Tools wrap: Web services, e-commerce, XML touted

Systinet, Amazon.com, and Altova this week are announcing tools geared toward development of Web services, e-commerce, and XML applications, respectively.

Systinet is releasing Systinet Developer for Eclipse 5.0, a Web services development tool that supports the Eclipse 3.0 open source IDE.

"It's the only Web services development plug-in for Eclipse on the market," said David Butler, Systinet vice president of marketing. The product provides development, debugging and run-time tools for deploying Web-services-based applications, according to Systinet.

Version 5.0 features: automated Web services client generation, in which the client proxy is generated from WSDL; client- and server-side Web service debugging; Web services packaging and deployment via standard JAR (Java Archive) files; and UDDI integration for publishing Web services to a registry.

A companion product to Systinet Server for Java, Developer 5.0 is available as a free download, with run-time deployments priced starting at US$2,000 per CPU once a user wishes to deploy an application.

The Amazon Web Services group at Amazon Services is offering two services intended for e-commerce and search applications. Amazon E-Commerce Service 4.0 provides access to Amazon's technology platform and product data while Alexa Web Information Service (AWIS) enables linking to the database of Web site information and usage data provided by Alexa Internet.

Amazon Services is a subsidiary of Amazon.com. Amazon Web Services features an API intended to encourage innovation on top of the Amazon.com e-commerce platform.

E-Commerce Service 4.0, formerly Amazon Web Services 3.0, now provides access to information and customer reviews for all Amazon.com product categories, as well as access to product images from Amazon's databases. Developers also get deeper data on products, advanced search, and shopping cart functionality and features that make the API easier to use.

Also available for integration into storefront applications are all customer reviews associated with a product. An extended search functionality allows developers to build applications with more complex search options than had been available. Search options are being expanded to search by attributes such as brand, price, and category.

Alexa Web Information Service enables developers to have programmatic access to information collected from Alexa's Web crawl, which includes more than 100 terabytes of data from more than 4 billion Web pages. Developers can use AWIS as a platform for finding answers to problems on the Web and incorporating them into Web applications.

Altova introduced the 2005 versions of the XMLSpy XML development environment, StyleVision stylesheet tool, MapForce XML mapping tool, and Authentic content editor. Featured in the product line is support of the XSLT (XSL Transformation) 2.0, XPath 2.0, and XQuery 1.0 specifications. Other features include Eclipse integration, graphical schema management, automated function building, and relational database content editing.

XSLT provides for XML document transformation. XPath expressions are used for locating and processing content within an XML document's logical hierarchy. XQuery enables information extraction from XML documents and databases.

XMLSpy 2005 will ship in Enterprise and Professional editions with prices starting at US$999 and US$499 respectively. MapForce 2005 prices begin at US$599 and US$249 for Enterprise and Professional Editions. StyleVision 2005 also will be configured in Enterprise and Professional Editions for US$599 and US$249. Authentic 2005 is a free content editor. Beta versions of the products are available now, with production releases to be available on Nov. 1.

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