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Upgrading services from HTML to XML sought

Organizations integrating business information services are increasingly demanding that providers upgrade from HTML to XML, according to Mary McCabe, senior vice president, OneSource Information Services, Inc.

OneSource, a Concord, Mass. provider of business information, including news, articles and analyst reports, has been delivering the information to customers in HTML format, she said. This month, the company announced an enhanced version of its services in XML.

''There are two reasons why XML is important from our customers' viewpoint,'' McCabe said. ''One, they want to be able to display the data in a user interface visually the way the rest of their applications look, rather than having it come up the way we've designed our HTML. The other is to get at the field-level data so they can access our data right along with internal data that is relevant to whatever it is they are working on.''

She offered an example of how XML business information from her company is being integrated with internal data at an insurance company as part of an application for underwriters.

''Their goal was to populate a standard form that underwriters use to set the risks associated with a new prospect and to make the related pricing decisions,'' she explained. ''By first supplying external optimization services to link their internal company database with our company's data, and using the API to pull data into their workstations, they can see, side-by-side, their internal data and our external data.''

Using XML's capability to display data from multiple sources in a uniform onscreen format places all external and internal data into the standard form the company's underwriters use, she explained.

For more information on the new OneSource AppLink 2.0, click on http://www.onesource.com.

About the Author

Rich Seeley is Web Editor for Campus Technology.

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