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Cape Clear releases free WSDL editor

[MARCH 4, 2003/ADT'S PROGRAMMERS REPORT] - Cape Clear Software last week made a version of its WSDL editor available for free download. The new editor is designed to simplify and encourage development of Web services applications with a graphical environment and pre-built wizards.

Web Services Description Language (WSDL) is one of the key XML-based technologies enabling the development of Web services, along with SOAP, UDDI and XSLT. Co-developed by Microsoft and IBM, WSDL describes the protocols and formats used by a Web service. Through WSDL, developers describe what a service does -- its functionality, specifications, outputs, inputs and accessibility methods.

As Web services development teams -- sometimes working across various companies -- must carefully communicate when building these new application integrations, a descriptive protocol such as WSDL is very important.

The Cape Clear product, which is designed to work with existing languages such as .NET, Java, J2EE and CORBA, provides what John Maughan, director of engineering at Cape Clear Software, has called a ''top-down'' approach to development. It is, essentially, a means of thinking about interfaces before they are coded.

According to Maughan, tools like this one are gaining in popularity among Web services developers because they put WSDL at the center of their development process. ''It facilitates good Web service design, enables the reuse of existing data-type definitions, and can be used to automatically generate service implementations without developer effort,'' he said in a statement. Maughan claims that more than 30,000 programmers are using the first release of this tool.

The WSDL editor is also included in Version 4 of the Dublin, Ireland-based company's flagship Cape Clear Studio tools suite. Previously code-named G4, Cape Clear 4 is a Web services development, integration, deployment and management product suite. It includes three integrated products: Studio, Server and Manager.

This release of the WSDL editor introduces a range of improvements over the previous release, including:
* An improved graphical environment that makes creating and editing Web services faster and easier.
* New automated wizards that simplify the creation and editing of proprietary and industry-specific XML Schemas.
* Support for large XML Schemas, which enables developers to create Web services that interface to existing business processes.
* A simplified process for creating different WSDL elements such as service definitions, port types, binding, template operations and messages.
* Broader support for WSDL validation against WSDL schema and WSDL profiling.
* Advanced WSDL capabilities such as imports, faults, SOAP headers, multiple bindings and parameter ordering, as defined in the latest WSDL specification.
* Easier retrieval of WSDL files from across corporate networks, UDDI repositories or the Internet.

The free WSDL editor runs on Linux, Sun Solaris or Microsoft Windows. It is available for download immediately at http://www.capeclear.com/wsdleditor/

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About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at john@watersworks.com.

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