IBM focusing on XML development with tools

IBM on Monday is unveiling XML-based tools and resources to be added to its alphaWorks program for free testing of technologies in development.

Part of IBM's Emerging Technologies Toolkit, the new offerings are intended to help developers reduce manual coding required to build feature-rich, on-demand Web applications that use XML and tie into service-oriented architectures, according to IBM.

"These are new tools for making XML development easier or for enabling developers to use new XML standards and specifications," said Marc Goubert, manager at IBM alphaWorks.

One technology being unveiled, dubbed XML Enhancements for Java, provides language extensions to J2EE 1.4 to support XML, XML Schema, and XPath in Java. Through integration of Java and XML, the extensions simplify the development of XML-based applications and enable developers to reuse existing Java libraries when developing XML code.

No decision has been made yet on whether the Java enhancements would be submitted to the Java Community Process for consideration as part of the official Java standard, according to IBM.

"IBM is committed to supporting open standards," Goubert said. At this point, IBM is just soliciting feedback on the enhancements but it is "entirely possible" that the technology will be submitted to JCP, according to Goubert.

Two other XML technologies being introduced are to be based on the Eclipse open source tools platform. The Compound XML Document Editor helps developers build and manage Web applications and XML documents that back XML standards such as XHTML, XForms, XML-Events, SMIL (Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language), XUL (XML User Interface Language), SVG, VoiceXML, and MathML. Developers can build Web applications that include voice, graphics, mathematical computations, data entry forms and other content on a single page without needing extensive hand coding.

The XML Forms Generator, meanwhile, helps developers build XML formats that can tie into business processes using Web services and JavaServer Pages response templates. Forms generated adhere to XHTML and XForms 1.0.

More information is at the alphaWorks Web site at

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