Microsoft, ArborText, DataChannel and Inso Submit XML-Data Specification to W3C

Microsoft, ArborText, DataChannel and Inso Submit XML-Data Specification to W3C

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 27, 1998 — Microsoft Corp., ArborText Inc., DataChannel Inc. and Inso Corp. today announced that the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has acknowledged their submission of an Extensible Markup Language (XML) data proposal. The XML-Data specification outlines richer capabilities for developers to describe and validate data, making XML even better for integrating data from multiple, disparate sources and building three-tiered Web-enabled applications. The specification is available at and ( .

XML-Data extends the current XML specification in process at the W3C. New features of the XML-Data specification include the following:

  • An XML-based syntax for schemas. Schemas define the rules of an XML document, including element names, which elements can appear in combination, and which attributes are available for each element. Schemas provide an improved method of making XML-based data self-describing to applications that do not already contain built-in descriptions of the data.

  • A model for extending XML elements. XML-Data provides a mechanism by which developers can further specify characteristics about particular elements. This allows developers to augment schemas with additional information such as data types, inheritance, validation and presentation rules.

“XML, since its inception, has provided extraordinary promise for information sharing across the Web,” said Adam Bosworth, general manager of the server applications division at Microsoft. “XML-Data will make it possible for XML to realize this promise and will lead to the widespread sharing of information everywhere.”

“DataChannel is pleased to work with Microsoft, Inso and ArborText on the submission of the XML-Data spec to the W3C,” said Tim Gelinas, vice president of engineering at DataChannel. “XML-Data will foster the development of new and revolutionary applications for the exchange of data between Web-based applications.”

XML-Data Makes XML Even More Extensible and Powerful

With the XML-based syntax for schemas outlined in the XML-Data specification, data is more self-describing. For example, a general purpose inventory-tracking application can extract information from a purchase order and find details about the record’s structure in the purchase order’s schema, without having been written specifically for purchase order processing.

In addition, with XML-Data, developers now have a model to define data types, providing information about the storage format. This allows developers to more precisely describe data for exchange between applications. XML-Data contains a large built-in set of data types, covering all popular database and programming language types, and it permits developers to define new types. For instance, the XML-Data schema could specify that the data contained between <price> tags is a number and the data contained between < birth date> tags is a date.

“XML brings to the Web an ability to model text and data more accurately and usefully than before,” said Paul Grosso, vice president of research at ArborText. “We’re excited about XML-Data because it offers strong data-typing abilities, which can increase XML’s ability to capture the rich schematic information that databases can work with today.”

With XML-Data, developers can also specify element-type inheritance, similar to that found in object-oriented programming languages. Using inheritance, a bookstore, for instance, could start with a standard electronic commerce purchase order schema, then tailor it to form a bookstore purchase order schema.

“XML gives unprecedented power and ease to authors of structured data,” said Steven J. DeRose, chief scientist at Inso and a member of the XML Committee. “XML-Data promises to make the task of exchanging information about new XML tags far easier to manage in a diverse, worldwide environment.”

About ArborText

Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., ArborText develops and supports software that makes the process of capturing and delivering knowledge more effective. Global 5,000 organizations use the company’s products to author, catalog and reuse information stored in document databases.

In production use since 1991, ArborText software is the keystone of high-volume document assembly systems at companies such as The Boeing Company, Digital Equipment Corp., Ford Motor Co., Grolier’s Encyclopedia, Lockheed Martin Corp., National Semiconductor Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc.

For more information about ArborText’s products, consulting services and training programs, please call (313) 997-0200, send e-mail to [email protected], or visit the ArborText Web site at ( .

About DataChannel

A member of the W3C and based in Bellevue, Wash., DataChannel is a pioneer in enterprise content routing solutions, focused on instant distribution of organized content. The company’s first product, ChannelManager, combines the power of an XML-driven database engine with real-time TIB notification (Nasdaq “RTRSY”) working with Netscape’s Communicator and NetCaster (Nasdaq “NSCP”) or Microsoft Active Channel
content and Internet Explorer (Nasdaq “MSFT”).

DataChannel’s tools enable corporations to get “The Right Information to the Right Person at the Right Time.” The company was reviewed by Forrester Research and positioned as one of the few webcast vendors providing “fully intelligent, interactive suites” along with Microsoft, Netscape and Yahoo! Additional information about DataChannel and its products can be found at ( .

About Inso

Inso Corporation (Nasdaq “INSO”) is a leading global supplier of software solutions for sharing and publishing electronic information. Inso provides solutions for effective distribution of all forms of electronic information, from the simplest memo to the most complex technical manual, in environments ranging from computer desktops to the Internet. Through integration in the world’s most popular software products, bundling agreements and distribution channels, Inso technology is installed on over 70 million desktops worldwide. Information about Inso and its products can be found at ( .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft is a registered trademark or trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

For more information, press only:

Joscelyn Zell, Waggener Edstrom for Microsoft, (503) 443-7000, [email protected]

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