Ixiasoft XML partnership eyes broad data access

Awareness of XML (Extensible Markup Language) and the need to use XML databases has grown faster in Europe than in the U.S., said Philippe Gélinas, chief executive of server software development company Ixiasoft at Microsoft Corp.'s Tech Ed conference here Tuesday. Two years ago, the benefits of XML had to be explained to developers at the conference, he said. However, by last year it was accepted as the standard and this year the whole conference seems to revolve around it, he said.

Ixiasoft of Outremont, Quebec, announced a partnership with French developer Cross Database Technologies (CDB) Monday. CDB's DataExchange Server software allows the translation and integration of information from disparate servers and systems, including legacy systems, Gélinas said. It will be integrated with Ixiasoft's own TextML Server to create DataExchanger Server for TextML.

TextML is an XML Content Server that has been developed to fill a gap in the market, Gélinas said. "It is used like other databases, like SQL Server, but deals particularly with unstructured or semistructured data. That's where relational databases like SQL are not so good."

TextML will store, index and retrieve that information. It has been developed for manufacturers and for XML developers who need full-text and metadata searching in applications like electronic manuals, content management systems, wireless publishing and patient record systems, Ixiasoft said in a statement.

The developers he speaks to now have enough experience of XML to recognize that some data just doesn't map to relational databases but that you can't just ignore the unstructured data, Gélinas said. "A few years ago they just didn't deal with that data, really, but now they realize they have to. TextML lets them use the data as another unit of information, retaining its integrity and security throughout," he said.

Ixiasoft started talking to CDB of Paris six months ago about how the products could be combined to meet customer needs, Gélinas said. "Now customers can translate between their different servers, while dealing with all of their data through our Server."

Ixiasoft is exhibiting at Tech Ed because "most of our integrator customers are working with Microsoft products, with SQL Server, and so we work with Microsoft development teams to see how we can best work together."

No customers for the joint product have been announced.

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