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Technology News [September 2001]

  • The New Face of JavaBeans: Xbeans provide a modular approach to building an XML processing toolkit  [September 30]
    Xbeans are JavaBeans that manipulate XML documents. That is, the data passed to an Xbean is a standard DOM document, already parsed and accessible using the W3C standard DOM API.
    One of the most interesting new developments in XML processing has been the introduction of the Xbean. Xbeans are small and simple software components that take XML as input and process it in some way, passing XML on to the next Xbean. This approach lends itself very well to the creation of a library of simple, reusable building blocks for XML processing. The Xbeans we will be discussing are based on the W3C DOM, but can be adapted easily to the JDOM library. The home of the Xbean is, an open source project, where you can read Bruce Martin's excellent white paper "Creating Distributed Applications Using Xbeans" and download the basic Xbean interface library. To create and use the Xbeans discussed in this article, you will also need to download the Xerces and Xalan JARs from

  • Command Line Transformations Using msxsl.exe  [September 29]
    Until now, there has been no off-the-shelf way to perform command-line Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) transformations using the Microsoft® XSL processor. MSXSL is a small command-line utility that invokes MSXML3.DLL or MSXML4.DLL to perform the transformation.

  • Web Services and Workflow: Organizing Web Services  [September 28]
    If businesses want to benefit from the power of the Internet, web sites have to evolve. It is often no longer beneficial for them to only provide static information. It is necessary for these web sites to find ways that allow them to interact with other websites, operating systems, and applications. With Web Services it is finally possible to create functions that can easily be accessed over the Internet by both internal and external parties. In other words, with Web Services it is possible to integrate different value chains from different organizations with ease.

  • Validating XML  [September 27]
    This tutorial examines the validation of XML documents using either Document Type Definitions (DTDs) or XML Schema. It is aimed at developers who have a need to control the types and content of the data in their XML documents.

  • Enabling Web Services with BEA WebLogic: Using WebLogic and CapeConnect from CapeClear  [September 27]
    BEA Systems, Inc., announced full support for Web Services in release 6.1 of their industry leading WebLogic Application Server. Though they had provided this starting from the Beta release of Version 6.1, it was not until the formal release of version 6.1 that developers really started getting serious about taking a look at their Web Services support.

  • Servers and Relationships under the .Net Infrastructure: How Enterprise Servers can help You  [September 27]
    For the Enterprise planning to support Web Services, there lie many alternatives as far as platforms and servers are concerned. Within the Microsoft .Net architecture that supports the Web Services model of application development and deployment is a series of Servers that assist not only in the application deployment, but also in the areas of maintenance, management, and security.

  • Interactive Web Services with XForms  [September 27]
    A form -- whether a sheet of paper or a web page -- represents a structured exchange of data. Web services, as typified by emerging standards like SOAP, WSDL, and UDDI, is an excellent approach to exchanging data in a structured way, although usually the exchange is between machines. Since computers are much better at, well, computing, web services is an important and overdue development in the evolution of the Web. Nevertheless, web services applications exchanging information only between machines isn't very interesting: lots of electronically accessible information originates with ordinary human beings.

  • XML Blueberry Requirements Working Draft Published  [September 23]
    The XML Core Working Group has published an updated Working Draft of "XML Blueberry Requirements." The draft lists the design principles and requirements for a revision of XML 1.0 being developed to address Unicode character set and line ending issues.

  • Justice office leads XML standardization effort   [September 21]
    The Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs is leading an effort to develop standards for using Extensible Markup Language within the law enforcement and criminal justice communities.

  • Writing SAX Drivers for Non-XML Data  [September 19]
    Learn how to create drivers that generate SAX events from non-XML sources and writing custom SAX filters.

    Also see:
    High Performance XML Parsing with SAX

  • C/C++ developers: Fill your XML toolbox: Tools advice for C and C++ programmers ramping up on XML  [September 18]
    Designed for C and C++ programmers who are new to XML development, this article gives an overview of tools to assemble in preparation for XML development. Tool tables outline generic XML tools like IDEs and schema designers, parsers, XSLT tools, SOAP and XML-RPC libraries, and other libraries either usable from or actually written in C and/or C++. The article includes advice for installing open-source libraries on Windows, Unix, and Linux, plus a brief glossary of key XML terms.

  • Enabling XML security  [September 15]
    An introduction to XML encryption and XML signature. XML is a major enabler of what the Internet, and latterly Web services, require in order to continue growing and developing. Yet a lot of work remains to be done on security-related issues before the full capabilities of XML languages can be realised. At present, encrypting a complete XML document, testing its integrity, and confirming the authenticity of its sender is a straightforward process. But it is increasingly necessary to use these functions on parts of documents, to encrypt and authenticate in arbitrary sequences, and to involve different users or originators. At present, the most important sets of developing specifications in the area of XML-related security are XML encryption, XML signature, XACL, SAML, and XKMS. This article introduces the first two.

  • Understanding WSDL in a UDDI registry: How to publish and find WSDL service descriptions  [September 14]
    The Web Services Description Language has a lot of versatility in its methods of use. In particular, WSDL can work with UDDI registries in several different ways depending upon the application needs. In this first of a three-part series, we will look at these different methods of using WSDL with UDDI registries.

  • XML in Excel and the Spreadsheet Component  [September 12]
    XML is becoming an important, new data interchange format for customers to communicate legacy data. Customers who want to import this data into Microsoft Excel 2002 and the Microsoft Office XP Spreadsheet component will have the option of loading either generic, well-formed XML or specially formatted XML Spreadsheet files (using the XML Spreadsheet schema) to communicate their data. Excel also offers the option of creating a high-fidelity XML Spreadsheet file for any Excel spreadsheet.

    Also see: XML Spreadsheet Reference

  • Pork Barrel Protocols  [September 12]
    XML Endpoints is a new column about web services, one of the most controversial and confusing topics in distributed systems development today. Our goal for this column is to examine web services as they exist today and as they will be evolving in the future. Along the way, we'll talk about protocols, programming models, toolkits, interoperability and more. We'll also try to sift through all of the proposals for competing web service related specifications -- e.g., WSDL, WSFL, XLANG, HTTPR, SOAPRP, UDDI, and so on -- in order to explain which ones are likely to be useful and why. Before we get to all that, however, we need to define the term "web service".

  • Peering Into Sun Microsystems  [September 8]
    Sun would like the computer industry to believe that it is the one true champion of open Web services. Sun believes that its notion of “smart Web services” goes to the heart of its cherished, if hackneyed, motto that the “network is the computer.” If the computer industry implements the concept to its fullest extent, Web services are supposed to automate the process of consummating business relationships and transactions over the Internet.

  • Integrating XML Web Services Into Microsoft Office Solutions  [September 8]
    By now, you have probably heard many people talking about XML Web services. XML Web services are units of application logic providing data and services to other applications (such as Microsoft® Office) over the Internet or your intranet. For instance, imagine a scenario in which you manage a warehouse that supplies windshield wipers to automotive manufacturers across the United States. Currently, imagine that customers place orders over the phone or through a generic order form on a Web page. Now, imagine adding all of the rich functionality of the Microsoft Office applications to your order-entry application. With this functionality, customers could place orders and receive order confirmations from within an Office application, such as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet template, over the Internet. Additionally, customers could use the rich features of Excel to analyze and report on their orders in a way that makes sense to them.

  • Defending Your XML Web Service against Hackers, Part I  [September 8]
    One of the biggest concerns we hear from developers when we talk about the potential of XML Web Services is the fear of vulnerabilities that might allow malicious users to attack their services. The bad news is that attacks can result in such atrocities as limiting the availability of your service, private data being compromised, or in the worse case, losing control of your machines to these malicious users. The good news is that there are real protections available to you that can limit the risks involved from these attacks. We are going to take a look at what kind of attacks are out there, and what you can do to protect yourself in the areas of deployment, design and development. This first column on the subject will focus on deployment issues you should consider; in our next column, we will look at design and development issues that you need to be aware of when developing your XML Web Services.

  • Sun and Web Services: The Competition Heats Up  [September 07]
    Having missed the boat in the early stages of XML and SOAP development, Sun was shaping up to play the role of a follower, rather than a leader, in the nascent world of Web Services. However, as Java is establishing itself as the natural tool for serious server side development, and there are signs that J2EE standards are becoming more accepted, Sun may well have begun it's fight back into the heart of Web Services activity.

  • Sun has Java, but where are its Web services?  [September 07]
    In light of recent announcements by several vendors (e.g., IBM, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and Oracle) regarding new software strategies, Sun Microsystems' software puzzle appears to be missing one of its pieces. A plan for achieving leadership and innovation in Web services is under-represented as a top-line issue. Sun has shown recent indications that a new major strategy announcement is on the way. However, the lack of a clear message from Sun regarding the way it plans to capture leadership in Web services defies logic when viewed from the standpoint of Sun as a thought leader in the software-as-services revolution.

  • Instant Recall With XML Data Caching  [September 07]
    A good XML parser coupled with an XSLT processor delivers everything you need, and more, to improve performance of a three-tier Web application. By caching database information on the Web server or application server, you can relieve the database server of some of its repetitive work.

  • Understanding SAX  [September 07]
    This tutorial examines the use of the Simple API for XML version 2.0, or SAX 2.0. It is aimed at developers who have an understanding of XML and wish to learn this lightweight, event-based API for working with XML data. It assumes that you are familiar with concepts such as well-formedness and the tag-like nature of an XML document. In this tutorial, you will learn how to use SAX to retrieve, manipulate, and output XML data.

  • Understanding DOM  [September 07]
    Even before there was XML, there was the Document Object Model (DOM). The DOM allows a developer to refer to, retrieve, and change items within an XML structure, and is essential to working with XML. In this tutorial, you will learn about the structure of a DOM document. You will also learn how to use Java to create a document from an XML file, make changes to it, and retrieve the output.

  • Making Money out of Selling Web Services – Part II - Show me the Revenue  [September 07]
    In part I we examined the need to build a proper business model for Web Services, and avoid the mistakes that characterise so many dotcom failures. In part II, we will look at specific charging mechanisms in more detail, and suggest some strategies for generating sustainable revenue from this emergent technology.

  • Versioning of Web Services  [September 06]
    Every day, we hear of vendors announcing toolkits that serve to make the building of Web Services effortless. Organizations are, however, in different stages of the Web Services implementation phase - many organizations are awaiting other organizations’ reactions; a few have already announced availability of Web Services. Nevertheless, the majority of organizations, especially those with established products and a large customer base, are asking very specific questions about this new programming model. One of these questions is: How do we maintain different versions of Web Services for different customers? In this article, we will define the common problem of versioning and attempt to find some solutions with respect to Web Services.

  • Developing Wireless Applications  (The Perl Journal)[September 06]
    In this article, the author explores application development for wireless devices, first providing an overview of the WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) architecture, and then introducing some Perl modules to help create WAP applications.

  •   New Article:   [September 05]
    Wireless Web access is exciting! You might think it's hard to build Web applications that can be accessed over cellular phone, but in reality, building Wireless web applications is easy and very similar to traditional browser based applications development, as far as server-side programming is concerned. Instead of generating HTML, now you generate WML (Wireless Markup Language).

    In this article, Darshan Singh creates a calendaring application that can be accessed over cellular phone. Learn more >>

  • Building Message Board Web Services with C# and .NET -- Part I, The Web Services  [September 04]
    In this article, Chris Pike looks at how web services are constructed using C# and .NET. He does this by examining one of the most popular web applications, the message board. Amongst the topics looked at are the issues concerned with designing web service applications, and how to create the web service in Visual Studio .NET and C#.

  •   SalesRankNPrice .NET Web Service and Client  [September 04]
    This Web Service can be used to get the Sales Rank and/or price for any book available on Amazon and/or B&N Web sites. The Web Service is created using ASP.NET and it's available at team has also created a C# Windows applications that connects to the SalesRankNPrice Web Service. This client application (with source code) is available here.

    Click here to view the screenshot of this client application.

  • SOAP security extensions: digital signature  [September 02]
    SOAP Security Extensions: Digital Signature (SOAP-DSIG) defines the syntax and processing rules for digitally signing SOAP messages and validating signatures. This article discusses how SOAP-DSIG is related to SSL, and describes how the two technologies complement each other. Digital signatures allow messages to be as authentically sent by the origin user or software. Unfortunately, the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) 1.1 did not include provisions for signing messages and thus lacks this security. My cohorts and I sent a proposal for adding digital signature technology to SOAP, which has since been accepted by the World Wide Web Consortium as the SOAP-DSIG Note, defining the syntax and processing rules for digitally signing SOAP messages and validating signatures. This technology has since been implemented into shipping products from IBM, Microsoft and others.

  • Fast XML Access in .NET Using the XMLTextReader Class  [September 02]
    XmlTextReader, contained in the .NET Framework's System.XML namespace, reads data from an XML file quickly without placing high demands on system resources. Use it to read data from an XML file and output it as HTML for display in a browser.

  • XML/XSLT in a Wireless World  [September 02]
    We've all heard the hype. Depending on what you read and hear, XML can be used for everything from washing your car to curing athlete's foot. Bob Hendry took the plunge into XML and discovered that it does indeed live up to the hype.

  • XForms Working Draft Published  [September 01]
    The XForms Working Group has released a new Working Draft of XForms 1.0. More flexible than previous HTML and XHTML form technologies, the new generation of Web forms called XForms separates purpose, presentation, and data.

  • How to Access Java Code from XSLT  [September 01]
    XSLT is powerful, but confining. Sometimes, it's useful to be able to use Java class functions from XSLT.

  • Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) Version 1.0 truns W3C Proposed Recommendation on 28 August 2001  [September 01]

  • Microsoft releases XQuery demo on Web  [September 01]
    A developer who might need to extract only the names and addresses from a large collection of XML-based customer files filled with hundreds of fields of data can now find a demonstration model on the Web to facilitate that effort. Microsoft Corp. earlier this month released updated Web-based and downloadable tools for XQuery, a query language and processing model that lets developers manipulate data from collections of XML documents. The tools are based on the World Wide Web Consortium's XQuery working draft, which was released on June 7.

  • The Web Services Scope: "A Critique of Pure Reason"  [September 01]
    XMethods co-founder Tony Hong considers whether web services are best applied as a technical solution for managing software components or as enablers of interorganization workflows. In the Spin, our editors take a close look at several vendors' web services marketing campaigns.

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