The Object Management Group today said it expects to pass a new
XML-related standard by next month that will allow software development
teams to collaborate via the Internet.
or Extensible Markup Language, essentially lets programmers exchange
information over the Web. A new extension called XMI, or the XML Metadata
Interchange Format, allows developers to use tools from different vendors
to build object-based applications.
"The process is moving very smoothly. There are no votes against it," OMG chief executive Richard Solely said
today. "We can expect implementations of this at the same time the final
edited version [of the standard] is available."
A group of 29 software companies, including IBM, Oracle,
and Unisys, presented the proposed
standard in November to the OMG, a technology standards body.
The voting process will last through March. Out of about 100 potential
voters, 40 already have voted in favor and four have abstained, said IBM software architect Stephen Brodsky.
Brodsky said XMI--which also could be used for data warehousing--will allow
developers to build applications faster and less expensively.
During a conference call today, Unisys fellow Sridhar Iyengar said his
company will add XMI support to existing products this quarter, while
Brodsky said his company will announce products soon.
Giga Information Group analyst Teresa Wingfield said one problem with XMI is that the Meta Data Coalition,
a coalition of 47 software firms including Microsoft, is working on a separate
In December, Microsoft joined the Meta Data Coalition and transferred the
rights to maintain and evolve the Microsoft Open Information Model (OIM) to
the group. The OIM defines a way to exchange data, using Microsoft
technologies including COM as well as SQL and Java.
Both the OMG and the Meta Data Coalition are careful not to characterize
their separate efforts as competition. In fact, the OMG has invited the
Meta Data Coalition to its next meeting in March, at which the software
coalition will submit its data exchange technology to the standards body,
said Katherine Hammer, cochair of the Meta Data Coalition. "The goal is
Wingfield does not expect the meeting between the OMG and the Meta Data
Coalition to be fruitful. "The probability of them working together is
zero," she said, adding that the separate specifications probably can be
bridged by the products, such as those made by repository vendors.
Companies supporting XMI include Platinum, Rational Software, Sybase, and Xerox.