provides greater security because encryption is readily available through the use of
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).
XML in Todays Software Industry
The adoption of XML technologies is primarily being driven by enterprise applica-
tions, which are loosely defined as mission-critical, business-class software appli-
cations, as opposed to desktop applications geared for home users. Now that Ive
introduced the core technologies, this section provides an overview of the various
industry focus areas that are being overhauled thanks to new XML technologies.
By using SOAP, XML Schema, and other related technologies (collectively referred
to as Web services), companies can expose programmatic access to business logic
over the Web. This business logic can subsequently be accessed by any device,
remote process, desktop application, or Web application. Web services are trans-
forming the World Wide Web from simple business-to-consumer applications,
which require human interaction, to a distributed federation of loosely coupled
services. A key area for growth will be enhancing business-to-business (B2B) appli-
cation infrastructure, enabling the creation of virtual marketplaces, as well as
streamlined order processing and back-office operations.
The World Wide Web
The Web in its current form is growing at an astounding rate, with an estimated
base of 3 billion HTML documents distributed across the world. These documents
are primarily intended to be read by people through a browser. Because it could
take thousands of years to manually read through these documents, it becomes
increasingly important to preserve a documents semantics. The semantics provide
the context or meaning of a document, allowing you to better understand it.
Contrast this to brute force search engines that determine a documents relevancy
to a particular subject simply by calculating the number of times a keyword occurs.
Although search engines such as Google.com and Alltheweb.com have devel-
oped impressive algorithms for making sense of the vast amount of data on the
Web, computers in general have quite a tough time deciphering the billions of
documents out there. The challenge comes from all the miscellaneous things that
clutter the actual document content: navigation bars, graphics, advertisements,
applets, Flash files, and other things meant to enhance the human user experience
but that dont count as actual page content as far as a Web-bot is concerned.
XSL/XSLT stylesheets are commonly used by Web developers to separate data
from presentation markup on a Web page. This separation can greatly simplify the
indexing, sharing, and retrieving of data on the Web by both people and Web-bots.
XSLT also enables the internationalization and localization of Web sites and the
Chapter 1: The XMLSPY Game