Microsoft Corp. made available a beta version of the XML for Analysis software development kit and an updated XML for Analysis protocol specification. This is an online analytical processing protocol that enables the transfer of information between analytical databases and client applications, regardless of the computer language used to write the application. Leveraging XML, SOAP and HTTP, XML for Analysis is a new protocol that is designed to standardize the data access interaction between a client application and an analytical data provider (OLAP and data mining). With input from more than 50 vendors, XML for Analysis is a vendor – and platform – independent extension to Microsoft’s OLEDB for OLAP and OLEDB for Data Mining protocols. Developers are now able to provide analytic capabilities to any client on any device or platform using any programming language, such as the Microsoft Visual Basic development system, C++, C# and Java. A beta version of XML for Analysis is available for download at