Sun announces XML for Java interface specs

Sun Microsystems has published details of two new interfaces to link its Java programming language to XML (extensible mark-up language).

The new Java APIs (application programming interfaces) include the Java API for XML Messaging (JAXM) and Java API for XML Parsing (JAXP), as well as a slew of supporting acronyms dealing with messaging and parsing of XML. Work on the APIs is still continuing.

The APIs, along with the still incomplete Java API for XML Data Binding (JAXB), form the core of Sun's support for XML in the Java 2 platform, the company said in a statement. All three technologies are being developed through the Java Community Process (JCP), an organisation set up by Sun to manage the evolution of Java.

JAXM enables packaging, routing and transport of XML and other messages using HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol), SMTP (simple mail transfer protocol) and FTP (file transfer protocol), and will be useful to programmers building robust, secure electronic commerce applications, said Sun. Future versions of the API will support other messaging methods including those being defined in the ebXML (electronic business XML initiative) framework by OASIS (the Organisation for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) and the UN/CEFACT (United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business). Sun said it expects the final version of JAXM to be ready early 2001, and hopes to make the specification available through "a credible open-source organisation, such as the Apache Software Foundation".

The other API, JAXP, enables Java applications to read, manipulate and generate XML documents. The draft version of the specification is available through JCP and supports XML standards including the recently released Document Object Model (DOM) Level 2, said Sun. It expects to ship the final version in the first quarter of next year.

The third, as-yet unreleased API is intended to help developers build and maintain XML-enabled applications with a minimum of effort. JAXB maps XML documents to Java objects. It will include a compiler that can automatically generate Java classes from XML schemas without developers having to write any parsing code. The compiler will automatically check XML messages for errors and validity. Sun expects JAXB to ship in the first quarter of 2001.

Further details on JAXM and JAXP can be found at http://java.sun.com/jdc/

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