Novell exec plays up forthcoming role of XML

In his annual "Future Technologies" keynote speech this Friday -- the closing day of Novell's Brainshare '99 -- Novell chief technology officer Glenn Ricart plans to discuss the possible implications of supporting the Extensible Markup Language (XML) in Novell's products.

"XML is an interesting standard for representing structured data, and it could be very valuable in sharing directory information and even sharing digitalme information," Ricart said in an interview earlier this week.

Digitalme is the digital identity technology that Novell announced earlier this week for creating more secure, personal Internet services.

According to Ricart, the contents of Novell Directory Services and of NetWare would potentially be more valuable to developers if the data could be represented in XML.

"XML is ideal for the interchange of data," Ricart said. "For example, objects recognisable within the directory might be represented in XML and likewise, objects recognised by the directory might be represented in XML."

While Ricart does not plan to detail any specific product plans around XML in his keynote, he did say in an interview that the scripting language fits well into what he called "Novell's play for a cross-platform, cross-vendor application framework".

Novell's announcement earlier in the week that it plans to bundle IBM's WebSphere Web application server with NetWare is a key part of that strategy. Likewise, "XML so far appears to be a point of agreement with Microsoft," that would further that goal, according to Ricart.

Ricart also plans to discuss in his keynote how Novell's future technologies are going to help the Internet grow-up to better handle Internet commerce.

"The Internet is like a 15-year-old teenager right now. You still can't quite trust it to be responsible . . . Novell is providing a series of technologies that add responsibility and trust to the Internet and will help it become a mature 18- or 19-year-old," said Ricart.

At the core of this strategy is digitalme which will transfer the point of control from a remote Web site location into the hands of the end-user accessing that site. "Novell is also providing the world's fastest Java engines, transaction engines and is revamping the directory," to support this maturation of the Internet.

Another key part of Novell's Internet and I-commerce strategy revolves around its Novell Internet Caching System announced earlier this week. Ricart also plans to discuss on Friday how these caching services contribute to helping the Internet grow-up.

"Caching helps by giving the network responsible response times," Ricart said.

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