JavaOne - XML, Java's future: standard tags, networking

XML and Java will be used more for deploying standardized business tags and networking systems as the technologies move forward, said panelists at a session here at the JavaOne developer conference on Tuesday.

In the future, users will see "a greater degree of standardization on things like business documents," said panelist John Bosak, who holds the title of Distinguished Engineer in Sun Microsystems Inc.'s XML Technology Center. Bosak stressed XML's potential benefits as a data representation format.

"If I were a Java developer, I would keep my eyes on the standardization efforts," such as UBL for business documents, Bosak said.

Java and XML, he said, are attempts to free developers from ownership of code and data by particular vendors.

The "great white hope" of XML, said panelist Simon Phipps, Sun chief technology evangelist, is to use it to provide uniform data formats for fields such as medicine.

"Different parts of a hospital can interchange their information," Phipps said.

JavaOne attendee Fred Warren, applications development manager at Houston-based energy company EOG Resources Inc., said in an interview later in the day that XML could hold benefits for integrating J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) Web applications with client/server applications. But any effort to devise an XML tagging system for his specific industry might face an uphill climb, according to Warren.

"Different companies do things in different ways, so it's kind of hard to come up with one standard," Warren said.

Also during the panel session, another panelist cited networked systems as a likely benefactor of XML and Java.

"To me, the next big thing is construction of the systems that these things are enabling," said panelist, Rob Gingell, Sun distinguished engineer and CTO of Sun's Software Systems Group.

An internal project at Sun, known as N1, is an effort to build a computer "out of the Internet," using IP and XML, Gingell said.

The project attempts to vary on Sun's familiar theme of "The network is the computer" by building "the computer that is the network," Gingell said following the panel session.

In other developments at JavaOne:

-- IBM Corp. announced the availability of WebSphere UDDI registry, a free, private registry that enables developers to build Web services accessible to specific parties. "By using the registry, [developers] can start to build Web services now," said IBM's Scott Cosby, Web services marketing manager, in San Francisco.

A developer, for instance, could make available a Web service in the registry enabling suppliers to check inventory status, Cosby said.

Also detailed by Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM were WebSphere Studio Integration Edition, which enables J2EE developers to build applications that communicate with each other, and WebSphere Application Server 4.1 Enterprise Edition, for deploying the integrated applications.

-- Sun Microsystems, of Palo Alto, Calif., announced the availability of early access implementations of Forte for Java Mobile edition, for building small-footprint applications for devices such as cell phones.

Also announced were early access versions of Forte for Java 4, for building Java applications, and Forte Developer 7, for building applications for platforms such as Solaris and C++. The two offerings feature a common user interface based on top of the NetBeans open-source development platform. Forte for Java 4 adds support of application servers such as BEA WebLogic and Oracle 9i and also features J2EE 1.3 compatability.

-- Rational Software Corp., of Lexington, Mass., previewed a Java testing technology, Adaptive Test Playback, that features self-correcting object recognition to reduce the need to update existing tests throughout the application development lifecycle.

The company also announced a tool, CodePro Migrator for Rational ClearCase, to enable IT organizations to migrate from IBM VisualAge for Java to IBM WebSphere Studio Application Developer. The tool, available now, moves software assets from the VisualAge for Java/Envy repository to Rational ClearCase, a version of which is included in WebSphere Studio, Rational said.

-- Iona Technologies PLC, based in Dublin, Ireland, announced Orbix E2A Web Services Integration Platform XMLBus 5.1, which is a Web services development environment that features support for secure Web services, a Web services designer and interface transformation engine, and a UDDI registry. The product will ship next month.

Iona also announced Iona Security Framework, for secure Web services integration. The framework, which features XMLBus 5.1, authenticates Web services by calling on LDAP v.3-based directory services. Single sign-on and other security features are to be added later.

The company also announced Orbix E2A Application Server Platform J2EE Technology Edition v5.1, a development and deployment environment for Web services featuring support for J2EE 1.3. It is due to ship in two months.

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