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Toolset eases building with XML

DataChannel will next week roll out a toolkit intended to make development of applications using XML, an emerging Web programming interface, easier to build.

DataChannel will next week roll out a toolkit intended to make development of applications using XML (extensible markup language), an emerging Web programming interface, easier to build.

DataChannel's XML Development Environment (DXDE) will be debuted at SGML/XML 97, a trade show in Washington, D.C.

The announcement is intended to coincide with the maturing of the XML standard. Next week, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an international group that oversees Web standards, is expected to advance XML 1.0 from a current working draft to proposed recommendation status.

XML is based on a form of SGML (standard generalized markup language), a language used to describe graphics in computer documents. The goal of XML, say proponents, is to enable generic SGML to be recognized and processed on the Web in the way that is now possible with HTML. XML has been designed to work with both SGML and HTML.

The W3C has proposed XML as a language for commercial publishing applications that require more intricate instructions than HTML (hypertext markup language) can provide.

The DataChannel developer kit will allow developers to migrate existing data into XML. Developers will be able to build applications, such as interactive Web guides for navigation and document management with built-in navigation, the company said.

DXDE features a number of tools for building and viewing XML applications. It also includes DataChannel's XML Server, a platform-independent server that supports a database for managing and distributing XML meta data. Finally, it also provides a set of APIs (application programming interfaces) that support several object models, the company said.

"It gets you onto the (XML) bandwagon," DataChannel CEO and president David Pool said. "This will provide a development environment [to let users] bring their business to XML."

XML is considered by many observers to be necessary in order to move Web document publishing technology forward. Pool has developed his company based on this assumption with a number of products that are built around the new language.

Pricing is not yet available. Pool said the complete release of DXDE will be available by the first quarter of 1998.

Pool created the "Internet in a Box" software suite for Spry, which was sold to Compuserve in 1994. Pool left Compuserve in 1996.