. CSS reads each XML element as it is scanned in the document and applies styles in that order. In other words, CSS doesn't change the structure of the XML; it only changes the visual appearance of each node. If you put your name at the bottom of the XML document, CSS will place your name at the bottom of the document unless you explicitly position it elsewhere with position:absolute. Furthermore, CSS will treat each tag of a given type in exactly the same manner -- there's no mechanism for doing things like placing a rule above the first paragraph in a set of paragraphs without explicitly renaming the paragraph class. XSL, on the other hand, is a transformational language. It can take an XML document (or a rigorously valid HTML document) and convert it to another XML document, an HTML document, a printable HTML document, a standard ASCII text file, a proprietary text format, or conceivably even a binary representation. Given that a significant proportion of all computer programs out there exist for the sole purpose of transforming one set of data into a different set of data, the potential for XSL is in some respects even broader than the already burgeoning interest in XML. From the Web developer's standpoint, you can achieve the greatest flexibility using a combination of all three technologies: XML contains the data, CSS, either in the form of external style sheets or internal style attribute, handles the presentation, while XSL is used to modify the structure of the document. By separating out the pieces in this fashion, you get the added benefit of being able to modify the data, specify alternative presentation layers, and control which content gets delivered where independently of one another." [This article originally appeared on's Ask the DHTML Pro page.]

  • [August 18, 1999] "XML: Understanding Its Complexities. [Eye Openers.]" By Amy D. Wohl. In Beyond Computing - The Magazine for Business and Technology Executives (Week of August 2 - July/August, 1999). ['Columnist Amy Wohl calls XML (Extensible Markup Language) HTML's more powerful cousin and predicts a promising future. This column explores some of what XML can do by surveying the tools, applications and services that are available in this rapidly expanding market.'] "Is XML important? It must be, since so many vendors are behind the standard and are bringing out products that exploit, comply with or implement it. What exactly is XML? That's a little harder to answer. . . XML adds meaning: A number could be identified as, for example, a list price, or the January sales of the eastern region, or the latest interest rate from the Federal Reserve. Non-numerical data is also covered: An XML tag can describe a shirt's color or style, for instance. The types of tools that will be used by a company will probably depend on the ultimate purpose, which could be publication of database information in multiple formats, workgroup collaboration or supply chain integration. Here's a roundup of some products now appearing on the market, and how their developers position them. . . I've mentioned just a fraction of the XML-based tools, applications and services under development. XML links information with meta data that identifies what that information is. That makes possible new custom publishing endeavors, self-adjusting applications in which the programming can adjust to the data received, and new or much more functional links between e-business partners. You should be quizzing any potential software or services vendor about its XML strategy. This is an explosive market, and we expect that, ultimately, XML will be used everywhere."

  • [August 18, 1999] "BizTalk: Not Synonymous with XML." By Alicia Costanza. In ent Magazine [Online] (July 19, 1999). "Despite the fact that the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C,, the organization that develops Internet standards, has yet to release an XML schema, Microsoft Corp. is plowing ahead with its own framework for XML, called BizTalk., the Microsoft-developed Web site that houses the BizTalk XML framework specifications and reference materials, has garnered the support of ERP vendors Baan Co. (, SAP AG ( and PeopleSoft Inc. ( Touting itself as an XML repository, is designed to allow vendors to obtain the BizTalk schema and then build these specifications into their own products -- enabling communication between parties using the BizTalk framework. According to Benoit Lheureux, director of application integration and middleware strategies at GartnerGroup (, one of the reasons Microsoft has pushed forward to develop an XML framework in the business-to-business space is because it could excel in that arena. 'Microsoft is good in the space of opportunistic-type products,' Lheureux says. He continues that even though the key concepts of the BizTalk framework are proprietary, 'I don't think anyone will be able to own it. XML can't be owned per se'." See "BizTalk Framework."

  • [August 18, 1999] "Framed by BizTalk." By Eric Binary Anderson. In ent Magazine [Online] (July 19, 1999). "It's not my fault. Sure, you might think you remember a recent article of mine -- the one about the importance of XML documents and their verifying templates: Document Type Definitions (DTDs). You might think you remember me saying, 'By having an industry standard for business-to-business communication, we will open up whole new worlds for software development.' And now, due to some recent announcements from Microsoft, you're probably thinking that I was a hired straight man, setting up the pins so Microsoft could knock them down. But I was framed! And the framework in question is Microsoft's BizTalk. You might remember that standard XML uses a DTD to describe the valid tags and structure of a document. Microsoft, however, has ignored DTDs in favor of XML-Data, a specification currently under review by the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C). Unlike DTDs, XML-Data schemas are written in standard XML, meaning developers don't have to learn another technology. XML-Data also supports XML namespaces, offers stronger typing than DTDs and is extensible. XML-Data schemas are not as well supported as DTDs, but it seems like a natural step towards unifying under XML for all data interchange on the Web. While Microsoft will undoubtedly provide its own suite of tools to leverage BizTalk schemas, the current proposal seems refreshingly free of Windows platform entanglements. Microsoft specifically grants permission for anyone to leverage any technology in the BizTalk 0.8 specification perpetually, without license. It seems Microsoft feels driving the specification will give them a comfortable advantage in developing BizTalk solutions."

  • [August 16, 1999] "XMetaL Speeds Content Creation. [XML/SGML Editor.]" By Gess Shankar [for InfoWorld Test Center]. In InfoWorld (August 16, 1999), pages 1, 51. "This Extensible Markup Language (XML) authoring tool is used to create digital content in the form of validated XML documents. Modeled to look like a word processor, XMetaL frees authors from having to know the intricacies of XML. XMetaL provides customizable features that help companies speed content creation. Targeted toward business users, XMetaL helps companies avoid the high cost of hiring XML and Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) experts. . . If your company needs to create a large amount of SGML- or XML-based content, you should consider using XMetaL. Different from a Web authoring tool, XMetaL is a production tool for creating XML- and SGML-based content for publishing. Unlike competitors such as Enigma's XMLPro that are aimed at XML application developers, XMetaL is targeted toward content authors -- people who key in content from other sources or subject matter experts who write original content. XMetaL enables these people to create structured content without having a deep understanding of XML or SGML tags. This translates into a bottom-line savings because companies don't have to hire expensive markup specialists. . . SoftQuad's XMetaL gives authors almost the same level of comfort as a word processor, except they work in the native XML or SGML environments. In addition, by using this tool, authors can add content that conforms strictly to the structure and rules defined in a Document Type Definition (DTD)."

  • [August 16, 1999] "Backends Sharing Data - Implementing XML-RPC in PHP." By Edd Dumbill. From August 11, 1999. [A major promise of XML is its ability to pass data simply from one place to another, regardless of platform. This week, Edd Dumbill shows how to use XML-RPC in PHP to pass data from a web site to a PDA.] "Scripting languages have been in use for years to make function calls and to integrate disparate applications. A little bit of script glue can make applications from different vendors talk to each other and exchange information. Ever wished you could do that for web sites? Well, now you can. XML-RPC is a very simple protocol for performing remote procedure calls over HTTP. It was designed by Userland Software, working with Microsoft. As some web sites become more like online applications, the advantages of offering a programmable API into their services are obvious. You've almost certainly already got a Hotmail account, or equivalent. Do you store your schedule on a web-based service? One of the more common frustrations with this kind of applications is that there's poor integration with your personal computer. If these online applications exposed XML-RPC APIs, you could write scripts to access your data and perform functions from these sites -- all from your machine. The scope for inter-operation between web sites is large. All that's needed is a standard, language-neutral way of communicating. There are already ways and means of inter-operation: CORBA, DCOM and so on, but XML-RPC offers a different, more lightweight, option. . ."

  • [August 16, 1999] "Tibco Ramps Up Content 'Plumbing' for Internet Commerce." By Dana Gardner. In InfoWorld Electric (August 16, 1999). "Tibco Software on Monday announced the release of TIB/ActiveEnterprise 2.0 Suite, a real-time middleware integration package that connects enterprise back-end and front-end systems with an eye on Internet commerce. Building on message queuing technology that creates avenues to communicate among and between disparate systems, TIB/ActiveEnterprise consists of a componentized product suite that allows enterprises to gradually adopt the middleware technology. [New:] TIB/Message Broker 2.0, a message brokering product that helps integrate data using XML. Also TIB/Repository 2.0, a standard interface for capture and store of metadata from heterogeneous systems and applications using XML."

  • [August 16, 1999] "New Tools Designed to Make E-business Easier." By Erich Luening. In CNET (August 16, 1999). "Tibco is continuing its drive to provide the core plumbing for companies that want to become e-businesses. Tibco today unveiled Tib/ActiveEnterprise 2.0, which is intended to provide tools needed for e-commerce including enterprise messaging, application and technology adapters, messaging brokering, business process automation, content aggregation, and enterprise portal software. The Tib/Adapter for Active Database provides proactive notification of database changes, while the Tib/Adapter SDK 2.0, allows users to build adapters that tie different applications and systems together and enables them to communicate in real-time. In addition, Tib/Message Broker 2.0 allows data integration via support for XML-based schemas. Data transformation and mapping are simplified with support for complex mappings, the company claimed. Finally, the Tib/Repository 2.0 provides a standard interface to capture and store metadata from diverse systems and applications in the XML format."

  • [August 10, 1999] "InternetView: XML For The Masses." By Jason Levitt. In Information Week (August 09, 1999). "If you can figure out the direction that Extensible Markup Language standards are taking by perusing the World Wide Web Consortium's Web site (, you must have a full-time gig as an XML expert. It's confusing to me, and I actually spend time studying these pages as part of my job. Will XML documents continue to use Document Type Definitions to define their content? Or will these definitions be supplanted by the emerging XML Schema standard? Will XML documents be viewed using Cascading Style Sheets or the emerging Extensible Style Language standard? And what about that mess of banking and financial standards for data interchange using XML? Vendors have little incentive to invest in crafting a good XML tool until all of this general standards confusion is cleared up. In fact, no one really knows what a desktop XML application should look like. But there are a couple of tools worth considering. One is SoftQuad Software Inc.'s Xmetal 1.0, a $495 scriptable XML editor that's relatively easy to use and comes with good documentation. Xmetal is a general-purpose XML editor that lets you edit an XML document in much the same fashion as WYSIWYG HTML editors. XML documents can be edited and viewed as raw XML, WYSIWYG (Xmetal uses cascading style sheets for WYSIWYG displays), and with matching tag markers in place, similar to Softquad's HotMetal Pro tag view option. Xmetal requires that you have a DTD for any document you edit, which seems a bit harsh considering that you can edit an XML document and check that it's well-formed without an accompanying DTD. . ."

  • [August 09, 1999] "XML Infiltrates Directory Technology, Simplifying Life For Developers." By Jamie Lewis. In InternetWeek [Online] Issue 776 (August 09, 1999), page 27. "The Extensible Markup Language (XML) is affecting just about every application and service in the network infrastructure, and recent events have proven directory services are no exception. The combination of directory services and XML will play a significant role in enterprise directory infrastructures, easing the development of directory-enabled applications and the integration of multiple directories. Today, customers have many applications that don't support XML, so they'll have to deploy new products before they can fully realize the benefits of DSML. Still, it's clear that XML, in general, and DSML, in particular, will become important interfaces to general-purpose directory services, enabling a new generation of applications that leverage directories much more effectively. DSML will be a boon to supply-chain and sales-channel management applications that use directories as the underlying store for metadata. Because it makes directory information more accessible, XML will become a fundamental part of directory-enabled application development."

  • [August 09, 1999] "The XML Mambo." By Sean Rhody. In Java Developers Journal Volume 4, Issue 6 (June 1999), page 5. "I've been working with EJB for a year, and it seems like a pretty clear concept to me. What I can't seem to get is the importance of XML. Probabably the big use for XML will be in e-commerce. This is a likely spot, because e-commerce is all about the exchange of structured information, e.g., invoices, transactions, registrations and things like that. And it doesn't seem like a bad way to do things. By standardizing the language for describing the data, it makes it easier for disparate applications, or even disparate companies, to communicate. I see XML as an enabler for future technology in the same way that the mouse was an enabler. The mouse became a standard input device for just about every computer. XML stands positioned to do the same for data on every computer. But the real killer apps are the programs that will use XML. I don't see XML as changing the way I program, or the way you type in data on the screen. . ."

  • [August 09, 1999] [Multiple XML articles]. Java Developers Journal September 1999. Special "XML Focus Issue" of the journal is dedicated to XML.

  • [August 06, 1999] "An Approach to using XML and a Rule-based Content Language with an Agent Communication Language." By Benjamin N. Grosof and Yannis Labrou. May 28, 1999. In: Proceedings of the IJCAI-99 Workshop on Agent Communication Languages (ACL-99). Held Stockholm, Sweden, Aug. 1, 1999, in conjunction with the IJCAI-99 conference. On the role of XML and CLP in Agent Communication Languages. Abstract: "We argue for an XML encoding of FIPA Agent Communication Language (ACL), and give an alpha version of it, called Agent Communication Markup Language (ACML), which we have implemented. The XML approach facilitates: (a) developing/maintaining parsers, integrating with WWW-world software engineering, and (b) the enriching capability to (hyper-)link to ontologies and other extra information. The XML approach applies similarly to KQML as well. Motivated by the importance of the content language aspect of agent communication, we focus in particular on business rules as a form of content that is important in e-commerce applications such as bidding negotiations. A leading candidate content language for business rules is Knowledge Interchange Format (KIF), which is currently in the ANSI standards committee process. We observe several major practical shortcomings of KIF as a content language for business rules in e-commerce. We argue instead for a knowledge representation (KR) approach based on Courteous Logic Programs (CLP) that overcomes several of KIF's representational limitations, and argue for this CLP approach, e.g., for its logical non-monotonicity and its computational practicality. CLP is a previous KR that expressively extends declarative ordinary logic programs cf. Prolog; it includes negation-as-failure plus prioritized conflict handling. We argue for an XML encoding of business rules content, and give an alpha version of it, called Business Rules Markup Language (BRML), which we have implemented. BRML can express both CLP and a subset of KIF (i.e., of first-order logic) that overlaps with CLP. BRML expressively both extends and complements KIF. The overall advantages of an XML approach to content language are similar to those for the XML approach to ACL, and indeed complements the latter since content is carried within ACL messages." See the abstract, or full paper in Postscript or PDF format. For other references and description, see "Business Rules Markup Language (BRML)."

  • [August 05, 1999] "An XML-Based Wrapper Generator for Web Information Extraction." By Ling Liu, Wei Han, David Buttler, Calton Pu, and Wei Tang. [Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology, Department of Computer Science and Engineering; P.O. Box 91000 Portland, Oregon 97291-1000 USA; Email: {weihan,buttler,calton, wtangg}] In SIGMOD Record Volume 28, Number 2 (June 1999), pages 540-543 (with 7 references). Published paper from the Proceedings of the 1999 ACM SIGMOD International Conference on Management of Data, May 31 - June 3, 1999, Philadelphia, PA, USA. "We have developed a wrapper generation system, called XWrap, for semi-automatic construction of wrappers for Web information sources. The system contains a library of commonly used functions, such as receiving queries from applications, handling of filter queries, and packaging results. It also contains some source-specific facilities that are in charge of mapping a mediator query to a remote connection call to fetch the relevant pages and translating the retrieved page(s) into a more structured format (such as XML documents or relational tables). A distinct feature of our wrapper generator is its ability to provide an XML-enabled, feedback-based, interactive wrapper construction facility for Internet information sources. By XML-enabled we mean that the extraction of information content from the Web pages will be captured in XML form and the process of filter queries is performed against XML documents. By feedback-based we mean that the wrapper construction process will be revisited and tuned according to the feedback received by the wrapper manager. The philosophy behind our 'XML-enabled' wrapper generation methodology is to develop mechanisms that provides a clean separation of the semantic knowledge of information extraction from the wrapper code generation using a rule-based approach. More concretely, the wrapper generator first exploits formatting information in Web pages to hypothesize the underlying semantic structure of a page, and then encode the hypothetical structure and the information extraction knowledge of the web pages in a rule-based declarative language designed specifically for XWrap information extraction. From the set of information extraction rules and the XML-templates derived throughout the XWrap walkthrough sessions, the system constructs a wrapper program that facilitates both the tasks of querying of a semi-structured Web source and integrating it with other Web information sources." For some related documents, see also a publications listing.

  • [August 05, 1999] "XML-Based Information Mediation with MIX." By Chaitan Baru, Amarnath Gupta, Bertram Ludäscher, Richard Marciano, Yannis Papakonstantinou, Pavel Velikhov, and Vincent Chu. [University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093; Email: {fbaru,gupta,ludaesch}, {fyannis}] In ACM SIGMOD Record Volume 28, Number 2 (June 1999), pages 597-599. Published paper from the Proceedings of the 1999 ACM SIGMOD International Conference on Management of Data, May 31 - June 3, 1999, Philadelphia, PA, USA. "As part of the MIX (Mediation of Information based on XML) Project at the San Diego Supercomputer Center and the University of California, San Diego, the MIX mediator system (MIXm) has been developed. MIXm is a fully XML-based mediator prototype whose graphical user interface BBQ (Blended Browsing and Querying) integrates the browsing and querying of XML data. Powerful grouping and ordering operators are supported by means of a novel collection list construct. BBQ automatically generates XML queries from the graphical query specification given by the user. The system solely relies on the XMAS (XML Matching And Structuring Language) query language for extracting XML data (both from the mediator and from the sources). An algorithm for DTD (document type definition) inference for certain views has been developed. In the demonstration, the system is not only presented from the end user's (BBQ) perspective, but also details of the generated XMAS queries and algebra expressions can be shown. . . MIXm uses XML as the common model for data exchange. Mediator views are expressed in XMAS (XML Matching And Structuring Language), a declarative XML query language. To facilitate user-friendly query formulation and for optimization purposes, MIXm employs XML DTDs as a structural description (in effect, a 'schema') of the exchanged data. The novel features of the system include: (1) Data exchange and integration solely relies on XML, i.e., instance and schema information is represented by XML documents and XML DTDs, respectively. XML queries are denoted in XMAS, which builds upon ideas of languages like XML-QL, MSL, Yat, and UnQL. Additionally, XMAS features powerful grouping and order constructs for generating new integrated XML 'objects' from existing ones. (2) The graphical user interface BBQ (Blended Browsing and Querying) is driven by the mediator view DTD and integrates browsing and querying of XML data. Complex queries can be constructed in an intuitive way, resembling QBE. Due to the nested nature of XML data and DTDs, BBQ provides graphical means to specify the nesting and grouping of query results. (3) Query evaluation can be demand-driven, i.e., by the user's navigation into the mediated view." For additional description and references, see "MIX - Mediation of Information Using XML."

  • [August 05, 1999] "IBM's messaging group rallies to standards cause." By Ted Smalley Bowen. In InfoWorld (August 05, 1999). "Looking to apply message queuing technology as the glue for a wide range of integration tasks, IBM later this year and next will push to extend the deployment of its MQSeries software on numerous mobile, embedded, and wireless platforms, and to further the adoption of the Extensible Markup Language (XML). Buttressing its overall Pervasive Computing initiative, IBM will deliver to device manufacturers and other developers toolkits for adding MQSeries messaging to such devices as handhelds, smart phones, and Java devices, according to Bill Reedy, vice president of transaction systems for the IBM software group. The MQSeries line includes a base enterprise messaging platform, a message broker and rules engine (MQSeries Integrator), and a workflow version (MQSeries Workflow). IBM's vertical industry focus reflects the company's overall strategic commitment to the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) XML. Through its Industry Solutions Unit, the company is working with customers and industry groups to create standardized Document Type Definitions (DTDs) for business-to-business transactions and application communications, according to Reedy."

  • [August 05, 1999] "XML and EDI Lessons Learned and Baggage to Leave Behind. Introduction to XML and EDI." By Alan Kotok. From August 04, 1999. "[What can XML learn from Electronic Data Interchange? Alan Kotok, the staff director for the Information and Content Exchange (ICE) Authoring Group, offers a primer on EDI and suggestions for the future of XML in e-commerce.] Don't throw the baby out with the bath water! Thirty years of Electronic Data Interchange yield valuable lessons for XML advocates. . . Many smaller companies using EDI today do so only because their bigger customers demand it, a business model called hub-and spoke. If your company is the hub, the system works fine. But if you are the spoke it presents an enormous cost of doing business. As a result, XML has an opportunity to fill the gap for companies like this printer and millions of others like it. The XML community has a chance to fashion new forms of business data exchange where even the smallest companies can benefit, and XML is the key. . . the XML world may want to build on the 30 years of EDI rather than tearing it all down. XML needs a lot of the EDI experience, for all of its warts, to make business data exchanges and the benefits derived from them a reality. If companies want to exchange business data to help reduce inventories, get products faster to market, create closer coordination between manufacturing and distribution, and provide more choices for consumers, EDI has lessons to help get there."

  • [August 05, 1999] "XML and Java: A Powerful Combination. Why JavaOne's Session on 'XML in the Java Platform' Drew the Crowds." By Mariva H. Aviram. In Java World (July, 1999). "Developers are excited by the possibilities of combining the wide-ranging potential XML -- a metamarkup language based on SGML and optimized for the Web and other networked computing architectures -- with the programmatic capabilities of Java. The XML-Java technical session at JavaOne ('XML in the Java Platform') was so densely packed that the session was repeated the next day for the benefit of those who missed it the first time. Attendees learned why the syntactic standard of XML and the portability of Java are natural and synergistic partners for creating applications ranging from the personal to the enterprise. . . According to Larry Cable and Mark Reinhold, senior staff engineers at Sun and presenters of the 'XML in the Java Platform' technical session at the recent JavaOne Developer Conference, the main reason to pay attention to this technological marriage is that XML-based syntax offers a flexible, standard, and robust solution for Java programming, and, conversely, Java applies a universal set of semantics to XML data. XML provides a universal syntax for Java semantics (behavior). Simply put, this means that a developer can create descriptions for different types of data to make the data behave in various ways with Java programming code, and can later repeatedly use and modify those descriptions. Since XML and Java are both portable standards, the result of using the combination of the two technologies is portable, reusable data and portable behavior."

  • [August 05, 1999] "Presenting Data Records Using XSLT Expressions." By Michael Floyd. In Web Techniques (August 1999). [Column: 'Beyond HTML'. Michael Floyd examines XSLT expressions, covers conditionals in XSLT, and and shows you how to sort database records in XML.] "Last month, I mentioned that just as I was placing the final touches on my column, the W3C's XSL Working Group quietly released an update to the XSL Working Draft Specification. Showing just how in flux the standard is, the new XSL draft specification dumps virtually every feature (with the exception of formatting objects) into a new working draft called XSL Transformations, or simply XSLT. XSL now refers specifically to XSL formatting objects, which are to XML what Cascading Style Sheets are to HTML. By and large, XSLT contains all of the features I've covered over the past few columns including tree processing, patterns, and templates. However, XSLT adds a plethora of new features. The pattern syntax I described in June has been expanded and a new syntax called location paths has been introduced. Possibly the most dramatic change, however, is the addition of a complete expression language, which looks much like a small programming language. This month, I'll examine the salient points of XSLT expressions and give you an idea of how you can use them. I'll also deliver on a past promise to talk about iteration and conditional processing in XSL (now XSLT). Finally, I'll show how you can take any number of database records in XML format, sort them in either ascending or descending order, and transform them to HTML for presentation. . ."

  • [August 05, 1999] "Start Spreading The XML News." By Mo Krochmal. In TechWeb News (August 04, 1999). "A few brackets, some slashes, and a real-time news feed can turn information into knowledge and provide competitive advantage for businesses, an information delivery vendor said on Tuesday. Businesses are turning to the Internet for real-time news and using XML as a way to direct focused information to different users and create opportunities for new revenue. XML is a system of codes used in documents to organize information. It uses brackets and slashes in a similar way to its cousin, HTML, but instead of simply directing how a computer displays the information, it explains how that information will be used. Wavo, the Phoenix-based company formerly known as Wavephore, held a seminar on Tuesday to explain how it is making a business out of applying XML to a growing demand for real-time news delivery for the Internet. Wavo has relationships with agencies such as The Associated Press, Reuters, and CMP Media, taking their content and delivering it to other media companies or to businesses. Wavo has developed XMLNews, a subset of the news industry text format, to tag news content it delivers via satellite or through the Internet. 'Any information that can be chunked can be delivered,' said David Megginson, a principal at Meggison Technologies and chairman of the XML Information Set Working Group at the World Wide WebConsortium, an industry group that is guiding the development of the markup language."

  • [August 05, 1999] "Multimedia standard revised with Microsoft in mind." By Paul Festa. In CNET (August 05, 1999). "A standards body released a second draft version of a key Web multimedia standard yesterday, and the revision has Microsoft's fingerprints all over it. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) released a working draft of Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language, also known as SMIL Boston. SMIL (pronounced 'smile') lets Web authors synch up sound, text, and other multimedia elements using simple tags rather than programming code. The W3C recommended SMIL version 1.0 a year ago June. But Microsoft, along with Macromedia and Compaq Computer, objected to the SMIL 1.0 recommendation, and submitted an alternate proposal a few months later known as HTML+TIME (Hypertext Markup Language-timed interactive multimedia extensions). The software giant contended that SMIL 1.0 was limited by lack of integration with the Web, while HTML+TIME proposed to let multimedia presentations on the Web interact with HTML elements. SMIL Boston incorporates HTML+TIME's Web interactivity, and has brought Microsoft back on board with SMIL." See the W3C specification.

  • [August 04, 1999] "Representing and Reasoning on XML Documents: A Description Logic Approach." By Diego Calvanese, Giuseppe de Giacomo, and Maurizio Lenzerini. In Journal of Logic and Computation Volume 9, Number 3 (June 1999), pages 295-318 (with 43 references). "Recent proposals to improve the quality of interaction with the World Wide Web suggest considering the Web as a huge semistructured database, so that retrieving information can be supported by the task of database querying. Under this view, it is important to represent the form of both the network, and the documents placed in the nodes of the network. However, the current proposals do not pay sufficient attention to represent document structures and reasoning about them. In this paper, we address these problems by providing a framework where Document Type Definitions (DTDs) expressed in the eXtensible Markup Language (XML) are formalized in an expressive Description Logic equipped with sound and complete inference algorithms. We provide methods for verifying conformance of a document to a DTD in polynomial time, and structural equivalence of DTDs in worst case deterministic exponential time, improving known algorithms for this problem which were double exponential. We also deal with parametric versions of conformance and structural equivalence, and investigate other forms of reasoning on DTDs. Finally, we show how to take advantage of the reasoning capabilities of our formalism in order to perform several optimization steps in answering queries posed to a document base."

  • [August 03, 1999] "XML: What is It, Anyway?" By David Hay. In Intelligent Enterprise Volume 2, Number 11 (August 03 1999). "[A plain-English explanation of what XML is, how it works, and why you should care.] You've heard about XML by now. It doesn't mean 'extra medium large' on a shirt. Rather, it has something to do with the Web and. It has something to do with metadata. But what is it? This article is a much briefer presentation (in English) of the essential concepts involved. . . One XML feature that has captured the industry's imagination is its ability to describe data structures and hold data. Note, however, that the issue in defining a metadata repository or exchanging metadatacommunicating among CASE tools is not the use of XML or any other particular language. Rather, the issue is the database structure and its semantics. The important question is not how a universal metadata repository will be represented. (It could as easily be represented by a set of relational tables or an entity/relationship diagram.) The questions are, what's in it, and what does it mean? XML by itself does not answer that question. Which objects are significant and should be described? That's That is the difficult harder issue, and it is still being discussed. Having a new language for describing them doesn't contribute to that conversation. Indeed, in recognizing that XML is a good vehicle for describing database structure, the most obvious issue result is that it will put more responsibility on data administrators to define data correctly. XML will not do that; XML will only record whatever data design (good or bad) human beings come up with."

  • [August 03, 1999] "XML Again: A Practical View of XML's importance. [XML for CIOs]." By John Trustman and Susan Meshako. In Intelligent Enterprise Volume 2, Number 11 (August 03 1999), pages 14-16. 'Both of us have been working on implementing XML standards for the property and casualty (P&C) insurance industry. P&C is probably a good example of an industry that understands XML's importance. . . XML, of course, is not a panacea. Mapping standardized external information to legacy systems environments is not trivial, although a few vendors are beginning to offer products and services that make it a lot easier to do. The key issues here are mapping to the ill-defined data structures prevalent in many legacy environments, as well as the difficulty of interfacing realtime systems to fundamentally batch environments. To truly take advantage of e-commerce, many companies will be forced to substantially replace many of their core systems. The key factors for taking advantage of this technology today are twofold: getting started and working on vertical XML vocabularies. Getting started presents the usual obstacles; moreover, the rigor imposed by using XML rather than HTML development may cause some problems, especially where marketing groups are still organizing Web sites." Discusses "ACORD - XML for the Insurance Industry" and "Open Applications Group - OAGIS 6."

  • [August 03, 1999] "New language may change how you view Web pages. [Cyber Sense.]" By Chaim Yudkowsky. In Austin Business Journal (August 02, 1999). "An entire language of Internet-oriented programming lingo -- called extensible markup language, or XML -- has been receiving increased exposure in the media because it has the potential to change the way data is exchanged over the Web and the way pages can be viewed. XML 1.0 was published by the World Wide Web Consortium as a standard specification in February. Generally, it's defined as a common syntax for expressing structure in data, otherwise commonly referred to as 'tags.' The precision of these tags and the ability to customize a specialty list of tags for groups with shared interests, like footwear retailers, adds tremendous power to the underlying potential of Web pages. Thus, XML is not really a language, but rather a system for defining other languages. . ."

  • [August 03, 1999] "Specification for the Representation of CIM in XML." Version 2.0. From: Distributed Management Task Force, Inc. July 20, 1999. "The Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a simplified subset of SGML that offers powerful and extensible data modeling capabilities. An XML Document is a collection of data represented in XML. An XML Schema is a grammar that describes the format of an XML Document. An XML Document is described as valid if it has an associated XML Schema to which it conforms. The Common Information Model (CIM) is an object-oriented information model defined by the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) which provides a conceptual framework for describing management data. This document defines a standard for the representation of Common Information Model (CIM) elements and messages in XML." See also the CIM 2.0 DTD. References: "DMTF Common Information Model (CIM)."

  • [August 02, 1999] "XML deployment push. Companies take lead creating industry-specific standards." By Lee Pender. In PC Week Online Volume 16, Number 31 (August 2, 1999), page 18. "Two large corporations are developing their own standards for elements of XML in hopes that trading partners and industry colleagues will follow their lead. DaimlerChrysler AG and First Union Corp. have each created industry-specific DTDs (Document Type Definitions) for Extensible Markup Language, hoping to forge de facto standards where formal specifications don't yet exist. Users and analysts have warned that a lack of standard DTDs, the schemata that users create to tag XML documents, could cause XML to splinter and derail the technology's potential as a universal language for data transfer. But DaimlerChrysler and First Union are moving forward with XML now. DaimlerChrysler is using XML in an internal application that, when completed, will gather information from disparate sources and present it in a unified, graphical interface to engineers."

  • [August 02, 1999] "Commerce One Loses MCI Business." By Richard Karpinski. In InternetWeek Issue 775 (August 02, 1999), page 9. "It was a win-some-lose-some week for Web marketplace vendor Commerce One. Cut-throat competitor-and fellow recent IPO highflier Ariba Inc. stole one of the company's most-prized clients, MCI Worldcom Inc. The fact that MCI was not only a customer, but also Commerce One's main network partner in building U.S.-based Internet marketplaces, makes the loss embarrassing and potentially painful. Commerce One and Ariba both make enterprise software to enable Web-based procurement and purchasing and support trading networks for linking together buyers and sellers. On a brighter note for the company, Commerce One rolled out a second version of its Common Business Library (CBL), a set of XML- based building blocks for business-to-business documents. The company gained endorsements of its technology from Microsoft, CommerceNet and other industry standards bodies."

  • [August 02, 1999] "XSL Is No Magic Bean For All XML Problems." By JP Morgenthal. In InternetWeek Issue 775 (August 02, 1999), page 21. "XML products are becoming widely available, and a common denominator is support for the Extensible Stylesheet Language. Originally, the Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) specification defined how to translate one XML document into another. Inclusive of this translation were XML formatting objects that could describe visual display, sidestepping the problems associated with plain HTML. Now, companies are promoting XSL as a feature-as if it were a magic bean that could solve all your data-integration problems. Having worked extensively with XSL for six months now, I don't believe it will be the answer everyone is looking for in XML document transformation. But, in order to discuss XSL intelligently, it is important to first discuss the new XSL architecture currently being defined by the World Wide Web Consortium. The W3C recently separated XSL into two separate subprocesses: formatting and transformations." Also at [alt URL]. For other articles on XSL(T), see: "XSL Articles, Papers, Tutorials."

July 1999

  • [July 30, 1999] "Commerce One Releases XML Specification for EDI Mapping." By Ellen Messmer. In InfoWorld (July 29, 1999). "Commerce One, a provider of electronic-commerce software for trading communities, has released a technical specification for mapping data elements between the Extensible Markup Language (XML) and the international Electronic Data Interchange standard called Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce, and Trade (EDIFACT). This mapping specification, called the Common Business Library 2.0, lets customers take information captured in XML -- such as item price, shipping, and quantity -- and map it directly into the appropriate EDIFACT data set, or vice versa. This would provide a common way to share data between XML and EDIFACT applications for those corporations doing business together electronically. Corporations using the Common Business Library (CBL) would be spared the chore of coming up with these mapping schemes on their own, perhaps re-inventing the electronic-commerce wheel slightly differently each time, officials said." See the main reference page "Common Business Library (CBL)" and the announcement: "Commerce One Announces Common Business Library -- CBL 2.0. Industry's First Comprehensive XML Document Library. Standard XML Approach Endorsed by Microsoft, CommerceNet, UN/CEFACT and OASIS." - "In a move to accelerate adoption of business-to-business electronic commerce, Commerce One, Inc. today announced the Commerce One Common Business Library (CBL) 2.0, the first open XML specification for the cross-industry exchange of business documents such as purchase orders, invoices, product descriptions, and shipping schedules. Commerce One CBL 2.0 is a set of XML building blocks and a document framework that allows the creation of robust, reusable XML documents for electronic commerce. . ."

  • [July 30, 1999] "OASIS Registry and Repository Technical Specification." By [Terry Allen, Commerce One]. From the OASIS Registry and Repository Committee. 5-July-1999. Abstract: "The OASIS Registry and Repository Technical Committee of OASIS, the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (formerly SGML Open), seeks to specify operation of a registry for some set of or XML-related entities, including but not limited to DTDs and schemas, with appropriate interfaces, that enable searching on the contents of a repository of those entities. The registry and repository shall interoperate and cooperate with other registries and repositories compliant with this specification and respond to requests for entities by their identifiers. The specification, which is the primary deliverable, is to be implemented in a prototype registry and repository." [local archive copy]

  • [July 30, 1999] "Bean Markup Language, Part 1. [Cover Story]" By Mark Johnson. In JavaWorld Magazine (August 1999). 'Learn the ABCs of IBM's powerful JavaBeans connection language'. "The past three installments of the JavaBeans column have dealt with XML JavaBeans, a Java package that allows encoding and decoding of JavaBeans hierarchies between XML and JavaBeans instances in program memory. This month, Mark looks at a commercial version of the same idea -- IBM's Bean Markup Language, or BML. BML goes beyond the capabilities of XML JavaBeans, and provides some interesting implications for rapid application development. . . Because BML's outstanding documentation includes both a user's guide and a tutorial, this article will focus on what BML does, leaving experimentation to the interested reader. We'll look at the Bean Markup Language, including an explanation of the BML player and the BML compiler. BML tags will be defined by way of an illustrative example. The current implementation of BML is fascinating, and could well be a great starting place for dynamic application development. What's more interesting than BML's current capabilities, though, are the possibilities it opens up. For example, the BML code mentions the possibility of using XSL to "style" XML, creating BML code that could then be used to display and manipulate the original XML. While the BML package doesn't provide an example of this, it's completely possible, and points to true codeless programming. Currently, BML is written by hand. An IDE (integrated development environment) for BML would allow users to instantiate and connect components, and then serialize the results to BML format. Existing IDEs (such as IBM's VisualAge for Java, perhaps?) could store applications in BML, and additional tools could be written to manage incremental loading of BML code at runtime." Note that the source code for this article is available online.

  • [July 30, 1999] "Dublin Core Metadata Element Set Reference Description, Version 1.1." By Renato Iannella and Paul Miller [and Committee Members]. From the Dublin Core Directorate. July 02, 1999. This document may be of interest to readers because it aligns the semantics of Dublin Core metadata elements with definitions in ISO 11179. Semantic interoperability on the "Semantic Web" requires such effort. 'The goal of the process was to review and modify Dublin Core element definitions to improve their clarity and to express them in a standard format for data dictionaries (the ISO/IEC 11179 standard) to facilitate interoperability and mapping to other element sets.' [Hence] "The document summarizes the proposed updated definitions for the Dublin Core metadata elements as originally defined in RFC2413. These new definitions will be officially known as Version 1.1. The updated definitions utilise a formal standard for the description of metadata elements. This formalisation helps to improve consistency with other metadata communities and enhances the clarity, scope, and internal consistency of the Dublin Core metadata element definitions. Each Dublin Core element is defined using a set of ten attributes from the ISO/IEC 11179 standard for the description of data elements." Note that The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative also "expects to support the infrastructure for registries provided by RDF Schemas." See: "ISO 11179 - Specification and Standardization of Data Elements, Parts 1-6. See also the announcement from Stuart Weibel on the release of the Dublin Core Elements, Version 1.1 proposed recommendation.

  • [July 30, 1999] "Allaire, IBM, Mercado Buy Into XML." By Ellen Messmer. In Network World (July 26, 1999). "Last week Allaire, IBM and Mercado each unveiled electronic commerce products that boast newfound support for XML, the format-neutral way to simplify document interchange on the Web. Allaire this fall plans to ship an XML-based add-on to its ColdFusion application server that will let customers include e-commerce functions to their sites. IBM next month will ship its flagship electronic catalog suite, Net.Commerce, powered with XML. This month, electronic catalog vendor Mercado Software will ship its Intuifind e-commerce catalog servers with the ability to store data in XML format."

  • [July 29, 1999] "XML is Here to Stay." By Dan Orzech. In [Datamation] Application Development. IS Manager's Workbench (July 1999). "Even though eXtensible Markup Language is in the early adopter stage, widespread industry support says XML is the new 'IT' technology. "How do you move 110 terabytes of data onto the Web? That's the challenge facing General Motors Corp. as it tries to bring its enormous investment in existing IT systems into the age of the Internet. GM -- the world's largest corporation -- has more than 8,500 applications, many of them running on mainframes. With Web browsers rapidly becoming the user interface of choice, the company simply can't afford to leave all that data behind. But no one, says Dennis Walsh, executive director of advanced technologies for the Onstar Division of GM, 'can afford to rewrite that many systems.' So GM is turning to eXtensible Markup Language (XML) to Web-enable its huge mass of legacy system data. XML, like its cousin HTML (HyperText Markup Language), is a language for presenting documents on the Web. But XML's capabilities extend far beyond those of HTML. The primary advantage over HTML is that XML is extensible -- users can define their own electronic document types, making it easier to exchange data not only within an organization but also among different companies. . ."

  • [July 29, 1999] "Face-to-Face Meetings in Montréal. Busy August For XML Developers." By Dale Dougherty. From July 28, 1999. "In August, while some may be enjoying the breeze off Lake Louise, XML developers will be gathering in Montreal, arriving as early as August 11 and not departing until after August 20. This hefty schedule is something of an endurance test for any XML standards wonk or industry maven. Yet many are looking forward to these ten days of meetings, workshops and conferences. The OASIS Summer Workshop gets rolling August 11, a two-and-a-half day, members-only meeting [see registration and special offer]. One of the major goals of the workshop this year is to formalize development plans for a schema repository intended for Running from August 16-18 is the MetaStructures Conference, organized by the Graphics Communications Association (GCA). This is a somewhat esoteric conference for those with a more theoretical frame of mind. For the more practical minded, the W3C Schema Working Group will be meeting from August 17-18. Schemas are perhaps the hottest new topic in XML. The culmination of events is the XML Developers' Conference, a two-day event on the 18-19 organized by the GCA and XML WG Chair Jon Bosak, one of a handful of people who is involved in each of the different events. . ." Events covered in overview: (1) OASIS Summer Workshop [To Concentrate on Schema Registry], (2) [XML] Schema Working Group Meeting, (3) Metastructures 1999 Conference, (4) the XML Developers' Conference.

  • [July 29, 1999] "Visualizing DOM Level 1 - A handy one-page reference for programmers." By Vance Christiaanse. From July 28, 1999. [Download this diagram of the DOM Level 1 interfaces.] "I created a class diagram that shows the interfaces defined in the DOM Level 1 specification along with their attributes and methods. It's convenient for getting an overview of the DOM and for looking up the exact method name you need while programming. I've found it useful keeping separate what is required by the spec and the additional functionality provided by XML::DOM Perl module." Options: Large diagram or Small diagram. Note that a Document Object Model (DOM) Level 2 Specification has also been issued recently (July 19, 1999) by the W3C DOM Working Group. See: "W3C Document Object Model (DOM)."

  • [July 28, 1999] "James Utzschneider -- Microsoft's Director of Business Frameworks Extols XML." By Matthew Nelson. In InfoWorld (July 26, 1999). "Microsoft in March announced BizTalk, an architecture for Internet commerce and application integration that relies heavily on the Extensible Markup Language (XML). Designed to be a way for inter- and intra-industry passing of information without the need to reformat data, Microsoft is hoping for broad adoption of this set of schema guidelines among customers, third-party software makers, and standards bodies. BizTalk has also served as an example of how serious Microsoft is about XML, which is taking its place as a lingua franca in I-commerce. InfoWorld Senior Writer Matthew Nelson recently spoke with James Utzschneider, director of business frameworks at Microsoft's business solutions group, about BizTalk's goals and how XML is showing up in every major Microsoft product area." [Excerpt:] InfoWorld: In adopting XML and pushing it out there, some people might worry that it is going to be taken over by Microsoft. Is that the case or, if not, why? Utzschneider: For starters, if we tried to take over XML, it would backfire. And secondly, it doesn't serve our purpose. One of the most important things behind BizTalk, and one of the reasons why it's coming out of our sales organization, at least many of the ideas behind the BizTalk framework, is that partnering with other software companies, with customers, and standards bodies is key to the success of BizTalk. That's why we're delighted that the Open Applications Group voted, at their Dublin board meeting a month ago, to do a BizTalk implementation of their schemas. Another group that we're working closely with is RosettaNet. And we're doing the RosettaNet implementation. And the fact that the head of RosettaNet is now going to be on the BizTalk steering committee, is a good indication of how we can get feedback from neutral, impartial, third-party standards bodies and giving us guidance on how to manage it. So if there's one thing to think about BizTalk, it's to think about pilot projects and adoptions by Microsoft customers and partners. It's not a Microsoft thing. It's a group effort to define the best way to implement XML-based applications." See other references in "BizTalk Framework."

  • [July 28, 1999] "Microsoft on Track for BizTalk Release." By Jim Kerstetter. In PC Week [Online] (July 28, 1999), page 34. "Despite fears to the contrary, Microsoft Corp. officials say they have no plans to Balkanize XML with their BizTalk Framework. Rather, officials would like everyone to believe them when they say that BizTalk is very much an open project aimed at taming Extensible Markup Language for e-commerce. 'There are no underlying motivations for us doing this,' said James Utzschneider, director of business frameworks for the Redmond, Wash., company. On to version 1.0 With the 0.8 version of BizTalk already published on the Web, Utzschneider said the 1.0 specification is well under way and should be published in September. The BizTalk Server, which will be Microsoft's e-commerce middleware implementation of the framework, should go into beta this fall and will be released soon after Windows 2000 ships. The BizTalk Server depends on the Active Directory functions of Windows 2000. A handful of companies, including some of the 20 or so members of the BizTalk Steering Committee, are already working with the 0.8 spec. More companies are expected to publish their own XML schemata based upon that early spec within the next several weeks, Utzschneider said."

  • [July 28, 1999] "XML Gains Foothold in Tools. Additional support in HTML authoring applications boosts functionality." By Antone Gonsalves. In PC Week [Online] Volume 16, Number 30 (July 26, 1999), page 27. "Web authoring tools, the staple in building HTML pages, are gradually expanding into development environments for using XML within the presentation layer of Web applications. For example, Allaire Corp. plans to allow users of its HomeSite tool by the first quarter of next year to store metadata on Web projects as Extensible Markup Language files so that the information can be shared with other tools. However, while developers believe that HTML editors will eventually provide solid support for building simple XML documents for viewing in a browser, more complicated use of XML in moving data between applications will probably be found more in application development tools and IDEs (integrated development environments). HomeSite currently provides rudimentary support for XML. An XML document can be imported into the tool's tag tree, which provides a hierarchical view of the page and the ability to navigate quickly through the documents for editing. Other tools that are expected to expand XML support are Adobe Systems Inc.'s GoLive and Macromedia Inc.'s Dreamweaver."

  • [July 28, 1999] "IBM Unveils Upgrade for E-Storefronts. Net.Commerce 3.2 features are better for managing sites." By Carol Sliwa. In Computerworld (July 26, 1999). "Gearing up for the holiday retail rush, IBM last week announced plans for an upgraded version of its Net.Commerce software, which helps companies build electronic storefronts. Net.Commerce 3.2, due at the end of August, promises better performance and scalability thanks to dynamic page caching improvements, CPU utilization and database access efficiencies and more selective handling of encrypted data, said Karl Salnoske, IBM's general manager of e-commerce products. In connection with the Net.Commerce 3.2 release, IBM also plans an upgraded Catalog Architect 3.2 tool featuring support for Extensible Markup Language (XML), to help companies create and manage their Web-site content. XML tags will make it easier for companies to export and import catalog content and repurpose the information for multiple uses like print advertising or a CD-ROM catalogs."

  • [July 28, 1999] "Us and Them. [The Last Word.]" By Stan Kelly-Bootle. In Component Strategies Volume 2, Number 2 (August 1999). - 'The old writer/editor rivalry has changed significantly. Our columnist notes that writers no longer write, but are busy "authoring and enriching transient persistentizable content," and he muses on HTML, XML, and the "must haves" of extensibility, scalability, and interoperability.' "With the advent of CAD (computer-aided delay), the old writer-editor rivalry has changed significantly. First, of course, we have the semantic shift that moved "computer" from a human sweat-shop operator rattling Brunsvigas and clicking Fridens to the impersonal, programmable machine. Likewise, "editor" has declined from being a real live squiggler to subsume various software utilities that "automate" text mutilation. Writers no longer write but are busy "authoring and enriching transient persistentizable content." As writer/editor they can maintain any number of re-un-doable "deltas," and in one click restore draft N or clear the screen to yesterday's blank writer's-block status. The pretty intuitive free-hand-drawn squiggles have given way to boring embedded ISO-ordained SGML in- and subtext tags. There's now an OK-gloss for every situation, adding donnish footnotes to every donnish footnote. HTML, the practical SGML subset that dictates content-independent fonts and layout, has thrived with the Web explosion, and XML looms as the next hot, cool "must-have." The holy grails of extensibility, scalability, interoperability, to-marketability beckon anew. But, whatever, I swear on Turing's grave that Us are holier than Them." [Not critical reading (what is?) but then, Stan Kelly-Bootle started computing on EDSAC I at Cambridge University more than 40 years ago and has written more than 12 books, most recently UNIX Complete...]

  • [July 28, 1999] "Introduction to XSL." By Dr. Miloslav Nic (Department of Organic Chemistry, ICT Prague - VSCHT Praha). July 26, 1999. "I have finished the first version of XSL tutorial. The tutorial is based on individual examples, a reader sees XML source, XSL stylesheet and HTML output on one page. All examples or books are generated from XML sources, it takes about 3-4 min. to write a new example, if you know what you want to deliver. Some indexes are automatically generated. You can see the tutorial at: Download all necessary files at: and if you would like to contribute, read the instructions in the HELP file. This file describes how the tutorial is generated."

  • [July 28, 1999] "Short Take: CommerceOne unveils XML blueprints." By Wylie Wong. In CNET (July 27, 1999). "CommerceOne has released a set of blueprints that let different industries exchange information online using Extensible Markup Language (XML). The blueprints define frequently used tags, such as price, quantity and purchase order, so companies in different markets -- from financial services to the shoe industry -- can trade information..." See the press release: "Commerce One Announces Common Business Library -- CBL 2.0. Industry's First Comprehensive XML Document Library. Standard XML Approach Endorsed by Microsoft, CommerceNet, UN/CEFACT and OASIS." - "In a move to accelerate adoption of business-to-business electronic commerce, Commerce One, Inc. today announced the Commerce One Common Business Library (CBL) 2.0, the first open XML specification for the cross-industry exchange of business documents such as purchase orders, invoices, product descriptions, and shipping schedules. . ."

  • [July 28, 1999] "Cognos Updates DataMerchant." By Ellis Booker. In CMPNet TechWeb News (July 26, 1999). "Cognos on Monday announced DataMerchant 3.0, the latest release of its e-commerce system for sellers of database information. Like DataMerchant 1.0, which Cognos released two years ago, version 3.0 permits sellers to charge for database results published to a website. New in DataMerchant 3.0 is the ability to link the system with a server-side application, such as Cognos' own Web-based OLAP tool, PowerPlay Web." See the announcement: "Cognos Announces Availability of Cognos DataMerchant 3.0. DataMerchant Integrates With Cognos BI Tools For Complete Information Commerce Solution, Adds XML Tagging To Data Delivery Options."

  • [July 28, 1999] "Delphi 5's Strength Shines Through the Inprise Clouds with New Features and XML Support. Delphi 5 aptly tackles the Web." By Maggie Biggs. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 29 (July 19, 1999), page 71. "Organizations seeking increased competitive advantages via reduced development costs will want to keep Inprise's Delphi 5, Beta 3, on the radar and plan to evaluate it after its release late this summer. This world-class rapid application development environment is a solid choice for those who need to expeditiously complete Web or Windows projects. Beta issues aside, I was impressed with many of Delphi's new additions. In particular, developers will find new tools with which to build thin clients that use Dynamic HTML and Extensible Markup Language (XML)."

  • [July 26, 1999] "On Views and XML." By Serge Abiteboul. Pages 1-9 (with 34 references) in Proceedings of the Eighteenth ACM SIGACT-SIGMOD-SIGART Symposium on Principles of Database Systems. PODS '99. Held May 31 - June 2, 1999, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. New York: ACM Press, 1999. ISBN: 1-58113-062-7. "The notion of views is essential in databases, [for] it allows various users to see data from different viewpoints. In the present paper, we informally present works of the author on the topic. Instead of addressing the issue of views in a classical database setting, the paper focuses on XML and looks at these various works in the context of a system of views for XML. The Web has revolutionized the electronic publication of data. It has relied primarily on HTML that emphasizes a hypertext document approach. More recently, XML, although originally a document mark-up language, is promoting an approach more focused on data exchange. In XML, explicit structuring is enforced and presentation is separated from the data content. For data sources containing information with some structure, it is therefore more appropriate to use XML rather than HTML to export their data to the Web. When data is exported via XML, the problem of views becomes essential. Indeed, views in this setting are even more crucial than in standard database applications because (i) one often has to integrate heterogeneous sources and also (ii) views provide the means to add a structured interface on top of some otherwise (more chaotic) semistructured data. In some sense, a language already allows to define views for XML documents, namely XSL. XSL is the current (still unstable) W3C proposal for expressing stylesheets. Although primarily targeted towards presentation, XSL allows to transform/restructure XML documents using templates rules. We are discussing such restructuring here. However, we will ignore presentation issues and will consider more general views than offered by XSL. A view specification for XML data' will primarily rely, like for relational views, on a data model and a query language. We will argue that the data model should be as the ODMG model based on objects. In general, we will argue that XML view technology should borrow a lot from the object database view technology. However, XML data is not regular like in the relational or object models, which leads to considering semistructured data models. We will argue that this should not be to the detriment of regularity and structure, when it is known. Furthermore, we will argue that the data model should allow the management of incomplete information. . . A central issue for the definition of views for XML data is the query language. Unfortunately, there is no standard yet for such a language although the activity invested towards obtaining one is rather intense and a standard should emerge soon." For related research on [XML and] views, see Serge Abiteboul's Home Page and the author's publications listing.

  • [July 26, 1999] "Active Views for Electronic Commerce." By Serge Abiteboul, Bernd Amann, Sophie Cluet, Anat Eyal, Laurent Mignet, and Tova Milo. To be presented at VLDB Edinburgh, September, 1999. "Electronic commerce is emerging as a major Web-supported application. In this paper we argue that database technology can, and should, provide the backbone for a wide range of such applications. More precisely, we present here the ActiveViews system, which, relying on an extensive use of database features including views, active rules (triggers), and enhanced mechanisms for notification, access control and logging/tracing of users activities, provides the needed basis for electronic commerce. Based on the emerging XML standards (DOM, query languages for XML, etc.), the system offers a novel declarative view specification language, describing the relevant data and activities of all actors (e.g., vendors and clients) participating in electronic commerce activities. Then, acting as an application generator, the system generates an actual, possibly customized, Web application that allows users to perform the given set of controlled activities and to work interactively on the specified data in a standard distributed environment. The ActiveView system is developed at INRIA on top of Java and ArdentSoftware's XML repository."

  • [July 26, 1999] "XSLT in Perspective". By James Clark. Slides (HTML) from a presentation given by James Clark in July, 1999. [Per a posting to XSL-List, Sun, 25 Jul 1999.]

  • [July 24, 1999] "The New E-conomy: The Secrets to Winning and Keeping Business With the Latest Electronic-Commerce Technologies." By Lisa L. Sweet (President of Edgewood Consulting Group). In InfoWorld (July 26, 1999). [Business-to business solutions. Top news stories: Special e-commerce supplement Part One looks at XML's role in business-to-business solutions.] "Although electronic data interchange (EDI) has been the traditional means of transmitting data between businesses and trading partners, business-to-business electronic commerce is growing in popularity. Used alone or in conjunction with existing implementations of EDI, business-to-business products and technologies can lower operating expenses and streamline infrastructure by reducing human intervention. One of the most daunting challenges companies face is expanding trading partner options by installing a business-to-business solution to work in conjunction with a current EDI system. Companies that do not have EDI in place are not likely to go to the expense of implementing it. Instead the company will probably bypass EDI completely and implement a business-to-business solution that uses a technology such as Extensible Markup Language (XML). . . You can easily move beyond classic EDI by adding XML capabilities. For example, forecasting was never served well by EDI. With XML, you can share forecast information with your suppliers. To start this process, your resellers place forecast information into an XML document and pass it on to your business-to-business system. For example, this information could inform you that a particular chair is a hot seller. With this information, you can forecast that you will need to produce 10,000 chairs. You could then integrate that forecast information into your planning system and send it to your production system. Ultimately, you can use this information to pass an XML document back to your raw-material suppliers, which can then forecast production needs. In essence, these are the areas where EDI falls short and Internet technology such as XML shines as the new era of business-to-business commerce begins. . . To make business-to-business solutions easier to implement, several consortiums, standards bodies, organizations, and steering committees are focusing on providing information to companies that choose to use XML. One such group is headed by Microsoft, with its BizTalk Framework ("

  • [July 24, 1999] "Describing Astronomical Catalogues and Query Results with XML." By Alberto Accomazzi, Miguel Albrecht, Allan Brighton, Pierre Fernique, Damien Guillaume, et al.. July [16], 1999. "This short document details the first attempt of XML usage for tabular output description following the Strasbourg meeting June 23-25, 1999." With XSL stylesheet. See also the sample XML document, <ASTRO xmlns:astro="">. See "XML for Astronomy", and Astronomical Data Center at the Goddard Space Flight Center. See: Astronomical Instrument Markup Language (AIML) and Astronomical Markup Language [local archive copy]

  • [July 23, 1999] "DTI Harnesses XML for Telecom Applications." By Ted Smalley Bowen. In InfoWorld (July 22, 1999). "Digital Telecommunications Inc. (DTI) on Monday will roll out an Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based developer's kit that company officials claim will allow telecommunications companies to easily create and modify voice service applications, rather than having to rely on the relatively rigid and cumbersome programming tools provided by network infrastructure vendors. The software combines Web-based service logic and IP message distribution in such a way that the service logic is independent from the underlying message transmission, hardware, and signaling, according to Richard Graves, co-founder, CEO, and CTO of DTI. DTI's Extensible Service Policy (ESP) architecture is aimed at providers of voice and data services, networks system integrators, and subscribers, allowing them to create and modify services that run over existing the network infrastructure and so-called converged voice and data networks. DTI's ESP architecture employs the company's Call Policy Markup Language (CPML), an XML-based language for voice and data networks, through which developers can create and modify services in a similar fashion to generating Web pages, according to Graves. To foster the adoption of CPML, DTI plans to submit it as a proposed standard to the World Wide Web Consortium and other groups working on network software standards. The ESP Telecommunication Services Portal, comprising Service Agent and Service Portal functions, is now in beta testing and is slated for shipment in the fourth quarter." See the main entry

  • [July 23, 1999] "Doing It With XML, Part 2." By Ken Sall. In Web Developer's Virtual Library [WDVL Online Tutorial] (July 19, 1999). "In Doing It With XML, Part 1, we took an XML document instance and generated a DTD, discussed the relative merits of using elements vs. attributes, saw how to associate the DTD with the XML document, learned how to view XML with Internet explorer 5 (with or without the DTD), considered several validation issues, and also took the W3C browser Amaya for a quick spin. This month we focus on several inexpensive tools for editing XML: XML Pro, XML Spy, Xeena, and XML EditorMaker. How to use CSS (cascading Style Sheets) or XSL (Extensible Stylesheet Language) to control both the presentation and processing of your XML (especially in IE 5) is also covered. A more complete WDVL treatment of XSL will follow later this summer and fall when the XSL Working Draft becomes a full W3C Recommendation. You will need to use Internet Explorer 5.0 (released March 18, 1999) or later to view some of the examples.1 We'll be sure to point out what platform and browser is required in each section of this article. Most of the other tools used require Java external to your browser, either as the JDK (Java Development Kit) or the JRE (Java Runtime Environment), both of which are available from this JavaSoft Products page. We'll point out where JDK or JRE are required as well. Some of the XML editors require downloading a demo from a product page. Keep in mind that the name of this article is "Doing it With XML". It is designed to be interactive. So please don't simply read or skim the article. You'll learn a great deal more by trying out each of the things that are suggested, even if it means downloading and installing IE5 plus the XML editors. (Plan to spend about 2 hours more than your normal reading time for these extra-curricular activities.). . ."

  • [July 23, 1999] "Allaire Debuts Web Publishing Tools." By Wylie Wong. In CNET (July 21, 1999). "Allaire is rounding out its family of Web development tools with new Internet publishing, e-commerce, and personalization software. Allaire today will announce Spectra, a software package that lets businesses build and manage Web-based content. It includes e-commerce software, such as shopping carts and credit-card authorization, and personalization software, which profiles Web surfers and target information based on their interests. Spectra, previously code-named Tempest, uses Allaire's ColdFusion application server as its underlying technology and includes an XML-based object database. It includes a workflow system that automatically routes documents over the network to appropriate users. It collects and analyzes Web site data and churns out reports for businesses and includes security features that allow network administrators to decide what type of access to data each user can have."

  • [July 23, 1999] "Microsoft's Near-XML Experience: A Conversation with Tim Bray." By David Weinberger. In Journal of the Hyperlinked Organisation (July 8, 1999). "Why didn't Microsoft do the 1% of additional work to make Office actually XML useful? (Excerpt:) [Q:] Does MS's approach close off the possibility of using Word as an XML editor that produces clean, valid, DTD-conforming, no-presentation-info xml docs? I assume it does close off that possibility at this point; am I wrong? [A:] Given Microsoft's resources and money, they could turn Word into a structured editing engine if they wanted to. Yes, it would be hard - months, maybe more than a year. They might get there quicker starting from scratch rather than building on Word or Frontpage. So far I don't think they see a market there. Their take seems to be that XML is primarily for app-to-app data interchange, they don't see why anyone would want to send XML to a human viewer. The possibility always remains open. But first they'd have to be interested."

  • [July 23, 1999] "Innosoft DirectoryPortal integrates XML and LDAP 3." By Kane Scarlett. In SunWorld Magazine [New Product Briefs] (July 26, 1999). Innosoft announced its new DirectoryPortal products -- the Builder, Servlet, and Enterprise Browser -- which are based on LDAP version 3 technology and now wed XML and LDAP to allow users to build, access, and maintain a directory-enabled application server system. The DirectoryPortal suite lets users rapidly construct and deploy Web-based applications that dynamically access data from LDAP directories. DirectoryPortal Builder is an application development platform that uses LDAP directories for advanced enterprise and e-commerce services. It lets users rapidly develop and deploy Web-based applications that integrate data from LDAP directories by using an eXtensible Template Language (XTL) that follows XML standards. After the data is snagged, it is presented by dynamic server-side translation to HTML before being sent to a browser for rendering. The Builder includes an XTL interpreter for development and an XTL compiler to pre-compile the XTL source for optimal execution during deployment."

  • [July 22, 1999] "XMetal and Content Creation Tools." By Dale Dougherty. From July 20, 1999. Dale Dougherty of Songline Studios interviews Bruce Sharpe, VP of Development, SoftQuad Software. "In this audio interview, Bruce Sharpe explains how SoftQuad positions XMetaL as a content creation solution -- a tool for people who are creating content for XML-based publishing systems. He describes the various levels of customizations that are possible with XMetaL to adapt it to a particular doctype (DTD.) He explains how style sheets work in XMetaL to provide a view for the author rather than a final presentation format. Here are some of the questions asked in this interview. (1) In what category does SoftQuad place XMetaL? Is it a word processor? [A] 'Xetal is a content creation solution,' says Bruce Sharpe. (2) Will XMetaL be compared to the latest generation of HTML editors? Will target users be moving up from HTML editors to XMetaL? [A] Bruce explains that he sees a different audience for the product, one that is not necessarily authoring in HTML today. (3) You don't seem to come out and say that this is a terrific, powerful code editor, along the likes of EMacs. XMetaL is a tool for power users. Isn't XMetaL a code editor, like an IDE? [A] SoftQuad believes there are two types of users, one of whom is a power user able to take advantage of various scripting and customizable options. The other type is a person who has little knowledge or interest in XML but needs to create structured content for a business application. (4) XMetaL is highly customizable. Describe how you'd customize XMetaL for a specific doctype. [A] Bruce describes the various levels of customization in the product, up to and including interfacing XMetaL with a content management system. Note: 'You will need the current version of the Real Player to listen to this interview.'

  • [July 22, 1999] "IBM to Upgrade Net.Commerce." By Ellen Messmer. In Computerworld (July 21, 1999). "Next month, IBM said it will ship an upgrade to its Net.Commerce electronic catalog product suite, which supports Extensible Markup Language (XML) and offers other catalog management improvements. The XML support in IBM's upcoming 3.2 versions of the Net.Commerce electronic catalog, as well as the Catalog Architect content-creation tool, give e-commerce managers a number of advantages, the company said. An e-commerce site designer will be able to attach XML 'meta-tags' to each item, price or color to designate a category of meaning. For instance, if someone is looking for a pair of brown shoes that costs less than a hundred dollars, tags that define price and color could lead to the proper selection. In addition, 'using the XML format with Catalog Architect will allow our customers to import or export the catalog content in XML format for print or for advertising. You can more easily re-purpose the information on the Web,' said Karl Salnoske, IBM's general manager for e-commerce products. One beta customer for the Net.Commerce 3.2 suite, the Victoria's Secret Web site, indicated that XML would prove useful in moving commerce-related text and graphics around without worrying about formats."

  • [July 22, 1999] "Developing With Internet Explorer 5.0." By John Lam. In PC Magazine [Online] Volume 18, Number 12 (June 22, 1999). "Sure you can use Internet Explorer 5 to browse the Web, but technologies such as DHTML and CML make it suitable as a platform for applications independent of the Web too. We'll take a look at some of these problems and at the solutions Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 (IE5) provides, focusing on DHTML behaviors and XML support in IE5. The problem of maintaining a user session and its associated data has typically been solved through Web server services, such as the session objects in Microsoft's Active Server Pages. But this is hardly the only solution to this problem; in fact it is not the best solution. IE5, through its support for the Extensible Markup Language (XML), makes it possible for Web developers to maintain a user session and its associated data all within a Dynamic HTML page on the client. XML also serves as a means for dealing with a related issue: transferring data between the Web browser and the Web server. Until now, you had to transmit data using crude techniques such as HTML FORM elements. Moreover, if the data to be transferred was structured, developers had to invent ad hoc formats for representing the information. With XML, it's relatively easy to generate XML documents from an application's data; that data will then be processed by IE5's XML processor, saving considerable development effort."

  • [July 22, 1999] "Metadata Management: E-Business Grail." By Mark M. Davydov. In Intelligent Enterprise Volume 2, Number 10 (July 13, 1999), pages 32-40. "Metadata has been an afterthought among business and IT managers, despite its importance in data warehousing, ERP, and electronic data interchange systems. Wake up: Without a metadata management strategy, your organization has little hope of successful e-business transformation." The article covers 'Metadata' initiatives in connection with XML and related technologies; "more that 60 initiatives are underway to define metadata's semantic and technical aspects for use on the Internet. . ." Considered especially are initiatives within ISO, W3C, IETF, MDC (OIM, MDIS), OMG (XMI), VICS, and the Electronic Industries Association.

  • [July 22, 1999] "Dynamic XML Duo." By Nelson King. In Intelligent Enterprise Volume 2, Number 10 (July 13, 1999), pages 50-55. "Object Design and Bluestone Software enter the XML server market separate yet together It's a sign of great expectations for the extensible markup language (XML) that two potentially competitive firms, Bluestone Software Inc. and Object Design Inc. (ODI), are willing to co-market two important products: ODI Excelon XML Data Server and Bluestone XML Suite. Both companies are looking to get a foot, if not a leg or two, in the door of mainstream corporate software development. They see XML as their entry ticket, and in fact they are at the leading edge (both products are version 1.0) of this vastly important technology. What makes the tandem interesting, and the reason I am reviewing them together, is the implied approach -- actually an architecture -- for developing applications that use XML. ODI and Bluestone are both saying that you need an XML translator (a parser) that you can connect to almost any data source his arrangement provides the most flexibility, security, and scalability. For the most part, I agree, but I think there is a high cost in complexity, and there may be performance issues that will surface in heavily loaded environments. . ."

  • [July 22, 1999] "First Union National Bank." By Michael Quigley. IBM Case Study. July, 1999. "First Union uses Java and XML technologies and tools for its Cyberbanking services. Customers can access their accounts and perform transactions on the Web from their existing browsers. Some banks that offer customer access to online services may require customers to first install complicated, proprietary software. Not First Union National Bank; its customers can use their existing browsers to access account information and perform transactions. First Union National Bank uses Java and XML technologies and tools to help make such user conveniences possible. . . The Charlotte, North Carolina-based First Union, the nation's sixth largest bank holding company, with offices in 12 East Coast states, also uses Java and XML to help its call center provide better, faster, and more flexible service to customers."

  • [July 22, 1999] "Building The Pipeline -- Seamless Supply Chain Connections Will Be Integral To The Transformation." By Karen Franse. In Computer Reseller News Issue 851 (July 19, 1999). "'You can't manage something you can't see.' With these few words, Pinacor Inc.'s Jim Manton summarized perhaps the biggest challenge facing the channel and its vendor partners as they seek to implement the new integrated distribution model: In order for the model to work, there needs to be a seamless view of the supply chain that extends all the way from the customer, through the channel and manufacturers and back to component suppliers. Under RosettaNet's auspices, channel partners of all kinds-manufacturers, distributors, resellers and end users-have come together to work out kinks in the channel's product delivery system. 'This is the new [channel] re-engineering revolution,' Chehade said. 'Once we agree [on the business standards and dialogue], then we go to the technical people and say, 'Go build the XML stuff so our machines can effectuate the agreements we've made,' he said." Also in: VAR Business.

  • [July 22, 1999] "Taming the Internet with XML." By Mark Sigal (President, Rapid Logic Inc., Alameda, Calif.). In Electronic Engineering Times [Online] Issue 1070 (July 19, 1999). "If we could look back from the future to the present, we would see that the key enabler in turning traditional real-time computing devices into 'good Net citizens' was not a 'thing' that was added to such devices, like a protocol, a Net-centric operating system or a discovery mechanism, but rather the intelligent bridging of those various mechanisms for distributed computing via eXtensible Markup Language (XML). First, a quick reality check. XML is not a panacea. In fact, XML in itself doesn't actually do anything. Rather, XML provides the mechanism for defining the structure of information-data about data-while leaving the actual processing of information to traditional application development languages such as C, C++ and Java, or to scripting languages such as JavaScript, Perl and Tcl. As a platform-agnostic framework for the creation of specific markup languages, however, XML is tailor-made for the intersection of intelligent devices and the Internet. . . XML is destined to emerge as the primary method for binding network-enabled applications together via a unified data dictionary of manageable elements. Why? Because XML is implemented in text-based form, making it ideal for serving a dual role as both a man-to-machine and machine-to-machine interface. In an XML-enabled application such as technical support automation, people can model support policies, using human readable terminology (e.g., green event means automatically re-configure; red event means notify administrator with probable problem/solution). They can then post the policy into a control chain mediation layer, where such rules are transparently digested by network devices. Once perfected, such a policy becomes the ideal mechanism for reconciling the analog nature of business with the digital nature of automation."

  • [July 22, 1999] "XML Extends Reach of Fault Analysis." By Ian Agranat (President, Agranat Systems Inc., Maynard, Mass.). In Electronic Engineering Times [Online] Issue 1070 (July 19, 1999). "To ensure reliability, Internet equipment suppliers provide network managers access to information via Web browsers. Suppliers are ready to take this to the next level: Rather than have individuals monitor and control systems, they desire application-to-application interaction. So far, this has been possible but not easy. But that is about to change with the introduction of XML. XML (for Extensible Markup Language), unlike the familiar Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), broadens the exchange of data from element management to enterprise management. Using XML, designers of embedded Net devices can take advantage of the fact that the Web, traditionally a server-based tool, now allows virtually any device containing a microprocessor to be accessed and managed over the Web. Embedded systems need a mechanism to manipulate data generated by various applications in different formats. XML takes care of that by allowing object definitions to be formatted and exchanged between heterogeneous servers and clients over a network."

  • [July 22, 1999] "Blending XML with Groupware -- Lotus, Microsoft, Novell Shake up the Market." By Lee Copeland, Amber Howle, and Steven Burke. In Computer Reseller News Issue 851 (July 19, 1999). "Billed as the second coming in computing standards, Extensible Markup Language (XML) is burrowing its way into technology infrastructures. The standard boasts a groundswell of supporters from network operating developers to E-commerce vendors, and even the groupware gang has jumped on the bandwagon. Leading groupware vendors Lotus Development Corp., Microsoft Corp. and Novell Inc. have extensive plans to remake their products around XML. XML and messaging make a good blend, said Tom Dwyer, analyst at The Aberdeen Group Inc., Boston. 'Messaging is a way to get things from any point to any point in the world, while XML makes information completely portable'. . ."

  • [July 22, 1999] "Improved Connectivity -- Apptivity Progresses Toward UAA Goal." By Darryl K. Taft. In Computer Reseller News Issue 851 (July 19, 1999). "Progress Software Corp. took a major step toward its goal of a Universal Application Architecture (UAA) for E-commerce recently with the introduction of Version 3.1 of Progress Apptivity, the company's Java application server and development environment. The new version delivers enhanced Extended Markup Language (XML) support for improved connectivity and data integration, according to the Bedford-based developer. Version 3.1 also includes enhanced SQL functionality to deliver E-commerce applications that support vendor-specific queries on enterprise databases by ven-dors such as Oracle Corp., said George Kassabgi, vice president of the Apptivity Business Unit at Progress. In addition, new features such as enhanced XML support and conditional HTML tags "will allow us to more readily connect to heterogeneous systems," he said. With the product's Apptivity Smart-Adapters, inbound XML data can be integrated as relational data for simplified integration, according to Progress." See the press release: "Progress Apptivity 3.1 Delivers Enhanced Capability and Connectivity for Web Business Applications. Industry Leading Java Application Server Now Supports XML for Seamlessly Scalable E-Commerce Applications."

  • [July 22, 1999] "XML could play key role in directory interoperability. Microsoft, Novell and others unite behind technology for building metadirectories." By John Fontana. In Network World (July 19, 1999). "The search for directory interoperability gained momentum last week as five powerhouse organizations joined forces to promote a standard way for directories to exchange data. IBM, Microsoft, Novell, Oracle and the Sun/Netscape Alliance all lined up behind the proposed Directory Services Markup Language (DSML), an extension to XML that lets directories exchange information about their data. The ability of directories to exchange 'schema' information, data about a directory's content, in a standard way is important for interoperability. The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), the existing standard, currently lacks that ability. A directory schema is used to name objects, such as users, and attributes, such as addresses and telephone numbers. Directories typically have their own unique schema."

  • [July 21, 1999] "Describe Your Data." By Charlie Heinemann. In extreme xml [Microsoft MSDN Column] (July 20, 1999). "Why Describe My Data? I say describe, rather than validate, because the term 'validate' implies that the function of a DTD or schema is to validate the structure of your data. Validation is one function of a DTD or schema; it isn't, however, the only one. DTDs and schemas can also define data types and relationships within your data, something that can be useful even if validation seems unnecessary, so I prefer to say 'describe' when it comes to explaining the function of DTDs and schemas. Which leads me back to my original question of why describe? Because data authors across the Web need a way to understand the structure of the data that can be processed by your application. Data authors need something that tells them how you expect the data to look both when they receive it and when they send it back to you. . . DTDs are a method of providing 'a grammar for a class of documents.' This is the method of data description described within the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) XML 1.0 Specification. An XML schema is used to describe XML elements and attributes (as opposed to XML documents). It basically consists of attribute and element type declarations that describe content models for XML elements and attributes within an instance document. It serves much of the same purpose as a DTD. However, its functionality extends beyond that of a DTD. . . The gist of the schema activity is that you can begin to seriously consider using XML schemas today. The tools support is here, and will continue to grow, and industry support is strong. The benefits of schema and the ability to increase those benefits through extensibility make them a good choice when describing your XML documents."

  • [July 21, 1999] "Vendors Unite To Back XML Directory Standard." By Jeffrey Schwartz. In InternetWeek Issue 774 (July 19, 1999). "XML has emerged as the glue most likely to tie together multivendor directories. In a rare display of unanimity, IBM, Novell, Microsoft, Oracle and the Sun-Netscape Alliance, as well as start-up Bowstreet Software, agreed to support a newly proposed interoperability specification, called the Directory Services Markup Language, or DSML. The announcement, made at the Burton Group's Catalyst conference here, is the largest show of support for a directory standard since 1996, when some 40 vendors agreed to support LDAP. LDAP, now a universal standard for client access to directories, does not address the issue of linking disparate directory servers. While DSML does not purport to solve the issue of multimaster replication, which has pitted Microsoft against other vendors, it does provide a common means of letting vendors map the schemas of their directories in a common format. DSML is designed to link XML-based data to LDAP directory data."

  • [July 21, 1999] "SDSC Offers Archiving Tips." By Elana Varon. In Federal Computer Week (July 19, 1999). "Agencies can use current technologies to build a system to preserve electronic records and to ensure long-term access to them, according to a new report by the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC). But the report noted that better software is needed to operate such a system easily. The report, commissioned by the National Archives and Records Administration and issued earlier this month, concluded that agencies can, with relatively little money, create an archive for their documents that can grow and migrate to new technology over time. The necessary ingredients to achieve this objective are a supercomputer or high-end workstations; commercial storage and database software; and a World Wide Web server. . . What is missing, according to the study, is "generic" software that can be used to capture, index and retrieve information in multitudes of formats. 'What you have to do right now is write software that can manage a particular collection,' Moore said. 'What we're interested in is discovering what kind of software could handle a variety of collections.' The report suggested that the answer lies in an emerging standard called Extensible Markup Language, a Web-friendly version of a widely used standard for tagging documents called Standard Generalized Markup Language. XML is designed to define the content and the structure of many kinds of documents so that files stored in an XML-based database could be reconstituted outside their native formats."

  • [July 20, 1999] "Validation: It's a Good Thing." By Eve Maler (ArborText). Issue #1 in Eve Maler's new column, Eve's Advisory. July [19], 1999. 'In the debut issue of Eve's Advisory, "Validation: It's a Good Thing," a reader asks whether XML will free him from the tyranny of rigid structure. Have a question you would like Eve to address in a future column? Send it to' See the recent press release: "Clueless about Extensible Markup Language? XML Doyenne Eve Maler Offers Expert Advice and No-Nonsense Answers in 'Eve's Advisory'. Online Resource Site Provides XML Information in Plain English to Satisfy Even the Most Curious and Confused in the High-Tech Community on This Next- Generation Computing Language.". See also from the Arbortext "Think Tank": expert Norm Walsh on various industry and XML related subjects. The first "The XSL Debate: One Expert's View", Norm 'discusses the debate about the merits of XSL and gives his personal opinion on this recently hot topic.'

  • [July 20, 1999] "News Analysis: Inprise's Future Remains Cloudy. Popular tools vendor faces buyout pressure." By Dana Gardner. In InfoWorld (Volume 21, Issue 29 (July 19, 1999). "Turmoil must seem the norm over at Inprise, the development tools, middleware, application server, and Java vendor that has seen more flips than a house of pancakes. Formerly Borland Software, Inprise has undergone scores of strategic market shifts, CEO changes, political coups, and mergers and acquisitions in the last 10 years. Nevertheless, it has remained a strong innovator and technology powerhouse, boasting some of the leading tools in several categories and hoards of devoted customers. Inprise is at work to leverage XML in its tools to allow them to generate objects that run on Enterprise JavaBean or COM+ environments from a single logic base. XML allows for easier generation of objects from tools, and allows for self-describing data packets, Inprise officials said."

  • [July 20, 1999] "XSL Transformations." By Elliotte Rusty Harold. Online presentation. July 20, 1999 [or later]. Chapter 14 of the author's XML Bible. "The Extensible Style Language (XSL) includes both a transformation language and a formatting language. Each of these, naturally enough, is an XML application. The transformation language provides elements that define rules for how one XML document is transformed into another XML document. The transformed XML document may use the markup and DTD of the original document or it may use a completely different set of tags. In particular, it may use the tags defined by the second part of XSL, the formatting objects. This chapter covers the transformation language half of XSL." For other tutorials, see "XSL Articles, Papers, Tutorials."

  • [July 20, 1999] "News Analysis: Developers, ISVs Await Standardized XML Schemas." By Jeff Walsh. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 29 (July 19, 1999), pages 47-48. "With Extensible Markup Language (XML) support becoming a given in many products, the second phase of XML has begun. Companies are now looking to develop standardized ways to share XML-formatted data to automate their internal and external business processes. The whole notion of using XML as the format for business-to-business integration has a huge value-add in the New Web Order. If the Federal Expresses and United Parcel Services of the world organize around a particular XML schema or Document Type Definition (DTD) so that they exchange data defined as 'customer,' for example, then all of their business partners and customers could write applications using the same tags for better data interoperability. Experts insist that user companies will eventually step up and define the schemas that make the most sense for their particular industries. But many developers and ISVs seem to be waiting for standardization before implementation, which may never totally happen. 'While it is true that it would be nice to have an agreed-upon set of vocabularies which everybody can adhere to, this is not the case yet and probably will not be the case in the near future,' said Norbert H. Mikula, chief technology officer of both DataChannel, in Seattle, and the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) industry consortium, which acts as a repository for XML schemas. Many Web sites, such as OASIS and, are trying to position themselves as hubs of this business-to-business vocabulary by hosting repositories of XML schemas that businesses can use. Most people in the XML trenches are not buying into the concept that the hand that writes the schema rules the world, debunking the (predominantly Microsoft) conspiracy theorists." See also "XML Breakdown."

  • [July 20, 1999] "XML Might Become Standard for Digital Signatures." By Sandra Gittlen. In CNN Interactive (July 14, 1999). "The Internet Engineering Task Force and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) combined forces at the 45th IETF meeting in Oslo this week to develop a strategy for supporting digital signatures on the Web. The joint working group wants to employ XML to make digital signatures, which use public and private key encryption to identify users, universally accessible. Creating an XML standard for the technology is important because XML applications are on the rise, says working group co-chair Joseph Reagle, a technology and society policy analyst at the W3C. Companies are using XML forms for loans and other documents and need to be able to access applicants' signatures through various applications, he says. 'Anyone that cares about authentication will care about [digital signatures],' he adds. The standard will specify a set of XML tags that labels the digital signature as a cryptographic identifier and maps it to the appropriate Web resource such as a certificate vendor's URL for verification." See XML Digital Signatures (xmldsig) and "Signed XML (IETF/W3C)."

  • [July 19, 1999] "Objects by Design - Transforming XMI to HTML." By Stuart Zakon. 'Tutorial on using XSL to transform XMI (XML for UML) into HTML'. "In this project we will be demonstrating how to use the newly introduced XSL stylesheet technology to transform XMI documents into HTML. Our purpose is to be able to display an object-oriented design in a web browser. XMI is an XML-based, stream representation of a UML model which has the potential to allow models to be shared between different UML tools. Since XMI is a relatively new part of the suite of UML standards (March, 1999), support for this standard will appear gradually over the course of this year. For a discussion on the future role XMI can play in the O-O development process, please see our criteria for choosing a UML modeling tool. There are a number of new, evolving technologies discussed in the sections which follow. Links to documents describing these technologies are provided at the end of this page for further research. The reader will benefit by delaying the navigation of these links until after the presentation of our design. The main driver of the XML transformation is the XSL processor. The XSL processor reads in both the XML document and the XSL stylesheet. The XSL stylesheet describes a set of patterns to match within the XML document and the transformations to apply when a match is found. Pattern matches are described in terms of the tags and attributes for elements found within an XML document. Transformations extract information from the XML document and format it into HTML. Each match/transformation pair is called an XSL template; we will soon see them in action." See "Object Management Group (OMG) and XML Metadata Interchange Format (XMI)."

  • [July 19, 1999] "Bowstreet launches early XML-LDAP platform on The Semantic Web [From the Ether.]" By Bob Metcalfe. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 29 (July 19, 1999), page 106. "This week, continuing the search for emerging platforms in The Semantic Web, let's look at Bowstreet Software, wisely located in Portsmouth, N.H. Bowstreet begins, of course, with Extensible Markup Language (XML). The key idea of XML is meta data -- data about the meaning (semantics) of data. Whereas The Hypertext Web yields pages in HTML for humans to read, The Semantic Web yields pages in XML for software to read. Bowstreet says future software will be organized around the calling of Web services described at run time by XML. The company calls its technology Web Services Architecture (WSA). WSA is based on XML and Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP). It already has deals with IBM, Microsoft, and Novell to use LDAP-compliant directories to store XML meta data about Web services and profiles of users calling on those services. Bowstreet is initially using WSA in an application development platform for Internet channel management (ICM). The company's Java software enables customers to combine ICM "features" in highly flexible applications -- applications that recompile at run time based on directory meta data about customers and services. . ."

  • [July 19, 1999] "Directory Vendors to Combine for XML Push." By Sharon Gaudin. In Computerworld (July 19, 1999). "Putting their directory battles aside for the first time, a group of rival industry giants last week agreed to ingrain an XML standard in their directories, giving applications a common way to retrieve information. The group of cooperating vendors have all agreed to use XML as a standard means to tag and present information to querying applications. Bow Street Software Inc., a start-up firm in Portsmouth, N.H., is writing the directory-oriented XML open-source specifications. . ."

  • [July 19, 1999] "Test Center Analysis: The XML Standards Landscape. XML holds promise for better business-to-business communication." By Gess Shankar. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 29 (July 19, 1999), pages 47-48. "Traditionally, electronic data interchange (EDI) has been effective for communicating transactions between companies, but only large enterprises performing a high volume of transactions have realized significant benefits using it. Now the Extensible Markup Language (XML) standard promises an open standard for secure, cost-effective business-to-business Internet commerce that will bring midsize and smaller companies into the fold. But the emerging standards landscape reveals it is not yet time to dismantle existing EDI and broker-based data infrastructures. Nevertheless, XML's pledge of better data portability among trading partners is the wave of the future. . . Although the W3C developed the XML standard as the next-generation Web publishing language, IT developers realized the simplicity and power of this self-describing format and began to deploy XML in application integration projects involving disparate platforms and applications. This works well between two entities that understand the defined tags and their meanings; however, developers and vertical application vendors are developing their own DTD and schema flavors. The answer? Standards, such as OBI (Open Buying on the Internet) Consortium, commerceXML (cXML), Microsoft's BizTalk Framework, and RosettaNet's e-Concert set of specifications. These standards are still evolving and mostly incomplete. . ."

  • [July 19, 1999] "Vendor politics slow progress of directories." By Matthew Nelson. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 29 (July 16, 1999), pages 1, 12. "With most IT organizations needing directories to deploy and manage the next generation of enterprise applications, byzantine political battles between Microsoft, Novell, IBM, and the Sun-Netscape Alliance may delay adoption of what is a critical but still emerging technology. In regard to directories, the industry as a whole took one giant step and one halting step in the right direction during the past two weeks. At the Burton Group Catalyst conference in Squaw Valley, Calif., this week, the collective might of Novell, IBM, the Sun-Netscape Alliance, Oracle, and Microsoft rallied behind newcomer Bowstreet in the formation of an open group to create a directory standard based on Extensible Markup Language (XML), called Directory Services Markup Language (DSML). The group intends to present the proposal for a new schema for XML that will allow directories to interoperate by providing a means for directory information to be accessed even when the specific data formats are unknown. Bowstreet contends that this standard will be a perfect fit with Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)-enabled products. In addition, several members of the DSML group, including Oracle, IBM, and Novell, had previously given their support to the Directory Interoperability Forum (DIF), which formed two weeks ago. The DIF intends to create a standard that will make use of LDAP to enable data queries across multiple directories. The vendors described these two separate initiatives as complementary and said they will probably be joined at some future point. . ." See "Directory Services Markup Language (DSML)."

  • [July 19, 1999] "Trees, Graphs, and Sets." By Simon St.Laurent. 13-July-1999. Abstract: "Linking XML documents has been complicated by an apparent mismatch between several categories of information that are involved in creating links. Stepping back from the particulars of linking and exploring the abstract structures involved may help resolve the outlines of a practical set of solutions and provide a cleaner vocabulary for discussing intersections between different aspects of linking. Please send comments to Simon St.Laurent. ["It's a first draft, and probably just plain simplistic, but I've tried to sort out some of the conflicting threads involved in the discussions this list ]] has had over the last six months."]

  • [July 19, 1999] "Retrospective on ERCS: the Extended Reference Concrete Syntax. [or 'ASCII: My Part in its Downfall'." By Rick Jelliffe (Computing Center, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan). Date: 1999-05-20. "In mid-1994 I was given a background project at Allette Systems, Sydney, where I worked as Senior SGML Consultant, to identify any technical reasons why the SGML market in East Asia and South East Asia was stagnant. This project soon consumed quite a lot of my time, involving trips to Japan and discussion with various contacts; learning a lot more about SGML and characters and many arcane tidbits about CJK (China/Japan/Korea) publishing. Out of this research evolved some proposals called the Extended Reference Concrete Syntax (ERCS), which received much useful feedback, especially from Japanese. . . This retrospective looks at the issues and solutions raised by ERCS and what has become of them after five years. ERCS is not now promoted as a syntax with its own identity: it has found adequate expression in XML, whose development started at the very time and meetings that the minor corrections to SGML required for ERCS (Annex J, the Extended Naming Rules) were adopted." See SGML/XML Character Sets and Multilingual Text, including Extended Reference Concrete Syntaxes (ERCS)." [local archive copy]

  • [July 19, 1999] "The Future Of XML." By Rich Santalesa and David Harvey. In Sm@rt Reseller (July 23, 1999). "By its very nature as a meta-language, XML is also uniquely suited for standardizing specific Web operations. There's work under way on such XML-based variants as an Extensible Forms Description Language (XFDL), an Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL), an XML Query Language (XML-QL), and even HTML will slip into XML control via XHTML, which proposes to modularize HTML. The danger here is that by dispersing XML's power over such a wide and thin strata, only a few "variants" will attract a critical mass of development and usage. To dip our own feet in the XML waters, we've been using SoftQuad's Xmetal 1.0 XML editor. Xmetal puts a friendly face on XML and DTDs, and we've already uncovered new XML possibilities we hadn't considered. Other XML tools we have on hand are Corel's WordPerfect 2000, which can edit XML but shouldn't be confused with a pure XML tool, and Emile 1.0 for the Macintosh from Media Design in-Progress. . .".

  • [July 16, 1999] "Wall Data Updates Enterprise Portal." By Ellis Booker. In CMPNet TechWeb News (July 14, 1999). "Wall Data, one of the first vendors of enterprise portal software, this week released version 3.0 of its Cyberprise Portal. It features a variety of tools for rapidly setting up a portal customized for different user communities, whether inside or outside a corporate firewall. . . Wall Data is working on version 4.0, which will feature support for Java Server Pages, XML and Java, and a notification feature for sending portal updates to non-PC devices, such as pagers and cell phones."

  • [July 16, 1999] "SoftQuad's XMetaL: XML Word Processing Comes into Focus. [A Hands-On Review of SoftQuad's XMetaL.]" By Liora Alschuler. In Seybold Report on Internet Publishing [ISSN: 1090-4808] Volume 3, Number 11 (July, 1999), pages 16-19. " With XML everywhere from invoices to clinical reports to news feeds, new tools that push out pointy bracket markup are popping up with functionality that resembles everything from Notepad, to emacs, to Word, to Quark or a six-figure editorial system. SoftQuad's XMetaL is an attempt to offer developers and integrators a word processing solution for XML documents. How well does it fit that role? Blending elements of SoftQuad's SGML- and HTML-authoring tools, XMetaL is an attempt to create a generic word processor for structured documents that can be easily tailored to a variety of professional applications. Working with the software and a journalist's DTD, Liora Alschuler finds much to commend in its operation, but she also exposes a few warts that stick out in this first release. . . XMetaL moves us a small step closer to defining the expectations for a commercial product, but SoftQuad has not taken the large conceptual leap needed to define the application in the way in which WordStar did for word processing in the mid-1980s. In a field divided between Arbortext's Adept, FrameMaker+SGML, XMetaL and WordPerfect SGML, there is no hands-down winner. Each has unique strengths that make it the best choice in certain situations. XMetaL's strengths are price, ease of setup and customization, a simple user interface, and support for a standard style sheet mechanism [CSS]. There is every indication that SoftQuad will respond to what it learns about the market for an XML word processor. . . SoftQuad has taken a good stab at defining a new type of XML-authoring tool, but improvements are needed. Developers looking for a component to embed in a larger system should investigate XMetaL's potential. Customers seeking a retail solution will have to first convince vendors that a retail market exists." Also available in PDF format, and in a related version from See the announcement of May 25, 1999: "XMetaL 1.0 Now Shipping - Setting the Standard for XML Content Creation."

  • [July 16, 1999] "Open eBook Initiative: A Common Denominator For Electronic Publishers." By Steve Potash [Overdrive Systems, Inc.] In Future of Print Media (Spring 1999). "The anticipated release and success of this eBook document may be the single most important milestone in the evolution of the eBook market. Entitled 'Open eBook Structure Specification 1.0' (OEB 1.0), the document is designed to provide guidance and specifications for publishers, authors and others seeking to distribute content into emerging eBook channels. One element of the Open eBook initiative is a specification for eBook file and format structure based on subsets of HTML and XML. The significance of this is that publishers can now use their existing software tools designed for Web page authoring, and in many cases, the same desktop publishing or word processing software used to complete the print version of the title, for conversion into eBook formats. This ability to use popular and well-known desktop publishing and web publishing tools to build eBooks will bring the cost of eBook development down to within reach of any author, publisher or editor. This open format reliance has already helped to promote a ready network of eBook vendors, Internet based-resellers and others preparing to work with eBook products in OEB format." See "Open eBook Initiative."

  • [July 16, 1999] "XHTML: Our Last, Best Hope for Clean Code." By Peter Wiggin. In Web Review [Songline Studios, Inc.] (July 16, 1999). Feature article in (3) parts. "Will XHTML rescue web developers mired in dirty code? XML is a hot topic among web developers. Its promise of a standardized markup that separates display and layout code from syntax really hits home if you've ever experienced the frustration of parsing loose code. But that's just one example of how a strict, standardized markup standard can make programming easier. As we watch the growing trend of portable web-enabled devices, we realize they will require a compact code using standardized markup. Getting to that point, however, isn't going to be easy. Whether your site has 10 pages or 10,000, it's likely that the HTML code is a mix of standard HTML and browser-specific, proprietary markup. If you've been thinking about making the transition to XML, or even just standardizing your HTML code, here's the solution: XHTML (Extensible Hypertext Markup Language). XML + HTML = XHTML (sort of). Let's take a quick look at how these markup languages fit together. (1) HTML is a markup language described in SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language). (2) XML is a restricted form of SGML, removing many of SGML's more complex features, but preserving most of SGML's power and commonly used features. (3) XHTML is the reformulation of HTML 4.0 as an application of XML. . ."

  • [July 16, 1999] "What Does the X in XHTML Stand For? [Web Review Poll]." In Web Review [Songline Studios, Inc.] (July 16, 1999). ". . . formerly HTML, eXtreme HTML, X-rated HTML, GenX HTML, eXistential HTML, eXtensible HTML. . ." Etc. Vote, and see the poll results...

  • [July 16, 1999] "Editorial Systems Adapt to Web Workflows." By Luke Cavanagh. In Seybold Report on Internet Publishing Volume 3, Number 11 (July, 1999), pages 1, 8-15. "Though the feeling that the Web will make print newspapers dinosaurs may be a bit premature, it's no secret that a Web presence has become a requirement for all newspapers, big and small. Repurposing print content with various extraction tools carried the load for a time, but those add-ons did not address the emerging need for Web support within the basic editorial operations -- and systems -- of a daily paper. What is needed is a cross-media editorial system. At Nexpo last month, a new wave of such products arrived from established suppliers, including Atex and System Integrators. Combining innovative use of XML markup with relational databases, new page composition engines from Adobe and Bitstream, and integration with Web production tools, these systems enable a newspaper's existing editorial staff to handle the creation of news content for both the Web and printed editions. Inside [this SRIP article], we review the new systems as well as what numerous vendors have done to adjust to the Web-related needs of their customers. Our round-up shows clearly defined trends in news editorial systems that should intrigue any publisher coping with multiple media." [Reviewed or summarized from the Nexpo '99 Las Vegas show: nine vendor offerings, including, e.g., Atex Omnex (based on the use of an Oracle8 XML database), SII's Insight and 2Publish , DTI's NewsSpeed, etc. Conclusion: "XML will allow publishers to embrace the Web without drastically changing any of the old conventions of print or overhauling their editorial operations..."]

  • [July 16, 1999] "Rival XML Sites Launched." By '--ptc' [Patrick T. Coleman]. In Web Server Online Volume [For Managers of World Wide Web Sites] Volume 4, Number 7 (July 1999). "Launched within 24 hours of one another and promoting competing XML-based business schemas, OASIS' and Microsoft's have analysts concerned about industry consensus and product neutrality. Despite current clear skies, a potential tempest is brewing in the world of eXtensible Markup Language (XML). In late May, two competing Web sites were launched within 24 hours of one another, both with the intention of promoting the use of XML-based business schemas., unveiled on May 25, is an XML portal developed by the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), a nonprofit consortium backed by industry leaders, including IBM Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc., Oracle Corp. and Novell Inc. The other,, an effort led by Microsoft Corp. and used to promote its proprietary XML framework, was launched the day before. The introduction of the BizTalk site has led to speculation that the emerging XML market will soon develop into a power struggle to create the leading Document Type Definitions (DTDs) and business schemas. [Laura] Walker, executive director of OASIS feels the two sites provide a similar service. She hopes will become the portal leading to all things XML. That includes providing the different business schemas and DTDs that are developed in the industry, as well as ones developed for the BizTalk Framework. 'Companies exist to make money and it is through product differentiation that they are able to do so. What we focus on at OASIS is that even though there will always be this product differentiation, the exchange point between products is neutral. That is what we strive for,' Walker says."

  • [July 16, 1999] "Content Management: Galloping Off in All Directions." By Michael Jay Tucker. In Web Server Online Volume [For Managers of World Wide Web Sites] Volume 4, Number 6 (June 1999). "To date, two major coding schemes have dominated content management. The first was Standard Generalized Markup Language, or SGML. This, of course, is a well-defined (by the International Organization for Standardization, or ISO) means of maintaining large amounts of structured information. It has been used successfully for more than 10 years by organizations ranging from vast corporations to tiny nonprofits. The kicker? It doesn't like the Web. It works fine on CD-ROM and so forth, but it is so complex and so complete that it tends to overwhelm the average Web application. So that leads us to the second major standard--Hypertext Markup Language, or HTML. . . But, says Dennis Eskow, editorial director of the Instat Group, a market research firm based in Boston, MA, as far as content management is concerned, XML's power is in its ability to handle many different document formats. 'It is a means to resolve the issue of how to make intellectual property easily transferable from one medium to another,' Eskow says. Most companies and organizations already have enormous amounts of documentation on hand, he says. The trick is often getting it out of a proprietary or obsolete format and into something multiple and dissimilar applications can use. 'It [XML] will be ubiquitous,' Eskow says." Also published in Server/Workstation Expert Volume 10, Number 7 (July 1999), pages 62-65.

  • [July 16, 1999] "My Date With Mozilla. Lighting up the town with Netscape's open source browser. [Net Surfer.]" By Elizabeth Powell Crowe. In Computer Currents (July 13, 1999). "As I mentioned, the open source community adds new features to Mozilla and improves old ones almost every week. The version I tested, Milestone 7, represents a significant step forward in the browser's development -- several major design goals have been met and released for testing. Here are some of the highlights. XML support. Milestone 7 includes some demonstration files that show how Navigator 5 will support XML. For example, an simulation shows the results of a search for books with the word 'road' in the title. You'll get buttons at the top of the screen for rearranging the display by title, author, or ISBN. Another button lets you display or hide a series of book covers."

  • [July 15, 1999] "Allaire to Introduce XML-based Content Management, Buys Live Software." By Dana Gardner. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 29 (July 15, 1999), page 5. "Allaire on July 21 will unveil an XML-based content management server that allows developers to add personalization to e-commerce Web sites and applications. Code-named Tempest, the packaged system uses Extensible Markup Language (XML) at its core to complement Allaire's other products, HomeSite and ColdFusion, and allows enterprise employees and partners to take a more active role in Web-based business transactions, said Jeremy Allaire, vice president of technology strategy at Allaire, in Cambridge, Mass. The announcement of Tempest comes as Allaire is finalizing a purchase agreement to acquire Live Software of Cupertino, California. Live Software's JRun, a pure Java server-side development and deployment platform, will allow Allaire's products to support JavaServer Pages (JSPs) and overall server-side Java, Allaire said. As with Tempest, Allaire also expects to use XML in the combined ColdFusion/JRun environment to leverage so-called taglets in the development and pages serving process."

  • [July 14, 1999] "Bowstreet Works to Jump-start XML as Directory Force." By Jack McCarthy. In InfoWorld (July 13, 1999). "Backed by several industry giants, New Hampshire-based start-up Bowstreet Software announced here Monday it is taking initial steps to write open-source specifications for standardizing the Extensible Markup Language (XML) as the lingua franca for network directories. Flanked by representatives from Microsoft, IBM, Novell, Oracle, and Sun, Bowstreet officials said a consensus is growing that XML will form the standard for directory services that will enable businesses to move toward coordinating networks over the Internet. 'We believe directories are the only appropriate service platform to usher in the trend toward Internet management, support channels, customer service, and all kinds of business applications,' said Jack Serfass, president and CEO of Bowstreet at the Catalyst 99 conference here. 'And XML represents a whole new world for these business services.' Bowstreet will coordinate an effort to develop a Directory Services Markup Language (DSML), Serfass said. More information about the project is available at, although proposed specifications will not be publicly available for two to three months, a company representative said." See "Directory Services Markup Language (DSML)."

  • [July 14, 1999] "Browser tools to simplify Web development." By Jeff Walsh. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 28 (July 12, 1999), page 22. "UserLand Software hopes to change the face of Web content management with a product it is developing, code-named Manila, which brings Web authoring to a browser and does not require a knowledge of HTML. Manila enables users to work in their Web browser to author and manipulate Web pages. Simplicity is the main design goal of the product, according to Dave Winer, president of UserLand Software. The product is built on the XML-RPC (Extensible Markup Language Remote Procedure Call) protocol and will ship on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux platforms." See the XML-RPC Home Page.

  • [July 14, 1999] "Novell and Microsoft agree on XML-based standard." By John Fontana. In CNN Tech News (July 14, 1999). "Five major vendors Monday joined forces to promote a standard way for their products to talk to each other. This could turn out to be a milestone in the history of directory interoperability. IBM, Microsoft, Novell, Oracle and Sun-Netscape all lined up behind a proposed extension to the Extensible Markup Language (XML). This extension will let directories exchange information about the data they hold. Achieving that level of communication is nearly impossible today without a rich set of tools since directory vendors use different formats, or schema, to describe the information they hold. Getting directories to exchange data is important for electronic commerce applications that are likely to link many companies over various platforms. The five companies, along with start-up Bowstreet Software, said at the Burton Group's Catalyst Conference in Lake Tahoe that they intend to present the Directory Services Markup Language (DSML) specification to a standards body in the fall. The intent is to create a standard way to query data, such as a user's name, address and privileges, from a directory regardless of the format the data is in. That data, which is exchanged using XML, can then be used in Web-based applications to identify and control the users access to applications or create custom applications for that user." See "Directory Services Markup Language (DSML)."

  • [July 14, 1999] "Start-Up Proposes Directory XML Standard." By Stuart Glascock. In CMP TechWeb News (July 12, 1999). "A software start-up has gained the backing of IBM, Microsoft, and Novell along with the alliance formed by Sun and Netscape, to push a new XML-based standard for corporate directories. The Directory XML-based plan, proposed by newcomer Bowstreet Software and backed by the industry veterans, is expected to streamline the way different directories throughout and among organizations communicate with each other. Among other benefits, Bowstreet CEO Jack Serfass said he sees high hopes DXML will fuel growth of e-commerce applications. Bowstreet, which is focused on Internet channel management for business-to-business e-commerce, intends to ship product within a few months." See "Directory Services Markup Language (DSML)."

  • [July 14, 1999] "Lutris' Server Divides Duties. Enhydra is an Alternative to JSP, ASP." By Antone Gonsalves. In PC Week [Online] (July 12, 1999). "Consultancy Lutris Technologies Inc. has developed new Java/XML application server technology that separates the roles of designer and developer in creating Web pages, allowing each to concentrate on his or her areas of expertise. The technology in Enhydra 2.1, the latest version of Lutris' open-source Web server, which shipped this month, is an alternative to Sun Microsystems Inc.'s JSP (Java Server Pages) or Microsoft Corp.'s ASP (Active Server Pages). To add business logic, JSP uses Java code embedded in the HTML used to build the Web page, while ASP uses Visual Basic script. As such, the technologies often require developers to act as designers and vice versa. Lutris, of Santa Cruz, Calif., has gotten around that problem by developing a unique compiler called Enhydra XMLC. . . Enhydra 2.1 and the XMLC compiler are available for free from Lutris' Web site at The only requirement for use of the source code is that the copyright headers be preserved."

  • [July 14, 1999] "[Buzz Soup:] The Forms of Marketing." By David Weinberger (Editor, Journal of the Hyperlinked Organization). In Newsletter (July 12, 1999). "If you want proof that standards are marketing weapons look no further than the current dust up between JetForm and Forms are valuable precisely because they're boring. They force humans to make textual information predictable so that the computers can do their automated thing with it. And that's also why XML is the perfect meta-standard for forms, since XML enables the documents humans write to be predictable enough for computers to deal with them. Big JetForm and little agree that the marriage between XML and forms is 100% natural (in the sense in which computer-based stuff can be said to be natural). After that, they don't agree on hardly nothin'. . .

  • [July 14, 1999] "Directory Standards Push. Oracle, Novell, IBM join together to create one standard." By Cara Cunningham. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 28 (July 12, 1999). "Led by IBM, Novell, and Oracle, an industry group was formed last week to speed the standardization of directory technologies. Called the Directory Interoperability Forum, the group says it is committed to working with existing standards bodies to accelerate the adoption of technologies that will build on the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol. These would include replication services, security, and a standard schema (most likely via the Extensible Markup Language) across directories, said Chris Stone, Novell's senior vice president for strategy and corporate development."

  • [July 14, 1999] "XML Directory Standard Debuts." By Brian Riggs. In Information Week (July 13, 1999). "IBM, Microsoft, Netscape, Novell, Oracle, and others plan to tie a new generation of Extensible Markup Language customer- support management, supply-chain management, and other E-business applications to directory services. The plans hinge on the development of the Directory Services Markup Language standard, which was introduced yesterday at the Catalyst 99 conference. With DSML, any XML application will be able to access information stored in directories such as Novell Directory Services, Microsoft's Active Directory, and directories used in conjunction with database, messaging, and other applications. For example, with DSML, customer information stored in the directory of a customer-relationship management application will become accessible to any XML-enabled application, letting intranet and extranet users have access to that information." See "Directory Services Markup Language (DSML)."

  • [July 14, 1999] "Vendors Vie For XML Standard." By Charles Babcock. In Inter@ctive Week [Online] (July 12, 1999). "The push behind the eXtensible Markup Language may appear to be a jumble of conflicting groups and initiatives, but so far the common underlying definitions and structure of XML have kept it accessible to many parties rather than falling under any one vendor's sway. But that doesn't mean the competing XML organizations, which are backed by some of the biggest names in the Internet software business, won't try to dominate particular schemas - the language's key elements and tags - associated with a given area of e-commerce. For instance, in the case of XML forms, user organizations are likely to be confronted with two competing architectures for the next couple of years as key differences between the frameworks are resolved. According to analysts, this will leave user organizations on their own to figure out what's most likely to be in the final World Wide Web Consortium recommendation. At the end of June, JetForm released its XML Forms Architecture as "the first comprehensive XML forms definition," a move that prompted critics to point out that a previous XML forms definition language, eXtensible Forms Description Language, had already been offered by" See the press release: "JetForm Announces First Comprehensive XML Forms Definition to Speed E-Commerce Adoption. Leading Internet Security Vendors Entrust, PenOp, Silanis and VeriSign Align with New "XML Forms Architecture" for Secure Compliant Documents of Record."

  • [July 14, 1999] "W3C Acts On Style Sheets." By Charles Babcock. In Inter@ctive Week [Online] (July 12, 1999). "The World Wide Web Consortium at the end of June posted its recommendation for eXtensible Style Language or XSL, the equivalent in style for eXtensible Markup Language pages that the consortium's Cascading Style Sheets made possible for HyperText Markup Language pages. A W3C recommendation is a standard that practitioners of Web development may follow or ignore, since W3C does not claim to be a standards enforcer, explained Janet Daly, W3C spokeswoman in Cambridge, Mass. EXtensible Markup Language (XML) allows the presenting of complex, clearly defined and tagged data on a page, with the attributes for different types of data captured in different sets of tags on the page. With XSL, that data can now be presented with style as well as definition. For example, in a discussion of many books, the author's name might always appear in red as well as in a given text size. 'Style sheets are huge. They're one of the neatest things about XML,' said Coco Jaenicke, product marketing manager of the eXcelon XML server at Object Design. Style sheets allow page designers to separate the presentation of the data on an XML page from the data itself. While a young researcher might want as much data as possible per downloaded page, an older viewer might want larger type in looking at the same information. . ."

  • [July 12, 1999] "An XML Standard for Directory Services?" By Ben Heskett. In CNET (July 12, 1999). "A software start-up hopes to use the emerging Extensible Markup Language standard as a means to streamline the way corporate networks communicate information. The initiative has received the backing of several technology heavy-hitters like Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, Netscape Communications alliance, and Novell. The effort floated by Bowstreet Software aspires to bring an XML-based standard to the world of directory services software, a niche populated by many of the largest software companies in the world. The Bowstreet XML-based extensions will be called directory services markup language, or DSML." See "Directory Services Markup Language (DSML)" and the DSML Web site.

  • [July 12, 1999] "Novell to Release XML Directory Services Tool." By Ben Heskett. In CNET (July 12, 1999). "Network software provider Novell intends to utilize the emerging Extensible Markup Language (XML) standard, sometimes called the lingua franca of e-commerce, to bolster its directory services strategy. Novell's new product initiative based on XML will allow applications built with ties into directory technology to have multiple 'views' of data stored in various systems. The new product, previously known as Virtual Replica, as reported will be called 'DirXML' and will enter testing by the end of this year, according to the company. The product highlights different strategies at work at Novell and Microsoft, arguably among the most influential software companies in the emerging directory services market going forward. Novell has chosen to implement an XML-based scheme to gain much of the same technology features Microsoft obtained last week when it acquired Zoomit." See "New Solution Extends E-Business. Novell's DirXML Links Business Data Across the Enterprise."

  • [July 12, 1999] "Directory forum launched with open standard pledge. Focus will be on advancing open directories based on LDAP." By Nancy Weil. In SunWorld Online (July 07, 1999). "A group of top IT vendors, with a large supporting cast, today launched the Directory Interoperability Forum, pledging to work on open standards leading to interoperability of directory-based applications -- a move they said will boost e-commerce and support for Internet applications. IBM Corp., Novell Inc., Lotus Development Corp., Oracle Corp., Data Connection Ltd., and ISOCOR are the founding members of the forum, which requires participants to pledge support for open directory standards with the goal of interoperability. Directories are data repositories, storing information such as e-mail addresses, device configurations, passwords and phone numbers, often used by network administrators as well as e-commerce companies to transact business. The forum will work to advance open directories based on LDAP (lightweight directory access protocol). The forum members will develop a common set of APIs (application programming interfaces) for their various directories, to reach a common schema for all of them. XML (extensible markup language) will be key to the APIs."

  • [July 12, 1999] "The Use of Unicode with Markup Languages." By Martin Dürst (, Mark Davis (, Hideki Hiura (, and Asmus Freytag. Proposed DRAFT Unicode Technical Report #20. In the Technical Reports Series. July 05, 1999 [or later]. "This document contains guidelines on the use of the Unicode Standard in conjunction with markup languages. . . The Unicode Standard contains a large number of characters in order to cover the scripts of the world. It also contains characters for compatibility with older character encodings, and characters with control-like functions included for various reasons. It also provides specifications for use of these characters. For document and data interchange, the Internet and the World Wide Web is more and more making use of marked-up text. In many instances, markup provides the same, or essentially similar features to those provided by formatting characters in the Unicode Standard for use in plain text. While there may be valid reasons to support these characters and their specifications in plain text, their use in marked-up text can conflict with the rules of the markup language. . . it is planned to address the following points: (1) Linearity of text vs. hierarchy of markup structure; (2) Coincidence (in most cases) of semantic markup and functions of control characters (e.g., <html:q> for insertions of fragments from another language,..); (3) Extensibility of markup; (4) Problems with structural alignment between markup and control characters; (5) Ambiguity or interference of control characters in markup source . . . [Status: This proposed draft is published for review purposes.]"

  • [July 12, 1999] "Directory Integration to Make Use of XML. [Network Management: XML May Put the 'Meta' into Directories.]" By Cara Cunningham and Dana Gardner. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 28 (July 10, 1999), pages 1, 30. "Is XML (Extensible Markup Language) mature enough to become a lingua franca, connecting disparate directories throughout an organization or across an extranet? At least a few heavyweights in the directory market seem to think so. This week at the Burton Group's Catalyst conference in Olympic Valley, Calif., Novell is expected to reveal plans to include XML support in its next release of Novell Directory Services (NDS), with an eye toward turning the product into a meta directory. The Sun-Netscape Alliance and IBM are planning to add XML to their meta directories. . . Although it is a relatively new concept, wedding XML and meta directories appears to make sense. For administrators it would mean that any XML-supportive directory could access any information that has XML tags, simplifying the management headache of having to get the right connector to access the right information. . ." [or: try now the alt. URL]

  • [July 12, 1999] "Novell to push new NDS role Novell to outline metadirectory plans. Microsoft gets into metadirectory game with Zoomit buyout." By John Fontana. In Network World (July 12, 1999). "Novell and Microsoft are scrambling to fill gaping holes in their directory service strategies as they try to make their respective technologies cornerstones in enterprise network infrastructures. Sources say that Novell this week will unveil a product that adds metadirectory functionality to Novell Directory Services (NDS). Microsoft positioned itself to add similar functionality to its forthcoming Active Directory last week by acquiring Zoomit, a leading metadirectory vendor. . . [they say] Novell will unveil a standards-based metadirectory tool likely to be called Directory Integrator 1.0. The tool, code-named Virtual Replica, will interconnect data from extranet, intranet and electronic commerce applications around a hub-and-spoke directory structure with NDS at the center. Directory Integrator will use XML and Extensible Style Language to describe data in a common way between directories and applications. Using NDS replication, Directory Integrator will exchange data bi-directionally, allowing authoritative directories to maintain ownership of data. An important feature of the tool is that it will be able to replicate data in pieces. For example, a person's phone number could be replicated, but not his home address. XML will be used for data conversion, data mapping and event mapping to create the "join" between directories, while NDS will manage the flow of data."

  • [July 12, 1999] "Compaq aims to simplify application integration process. BusinessBus links messaging, ERP and other apps." By Deni Connor. In Network World (July 12, 1999). "Customers looking to simplify the integration of enterprise applications and reduce custom coding may want to check out a new tools and services program that Compaq will unveil later this summer. The program, dubbed BusinessBus for NonStop eBusiness, is one of the first results of a recent Compaq reorganization designed to wring more money from end-to-end product and service packages as well as make up for eroding server revenue. . . BusinessBus 2.0 for NonStop eBusiness will use XML to collect data from disparate applications."

  • [July 12, 1999] "What Microsoft is doing right and wrong with BizTalk." By James Kobielus. In Network World Volume 16, Number 28 (July 12, 1999), page 45. "Microsoft's BizTalk initiative represents both a help and a hindrance to the electronic commerce industry's quest for XML-based interoperability. To Microsoft's credit, BizTalk has underscored the need for broad standards frameworks for business-to-business e-commerce interoperability, over and above traditional electronic data- interchange document formats. E-commerce is a total transaction environment that requires standards on many levels. Like competing frameworks, such as Ariba Technologies' Commerce XML (cXML), BizTalk uses XML to define message-routing envelopes, request-response messaging protocols, transaction workflows and online catalog structures. . . However, Microsoft may be overstepping its bounds in attempting to position itself as an online clearinghouse and repository for XML-based e-commerce schemas developed elsewhere. If the Microsoft-sponsored were a pure schema clearinghouse and repository, it would be benign. However, Microsoft requires e-commerce developers to wrap BizTalk XML "tags" around their schemas in order to publish them to the repository. The tags declare that the contents of an XML/EDI message conform to a Microsoft-defined 'namespace' or set of permissible data elements. . ." See BizTalk Framework.

  • [July 12, 1999] "Progress 4GL Extended." By Charles Babcock. In Inter@ctive Week [Online] (July 08, 1999). "Progress Software has extended its Progress fourth-generation language so that developers with skills in the broadly established 4GL can build objects that work with the Progress Apptivity application server. Version 3.1 also includes a SmartAdapter for integrating eXtensible Markup Language data into applications as relational data, reducing the need for intervention and conversion by manual programming. The move makes Apptivity into an XML server and makes it easier to deploy business-to-business applications that are exchanging information or transactions, Kassabgi said."

  • [July 12, 1999] "Merisel Takes on XML -- Symantec Academic Licensing On Tap." By Amber Howle and Stephanie Green. In Computer Reseller News Issue 850 (July 12, 1999). "Merisel Inc. just boosted its software offerings by adding Extensible Markup Language (XML) technology from Bluestone Software Inc. and Symantec Corp.'s academic licensing program. The Symantec Academic Premier Value Program, which kicked off July 6, allows resellers to offer educational institutions discounted Symantec software licenses. The Bluestone partnership involves Sapphire/Web application server framework and its Bluestone XML Suite toolkit. Now that XML has become a hit with the developer community, XML vendors are extending their reach into the reseller channel." See the press release, "Merisel Expands Software Licensing Offerings. Launches Symantec Academic Program and Enhances Department Infrastructure."

  • [July 12, 1999] "Middle-Tier Migratrion -- E-Commerce Makes Two-Tier To Three-Tier Migration A Journey IT Simply Must Take." By James E. Gaskin. In InternetWeek Issue 773 (July 12, 1999). "While the rise of Web servers and thin clients garnered all the attention, middle-ware quietly reinvented itself. For years, middleware worked on the back end, exchanging apps between databases and hosts. Now, middleware servers are a critical part of any modern e-commerce system, occupying the middle tier, where the business logic that runs and manages Web sites resides. Companies that happily built two-tier systems to link fat clients to even fatter back-end hosts are now scrambling to migrate application code to midtier Web and application servers. . . Gary Jones, a programmer at Swiss Colony for more than 25 years, says Evergreen is using the Extensible Markup Language (XML) to translate queries from online customers into the proper format for Swiss Colony's mainframe. The translated queries pull data from the mainframe, are sent back to the Web servers in XML format and are displayed in real time via eXtensible Style sheet Language. IBM's upgraded MQSeries messaging software, announced in mid-June, supports XML and Java Messaging Service, the developing standard for enterprise messaging services. 'We provide base messaging services between 35 different operating systems and server platforms,' says Rob Lamb, business unit executive for IBM's MQSeries. MQSeries also provides a rules and formatting engine for transferring data, Lamb says."

  • [July 12, 1999] "XML Offers Intranet Help -- Standard Lets Wells Fargo Rework Site." By Beth Davis. In Information Week Issue 743 (July 12, 1999), page 26. "Wells Fargo & Co. this month will launch an intranet that will improve the quality of information provided to thousands of employees. The bank says it's using the Extensible Markup Language, an emerging standard for Web development, to create an intranet for its Institutional Trust Group that can be more easily updated than a previous intranet, which was built on HTML. Because XML lets users save any type of document in XML format without additional coding, nontechnical staff can quickly add or update intranet information, helping the bank serve its customers better. With the old system, IT staff had to recode data into HTML whenever additions were made. . ."

  • [July 12, 1999] "WebMethods Offers Quick Internet Link to ERP." By Stannie Holt. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 28 (July 10, 1999), page 30. "WebMethods, which specializes in Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based application integration, plans to build links between the most popular enterprise resource planning (ERP) suites -- including those from SAP, Baan, and Oracle -- and fast-growing electronic-commerce portals and trading sites such as,, and SAP's forthcoming MySAP Marketplace. For an ERP user who wants to do business-to-business e-commerce, one link to a portal or Web trading network is easier and quicker to build than dozens of point-to-point Web links to all of its suppliers and buyers, said WebMethods CEO and President Phillip Merrick. WebMethods has concentrated on SAP because it has the largest market share and its open APIs make it easier to work with, Merrick said." [try now alt URL]

  • [July 12, 1999] "Enterprise Applications. PeopleSoft Users Get More Function Options." By Stannie Holt. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 28 (July 10, 1999), page 18. "Over the nest several months, PeopleSoft users can expect new functions to become available through integration with third-party software made possible by new APIs from the enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendor. The Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based Open Integration Framework strategy PeopleSoft announced in April is now bearing fruit, promising easy socketlike integrations to third-party functions that the PeopleSoft ERP suite currently lacks, such as logistics, sales, and customer service. The first Open Integration Framework links, which are APIs for warehouse management applications Optum and McHugh, were announced in June. . . Next up are interfaces to broaden manufacturing functionality, more warehouse programs from EXE and Manhattan Systems, and customer relationship management suites, according to Product Strategy Manager Tom Anthony. More functions will come later." [was:]

  • [July 09, 1999] "PML: Adding Flexibility to Multimedia Presentations." By Ashwin Ram, Richard Catrambone, Mark J. Guzdial, Colleen M. Kehoe, D. Scott McCrickard, and John T. Stasko. In IEEE Multimedia Volume 6, Number 2 (April-June 1999), pages 40-52. With 10 references. Abstract: "In multimedia systems, designers typically link content and presentation. The paper discusses a new markup language, Procedural Markup Language (PML), which decouples content and presentation. It lets users specify the knowledge structures, underlying physical media, and relationships between them using cognitive media roles. This approach fosters modular system design and dynamic multimedia systems that can determine appropriate presentations for a given situation by allowing knowledge specification to be done separately from knowledge presentation. . . . The highlights of our formalism are: (1) Domain information is encoded in knowledge nodes that are connected to each other through knowledge links. (2) Information within a particular knowledge node is represented using physical media clusters that contain media elements such as text, graphics, animations, video clips, and sound files. (3) Physical media are organized under knowledge nodes using cognitive media roles, such as 'definition' and 'example.' A cognitive media role can contain more than one different physical media type. For example, a faucet might be represented using some text and a graphic. (4) The information contained in knowledge nodes, knowledge links, physical media clusters, and cognitive media roles forms the raw material of presentation; it determines what users will see and hear, and which navigational connections and devices will be available onscreen. Different presentations can be created from the same underlying representation based on various factors such as the user's domain expertise, previous experience, and goals." See "Procedural Markup Language (PML)."

  • [July 09, 1999] "Building a XML-based Metasearch Engine on the Server." By Ralf Westphal. From (July 08, 1999). "Continuing his tutorial series, Ralf Westphal shows you how to move the metasearch process to the server and deliver browser independent HTML to any client. He also demonstrates how to limit the number of search results displayed per page -- without sacrificing his XSL solution. The metasearch engine worked just fine using XML, XSL and XQL (XSL pattern matching) -- it only had one drawback: it was very dependent on Internet Explorer 5.0 and its MSXML XML-engine. Only clients running IE5 were able to use it. Today I'd like to show you, how we can move the metasearch process to the server and deliver browser independent HTML to any client (I hope you don't mind that this solution will also rely on the Microsoft MSXML component; but this time it's only needed in one place: on the server.)"

  • [July 09, 1999] "OASIS Opens To Individuals, XML Groups." By Amber Howle. In CMPNet TechWeb News (July 08, 1999). "The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) changed its membership requirements Thursday to include individuals and XML industry groups. Laura Walker, executive director of OASIS, said the change was a response to popular demand by people and industry groups wishing to participate in the body's XML efforts. Previously, the non-profit consortium was open only to companies using or providing products and services based on structured information standards such as XML, SGML, and CGM. Membership levels now included Sponsors, Contributors, Individuals, and Associates." See the press release, "OASIS Opens Membership to Individuals and XML Industry Groups, International XML Consortium Restructures Membership to Expand Access to XML Technical Work."

  • [July 09, 1999] "XML for VP [Online Marketplace]." By Dan Hanrahan [Director of Technology at M2K.] In Click-Z Network Newsletter (July 06, 1999). "XML is a lot like Al Gore. You see it around a lot, you're not quite sure what it does, and on the surface, it's not all that darned interesting. What follows here is a sort of 'state of the union address' on XML: What it is, what it's doing, and the exciting promise it holds to redefine online communications and e-commerce. . . a number of industries are working on creating standard DTDs for interchangeable data. These vertical market standards will allow the industries to exchange data using either off-the-shelf software or homegrown solutions. . . Before XML, Dell duplicated HTML pages for each of its 17 country-specific web sites. Now, an XML application manages different languages, currencies, and tariffs for Dell Overseas. What's more, Dell recently announced it will use an application based on XML as the interface between its customers ERP or procurement systems and its own online order management software. The real plus is that once used, Dell can reuse the same data structures for potentially all of its trading partners. AT&T is planning to build an XML-based application that can access product and services information from disparate internal databases and publish that information in a personalized format on the web. No small task, given the fact that AT&T has had 100 years to build disparate legacy systems."

  • [July 07, 1999] "Financial-Services XML Standard Proposed." By Gregory Dalton. In InformationWeek Online (July 07, 1999). "Software vendor Integral Corp. released programming details today for creating documents using FinXML 1.0, a proposed standard for data interchange in the financial-services industry that is based on the Extensible Markup Language. XML is a promising new metalanguage that is increasingly seen as a way to facilitate electronic commerce by bringing better structure to data on the Web. Integral has specified, and made publicly available via the Web, a set of data table definitions which prescribe rules for sharing data using FinXML. It plans next to make FinXML compatible with other flavors of XML being developed in the E-commerce arena, such as Microsoft's BizTalk initiative and Ariba Inc.'s commerce XML effort." See "FinXML - 'The Digital Language for Capital Markets'."

  • [July 07, 1999] "Epicentric Portal Mixes Internal, External Info." By Jason Meserve. In InfoWorld (July 06, 1999). "Companies looking to divert employee attention away from such sites as MyYahoo and back into the corporate intranet now have a possible solution -- the Epicentric Portal Server. This Java-based server combines internal corporate information with external news and services, some of the same services offered by today's mainstream portal players. Epicentric has signed a number of partners including Reuters, Stockpoint, Travelocity, and 401k forum to provide external data feeds and services. To help manage bandwidth, Epicentric acts as a central clearing house for all the external data feeds, breaking complex data into small chunks of XML so each customer gets only the data they want. For internal information, the system uses a set of built in modules for connecting to and accessing data stored in Lotus Notes, PeopleSoft, and SAP systems."

  • [July 07, 1999] "Filemaker Moves Up the Food Chain." By Michael Lattig. In InfoWorld (July 03, 1999). "New features in FileMaker 5.0 include the addition of Extensible Markup Language (XML) in the database itself, as well as an XML parser to the FileMaker developer suite that is expected to accompany the launch of the new database. FileMaker will also add Java Database connectivity support to Version 5.0, and, although no final decision has been made, company officials said they are strongly considering support for OLE DB."

  • [July 07, 1999] "No Money Behind Microsoft's XML Support." By Wylie Wong and Mike Ricciuti. In CNET (July 07, 1999). [news analysis] 'Microsoft recently joined an XML industry consortium supported by some of its competitors, but the software firm has yet to commit the same financial resources as its rivals.' "Microsoft last month eased fears of a Java-like war in the XML market when it joined Oasis, a nonprofit XML consortium backed by Microsoft's rivals, including IBM, Oracle, and Sun Microsystems. . . Both Microsoft and Oasis recently launched portal sites for XML developers that host XML data exchange blueprints for specific industries, such as financial services. Microsoft's Web site and Oasis's site intend to serve as respositories for the blueprints and resource centers for companies using XML. The two compete in that both seek to establish industry consensus and provide a forum to define XML. But BizTalk will host BizTalk-specific blueprints, while Oasis will host information on all blueprints. Some companies, such as CommerceOne and SAP, support both efforts. The main concern among XML proponents is that major software makers will use their financial clout to influence the consensus-building process, leading to proprietary versions of XML blueprints that favor a company's software and architecture. is asking members with more than $250 million in yearly revenue to contribute $100,000 and companies with less than $250 million in revenue to give $25,000. DataChannel CEO Dave Pool said he expects more companies in specific vertical markets, such as General Motors, Nasdaq, and AT&T, to help support" [local archive copy]

  • [July 07, 1999] "OASIS Membership Jumps." By George DiGiacomo. In Internet (July 07, 1999). "In response to recent announcements including the industry portal, more XML users and vendors have joined OASIS, the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards. . ." See the recent OASIS press release.

  • [July 07, 1999] "FileMaker Update Will Support XML. Not for Macs only, database aims at workgroups." By Michael Lattig. In PC World (July 07, 1999). "Looking to change its 'huggable, lovable Macintosh database' into a product considered suitable for workgroup environments, FileMaker plans to release this year an update to its flagship database, FileMaker Pro 5.0. That is not to say, of course, that Version 4.0 is shipping only on Macs. In fact, the company estimates that more than half of its licenses now are for Windows-based systems. But the goal for Version 5.0 is to add features that help FileMaker move up the food chain from a desktop database to a tool for use in workgroups, according to President Dominique Goupil. To that end, FileMaker 5.0 will support Extensible Markup Language in the database itself, as well as an XML parser to the FileMaker developer suite that is expected to accompany the new release. FileMaker will also add Java Database Connectivity support, and company officials say they are strongly considering support for Object Linking and Embedding database."

  • [July 07, 1999] "Industrial Goods Online -- Applied Aims Sites At Manufacturing, Agricultural Users." By Clinton Wilder. In Information Week Issue 742 (July 05, 1999) [Section: Intranets/Internet]. "[The web sites both] run on Hewlett-Packard Net Server E Series servers with Microsoft Internet Information Server 4. Applied, in Cleveland, has written custom XML interfaces to link to its homegrown inventory tracking and transaction processing application called Omnex, which runs on an S70000 mainframe from Compaq's Tandem Computers division. Customers can use the Web site to access current-order status reports as well as two-year order histories."

  • [July 07, 1999] "Rebol With A Cause: Rebol 2.1 Due Out This Week. New Scripting Language Runs Unmodified On 30 Platforms." By Amber Howle. In Computer Reseller News (July 06, 1999). "An upstart developer based here is expected to release this week an update to its universal scripting language, which it claims is the only scripting language to run on all platforms without modifications. Rebol 2.1 can run on operating system platforms Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Palm OS, Windows CE and others; and can be downloaded for free now at the company's web site. Rebol has built-in network support for common Internet protocols, comes in a compact size of 150 kbytes, and includes an XML parser and direct access to network news transfer protocol." See the press release "REBOL 2.1 Released: The Universal Scripting Language Now Spans 30 Platforms. A Historical First: Scripts Run On All Platforms Without Modification." - 'New features in REBOL 2.1 include an XML parser, refined security such as sandbox directories, and new network features, such as direct access to NNTP.'

  • [July 07, 1999] "Lutris Adds XML Tool to Open-Source App Server Offering." By Dana Gardner. In InfoWorld Volume 21, Issue 28 (July 06, 1999), page 18. "Lutris Technologies on Tuesday updated its open-source Java and Extensible Markup Language (XML) application server, Enhydra 2.1, with a new developer tool that offers a better way to use Java to generate dynamic HTML, said Lutris officials. Enhydra 2.1 includes Enhydra XML Compiler (XMLC), an XML technology that Lutris officials said is better than Sun Microsystems'JavaServer Pages (JSP) and Microsoft's Active Server Pages (ASP) for Internet application design and development. XMLC converts HTML documents into Java classes represented as Document Object Model (DOM) objects, according to Lutris. By merging XML and DOM, Enhydra XMLC allows a different approach for interface designers and programmers to co-develop Web applications using Java to generate dynamic HTML." See the press release "Lutris Technologies Releases Open Source Enhydra 2.1 Featuring XML Compiler. Enhydra XMLC Leapfrogs Sun JavaServer Pages and Microsoft Active Server Pages." [try now the alt URL, was:]

  • [July 07, 1999] "XML: Key to New User Interfaces -- For IBM Eggheads, Web Trumps Windows." By Steven Burke. In Computer Reseller News Issue 849 (July 05, 1999). "Web technologies, especially XML, are driving the development paradigms of the future, at least according to some high-powered IBM Corp. technologists. The Windows icon paradigm is 'bloatware,' said Tony Temple, an IBM fellow and expert in user interfaces. If he were to build an interface today, Temple said he would use XML (extended markup language) and try to avoid C++ programming. XML defines information types and information exchange via the Internet and can be used to describe not only the interface but the data and even low-level system components, Temple said at a roundtable gathering of several IBM fellows."

  • [July 06, 1999] "Microsoft's BizTalk Framework Adds Messaging to XML. Proposed Framework for XML Schemas and Exchange of Data." By Michael A. Goulde. 'This article is a reprint from the June 23, 1999 Patricia Seybold Group's Enabling Technologies Strategic Planning Service. It has been reproduced here as originally published.' "Although many groups are defining XML schemas, Microsoft has stepped up and offered a solution for defining a standard way to create schemas. BizTalk Framework is a specification and a framework for implementing XML schemas. It also provides a set of XML tags to be used within messages sent between applications. In fact, XML message formats may be the most significant and longest lasting legacy of BizTalk Framework. Microsoft hopes to elicit broad industry support for BizTalk Framework. Boeing, Merrill Lynch, and the American Petroleum Institute are early BizTalk Framework supporters, as are most ERP vendors. . . There are many different vertical industry efforts underway to define common vocabularies. Unfortunately, each of these efforts is taking different approach to defining schema. BizTalk Framework can provide an industry-neutral way to define schemas, allowing software developers to provide tools and applications that work across industries, rather than having to adapt to each industry's schema." See "BizTalk Framework."

  • [July 06, 1999] "The BizTalk Philosophy." By Dan Rogers (Microsoft Corporation). June 1999. "Under competitive pressure, best of breed IT strategies have adopted packaged software as a way to reduce the IT budget. Savings are achieved by shifting maintenance and R&D costs to software companies. The corresponding shrinkage of the overall IT expenditure has brought other costs under scrutiny. The costs associated with building and maintaining so-called glue layers is increasing faster than other IT budget items. Many customers report concerns over the rising cost of system integration and are starting to question the approach. Microsoft has advocated a glue approach to integration for several years (admittedly, Microsoft has never actually referred to the approach using the term "glue". This term has risen in the general ranks of programmers and consultants that solve integration problems.) In response to customer concerns, we began working on defining an approach to achieving information flows between applications without the need to select a common platform, object technology or define an enterprise information model. Two guiding principles were used to drive this work: to use standards wherever possible and make the process open. The result of this work is the BizTalk Frameworkset that defines a small number of mandatory and optional XML tags, and the web portal. These three elements each combine to form the basis for achieving friction-free integration -- and when coupled with technologies that are designed to move and respond to data encoded as XML, these elements of the BizTalk Framework combine to form the foundation for a glue-less world."

  • [July 06, 1999] "1st XML Schema Hits BizTalk. MarketSoft Guidelines for Microsoft Server Focus on CRM Applications." By Lee Pender. In PC Week [Online] Volume 16, Number 27 (July 5, 1999), page 27. "Microsoft Corp.'s BizTalk framework for XML moved from concept to reality recently as MarketSoft Corp. became the first ISV to contribute an Extensible Markup Language schema to the BizTalk platform. The goal of BizTalk is to promote rapid adoption of XML-based technologies by establishing a consistent framework for XML and publishing schemata for public use. Despite XML's lauded potential for enabling data sharing across platforms, developers of the technology face hurdles in creating standard schemata that can be shared by disparate organizations. Schemata submitted to BizTalk must meet the framework's requirements before being published for public use. MarketSoft has hopped on the BizTalk bandwagon first with a schema it uses for its eLeads application. The Web application qualifies and prioritizes sales leads and distributes them to customer relationship management systems, contact managers and enterprise resource planning applications. Users can feed information into eLeads from sources that include call centers, e-mail, the Web and service bureaus."

  • [July 06, 1999] "Job Tickets: PPF, ETF, PJTF, XML, PDF, #!@#!." By Menno Mooij. In The Seybold Report on Publishing Systems Volume 28, Number 19 (June 30, 1999), pages 1, 3-7. "Everywhere we turn, we hear about job tickets. They've been around since long before the DocuTech -- and long before the PDF workflows and Apogee systems whose success will depend on them. It's generally agreed that they are a good idea and will help solve a lot of workflow issues by carrying the data necessary to manage efficiently the flow and processing of work. Yet we can't seem to agree on a standard format for specifying the data or the "containers" that hold the data. Adobe has proposed its Portable Job Ticket Format. The CIP3 consortium is working on the Print Production Format to address some -- but not all -- of the same issues. Likewise, IFRAtrack deals with certain parts, but only in a newspaper environment. And, more recently, a German group has proposed yet another: the Electronic Ticket Format. We don't have the answer to our conundrum, but in this article European correspondent Menno Mooij has tried to lay out the issues and check on their status. . . It is interesting that in the area of variable data printing, Barco has settled on XML in the newly launched PrintStreamer 2 as the format for its Bookticket file. This Bookticket is nothing more or less than a job ticket telling the PrintStreamer what page objects to select and assemble at the printing heads for a specific print job. . . . IFRA is planning to support the use of XML encoding in the next version of IFRAtrack. . ."

  • [July 06, 1999] "XML: Ready For The Enterprise." By Fred Langa. In Information Week (June 30, 1999). "Last week's column and discussion of Microsoft's Office 2000 generated some interesting (and passionate!) subthreads about some new file formats. It turned out that Extensible Markup Language, or XML, was at the heart of the controversy. We'll get to the details of XML in a moment, but first, let's clear up the 'proprietary' confusion: XML is not a Microsoft format. It was originally proposed in 1996 by the World Wide Web Consortium, or W3C; and has been moving forward ever since. When finished, XML will be a full, open, worldwide standard. To the casual eye, it may appear that Microsoft is doing something proprietary simply because it's the only one shipping a highly XML-compliant browser. But in this case, and to Microsoft's credit, it's just that the company is far ahead of its competitors. OK, what's the big deal with XML? Why should we care? Well, for one thing, XML is far, far more flexible than HTML. . ."

  • [July 06, 1999] "Symantec Provides Framework for EJB ." By Brian Ploskina. In ent - The Independent Newspaper for Windows NT Enterprise Computing [Online] (June 23, 1999), page 14. " Symantec Corp. will be integrating two new technologies that leverage Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) standard into its VisualCafe Enterprise Suite, according to Kent Mitchell, senior product manager for VisualCafe. Mitchell says the EJB Universal Framework comes in three parts. First is a set of wizards and tools that generates an applet and an XML-based employment descripter. The descripter ensures generic support for deployment. Next, Symantec provides the user with hooks, controls and Java macros for deployment. Finally, once the app is deployed, Symantec provides a 'Single-View' technology to allow developers to work with distributed components and debug simultaneously across multiple mixed platforms from one console."

  • [July 05, 1999] "XML -- Watch Closely. [From the Editor]" By John Williams. In Component Strategies Volume 1, Issue 13 (July 1999), page 6. "I spent last week at the XMLOne Conference in Austin, TX. It was a great opportunity to catch up on one of the fastest growing technologies around. I spent most of my time at the conference, talking to attendees, presenters, and vendors. While at the show, IBM and Oracle announced additional support for XML and the Oasis site. At the same time, Microsoft was announcing further support for XML at their TechEd conference. At the end of the week, one thing was clear: You'd better become familiar with XML. . . How soon should you start paying attention to XML? Sooner than you think. I'd planned on doing an XML project this year simply to become familiar with the technology, but events are leaving those plans in the dust. I now need to deploy an application that uses XML before the end of the year. I asked several pundits at the conference how quickly they see XML being adopted. All of them see an adoption curve at least as fast as Java. One prediction was for an adoption curve twice as fast as Java. All the predictions come down to one thing: XML is coming on fast and you need to be prepared. Have you thought about how XML fits into your organization?" [local archive copy]

  • [July 05, 1999] "Easing EAI with XML." By David Chappell. In ent - The Independent Newspaper for Windows NT Enterprise Computing [Online] (June 23, 1999), page 16. "Enterprise application integration (EAI) generally requires sending information between independently developed chunks of software. To make this work, the information must be in a form that's understandable by all the software involved. For years, organizations cobbled together custom data formats, translated everything to the format of the most important application, or invented some other idiosyncratic solution. Today, though, there's a standard approach to describing data in a way that can be understood by all kinds of software. Rather than invent a format from scratch for each integration problem, every format can be defined using XML. Given the increasing availability of XML parsers, XML-aware databases and other XML-oriented tools, taking this standard approach can make EAI a more tractable problem."

  • [July 05, 1999] "Understanding XML Schemas. [Schemas for XML.]" By Norman Walsh. From July 01, 1999. "In May, the [W3C] XML Schema Working Group (WG) published its first Working Draft (WD). Schemas will have a broad impact on the future of XML for two reasons: first because they will define what it means for an XML document to be valid and second because they are a radical departure from Document Type Definitions (DTDs), the existing schema mechanism inherited from SGML. In this article, I'll explore what schemas are, what validity means, how schemas differ from DTDs, and what new functionality will be gained from adopting them. I'll be using the XML Schemas WD from 6 May 1999 to frame the discussion and as the source for concrete examples. . . Looking at the scope and functionality that schemas will provide, they seem like a great improvement over DTDs. Certain kinds of applications, exchanging information between databases, for example, and ecommerce are clearly going to be made simpler and more interoperable by XML Schema. As I see it, the primary virtue of DTDs today is that they are well understood and they do offer a good way to describe the structure of an document for interchange. It will take some time before XML Schema are as well understood. Until then, we'll be 'flying without a net' to a certain extent, waiting for the final standard and practical, documented methodologies for schema creation to follow." See 'XML Schemas' from the W3C: XML Schema Part 1: Structures and XML Schema Part 2: Datatypes.

  • [July 05, 1999] "XML Authority Ends Waiting Game for Schema Developers." By Dale Dougherty. From July 01, 1999. [From Extensibility,] "XML Authority is a visual editing environment for creating and testing schemas. It is also good for viewing existing DTDs or other schema examples in a consistent way. For many of us, the syntax of DTDs can be confusing and awkward, and while a visual interface doesn't necessarily spare you from knowing the underlying syntax, it allows you a higher level, interpreted view of the structure you are creating. . . XML Authority regards DTDs and each of the different schema proposals as essentially the same from the developer's point of view. They use different syntax and there are some differences in features but there is a lot in common. Developers can use XML Authority as a consistent interface for building schemas, regardless of whether you want the result saved as a DTD, or in any of the prevalent schema proposals. This allows the developer to be a standards pragmatist and start getting some useful work done today."

  • [July 05, 1999] "Tutorial: XML-Based Web Publishing System." By [Brian E. Travis and] <TAG> Online Staff. In <TAG> Volume 13, Number 6 (June 1999), pages 1-5. "This article is the first in a series that uses the <TAG> Web site as a working example to show how a three-tier XML based content management and delivery system works. Learn how to use XML, databases and other technologies to create a publishing system that leverages the benefits of XML to deliver personalized content on the Web. This case study is an ongoing investigation into intelligent content management for Web delivery. Future installments of this tutorial will include the following topics: (1) Conversion of content to XML, (2) Managing content using XML, (3) Publishing to a delivery database, (4) Personalization of delivery in a Web environment, (5) Electronic commerce: taking orders and tracking subscribers, (6) Leveraging assets using email delivery of content. All tutorials will include enough code to get you up and running, plus pointers to full programs on our Web site, with enough content to build your own system." See also the editorial on pages 1, 5 "Seeing is Believing" -- 'Our Editor Brian Travis not only lives by this credo but understands that others must see to believe as well. Practicing what he preaches, he offers the <TAG:gt; Web site as proof that XML is an enabling technology for individualized content delivery for our readers. He hopes that you'll be a believer too.'

  • [July 05, 1999] "The W3C Schema Proposal: First Cut." By . In <TAG> Volume 13, Number 6 (June 1999), pages 6-8. "Bob DuCharme takes a first look at the W3C Schema Proposal. This two-part initiative aims to join the XML family of standards by becoming the way in which structure and datatypes are defined for XML. The article is highlighted with examples and detailed descriptions. . . the Datatypes document focuses on two main points: the list of datatype choices to offer and the best way to express this choice so that documents using different languages and character sets can easily take advantage of it. Existing standards efforts such as ISO 11404 ('Language-independent data types') and the W3C 's I18N WG (Internationalization Working Group) offered guidelines to internationalization concerns. . . Perhaps the most important new feature of the Structures document is the archetype. An archetype can have most of the information that an element type declaration can have-for example, a content model and attribute list declaration -- without actually assigning them to a particular element type. Once an archetype name is assigned to this named structure, a schema can declare an element type by simply giving its name and the name of an archetype that specifies the appropriate structural details."

  • [July 05, 1999] "NAA Approves Archiving Standards. The News Industry Text Format Is Designed To Standardize Archives." By [Staff reports]. In Editor & Publisher Interactive (July 02, 1999). "The Newspaper Association of America Wire Service Committee approved this week the News Industry Text Format (NITF), which is a single standard for news markup designed to provide a commercially supportable, straightforward method to code, exchange, and archive news stories. The same NITF-coded files can be used for print, the Web, broadcast, and archives. . . NITF uses XML tags." See: "News Industry Text Format (NITF)."

  • [July 01, 1999] "WAP Forum Releases New Wireless Spec." By Laura Kujubu. In InfoWorld (June 30, 1999). "Meeting here on Wednesday, the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) Forum launched WAP, Version 1.1, which is designed to bring Internet content and advanced data services to wireless phones and other wireless devices. WAP is designed to be a global wireless specification that works across all wireless networks, enabling the creation of content and applications over a range of wireless devices, according to forum officials. Version 1.1 now includes enhanced client-side state model and added support for a caching mechanism in the user agent; static conformance statements needed for interoperability testing; and resolution of technical issues and ambiguities in the WAP, Version, 1.0." See the press release, "New Wireless Application Protocol Version 1.1 Embraced as World's Mobile Internet Standard. Wireless Hardware and Software Providers, Network Operators and Content Developers Set to Release WAP V1.1-Ready Products and Services in 1999." See also the recent W3C submission from from Ericsson, IBM, Motorola, and for WAP Binary XML Content Format (W3C NOTE, 24-June-1999), and generally "WAP Wireless Markup Language Specification."

  • [July 01, 1999] "XML's Next Step. The XML RPC protocol may help enable automated business-to-business Web information exchange." By Sebastian Rupley. In PC Magazine (June 30, 1999). "The Web seems to make itself over frequently, and few technologies are more central to the Web's current makeover than XML (eXtensible Markup Language). HTML provided the language to define the layout of text and graphics on a page. XML, though, is not a presentation language but a common way of describing Web-based data. The Web, which was built on HTML, is being rebuilt on XML; and a new XML protocol called XML RPC (Remote Procedure Call)--designed to let developers write automated routines making use of XML -- is gaining momentum as well. Two primary forces behind XML are the need for better Web searching and the need for a common way of tagging, or describing things such as business documents, which will in turn allow for easier business-to-business transactions and information sharing. For the Web to categorize and serve up documents and other information intelligently, there needs to be a kind of meta-card catalog for describing information that goes beyond the simple keywords that describe Web-based information today. . ."

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