IBM Unleashes Raft of XML Tools

IBM Corp. announced several Extensible Markup Language (XML) initiatives here Monday at the XML '98 show, including a new XML Web site, nine new development tools, and a new graphics technology it co-developed with Adobe Systems Inc.

The tools will be available free at IBM's alphaWorks Web site, where developers can get preview versions of technology to work with. IBM uses the site as a way to gauge interest in specific areas by their user community.

The tools will enable developers to create applications using these XML-based building blocks.

The Bean Markup Language (BML) is an XML-based language for creating, accessing, and configuringJavaBeans. The language has an interpreter that reads the script to create the Bean hierarchy and a compiler to create the Java code.

The XML Editor Maker builds Java-based data-entry Web forms from an XML Document Type Definition(DTD).

DataCraft enables developers to build Web-based queries of IBM DB/2 and Microsoft Access databases.

Dynamic XML with Java lets developers put Java code within their XML documents, which IBM said would be useful in server-side Java and Java-based workflow applications.

PatML matches and replaces patterns for transforming XML to XML or other document types. The user can specify the rules for the patterns and transformations.

TeXML provides a mapping from XML into the TeX formatting language, which is used primarily byacademics.

XML Bean Maker enables developers to generate a JavaBean and all its necessary Java classes for a given DTD.

XML TreeDiff lets users quickly find differences between Document Object Model trees.

The XML Productivity Kit for Java works with IBM's XML Parser for Java, which provides additionalprogramming resources.

In the graphics arena, IBM and Adobe have developed a new Java-based browser interpreter for the Precision Graphics Markup Language (PGML), which enables vector graphics, embedded fonts, and interactivity. Previously, the companies have demonstrated an ActiveX control to achieve the same result as well as a server-side transcoding mechanism to make PGML from HTML files. The companies were not specific when the Java component would be made available to developers, although it is not expected to ship until at least early next year.

The PGML proposal is now part of the World Wide Web Consortium's Scalable Vector Graphics working group, which is expected to have a proposal published next month.

XML information from IBM can also be found at their new Web site, www.ibm.com/xml, which just launchedMonday.

IBM Corp., in Armonk, New York, is at www.ibm.com. Adobe Systems Inc., in San Jose, California, is at www.adobe.com.

(Jeff Walsh is an InfoWorld reporter.)

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