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Friday, August 31, 2007

INCITS Confirms: U.S. to Vote for Open XML in ISO

The United States member group to the ISO standards body on Wednesday
[2007-08-29] finalized plans to vote in favor of approving Microsoft
Corp.'s Office Open XML document format as an open standard. The
executive board of the Washington D.C.-based InterNational Committee
for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) had its final meeting
on Wednesday morning before its September 2, 2007 vote is due at the
International Organization for Standardization (ISO). "Everyone was
entrenched in their position," said Frank Farance, a longtime INCITS
board member who voted against Open XML's ratification. The INCITS
board plans to stick with the results of a vote last Thursday, in
which it approved a "Yes, with comments" position by a 12-3 margin,
with one abstention. Others that voted against Open XML's approval
in INCITS included habitual Microsoft foes IBM and Oracle Corp. The
September 2 process will tally votes by the 20 countries that are
members of ISO's Joint Technical Committee 1 (JTC-1). With countries
such as Brazil and China already announcing plans to vote against
Open XML's approval, the next likely stage is ISO's ballot resolution
meeting in Geneva next February, during which the Open XML
specification will be edited and fixed in order to address the
'comments' submitted by voting nations. At that time, ISO members
can change their vote again, with a two-thirds majority needed to
pass Open XML.

Meeting SOA and Web Services Security Challenges,

Software designers and developers are being challenged to build efficient
security measures into their project work as computing is increasingly
distributed via Web application services and service-oriented
architecture (SOA). Research recently conducted by the Ponemon
Institute and CipherOptics found that only 12 percent of IT
professionals surveyed believed that cyber-crime threats were lessening
in severity. Among the findings analyzed in their report "Network
Security 2.0," the practice of sending data in clear text over
third-party networks, the increasing presence of organized crime,
growing complexity of networks, devices and applications, and the
desire to enforce and easily manage network encryption were cited as
prevalent threats to network security... Complexity is the biggest
difference, and challenge, to developers when it comes to building
adequate security measures into Web services and an SOA, according to
BEA Systems'Systems Hal Lockhart, who co-chairs the OASIS technical
advisory board and security services technical committees. Lockhart:
"I believe SOA and SaaS 2.0 will usher in a more complex business
environment. Instead of just one organization is the customer, the
other organization is the vendor, there will be a number of
relationships around each interaction. For example, there might be
a customer, a broker, a service provider and a data provider. The
security systems will have to enforce the rules specified by the
business contracts. Building applications composed of many services
means that each service is called in many different ways by many other
services as well as directly by users. Each service will need to
consider the entire context when it is called in order to decide what
should be permitted." The development and adoption of open security
standards plays a big role in enabling organizations and IT
professionals to deal with the increasing complexity of SOA and
distributed Web application services and protect their systems and
data from criminally motivated threats. Identification and
authentication in mash-ups, which draw from a number of Web services,
often from different providers, and the development of SAML
(Security Assertion MarkUp Language) is one example that illustrates
the problems relating to increasing complexity and existing security
measures and how open standards are addressing them. CLICK HERE

Read News Industry Text Format (NITF) Files with PHP

XML allows document authors to describe content using their own tags
and markup, and this flexibility has made it the platform of choice
for specialized industry-specific data-sharing applications. One such
example is the News Industry Text Format (NITF), an XML-based
vocabulary that allows publishers in the news industry to define the
content and structure of news articles and thus provide a framework
for easier sharing of news articles. NITF is an open, public standard
defined and supported by the International Press Telecommunications
Council (IPTC), and is widely used by some of the world's largest news
agencies. For PHP developers working with this format. a 'XML_NITF'
a package is available from the PHP Extension and Application Repository
(PEAR). The XML_NITF package provides an API to extract various
elements of a news article from an NITF-formatted file, and then use
this information in a PHP application. The XML_NITF package also
includes methods to access article metadata -- the 'docdata' and
'pubdata' elements within the document 'head' -- as well as any media
associated with the article. As such, XML_NITF provides a robust,
easy-to-use widget for any PHP/NITF application.

W3C XML Schema Definition Language (XSDL)

Members of the W3C XML Schema Working Group have released a Last Call
Public Working Draft for the "W3C XML Schema Definition Language (XSDL)
1.1 Part 1: Structures" specification, updating the previous WD of
31-August-2006. The Last Call review period for this document extends
until 8-November-2007. Comments on this document should be made in W3C's
public installation of Bugzilla, specifying "XML Schema" as the product.
The "Structures" document specifies the XML Schema Definition Language,
which offers facilities for describing the structure and constraining
the contents of XML documents, including those which exploit the XML
Namespace facility. The schema language, which is itself represented in
an XML vocabulary and uses namespaces, substantially reconstructs and
considerably extends the capabilities found in XML document type
definitions (DTDs). This "Structures" specification depends on "XML
Schema Definition Language 1.1 Part 2: Datatypes." XSDL 1.1 retains all
the essential features of XSDL 1.0, but adds several new features to
support functionality requested by users, fixes some errors in XSDL 1.0,
and clarifies some wording. Some of the major revisions since the
previous draft include: (1) A mechanism for conditional type assignment
has been defined; this allows the 'governing type definition' to be
assigned by evaluating information in the instance document. (2) Element
declarations may now specify multiple substitution group heads. (3) A
default attribute group may now be specified at the schema-document
level; all complex types defined in the schema document will include
that attribute group unless they specify otherwise; this makes it easier
to specify that particular attributes are to be accepted by every complex
type in a schema. (4) Content models may now be defined as "open", which
means that elements other than those explicitly named will be accepted
during validation. Several styles and degrees of openness are possible;
they can be configured at the level of the schema document or of the
complex type definition. (5) Wildcards may now be defined which match
only elements not declared in the schema -- so-called "not-in-schema"
wildcards. (6) Complex types whose content models are all-groups may now
be extended. (7) The assertions facility defined in the previous working
draft has been revised; the changes may help minimize confusion between
the assertions defined here and the assert and report elements of
Schematron. (8) Elements may now have more than one attribute of type
'xs:ID'. (9) Various enhancements to the definition of the
'post-schema-validation infoset' (PSVI) have been made. (10) Some
aspects of the use of xsi:type have been clarified. (11) A
conditional-inclusion mechanism has been defined to allow XSDL 1.1
processors to cope more successfully with constructs defined in future
versions of this specification [and] so that the same schema document
can be usable with processors supporting different versions of XSDL.

See also XML Schema languages: CHECK HERE

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

W3C Last Call Working Draft: XQuery Update Facility

W3C announced that members of the XML Query Working Group have published
a Last Call Working Draft for the XQuery Update Facility 1.0. Comments
are welcome through 31-October-2007. The specification's "Requirements"
and and "Use Cases" were also published as updated Working Drafts. The
XQuery Update Facility document defines the syntax and semantics of an
extension to XQuery 1.0; this language extension is designed to meet
the requirements for updating instances of the "XQuery 1.0 and XPath 2.0
Data Model (XDM)." XML Query can perform searches, queries and joins
over collections of XDM instances such as documents or databases. Sample
usage scenarios for update: (1) Updating persistent XML stores: Modify
XML in persistent XML stores, including native XML databases, XML files
stored on a file system, or XML stored in SQL databases. (2) Modify XML
messages: Modify XML messages to change status and add information
created while processing the message. (3) Add to existing XML document:
Add new data to an existing XML document; for instance, add a new entry
to a BLOG or a data log. (4) Updating XML registries: Perform updates
on configuration files, user profiles, or administrative logs represented
in XML. (5) Creating edited copies: Create a new copy of an XML document
or subtree that differs from the original in the way specified by the
update. For instance, updates could be used to modify a web message in
order to add new information and change headers to reflect the modified
status. (6) Modifying XML views: Modifying XML views of non-XML sources,
such as a SQL/XML view of a SQL database. Since the last version of this
document, several significant changes have been made. CHECK HERE See also the Use Cases: USE CASES

Document Formats Survey Shows Growing Interest in XML-Based Standards

"IT managers at large organizations are increasingly interested in
employing XML-based standards, including Open XML, among their document
standards, according to a study of U.S. and European organizations
commissioned by Microsoft Corporation. The results of the survey,
which polled 200 government and private-sector organizations to better
understand which factors drive adoption of open document standards,
are available in an IDC white paper. Survey respondents included key
influencers as well as those charged with supporting document standards
in 200 organizations (100 in the U.S. and 100 in Europe). Fifty
organizations with more than 250 employees were selected from the
public sector, another 50 from the commercial sector. Functional
approaches to standards adoption were evident in the survey results,
with the majority of respondents citing interoperability between
productivity tools, long-term archiving, and ease of transition from
an existing base of documents to a new standard as the primary criteria
used to evaluate organizationwide adoption of a given standard. Other
key takeaways from this research include the following: (1) Large
organizations with diverse business needs prefer multiple document
standards. (2) Although IT managers appear to strongly prefer a single
standard to reduce cost and complexity of implementation,
line-of-business managers closer to the daily needs of business
support the desire for multiple document standards. (3) The standards
Portable Document Format (PDF), Open XML and OpenDocument Format (ODF)
are all in use today, with PDF viewed as the dominant standard and
Open XML demonstrating 'more traction in the market compared to other
XML-based standards.' (4) Companies in Europe with an interest in Open
XML expect to be piloting or fully deploying the standard a year
from today..." CHECK HERE See also the IDC report: PDF REPORT

NIEM: The New Public-Safety Language

Many state and local law enforcement officials eagerly joined an early
federal effort to use Extensible Markup Language to streamline data
exchanges within the law enforcement community. Several regions shot
ahead of the pack and began incorporating a federally designated Global
Justice XML Data Model (GJXDM), only to find the Justice and Homeland
Security departments are now pushing a different framework, the National
Information Exchange Model (NIEM). Federal officials released last
month the second production version of NIEM, which moves the framework
closer to the concept's original purpose, which was to cover a broad
range of homeland security-related activities. NIEM goes beyond law
enforcement by also applying to emergency response, disaster management,
the screening of people and cargo, and international trade. New York
was among the first states to adopt NIEM when the state decided to make
it the foundation of the New York State Integrated Justice environment.
This fall, the state will use NIEM in its eJusticeNY Web portal. Along
with New York, Florida has emerged as another NIEM frontrunner. The
Florida Department of Law Enforcement has established the Florida Law
Enforcement Exchange (FLEX) project to map data and establish new
regional information sharing systems. NIEM will play an integral role
in FLEX... NIEM uses a national standard to create a common vocabulary,
and it offers users a structured approach for developing records and
reference documents. Those elements are encapsulated in reusable NIEM
building blocks called Information Exchange Package Documentation. The
IEPDs include a set of schemas for specific XML exchange instances. An
IEPD might include examples of style sheets to use when entering new
data components or assembling existing data... CHECK HERE See also the NIEM web site: CLICK HERE

Fast Incremental Updates of XML Records

"XML is a very popular format for exchanging collections of records.
You can export these records from a relational database, or they can
be in formats such as Atom, which is structured around a collection of
entry elements. A common architectural pattern is to synchronize data
sets by having one system export a set of records to another; this
export is often in the form of a large XML file that contains the
entire record set. Such systems have some common efficiency problems:
[1] The XML exports can be so large that they use up excessive
bandwidth in transmission; [2] For large files, the processing needed
to validate and import the XML takes a long time. In this article, I
suggest a simple batch of techniques to address these problems. You
should always be quick to look to several decades of experience when
solving such problems. The crux of the techniques presented in this
article follows the lines of the age-old diff and patch utilities
well known in UNIX diff is a utility that compares two files (or sets
of files) and reports the differences in a standard format. patch can
read this standard format and apply the represented updates to some
other file... I focus on XML with particular characteristics: (1) The
root element serves as an envelope whose children are a series of
record elements; (2) Each record element has a unique ID attribute
or child element; (3) Within each record is a consistent order of
elements. The last requirement might seem stringent, but it doesn't
necessarily mean that your schema must mandate the order. In practice,
incremental updates usually involve comparison of successive export
files from the same process, and in such scenarios, matters such as
the order of elements within records tend to be consistent. In the
worst case, if the schema allows arbitrary order, and you don't want
to rely on the order in the actual exports, you can process the XML
to impose an order..." CHECK HERE

W3C Publishes Semantic Annotations for WSDL and XML Schema

The World Wide Web Consortium announced the publication of the
"Semantic Annotations for WSDL and XML Schema" specification as a W3C
Recommendation, together with a Usage Guide document, an Implementation
Report, and a Test Suite. The specification was produced by members of
the W3C Semantic Annotations for WSDL (SAWSDL) Working Group. The Usage
Guide presents examples illustrating how to associate semantic
annotations with a Web service; these annotations can be used for
classifying, discovering, matching, composing, and invoking Web services.
The Recommendation builds upon technology described in W3C Member
Submission "W3C Web Service Semantics - WSDL-S", contributed to W3C
by the University of Georgia Research Foundation and International
Business Machines Corporation, published 07-November-2005. Semantic
Annotations for WSDL and XML Schema defines how to add semantic
annotations to various parts of a WSDL document such as input and
output message structures, interfaces and operations. Specifically,
it defines a set of extension attributes for the Web Services
Description Language and XML Schema definition language that allows
description of additional semantics of WSDL components. A 'semantic
annotation' in this context is "additional information that identifies
or defines a concept in a semantic model in order to describe part of
that document. In SAWSDL, semantic annotations are XML attributes added
to a WSDL or associated XML Schema document, at the XML element they
describe. Semantic annotations are of two kinds: explicit identifiers
of concepts, or identifiers of mappings from WSDL to concepts or vice
versa. A 'concept' must be identifiable by URIs. A concept can be, for
example, a classifier in some language, a predicate logic relation,
the value of the property of an ontology instance, some object instance
or set of related instances, an axiom, etc." The specification defines
how semantic annotation is accomplished using references to semantic
models, e.g., ontologies. A 'semantic model' is a set of
machine-interpretable representations used to model an area of
knowledge or some part of the world, including software. Examples of
such models are ontologies that embody some community agreement,
logic-based representations, etc. Depending upon the framework or
language used for modelling, different terminologies exist for denoting
the building blocks of semantic models. CHECK HERE

Ex-ECMA Chief Expects Open XML Approval by March 2007

With ISO's September 2, 2007 voting deadline looming, the recently
retired secretary general of ECMA International defended Microsoft's
Office Open XML document format against fierce technical criticism.
ECMA is shepherding Open XML, the default format used by Office 2007
documents, through ISO's traditionally difficult approval process. The
international standards group has set a Sept. 2 deadline for the 20
nations that are members of the ISO Joint Technical Committee 1 (JTC-1)
to vote on whether to approve Open XML. Van Den Beld, who oversaw
ECMA's approval of 229 technical standards, many of which were later
approved by ISO, also predicts that Open XML will be approved next
spring after a follow-up ISO meeting. "Ultimately, I think it will get
through," he said. That's no sure thing, however. The document format
faces strong opposition from grassroots advocates who want to see free
productivity software such as that of gain a foothold,
as well as from vendors such as IBM. Opponents argue that Open XML is
redundant in light of the technically similar Open Document Format for
Office Applications (known as ODF) which is native to
and was approved as a standard more than a year ago by ISO. A
Netherlands native who served as an executive with Philips Electronics
before joining ECMA in the mid-1980s, Van Den Beld said that if Open
XML is approved, it would not be the first time that two technically
similar formats have become standards. As an example, he pointed to
the multiple DVD recording formats -- including DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-RAM,
and DVD+RW -- that were all approved first by ECMA and then ISO.
"People believe a standards body has complete control over this. That
is completely exaggerated," Van Den Beld said. "You cannot take a
position such as 'Sony, I like you better than Toshiba.' As soon as
you do that, you are no longer neutral." Multiple, similar standards,
while "not a good result, are, because of patent wars, often an
inevitable result," he said. Merging Open XML and ODF is also not the
solution, Van Den Beld said. "The structure of Open XML is so different
from ODF, I don't see how we can bring them together into one standard,"
he said. Regarding objections to the Open XML application because of
its length, Van Den Beld said that when Sun Microsystems submitted
the Java programming language to ECMA in 1999, the application --
which was eventually withdrawn -- was more than 8,000 pages long.

W3C Call

Position papers are due on 05-October-2007 for the Workshop on W3C's
Multimodal Architecture and Interfaces, to be on 16-17 November 2007
in Fujisawa, Japan, hosted by W3C/Keio. Attendees will discuss the
support and integration of user interface components such as speech,
GUI and handwriting recognition from multiple vendors, to help the
Multimodal Interaction Working Group make the Multimodal Architecture
and Interfaces specification more useful in current and emerging
markets. The W3C Multimodal Architecture and Interfaces (MMI
Architecture) specification is designed to provide a general and
flexible framework providing interoperability among modality-specific
components from different vendors - for example, speech recognition
from one vendor and handwriting recognition from another. This
framework places very few restrictions on the individual components
or on their interactions with each other, but instead focuses on
providing a general means for allowing them to communicate with each
other, plus basic infrastructure for application control and platform
services. Workshop participants will seek to identify and prioritize
requirements for changes, extensions and additions to the MMI
Architecture to better support speech, GUI, Ink, and other Modality
Components. Position papers will be the basis for the discussion at
the workshop. Papers should explain the participant's interest in
the workshop, explain their position and include concrete examples
of their suggestions. Possible topics include, but are not limited
to the following: (1) Requirements for extensions to the MMI
Architecture to improve the support of speech, GUI and Ink interfaces
on portable handheld multimodal devices. (2) Extensions to the InkML
needed to work within a multimodal environment. (3) How to process
early and late information fusion. (4) How to dinamically select
appropriate modalities. (5) Plans to support multimodal applications
and what standards are needed. (6) What kind of other W3C specification
should be considered to provide user interface skins for whichever
modes of interaction selected. (7) Support for effective user
interfaces for various modes of interaction, in terms of contextual
prompts, constrained text input, and declarative event handlers,
taking account of uncertainties in user input. (8) Re-use of existing
markup languages for prompts and constraints on user input. (9) Use
of scripts to enable the customization of the user interface based
upon previous user input. W3C membership is not required to
participate in this workshop.

Public Comment: INCITS Biometric Identity Assurance Services (BIAS)

Members of the OASIS BISA TC reported that the INCITS 45-day public
review of the BIAS standard (INCITS 442, INCITS Project 1823-D, sister
standard to the OASIS BIAS Messaging Protocol) opened on 3-August-2007
and closes on 17-September-2007. The INCITS document M1/07-0360 sets
the requirements for the OASIS work. The OASIS Biometric Identity
Assurance Services (BIAS) Integration TC complements the efforts of
the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards

to provide the biometrics and security
industries with a documented, open framework for deploying and invoking
identity assurance capabilities that can be readily accessed as services.
The OASIS BIAS Integration TC defines and describes methods and bindings
by which the INCITS BIAS framework can be used within XML-based
transactional Web services and service-oriented architectures. From
the Introduction: "Biometric technologies are being used today in a
wide variety of applications and environments. At the same time,
enterprises -- both commercial and government -- have been moving
towards services-based architectures as the framework for their
enterprise infrastructures. As biometrics become a larger part of the
greater identity assurance capability, the need to access these services
remotely across those services-oriented frameworks will become
necessary. A current gap exists in standards related to the use of
biometric technology in a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA). The
Biometric Identity Assurance Services (BIAS) standard is intended to
fill that gap by defining a framework for deploying and invoking
biometrics-based identity assurance capabilities that can be readily
accessed using services (e.g., Web services). Development of this
standard necessarily requires expertise in two distinct technology
domains -- biometrics and service architectures. The two standards
organizations that are the leaders in these areas are INCITS and OASIS
respectively. The work has been partitioned between the two
organizations such that INCITS develops an INCITS standard for
biometric services and OASIS develops an OASIS standard for the Web
services integration. These two standards will be separate but
interrelated. The BIAS standard will help ensure biometric-based
solutions are robust and maintainable, while providing a mechanism
for accessing an organization's biometric services. BIAS should
significantly increase the functional opportunities for implementing
identity related functions in a services-oriented framework, allowing
for platform and application independence."

Use PHP to Create XForms

This two-part article series is designed to get PHP developers up to
speed in leveraging Web 2.0 XForms forms for their PHP forms development
so that they can finally put their outdated Web 1.0 HTML forms away.
This will be accomplished by creating a library of functions that
generate XForms elements when called upon. In Part 1 of a two-part
series, developers will create the XForms library using PHP, allowing
each function to take in parameters and output XForm elements. XForms
is a great Web 2.0 language with exciting features that allow developers
to create cutting-edge forms. And why not use it with PHP? PHP
developers traditionally output HTML, which generally limits the
capabilities of their forms. The problem with XForms, however, is that
the file type is strictly XHTML, which is a more refined version of
HTML in that the XML format is strict, and doesn't allow mistakes,
mismatched tags being one of them. On top of that, there is regular
syntax for XForms, which can make the learning curve of XForms a bit
steep for some PHP developers who are possibly just learning the PHP
language itself. For this article you'll need PHP 5 and the Firefox
XForms plugin. This article series was tested using PHP5 on WAMP5
Server Version 1.7.1 running Apache 2. In Part 2 of this article we
will enhance the library just created with error checking and
convenience methods. We will also use the library in Part 2 to create
a proof of concept form. Check Here

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Microsoft buys the Swedish vote on OOXML

As bad as it sound it currently looks like that the vote that took place at the SIS, Swedish Standards Institute, was a total joke due to the facts that 23 new companies applied to take part of today's voting and most of them in favour of Microsoft agenda.

One would think that SIS would not accept new companies to participate in the vote since they haven't been part of the earlier discussions and meetings. But according to SIS they didn't see any problem that new companies wanted to take part in this vote without prior notice. So what happened here is that Microsoft gather together a bunch of loyal partners that would vote yes to their standard without any questions.

According to this article, 23 companies joined without prior notice in
order to be able to vote, which would have clearly been a "no" vote
without the votes of these new companies. Most of these companies are
Microsoft partners.

One of these new companies was Google, which strongly opposes OOXML, and
has created the following position paper: Check Here

Friday, August 24, 2007

New KML Developments and Documentation

As we announced at Where 2.0 and Google Developer Day, there are two
exciting new developments in KML. (1) There's new documentation. For
instance, we now have a page on Google's search for KML files, and how
to best publish your KML files so that Google will index them. In
particular KML will be extended to include Atom Syndication format
'atom:author' and 'atom:link' elements for attribution. This will allow
you to assign attribution to your KML files on a Feature by Feature
level. Google chose to use the Atom elements because of our commitment
to open standards. (2) There's a new beta reference for KML 2.2. This
is in a very early stage, and Google Earth and Maps do not yet support
new elements in KML 2.2, but it gives you an idea what we're thinking
about. Particularly, check out the references for PhotoOverlay, Camera,
and the new Atom elements in Feature. From the web site: "KML is a
file format used to display geographic data in an Earth browser, such
as Google Earth, Google Maps, and Google Maps for mobile. KML uses a
tag-based structure with nested elements and attributes and is based
on the XML standard. An important new element in KML 2.2 is 'Camera',
which provides an additional way to specify the observor's viewpoint
and associated view parameters. 'Camera' is similar to 'LookAt', since
both elements define the placement and orientation of a virtual camera
that is viewing the Earth. The difference is that LookAt specifies the
view in terms of the point of interest that is being viewed. Camera,
in contrast, specifies the view in terms of the viewer's position and
orientation. KML 2.2 also adds the 'AbstractView' element, which is a
new base abstract type from which 'LookAt' and 'Camera' are derived.
The new 'PhotoOverlay' element allows you to geographically locate a
photograph on the Earth and to specify the placement and orientation
of the Camera that views this PhotoOverlay. The PhotoOverlay can be a
simple 2D rectangle, a partial or full cylinder, or a sphere (for
spherical panoramas). The overlay is placed at the specified location
and oriented toward the Camera. You can also now create KML files
that display objects in the sky, such as stars, constellations,
planets, the Earth's moon, and galaxies."

Spring Web Services 1.0 Released

Interface21 has released Spring Web Services 1.0, a Java-based framework
for managing SOAP and Plain Old XML (POX) web services. One of primary
design goals was to make the web service best practices also the easiest
practices, so Spring-WS uses a contract-first, document-driven approach
to provide more flexibility and avoid common interoperability issues in
creating and consuming web services. In Spring-WS, loose coupling
between the web services contract and implementation, allows developers
to manipulate the XML payload in multiple ways. Spring-WS supports
standard JAXP APIs including DOM, SAX, and StAX, as well as JDOM, dom4j,
XOM, or even marshalling technologies. Spring WS also includes a
separate Object/XML Mapping module to support JAXB 1 and 2, Castor,
XMLBeans, JiBX, and XStream. The Object/XML Mapping module can also
be used in non-web services code. Interface21 is well known for the
popular Spring Framework, the layered Java application framework
created by Interface21's CEO, Rod Johnson. In a statement from company,
Rod explained the importance of modularity in the design of Spring Web
Services: "With Spring Web Services 1.0, we have applied these same
modular design concepts in order to deliver advanced integration and
a more flexible, powerful programming model to developers working with
sophisticated Web services." Spring-WS was developed with Apache's
Maven software project management tool and is licensed under the Apache
license. It is available for download.

Voice Enabling XML, Part 1: Develop a Voice-Enabled RSS Reader

This article is the first of a four-part series on developing VoiceXML
applications. It shows how to convert RSS feeds to voice and topic
requests to voice instructions with VoiceXML. The input to the
application is RSS data, and the output is VoiceXML that can be read
and spoken by compatible voice applications. The reader will learn
about VoiceXML basics and the RSS XML format, in addition to translating
RSS to VXML using XSLT, writing a Perl script to generate the VXML,
adding interactivity to a VXML file, and generating VXML using Java
servlets. Part 2 of the series will look at developing a voice-enabled
calendar. VoiceXML is the name given to the standard for voice-based
XML output, although the file format itself is called VXML. VXML itself
is powerful when married with a suitable VoiceXML browser that will
convert the VoiceXML content into text -- that is, Text-To-Speech
(TTS) -- and is also capable of recognizing voice commands (voice
recognition). RSS is a hot topic these days, as it provides an easy
way to stream data online. It is just one of a number of different
syndication formats in XML. RSS is an XML-based solution for publishing
information that is often used with blogs and other sites. The RSS
format enables you to generate an easy list of articles or information,
and you can combine the sources of many RSS feeds (aggregation). The
result is an easily formatted list of articles or stories, with an URL
for the full article, summary information, and classification
information for each item. The RSS feed as a whole also includes
classification and further detail and classification data. In this
article, you start with a simple XSL transform and then move to more
advanced Perl- and Java-based solutions to generate the output. The
scripts themselves are relatively basic; the power is in the VXML
that is generated in the process, and in the voice browser that uses
the VXML to provide the voice-based interface. You see how you can
use the interactivity in the VXML and dynamic scripts together to
produce quite complicated voice-based applications with relative ease.

Tafiti: Searching With Silverlight

Tafiti is a Microsoft search front-end designed to help people use the
Web for research projects that span multiple search queries and
sessions by helping visualize, store, and share research results. It's
an experimental Microsoft search mashup application built around the
company's Silverlight cross-platform streaming media technology and
Microsoft's Live Search engine. Microsoft has been struggling for
several years to catch up with Google's and Yahoo's search engines
after initially missing the Internet search wave. The combination of
Live Search with Silverlight's cross platform imaging could help give
those efforts a leg up as Microsoft moves further along with its Live
"software plus services" initiative to transform the company. Tafiti
lets users perform multiple searches, and store the search results
for later retrieval. One of the defining features is a set of onscreen
"shelves" where the user can drag and drop interesting search results
into stacks that can be labeled, e-mailed to others, and posted to
blogs. Another feature lets users view a tree representation that
slowly cycles through search results. Silverlight provides a
cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering rich Internet
applications, two- and three-dimensional graphics, text, animation
and video to a wide variety of form factors and platforms, according
to company statements. As Silverlight, which supports a subset of
Microsoft's .NET Framework, becomes more programmable, it promises
to challenge competing technologies such as Adobe's Flash. Microsoft
said Tafiti supports Windows Vista and Windows XP Service Pack 2,
including Internet Explorer 6 and 7, and Mozilla Firefox, and
Firefox 2.0.x. It also supports Apple Mac OS X with Firefox
and Firefox 2.0.x, as well as Apple Safari 2.0.4.

UNICORE 6.0: WSRF-Based Implementation of UNICORE Grid Middleware

In science and industry today, computing and data resources are often
widely distributed across different systems, sites or even countries.
To make effective use of such a distributed infrastructure, end users
rely on tools that provide easy and uniform access. The new release of
UNICORE, the well-established European Grid middleware, provides a
modern, lean software stack that implements an extensible
service-oriented architecture compliant to current Web Service
standards. UNICORE 6 will be officially released at the UNICORE Summit
2007 at Rennes, France, on 28-August-2007. On the technical side,
UNICORE 6 complies with the OASIS WSRF 1.2 and OGF JSDL 1.0 standards,
provides pluggable file transfer mechanisms with the OGSA ByteIO
standard as default and uses XFire as a lean, high-performance SOAP
stack in conjunction with the Jetty 6 web server. In the security
domain, authentication and authorisation are based on full X.509
certificates, SAML assertions and XACML 1.0 authorisation policies;
pluggable extensions for proxy certificates and VO management are
provided. With recent fast-paced advances in Grid and Web service
standards and tools, the UNICORE developer community under the
leadership of Forschungszentrum Juelich has developed a major new
version of the UNICORE Grid middleware. UNICORE 6 excels in supporting
leading open standards, interoperability, and easy extensibility
through well-defined interfaces, and it also provides excellent
performance and scalability. The proven guiding principles of UNICORE
have been preserved: seamless and secure access to resources, ease of
use, simple deployment, straightforward support for adding new
applications and user-specific services. UNICORE 6 achieves this
through fully embracing service-oriented design principles and using
a modern tooling stack. The key characteristics of the new UNICORE 6
system are an integrated, complete Grid software stack, strong security,
workflows, openness, extensibility, interoperability, easy installation
and configuration, and support for a wide range of operating systems,
local resource management systems and batch schedulers. The development
versions of UNICORE 6 are already in use in the European projects
Chemomentum, OMII-Europe, and A-WARE. Major Grid infrastructures like
D-Grid and DEISA are expected to upgrade their UNICORE production
installations soon.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Webswell Connect 2.1: AS2, SOA, and ebxml Integration Tool

After several beta releases, the Webswell Connect 2.1.0, an open
source SOA, ebxml and AS2 integration tool, has been finally released.
Compared to previous versions the new release has the following new
features: (1) It includes HSQLDB as a alternative database system to
the PostgreSQL. Both databases are available out-of-the-box. (2)
Includes Webswell Dispatcher 1.1.22. has improved handling of AS2
and ebxml Registry Repository messages. It was also optimized to work
faster. (3) Upgraded installer with improved MS Windows installation
process. Webswell Connect is a complete framework for e-business based
on the ebXML and AS2 standards. It is used as an integration framework
for heterogeneous business environments and for integration of
incompatible legacy systems. With its messaging and Registry features
it is a basic building block of SOA architecture implementation.
Webswell Connect is open source software, licensed under GNU GPL.
Webswell is a global integration company specialized in building ebXML,
EDI and Webs Services B2B solutions. Webswell's mission is to help
companies of any size and industry to build business integration
solutions and exploit benefits that such integration provides.
Webswell's software is based on open, non-proprietary standards and
is open-source licensed.

CECID Launches Community Website for Hermes Messaging Gateway v2.0 (H2O)

The Center for E-Commerce Infrastructure Development (CECID), The
University of Hong Kong (HKU) is pleased to announce the launch of
Hermes Messaging Gateway v2.0 (H2O) community website to enhance support
services to users. Despite that it has just been released for two months,
H2O is already downloaded and adopted by developers and users from over
forty (40) economies around the world. Overwhelming responses and
valuable feedback are received daily via the mailing list. To enhance
support to H2O users, a community website has been launched with useful
information and articles ranging from technical issues to general usage
of H2O in different platforms. A discussion forum is also being set up
to facilitate users to share and exchange everything related to H2O. A
first version was released in June 2002. Hermes has since become a
popular award-winning open source solution for organizations to exchange
information in ebXML Messaging (ebMS) or Applicability Specification 2
(AS2) formats with their business partners. The latest version, H2O
(H-two-oh), replaces two predecessors (H2CE and H2EE) with additional
tools and a full set of documentation to make configuration and
administration even more easily. H2O and its source code are released
under GNU General Public License Version 2. H2O operates as a Java web
application The ebMS and AS2 messaging capabilities are operated by the
corresp0nding plug-in, written according to the H20 SPA specification.
The messaging operation requires a database with JDBC connectivity in
keeping track of the messaging status H2O has open endpoints, and the
enterprise backend applications can invoke H20's Web Services for
message delivery. The message delivery can be secured by using SSL or
e-certificates, which conforms the public standards.

WSO2 Web Services Open Source Framework for PHP (WSF/PHP) 1.0

WSO2 has announced the launch of the WSO2 Web Services Framework for
PHP (WSF/PHP) 1.0 open source framework for providing and consuming Web
services in PHP. WSF/PHP 1.0 is "the only extension to the popular PHP
scripting language that supports the full Web services (WS*-) stack.
For the first time, developers can bring to PHP the security and
reliable messaging that are required for trusted, enterprise-class
SOAP-based Web services." WSF/PHP 1.0 is one of the first PHP
extensions to support the Web Services Description Language (WSDL)
on both the client and server side, as well as backward compatibility
with the PHP5 SOAP extension. As a result, developers can create new
PHP-based Web services and enable the use of existing code in Web
services that take advantage of the WSF/PHP's enterprise-class
capabilities. WSF/PHP 1.0 is a binding of the Web Services Framework
for C (WSF/C) into PHP, providing a fully open source PHP extension
based on Apache Axis2/C, Apache Sandesha2/C, and Apache Rampart/C.
The WSO2 Web Services Framework for PHP supports basic Web services
standards, including SOAP 1.1, SOAP 1.2, WSDL 1.1 and WSDL 2.0. It
is fully tested and provides proven interoperability with Microsoft .NET,
the Apache Axis2/Java-based WSO2 Web Services Application Server (WSAS),
and other J2EE implementations. Key features of WSF/PHP 1.0 are: (1)
Full support for the WS()- stack includes WS-Addressing, WS-Security,
WS-SecurityPolicy, WS-Reliable Messaging, and SOAP Message Transmission
Optimization Mechanism (MTOM). (2) Secure Web services are enabled by
advanced WS-Security features, such as encryption and signing of SOAP
messages. Users also can send messages with UsernameToken and TimeStamp
support. (3) Reliable messaging for Web services and clients means
basic SOAP messages, as well as messages with attachments can be sent
in a reliable way. (4) Backward compatibility with PHP5 lets developers
use their existing code as is within WSF/PHP. (5) WSDL generation lets
developers generate WSDL for PHP service scripts (serving WSDL 1.1 or
WSDL 2.0). (6) WSDL mode supports a contract-first style of
implementing Web services. A user can simply provide a WSDL and
implement Web services and clients based on the interface given in the
WSDL. (7) Attachments with Web services and clients take two forms.
Users can send and receive attachments with SOAP messages in optimized
formats and non-optimized formats with MTOM support. (8) REST support
lets a single service be exposed both as a SOAP-style and as a
REST-style service. The client API also supports invoking REST services
using HTTP GET and POST methods. As a fully open source solution
released under the Apache License 2.0, WSF/PHP 1.0 does not carry any
software licensing fees.

Further Information

XML to DDL Imports, Synchronizes Database Schemata

The Freshmeat project known as xml2ddl provides a set of Python
programs under the GNU General Public License (GPL). Given a working
Python runtime environment, this set of tools works on many operating
systems, including most Windows, Linux, and UNIX platforms. It also
works with the following database engines: PostgreSQL, MySQL, Oracle,
and Firebird. Basically, xml2ddl permits users to convert an XML
representation of a database into a corresponding set of SQL or DDL
statements. According to its creator and custodian, Scott Kirkwood,
"XML to DDL strives to be database independent so that the same XML
can be used for a variety of databases. This is great for quickly
testing out a variety of databases for performance, for example".
Project description: XML to DDL is a set of Python programs that
converts an XML representation of a database into a set of SQL or DDL
(Data Definition Language) commands. In addition, it can examine the
difference between two XML files and output a sequence of SQL statements
(normally ALTER statements) to bring one database up-to-date with the
XML schema. You can also download the XML schema directly from the
database. Finally, there's a tool to convert your schema into HTML for
documentation purposes. XML to DDL currently supports the most recent
versions of PostgreSQL, MySQL, Oracle, and Firebird databases."

Further Information

Mozilla Aims at Cross-Site Scripting With FF3

Web 2.0 has enabled a broad array of Websites to be more engaging for
users. It has also enabled a new and now very common attack, namely
cross site scripting, commonly referred to as XSS attacks. Mozilla is
aiming to put an end to XSS attacks in its upcoming Firefox 3 browser.
The Alpha 7 development release includes support for a new W3C working
draft specification that is intended is secure XML over HTTP requests
(often referred to as XHR) which are often the culprit when it comes
to XSS attacks. XHR is the backbone of Web 2.0 enabling a more dynamic
web experience with remote data. The W3C working draft is officially
titled, "Enabling Read Access for Web Resources." It is intended to
define a mechanism by which Web developers can safely provide
cross-site Web resource access. The specification will let developers
define via an HTTP header or an XML instruction which sites are allowed
read-access and which are not. A typical XSS attack vector is one in
which a malicious Web site reads the credentials from another that a
user has visited. The new specification could well serve to limit that
type of attack though it is still incumbent upon Web developers to be
careful with their trusted data. The W3C working draft warns that
"user agents which implement this specification should take care not
to expose other trusted data (cookies, HTTP header data) inappropriately."
In addition to the new XSS support in Firefox 3 Alpha 7, Mozilla
developers have also fixed some bugs and implementation errors that
cropped up in the Alpha 6 release, which came out in early July. The
latest release isn't just about bug fixes and new feature support.
Mozilla developers have actually dropped support for the SOAP Web
services messaging protocol, according to the official Alpha 7 release
notes. Firefox 3 is Mozilla's next generation browser and will be the
successor to the current 2.x browser. The open source group has been
working on Firefox 3 (code name Gran Paradiso) since October of 2006
when the first Firefox 3 alpha appeared.

Further Information

Public Review for OASIS Production Planning and Scheduling Specification

Members of the OASIS Production Planning and Scheduling (PPS) Technical
Committee have approved a Public Review Draft of the PPS (Production
Planning and Scheduling) specification. The review extends through
21-October-2007. The PPS Standard deals with problems in all
manufacturing companies who want to have a sophisticated information
system for production planning and scheduling. The PPS standard
provides XML schema and communication protocols for information exchange
among manufacturing application programs in the web-services environment.
The "Part 1: Core Elements" document especially focuses on information
model of core elements in the production planning and scheduling domain.
Since the elements have been designed without specific contexts in
planning and scheduling, they can be used in any specific type of
messages as a building block depending on the context of application
programs. The "Part 2: Transaction Messages" document especially focuses
on transaction messages that represent domain information in accordance
with the context of the communication, as well as transaction rules for
contexts such as pushing and pulling of the information required. The
"Part 3: Profile Specifications" document especially focuses on
profiles of application programs that may exchange the messages defined
in this standard. The profile shows capability of application programs
in terms of services for message exchange. The profile can be used for
definition of a minimum level of implementation of application programs
who are involved in a community of data exchange.

Generating Semantically Precise XForms Applications

The NIEM is a federal XML-centric metadata standard created for the
precise exchange of documents. Although the scope of many of the NIEM
sub-domains concerns national security issues, the NIEM is successfully
implemented in other domains, such as K-12 education and property
taxation. The NIEM contains a general "upper ontology" that is
applicable to many other domains that deal with concepts such as
activities, documents, organizations, regions (GIS), and persons.
There are many benefits for beginning a Web application with a
controlled vocabulary or metadata registry such as the NIEM. Metadata
registries contain useful information that can be used to create a
consistent set of XML schemas and forms. Using a metadata registry
also forces users to declare early in the application lifecycle exactly
what data elements they will transmit between organizations. This
article demonstrates how XForms applications can be automatically
created from a NIEM constraint schema, and shows how graphical tools
can allow non-programmers to automatically create rich Web applications
using a model-driven approach. It gives an example of how a short XML
transformation (XSLT) is used to achieve this task and how the
transformation can be modified and extended by developers. By using
NIEM XML Schema structure, naming conventions, and additional metadata,
the transformation task is much easier to extend. Although the example
code included in this article will create working forms, its intent
is a starting point to enable non-programmers to create working XForms
applications. A software developer willing to become familiar with
and modify the transformation can facilitate the extension of the
transform to meet specific business requirements. This transform is
just one of the first steps an IT department can adopt to empower
non-programmers to create precise specifications that automatically
generate correct Web forms. This process and many similar processes
like it are part of the declarative revolution that has great potential
to lower overall IT development costs and empowers a much larger
audience to play a direct role in Web development.

Further Information

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Webswell Connect 2.1- Open Source AS2, ebxml and SOA integration tool

Sacramento, CA, August 17 2007: After several beta releases, the
Webswell Connect 2.1, an open source SOA, ebxml and AS2 integration
tool, has been released.
Compared to previous versions the new release has the following new
1. It includes HSQLDB as a alternative database system to the
PostgreSQL. Both databases are available out-of-the-box.
2. Included Webswell Dispatcher 1.1.22. has improved handling of
AS2 and ebxml Registry Repository messages. It was also
optimized to work much faster.
3. Upgraded installer with improved MS Windows installation

Webswell Connect is a complete framework for e-business based on the
ebXML, AS2 and SOA standards. It is used as an integration framework for
heterogeneous business environments and for integration of incompatible
legacy systems. With its messaging and Registry features it is a basic
building block of SOA architecture implementation. Webswell Connect is
an open source software, licensed under GNU GPL.
Commercial technical support is available at Click Here.
About Webswell: Webswell Inc. is a company specialized in building EDI,
AS2, ebXML, Web Services and SOA integration solutions and providing
related consultancy. Webswell's mission is to help companies of any size
to build business integration solutions and exploit benefits that such
integration provides.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

ebXML Registry/Repository

The freebXML Registry [OMAR] team is pleased to announce the release of version 3.1 of our royalty-free open source implementation of the ebXML Registry standard [OVERVIEW].

This release culminates more than a year of work and incorporates experience gained from a diverse community of users of freebXML Registry [USAGE].

*Release Contents*

Our latest release provides numerous bug fixes and a few new features. For a detailed list see [RELNOTES].

The new version provides a near, feature complete implementation of Registry Full conformance profile for the OASIS ebXML Registry 3.0 standard [ebRR]. The only missing feature is support for Single Sign On (SSO) based on the Registry SAML Profile. This implementation therefor currently only claims conformance to the Registry Lite profile for the OASIS ebXML Registry 3.0 standard.

The freebXML Registry also provides a feature complete implementation of level 1 conformance profile of the Java API for XML Registries API [JAXR].

Also included are implementation of two profiles [PROF] of ebXML Registry:

-ebXML Registry Profile for WSDL
-ebXML Registry Profile for WSRP Remote Portlets

*Latest Release Notes*

See [RELNOTES] for details.

*Downloading Software*

Download instructions are available at:
Click Here >


The documentation for the release is available at:
Click Here>

Additional information is available in the project's wiki at:
Click Here>

A good place to start is the installation and setup guide:
Click Here>

*Reporting Bugs and Requests For Enhancements (RFEs)*

See instructions at:
Click Here >

Friday, August 17, 2007

Google Expands Internet Apps and Office Base

Mountain View, California-based Google said the universities of North
Carolina Greensboro, Clemson, Texas San Antonio, Kennesaw State, and
Arkansas State have signed up for its free Google Apps Education
Edition service, which comprises of email, messaging, online calendars,
word processing, and spreadsheets. Registered non-profit organizations
now qualify for Google Apps Education Edition at no cost. The five
universities join other universities like the Hebrew University in
Jerusalem, Trinity College in Dublin and Nihon University in Tokyo,
who already use Google's applications... The move impacts Microsoft,
a company that Google is going after in the applications space and
also battling with over online advertising and other web-based services.
Microsoft has its headquarters in Redmond, a suburb of Seattle, which
is stone's throw away from Google's three new office buildings located
in neighboring Kirkland. This adds to the existing engineering office
that Google has in the city, which employs roughly 400 people. It also
has a 30-man sales office in the area as well. In May Google also
subleased 60,000 square feet of office space in Fremont, another
suburb of Seattle.

How to Write Your Own ISO Standard

You too can write your own ISO standard! Here are the steps: (1)
Download the ISO/IEC Directives Part 2 Rules for the structure and
drafting of International Standards. These give the general editorial
guidelines. Read it all. (2) Download the documentation for the XML
schema for ISO Standards, which is in Technical Report 9357-11.
(3) Download the Open Source schemas and stylesheets are available
at SourceForge and embody a lot of the rules of the ISO/IECDirectives
Part 2; install and configure your production environment to use them.
(4) Try to follow these [good-] writing guidelines... (5) Write your
draft (6) Track down IP issues to the best of your ability; also, try
to have reviewed it for Internationalization, Security and Accessibility
issues... (7) Decide whether it should be an ISO/IEC International
Standard, an ISO/IEC Internation Standard through fast-track, a Publicly
Available Specification, an ISO/IEC Technical Report, a National Standard,
a Consortium Standard, or just something on your own website... (8)
When a draft is produced, contact the various technical committees
around the world to help answer questions... (9) Ask the committee to
ask ISO to get the standard added to ISO's free list; a standard that
is not on the WWW is at a total disadvantage. (10) Assuming the vote
on the Final Draft was 'yes', you now have your standard! Congratulations,
that has only taken three years or so. Now you have to commit a little
time over the next few years to maintain it and fix corrections that
come up, and to try to get buy-in from the public. Remember a good
standard is one that meets its particular user's needs, not one that
takes over the world. However, your name won't be in the standard
(unlike W3C or OASIS), or in the bibliographic entries. So don't do it,
or participate on committees, if you want to see your name on Amazon.

AtomPub Interop Event Notes

Context: Atom developers participated in an online Interop Event on
August 6-7, 2007: anyone with working APP client or server code was
invited. The Atom Publishing Protocol (APP) is an application-level
protocol for publishing and editing Web resources. The protocol is
based on HTTP transfer of Atom-formatted representations, where the
Atom format is documented in the "Atom Syndication Format"
specification (IETF Request for Comments #4287). APP uses HTTP
(RFC 2616) and XML 1.0. The protocol supports the creation of Web
Resources and provides facilities for: (1) Collections: Sets of
Resources, which can be retrieved in whole or in part; (2) Services:
Discovery and description of Collections; (3) Editing: Creating,
editing, and deleting Resources. APP uses Atom-formatted
representations to describe the state and metadata of those Resources.
It defines how Collections of Resources can be organized, and
specifies formats to support their discovery, grouping and
categorization. Joe Cheng (Microsoft) writes in the Blog: "I spent
most of yesterday and today participating in the virtual Atom interop
event; you can see (and attempt to decipher) the results [online].
Windows Live Writer comes out sitting pretty! All of the servers I
was able to try worked great, although a bug fix or two needed to
be made along the way. Since the last time we did an interop event
like this (April 2007) I have implemented image uploads to media
collections as well as ETag conflict management, and both of those
areas seem very solid now... A few caveats need to be made before
concluding that AtomPub interop between production-quality blogging
services and WLW will go this smoothly: (1) A couple of the services
had no authentication at all, and the rest were doing Basic, with
or without TLS/SSL. Last time we ran into a bunch of servers that
used WSSE, not sure why there weren't any this time. Hopefully servers
will stick to the common auth schemes, plus WSSE. (2) Almost none of
the services had an actual HTML representation (like a blog homepage);
that is, they were mostly pure AtomPub servers; I'm thinking about
implementing a web app that takes any AtomPub endpoint and makes a
blog out of it, although I would love it if someone beat me to it.
(3) Categories still need figuring out, at least as they relate to
Windows Live Writer... I've got a list forming of (small) things
AtomPub blogging server implementers need to be aware of if they want
to have the best results with WLW. With the AtomPub core spec, plus
APE, plus that list, it should generally be pretty clear to server
implementers exactly how they should behave."

Stepping into Apache Synapse

Apache Synapse is a mediation framework for Web services, based on
the Apache Axis2 project, a set of XML, security, and Web services
related projects and standards. Synapse provides a lightweight service
bus and the basic infrastructure for the implementation of a Service
Oriented Architecture. In this article, you will learn the basic
architecture of Synapse and how to configure it. Synapse supports
most of the tasks of a service bus in a SOA. Synapse is inherently
extensible even though it is designed to support a large set of
useful functions out-of-the-box. The main functions of Synapse
can be divided into three major areas: (1) Connect: Connecting
systems. Synapse is designed to support connecting systems with
different transports with different protocols and Quality of
Service (QoS). The protocols/transports that Synapse currently
XML/HTTP, XML/JMS and many more. Synapse offers termination and
initiation of QoS tasks like Reliable Messaging and WS Security.
Synapse can route messages based on XPath expressions or Regular
expressions applied over the message header or content to an
endpoint reference. Virtualization is achieved by routing the
messages from virtual/logical URIs to real EPRs. (2) Manage:
Managing interactions. Synapse supports Failover and Load-balancing
to multiple endpoints. In the failover case, there are several sets
of endpoints grouped as a failover group. When a particular endpoint
fails to deliver the message, Synapse will try to deliver the message
to other endpoints in the group. During load-balancing, Synapse will
balance the load among the load-balancing endpoint group depending
on the algorithm provided for load-balancing. Synapse also lets you
trace the messages flowing in the enterprise by enabling tracing in
the mediation. Authorization and authentication tasks for an
organization can be delegated to Synapse through mediation, by using
WS Security. (3) Transform: Transforming messages. Synapse can be
used for message transformations through mediation with various
languages, including most of the scripting languages, with the Bean
Scripting Framework (BSF) and most importantly with XSLT. Apart from
that, Synapse offers protocol switching, for example -- SOAP to JMS
or XML/HTTP to SOAP. Mediation inside Synapse is designed with care,
and there are two possible types of mediations that can happen inside
Synapse. They are: (a) Message Mediation -- managing and transforming
the messages flowing between the client and a service in an enterprise,
and (b) Service Mediation -- Mediating messages coming into a specific
service by specifying the target URI as a Synapse mediation service.

Image Annotation on the Semantic Web

W3C announced that the Multimedia Semantics Incubator Group has published
a report on "Image Annotation on the Semantic Web." The previously
published "Multimedia Vocabularies on the Semantic Web" discusses a
number of individual vocabularies that are relevant for image annotation.
Both publications are part of the Incubator Activity, a forum where W3C
Members can innovate and experiment. The W3C Incubator Group Report on
Image Annotation is written for anyone with an interest in image
annotation, ranging from non-professional end-users that are annotating
their personal digital photos to professionals working with digital
pictures in image and video banks, audiovisual archives, museums,
libraries, media production and broadcast industry, etc. Many
applications that process multimedia assets make use of some form of
metadata that describe the multimedia content. The goals of this
document are to explain the advantages of using Semantic Web languages
and technologies for the creation, storage, manipulation, interchange
and processing of image metadata. In addition, it provides guidelines
for Semantic Web-based image annotation, illustrated by use cases.
Relevant RDF and OWL vocabularies are discussed, along with a short
overview of publicly available tools. The Report briefly surveys some
currently available vocabularies and tools that can be used to
semantically annotate images so that machines can better process them.
The use of Semantic Web technologies has significant advantages in
applications areas in which the interoperability of heterogeneous
metadata is important and in areas that require an explicitly defined
and formal semantics of the metadata in order to perform reasoning
tasks. Commonly accepted, widely used vocabularies for image annotation
are still missing. Having such vocabularies would help in sharing
metadata across applications and across multiple domains. Especially,
a standard means to address subregions within an image is still
missing. In addition, tool support needs to improve dramatically
before Semantic Web-based image annotation can be applied on an
industrial scale: support needs to be integrated in the entire
production and distribution chain. Finally, many existing approaches
for image metadata are not based on Semantic Web technologies, and
work is required to make these approaches interoperable with the
Semantic Web.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

XML Security Next Steps Workshop and C14N11/XML Signature Interop Event

W3C has issued a renewed call for papers in connection with the Workshop on Next Steps for XML Signature and XML Encryption, to be held September 25-26, 2007 in Mountain View, California, hosted by VeriSign. Position papers are due 14-August-2007. Workshop Chairs include Frederick Hirsch (Nokia; Chair, XML Security Specifications Maintenance Working Group, W3C) and Thomas Roessler (W3C Security Activity Lead).

Workshop attendees will discuss next steps for the XML Signature and XML Encryption specifications and share their experiences implementing and developing these standards. Topics may include interoperability and robustness, performance, legal requirements for digital signature formats, and the impact of the evolving XML environment. The Workshop is expected to give its recommendations to the XML Security Specifications Maintenance Working Group. The Workshop is free free and open to all; however, submission of position papers is required of all participants.

In conjunction with the workshop, the XML Security Specifications Maintenance Working Group will hold an interop test on 27-September-2007 to test C14N11 (Canonical XML 1.1) and XML Signature Core.

See also Canonical XML 1.1