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Web site offers tips on 'drawing' XML

Developers as well as business users with little XML knowledge or experience can view samples of how to 'draw' Web services applications at a new Web site launched this month by SmartDraw.com.

The San Diego-based provider of business graphics software is showing off its XML drawing software, VisualScript XML at http://www.VisualScript.com. The site includes 'XML scenarios' where users can see how XML visual modeling tools can be used to create Web services applications.

One scenario explains how a computer manufacturer built a Web services inventory application controlled by BizTalk server. The developers write BPEL modules for the basic operations, including checking parts availability and starting a manufacturing request. The Web service itself is drawn out in a flowchart-style diagram using the SmartDraw tool, which can be used to generate the XML code. Because all of the Web services elements are represented in the kind of diagram business users see in PowerPoint presentations, they can understand and have input into the development process, according to the SmartDraw scenario.

''In fact, using the developer's scripted symbols, a business manager will be able to quickly sketch a familiar business process in VisualScript -- automatically composing a script to drive the BizTalk server -- without actually understanding XML,'' the Web site scenario concludes.

The basic concept behind VisualScript is to improve that kind of communication between developers and business users, said a SmartDraw spokesperson.

About the Author

Rich Seeley is Web Editor for Campus Technology.

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