Microsoft Announces Support for XSLT and XPath With Web-Based Technology Preview Release

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 26, 2000 — As part of its continued support for the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)’s Extensible Markup Language (XML) standards, Microsoft Corp. today released a preview version of its XML parser. The XML parser delivers on Microsoft’s commitment to support the W3C’s latest recommendations of XSL Transformations (XSLTs) and XML Path Language (XPath) and includes new features that increase performance and efficiency. Today’s preview release is available for immediate download at .

Building on Microsoft’s commitment to support W3C standards, this preview version is the first in an ongoing series of technology previews that Microsoft plans to release to ensure that early adopters have access to the latest versions of W3C standards. As XML-based solutions become more pervasive, XML services need to be readily available on any development platform and work seamlessly with all available tools. Microsoft will continue to deliver these services as an integral part of the Microsoft® Windows® platform.

“Microsoft is committed to supporting the standards released by the W3C,”
said David Turner, product manager for XML at Microsoft.
“Using Web releases such as this preview version to the XML parser allows us to keep up with the rapid pace of standards development.”

Microsoft plans on releasing technology previews regularly to allow products and services to be updated in
“Web time”
and to be compliant with the latest industry standards. In addition, this vehicle will be used to introduce new features with the intent of soliciting feedback from the developer community. These releases do not replace shipping product; rather, they are technology previews that allow early adopters to build prototype applications. Microsoft plans to use the feedback received from users of these releases in the integration of new features into mainstream product cycles.

XSLT and XPath

XSL Transformations adds to the strengths of XML by providing a standards-based tool for converting XML through querying, sorting and filtering. Because the transformation process is independent of any particular output syntax, XSLT can be used for translating XML data from one schema to another whether for application integration or to enable the presentation of XML in a variety of formats. XML Path Language is used within XSLT to provide a simple mechanism for finding and addressing the parts of the document being transformed.

New Features Improve Performance and Efficiency

Growing use of XML in business-to-business solutions means increased demands on server-side processing of XML. Microsoft continues its ongoing focus on server-side optimization with this version of the XML parser, which has resulted in performance gains of 200 percent to 300 percent in some common scenarios. In addition, developers will be able to install this preview release with their existing solutions and run their current applications as before, because it runs side by side with their existing parser, allowing developers to build new applications that take advantage of the XML services and features in the preview release.

In addition to increasing base performance, Microsoft has also introduced new features that make server-based use of XML more efficient. Throughput of a system is closely tied to the rate at which it can validate, query and transform documents. However, systems that deal with very high volumes of documents or messages usually only employ a small number of schemas and style sheets. This release introduces new features that allow preloading and caching of these commonly used components, thereby enabling systems to validate and transform documents more quickly.

Microsoft Builds on Long-Standing Commitment to XML

To date, Microsoft has actively participated in the W3C’s creation and standardization of XML and has provided leading product support. For example, Microsoft Internet Explorer was the industry’s first browser software to support XML. In addition, Microsoft recently created the MSDN TM XML Developer Center, which offers developers tools and resources to help them take advantage of XML. Finally, with dozens of industry partners, customers and standards bodies, Microsoft has helped develop the BizTalk TM Framework to accelerate the adoption and use of XML for e-commerce and enterprise application integration. More information on Microsoft’s XML initiatives can be found at .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.

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