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IBM rolls out new XML technologies

Big Blue releases a flurry of new XML technologies and other XML-related announcements at the XML '98 conference in Chicago.

IBM today released a flurry of new XML technologies and other XML-related announcements at the XML '98 conference in Chicago.

XML, or Extensible Markup Language, is a metalanguage for the creation of industry- or topic-specific mark-up languages. XML also allows mark-up language authors to create tags that make online information easier to search and categorize.

True to its name, IBM stressed the business applications of XML.

"By delivering a method of structuring data for exchange over the Web, XML will provide the next critical mechanism needed for e-business solutions," IBM XML evangelist Simon Phipps said in a statement. Lauding the new IBM Web site, Phipps said, "With this new online resource, customers and developers can begin investigating the uses of XML, as well as the products and tools that will help them create new applications that harness its benefits."

IBM today also focused on its collaboration with Adobe in developing a Java-based browser component that lets users access information and view it on a wide variety of clients, including handheld devices. The new technology is based in part on Precision Graphics Markup Language, a specification currently under evaluation by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) that aims to help deliver high-quality graphics without the use of plug-ins.

The nine technologies IBM debuted today are posted to the company's alphaWorks Web site for free downloading. They include:

Bean Markup Language (BML)
BML is designed to work with JavaBeans, components that Java developers can use to build applications. With a components-based architecture, developers can string together prewritten elements instead of writing them from scratch. Uses of BML include creating new beans and accessing and configuring beans by setting or retrieving their properties and fields.

XML Editor Maker
This tool builds visual editors from XML Document Type Definitions (DTDs). DTDs describe XML documents so that browsers can interpret the unique tags of various XML-based languages on the fly. Editor Maker takes a DTD and builds from it a Java editor for XML documents.

DataCraft is a visual development tool for creating database queries and publishing the results to the Web.

Dynamic XML with Java
This automates the process of interpreting XML files with Java code.

This pattern-match-and-replacement system lets users convert XML documents to documents in other XML-based languages or non-XML syntax. PatML includes support for Java.