URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator. However, the original name was Universal Resource Identifiers. That is about having an universal information space and identifying resources on this information space using URL. An information space is not confined to one type of computer, one type of application or one geography. The WWW is handling the data side of this information space. The applications to take advantage of this universal information space are left to the software industry. This is where Java becomes the most obvious choice for an implementation vehicle. Java was designed to be a network-savvy universal computing platform. Thus Java aids the adoption of Extensible Markup Language (XML) by providing implementation can run anywhere.
Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a new specification that enables Web page designers to create their own, customized tags to provide functionality that is not available in the current markup language HTML. Both Java and XML represent implementations of user-defined versus technological-defined goals. That is, both put accomplishing a user-defined task above operating efficiently on computing hardware. Java's interpreted code provides the user benefit of write once, run anywhere. XML's human-readable text as data prescription provides the user benefit of application independence. Both have sacrificed computing efficiency for user-defined goals. That is why many proclaim the convergence of these technologies as nothing short of a technological revolution.
There are a number of works going on at the moment to achieve the goal of having robust Java and XML middleware running on all major platforms and operating systems. There are many application servers (For example, IBM's WebSphere) based on Java and XML. There are many tools, which incorporate Java and XML, for developing, presenting and deploying e-business applications. IBM has come out with Java and XML-based application accelerators, including WebSphere Commerce Suite for business-to-consumer applications, WebSphere Domino for collaboration, MQSeries Workflow for building business processes and WebSphere BtoB Integrator for providing business-to-business applications based on trading-partner agreements. Because it is based on Java and XML standards, the WebSphere Application Server as the foundation of the WebSphere software platform for e-business is able to run across all major hardware and software platforms.
It is expected that there will be continued integration of middleware products based on Java and XML technologies. As Java has established itself as the de facto standard for server-side computing. So, as XML becomes the de facto standard for storing corporate data, that data will be manipulated, stored, shared and transformed by Java enterprise programs. Java has several features that make it well suited for use in Web applications. Java provides portable code and XML provides portable data. Thus their combination is bound to flourish and blossom in the days to come.
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