Microsoft Announces Public Beta of Newest XML Parser

REDMOND, Wash., July 31, 2000 — Furthering its commitment to the support and development of XML, Microsoft Corp. today announced the official beta release of its newest XML parser, which is available for immediate download from the MSDN® XML Developer Center ( http://msdn.microsoft.com/xml/general/msxmlprev.asp ). An XML parser (or processor) is the programming component that implements the core XML standards and provides XML services to applications. This version of the parser, MSXML3, increases XML conformance over previous releases by achieving a pass rate of over 98 percent using the OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structural Information Standards) XML Conformance Test Suite. It also extends support for the Simple API for XML (SAX2) programming interface, making SAX2 accessible from the Visual Basic® development system.

This version of the parser marks the transition from
“technology preview” to full beta, with general product availability scheduled for Web release in fall 2000. XML is a key technology of the Microsoft® .Net Platform, and MSXML3 lays the groundwork for that vision by allowing developers to rapidly build and deliver XML-based Web services today.

“Microsoft is committed to providing developers and customers with the most current technologies possible,”
said Dave Reed, general manager of Data Access and XML Technologies at Microsoft.
“Using the Web as our primary distribution vehicle is what enabled us to maintain this rapid development cycle while simultaneously ensuring we are providing the features our customers are demanding.”

Interoperability is one of the primary benefits of using XML for communications and data exchange, but can only be achieved when producers and consumers of XML process the language in a consistent way. This does not require the use of the same software or programming language, or even the same operating system, but it does mean that both applications must conform to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) XML 1.0 Recommendation. To help ensure vendors support this recommendation in a consistent way, OASIS – working with the support of the National Institute of Standards and Technology – has produced the XML Conformance Test Suite containing over 1,000 tests. Microsoft is committed to supporting and ensuring the interoperability of XML, as demonstrated by the significant advances in this beta release.

“We applaud Microsoft’s use of the OASIS XML Conformance Test Suite in the development of their parser,”
said Laura Walker, executive director of OASIS.
“Their willingness to verify it against the 1,000 tests incorporated in the OASIS XML Conformance Test Suite demonstrates Microsoft’s commitment to open standards, compliance and interoperability.”

Since the last release just two months ago, when SAX2 support was added, one of the most requested features was access to SAX2 from Visual Basic. Extending access to developers using Visual Basic is a reflection of Microsoft’s commitment to delivering the features its customers demand in
“Internet time.” SAX2 is designed to enable fast and efficient processing of XML by allowing programs such as the Visual C++® development system, and now Visual Basic, to read, review and process XML files without having to load the entire document into memory.

Microsoft released the first version of the new XML parser in January 2000 with updated versions posting in March and May.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies 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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