Extensibility, Inc. announced the release of XML Instance 1.1. A schema-driven data editor, XML Instance can create, edit, and manage data-oriented XML business documents (i.e. instance documents), messages, and configuration files. It is a key component of the recently launched Turbo XML – the packaged suite of XML Instance, XML Authority and XML Console. This new release enables data from an ODBC data source to be imported and deployed throughout the organization as XML data – offering a means to integrate and reuse legacy information. In addition, XML Instance now features XSLT stylesheet transformation facilities, which provide full data management through the support of XSLT editing and processing. Through an XSLT stylesheet, an XML business document can be transformed into another XML business document or viewed in a HTML format on a web browser. This facility allows an organization to take data and present or use the information based on the specific needs of the business. New features include: XSLT stylesheet transformation facilities, data importing from an ODBC data source, support for all encoding types supported by Java, improved namespace support, and new options for customizing document display. XML Instance 1.1 is available for free to existing users. XML Instance runs on Windows (95/98/2000/NT), UNIX, and Mac and is available for immediate download at www.extensibility.com/products/download.htm. Licensing is available for single users ($99.95) and in multi-user x-packs (5-user $449.95; 10-user $849.95; 50-user $3995.00). www.extensibility.com
Portal Wave, Inc. and iDini announced a strategic partnership to extend the Portal Wave Application Portal Server (APS) to the mobile workforce. iDini’s wireless extension to APS enables access and transactional capability to enterprise applications via wireless PDAs or internet-enabled mobile phones. As partners, Portal Wave and iDini are working together to promote and sell the wireless extension of the APS to enterprise customers. Portal Wave is currently offering demonstrations of iDini’s wireless extension. www.idini.com, www.portalwave.com
Navision Software announced that it has released its XBRL solution, one day after the publication of the official XML-based taxonomy. XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) is a free specification that first appeared on the financial and accounting scene in October of 1999. It uses a financial reporting specification, agreed upon by key members of the financial information supply chain that allows an open exchange of financial reporting data across all software and technologies, including the Internet. The XBRL coding contained in Navision Financials 2.50 will enable customers to more easily and efficiently connect and communicate with both competing products in the ERP space and complementary products such as Caseware. For example, a set of subsidiary offices using Navision Financials can now more quickly collaborate with a parent office using a larger ERP system, while realizing significant time and cost savings. XBRL offers several key benefits: technology independence, full interoperability, efficient preparation of financial statements, and reliable extraction of financial information. Information is entered only once, allowing that same information to be rendered in any form, such as a printed financial statement, an HTML document for the company’s Web site, an EDGAR filing document with the SEC, a raw XML file or other specialized reporting formats, such as credit reports or loan documents. www.navision-us.com
Sun Microsystems, Inc. announced the beta availability of the 2D graphics SVG generator software, downloadable for no charge at www.sun.com/xml. This easy-to-use tool, developed by Sun’s XML Technology Center leverages the power and growing ubiquity of XML. XML’s universal, standards-based syntax will play an important role in graphics rendering as well as data portability and usability, and Sun is meeting developer demand for the needed tools in these areas. Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is in development at the World W3C and is a file format that describes two-dimensional vector graphics in XML. SVG has many advantages over graphics formats in use today, such as JPEG or GIF. Since SVG is a plain text format, its files are readable and generally smaller than comparable graphical images. SVG images are also “zoomable” or “scalable”, meaning users can zoom in on a particular area of a graphic, such as a map, and not experience any image degradation. Because SVG is scalable, SVG images can be printed with high quality at any resolution. Text within an SVG-based image, such as a city name on a map, is both selectable and searchable. Applications written in SVG can be made accessible through means for describing the visual information in textual detail. Lastly, SVG supports scripting and animation, which enables dynamic, interactive graphics. For more information on SVG, visit www.w3.org/Graphics/SVG. As well, Sun announced the availability of the SVG slide toolkit software, also available free of charge at www.sun.com/xml. This software is a collection of XML stylesheets and DTDs that help users to create XML documents that can be transformed into richly graphical, interactive SVG-based slide presentations. The software’s advantage is that it allows for the separation of a presentation’s content from its look and feel, enabling users to independently modify the content, the presentation style or both. http://sun.com
The World Wide Web Consortium has issued Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) as a W3C Candidate Recommendation. Advancement of the document to Candidate Recommendation is an invitation to the Web development community at large to make implementations of SVG and provide technical feedback. Web designers have requirements for graphics formats which display well on a range of different devices, screen sizes, and printer resolutions. They need rich graphical capabilities, good internationalization, responsive animation and interactive behavior in a way that takes advantage of the growing XML infrastructure used in e-commerce, publishing, and B2B communication.
Web designers demand vendor-neutral, cross-platform interoperability. SVG brings the advantages of XML to the world of vector graphics. It enables the textual content of graphics – from logos to diagrams – to be searched, indexed, and displayed in multiple languages. This is a significant benefit for both accessibility and internationalization. Related W3C specifications such as the Document Object Model (DOM) allow for easy server-side generation and dynamic, client-side modification of graphics and text. SVG also benefits from W3C technologies such as CSS and XSL style sheets, RDF metadata, SMIL Animation and XML Linking. In addition to being an excellent format for stand-alone graphics, the full power of SVG is seen when it is combined with other XML grammars; for example to deliver multimedia applications, hold business data, or render mathematical expressions. Bringing the XML advantage to vector graphics benefits all industries that depend on rich graphics delivery – advertising, electronic commerce, process control, mapping, financial services, and education all have immediate needs for SVG.
The SVG Working Group consists of key industry and research players including, in alphabetical order: Adobe Systems, AOL/Netscape, Apple, Autodesk, Canon, Corel, CSIRO, Eastman Kodak, Excosoft, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, ILOG, IntraNet Systems, Macromedia, Microsoft, OASIS, Opera, Oxford Brookes University, Quark, Sun Microsystems, and Xerox. www.w3.org