IBM puts spotlight on XML functionality

With the announcement of its new online open standards-based demonstration, IBM Canada hopes to highlight to software developers the potential for XML and Web services.

Code-named “Xperanto,” the technology preview illustrates the evolution of Markham, Ont.-based IBM Canada’s DB2 database software in support of XML functionality and related products for information integration. The Xperanto Demo, available through IBM’s developerWorks Web site at, provides a glimpse at its emerging technologies, IBM said.

The objective of this technology preview is to raise awareness of information integration challenges in the IT industry – companies want to know how to integrate different forms of content across or beyond the enterprise, said IBM distinguished engineer and director of information integration Nelson Mattos.

The demonstration provides a “real customer scenario” of how a newly merged bank and financial services company could use XML standards as a single interface to provide integrated views of multiple databases and Web services to customers or sales representatives. It’s designed to show developers XML’s potential in any industry along with IBM’s progress in combining XML and XQuery standards with the power of DB2’s federation capabilities, Mattos added.

Using XQuery (which queries XML data), the demo can deliver relational data to the XML world and access real-time data on the Internet using Web services, Mattos said. Developers can also view and query diverse relational databases and Web services as if they were a single database, he added, and apply text search uniformly across diverse range of information, including XML documents, flat files and spreadsheets.

“Heterogeneous XML has the power to bring all different forms of data together and that is why it’s such a key ingredient to addressing the information integration needs,” Mattos said.

Initiatives such as the Xperanto demo are

significant steps in raising awareness of XML and advancing adoption, said Alister Sutherland, director of software at Toronto-based research firm IDC Canada Ltd.

“In and of itself (XML) is not a Web services architecture, but it certainly is the bedrock of Web services architecture,” Sutherland said. “XML is a tremendous boon as far as being able to get disparate and heterogeneous data to interoperate.”