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IBM Gives Developers More XML Tools

By Jennifer LeClaire
May 4, 2005 11:12 AM PT

IBM is adding a host of new XML developers' tools to its Emerging Technologies Toolkit in what analysts are calling a nod of acceptance for the popular programming language.

IBM Gives Developers More XML Tools

Developers can download the toolkit for free at Alphaworks.IBM.com to access new tools and technologies that could wind up in future IBM products. These are untested versions of tools that IBM is evaluating for future use.

Going Mainstream

Three of the featured tools under testing include the Compound XML Document Editor, the XML Forms Generator and XML Enhancements for Java.

Rob Enderle told TechNewsWorld that he's not surprised Big Blue is moving toward XML. He said we've passed the early adopter phase and now XML really is part of the portfolio of anyone who is building a comprehensive tool set.

"XML is the future of portable application development, particularly for those things that are coming across the Web," he said. "All the tools vendors, including IBM are getting on this bandwagon. It does represent the future of Web-based applications."

Compounded Popularity

The Compound XML Document Editor uses Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF) models to define the semantics of constructing documents spanning one or more namespaces, such as the order and placement of elements, the allowable child elements, and available attributes for each element. The tool also provides a framework which can be extended to permit editing of new document types.

The XML Forms Generator Eclipse plug-in takes a model-driven approach to forms generation, using as a starting point either Web Service Description Language documents or XML instance documents having Eclipse Modeling Description backing models. The generated forms adhere to the XHTML and XForms 1.0 standards, and can be viewed in popular XHTML/XForms renderers.

Bridging the Gap

XML Enhancements for Java (XJ) are a set of extensions to Java 1.4 that integrate support for XML, XML Schema and XPath 1.0 into the language. The company said the advantages of XJ include familiarity for the XML programmer, robustness, easier maintenance and optimized performance.

"XJ is good for IBM because it is a vendor that can bridge the groups. Microsoft can't really bridge to Java right now, although that may be changing," Enderle said. "Because IBM plays in both camps, to a large extent, it is able to offer bridge products like this."

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