The Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) Forum announced the release of the WAP Version 1.1 specifications, a newly enhanced version of the mobile Internet standard that will enable the rapid commercial deployment of WAP-ready products and services worldwide. Using WAP V1.1, users of digital mobile phones and other wireless devices will be able to securely access and instantly interact with Internet/intranet information and advanced telephony services. Representatives from 120 WAP Forum member companies from across the globe have joined together at the meeting to advance the development of WAP and build relationships with other industry organizations to ensure that future Internet standards address the needs of low power, low memory wireless devices. WAP Version 1.1 provides handset manufacturers with a common global platform and a richer service offering to both consumers and carriers. Network operators can differentiate themselves through new WAP-compliant value-added services and enhancements to existing voicemail and email services. Infrastructure providers and content developers benefit from an expanded market for their products and services. Consumer and business users of WAP-ready mobile devices will have near anytime, anywhere access to information. To ensure interoperability of WAP products, the WAP Forum has contracted The Open Group (www.opengroup.org) to develop a test suite to support a certification program for WAP V1.1 conforming clients and servers. The test suite is focused on the Wireless Markup Language (WML) application layer specifications, but also includes tests for the underlying communication protocols. WAP is collaborating with ARIB, CDG, ECMA, ETSI, TIA, W3C and other industry bodies to ensure that future technical specifications from all organizations meet the needs of this device category. www.wapforum.org.
The W3C released Associating Style Sheets with XML Documents as a W3C Recommendation, representing cross-industry and expert community agreement on the first efforts for allowing style sheets to be associated with an XML document, thus bringing a wider range of design and display options to XML authors. A W3C Recommendation indicates that a specification is stable, contributes to Web interoperability, and has been reviewed by the W3C membership, who favor its adoption by the industry. Style sheet development and the separation of presentation information from the structure of a document has been a core W3C work area since its inception. Web publishers use style sheets written in the Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) language to flexibly enhance the display of Web pages written in HTML. Microsoft, Netscape, Opera Software, and SoftQuad have products that support the new recommendation. Other vendors have promised to support the specification in upcoming products. Work is already underway to develop technologies that will allow developers to place the style sheet link outside the XML document itself in ways that are extensible, self-documenting, and that can be validated. www.w3c.org
JetForm Corporation announced “XML Forms Architecture” (XFA), a new, comprehensive specification that adds enterprise-caliber forms-processing features to the popular XML standard. Unlike other electronic-only solutions and XML-based Internet forms specifications, XFA was designed from the ground up as XML conformant and provides two unique advantages: flexible packaging of form and/or data and output awareness. XFA is an open specification that acts as a bridge between the underlying XML data structure and high-level presentation formats. Since it is “data schema neutral,” XFA works equally well with a variety of XML data formats including those specified in the BizTalk Framework from Microsoft. XFA takes XML data schemas and adds graphic presentation and secure electronic signatures to create legally-binding, compliant documents of record. XFA will be incorporated into this fall’s release of FormFlow, JetForm’s industry-leading, XML-based electronic forms software. www.jetform.com
MarketSoft Corporation announced that it has submited its XML-based eLeads solution, already in use in multiple production environments, as a schema compatible with the BizTalk Framework. MarketSoft’s schema has been submitted to BizTalk.org, the central repository and developer resource site for BizTalk Framework compatible schemas. www.marketsoft.com
IMA announced it is partnering with IBM and FileNET to deliver solutions that integrate customer-focused, front-office activities with transaction-oriented back-office processes. Based on IMA’s EDGE software, this new platform combines the latest in Web and e-commerce software, computer-telephony integration (CTI) and call center/customer interaction technology, and FileNET integrated document management (IDM) software. This new platform enables comprehensive management of customer information to maximize ROI and increase revenue and profit opportunities. The end result is faster implementation of integrated solutions using proven, reliable components that work together easily and can maximize system lifetime value. www.imaedge.com