Microsoft Corp. announced the release of the beta specification for XML for Analysis — a new protocol that extends the Microsoft business intelligence strategy to the Microsoft.NET vision of Web services, allowing application developers to provide analytic capabilities to any client on any device or platform using any programming language. Built on HTTP, XML and SOAP with more than 50 industry players instrumental in its development. As an extension to OLE DB for OLAP and OLE DB for Data Mining, XML for Analysis uses the Internet as the platform for building analytical applications from diverse sources of data, thus enabling developers to provide better Web services for analytic data. Corporations can now allow trading partners, customers and suppliers to access data easily and securely over the Web without worrying about client operating system, application language or middleware compatibility issues. XML for Analysis expands access to business intelligence by increasing the flexibility for developers to incorporate analytical data within applications that reside remotely on the Internet, or even those that are hosted by another company. Users can achieve a new level of pervasive data analysis because they have access to data from any client ranging from a PDA to an Internet-enabled phone, interactive TV device, laptop computer or PC. XML for Analysis is a fully compatible advancement to the OLE DB for OLAP and OLE DB for Data Mining protocols. The beta specification of XML for Analysis is now available for download at A beta software development kit of XML for Analysis is planned to be available for download in early 2001, and final specification and software for XML for Analysis are scheduled to be available in the first half of 2001.