Altio adds Web services

Altio on Monday detailed a forthcoming version of its XML presentation server and enhanced the software with support for Web services.

The new version, AltioLive 2.5, which can be used to build and deploy applications with a Web browser, also includes the ability to create dashboard-type applications, according to Michael Curry, director of products and services at Boston-based Altio.

AltioLive 2.5 can be used to create three types of dashboards: executive, which are high-level summaries for business leaders; management, which are dashboards that offer more granular data such as sales information by region; and operational, which include live real-time data such as shop floor applications with inventory or product information.

"These dashboards can also be built into corporate portals, or [used by] some companies [that] are trying to evolve portals into something more dynamic," said Melissa Bane, Altio's director of marketing.

Curry said the software can be used to tie external data sources together for presentation purposes, adding that with AltioLive 2.5 companies can build Web services from a variety of applications, data sources, or even other Web services. He pointed to one example of a financial service that is comprised of data coming from Nasdaq and Moreover to provide what appears to users as a single service.

"We're actually getting this data from Nasdaq and other data from Moreover. So we're integrating two services into one Web service," Curry said.

That particular example is only one of the ways AltioLive can be used to build such composite Web services, but it serves to show how customers can take public services and build Web services, Curry explained.

He added that creating such services has been simplified with the addition of a wizard-driven process for pointing to the WSDL (Web Services Description Language) files that describe Web services.

In addition to Web services, the new platform adds support for enhanced graphing, collapsible lists, client-side mathematical data analysis, and support for double-byte character sets, according to officials. The new version also ships with enhanced JDBC (Java Database Connectivity) drivers to improve database access.

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