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Systinet broadens XML Schema for verticals

As XML Schema definitions proliferate in e-business Web services applications, developers face the almost overwhelming task of finding ways to process them, according to Peter Lacey, director of field engineering at Systinet Corp., Cambridge, Mass.

Some definitions, such as Parlay X in the telecommunications industry, don't even fully adhere to the XML Schema standard, Lacey said, but developers and tools and platform vendors still need to support it.

Seeking to provide broad support for emerging vertical industry standards such as Parlay X for telcos and the Financial products Markup Language (FpML) for banks, Systinet has released an enhanced version of its WASP Server for Java.

WASP Server for Java 4.7 supports not only vertical industry XML Schema definitions, but can be customized as individual companies create company specific standards, Lacey said. He pointed to a banking customer of Systinet as an example.

"The bank in this case uses FpML" he said. "But then they extended it to encompass the needs that are particular to them that are not generic to the entire financial products industry."

Noting that "XML Schema can be an amazingly complex beast" and that schema document creators are constantly adding "neat features," said Lacey, developers and vendors like Systinet are busy keeping up.

"Financial products Markup Language had unusual data elements in it, and an earlier release of our product wasn't quite ready for all of them," he said.

Systinet not only made sure its server could process the XML Schema of its major banking customer, but it polled its customers to see what standards were emerging as ones that needed support, Lacey said. The company then worked to put the broadest possible support for vertical industry customers into its latest server product, he added.

But it will continue to be a work in progress, he acknowledged, because industries and individual companies will continue to feed new features into the growing XML Schema beast.

About the Author

Rich Seeley is Web Editor for Campus Technology.

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