Tools point to potential of XML

High-level tools are emerging to underscore the possibilities for developing Web applications using the Extensible Markup Language (XML). These include new tools, such as one due this week from AgentSoft, which automates the process of collecting data marked in the Channel Definition Format, which was written in XML. Allaire's Cold Fusion development environment - which has been used to build some large local sites, such as NBR Network - is also regarded as having shown the potential usefulness of a custom tag language like XML.

High-level tools are emerging that underscore the possibilities for developing Web applications using the Extensible Markup Language (XML).

For example, AgentSoft this week plans to make available on its Web site a tool that automates the process of collecting data marked in the Channel Definition Format, which was written in XML. An investor who regularly gathers specific data from particular companies' sites could automate the process using the tool, says Bruce Krulwich, AgentSoft's director of advanced technologies.

The tool will be part of LiveAgent Pro 1.0, agent software that records actions as Web macros, expected to ship at the end of this month.

Meanwhile, Allaire next week plans to release a custom set of tags for its Cold Fusion development environment. The Custom Tag Gallery includes components for extending Web applications with functionality such as animated graphics or server-side credit-card processing.

Although Cold Fusion was developed prior to XML, it provides a good example of an XML-like custom tag language, analysts say.

AgentSoft Ltd., in Jerusalem, is at http://www.agentsoft.com. Allaire Corp., in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is at http://www.allaire.com.

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