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Sun Bridges the XML-Java Gap

Sun Microsystems Inc. this week released its Java API for XML Parsing, an application programming interface it hopes will serve as a common interface for developers using XML.

Sun (SUNW), which originally created Java, released JAXP in an attempt to bridge Java to XML and expand their appeal to e-commerce sites by ensuring compatibility across various XML parsers.

The delivery of JAXP will enable Sun to complete its initial steps of providing essential XML functionality to the Java 2 platform, a statement released by the company said. JAXP's availability is the first phase of Sun's vision of simplifying the way developers build cross-platform, business-to-business applications based on XML and Java technologies.

With JAXP, a parser automatically dissects and reads XML text in an application. Until this product, developers had to write software code to connect Java code to the parser.

JAXP is part of the JAXP Optional Package, which can be downloaded free-of-charge from Sun's site.

The JAXP Optional Package provides core XML functionality for reading, manipulating, and generating XML documents through pure Java APIs. The software provides a standardized way to seamlessly integrate any XML-compliant parser with a Java-based application. Depending on the needs of the application, developers have the flexibility to swap between XML parsers (e.g., high-performance or memory-conservative parsers) without changing application code. Thus, application and tools developers can rapidly and easily XML-enable their Java applications for e-commerce, application integration, and dynamic web publishing.

Although Java Project X is used as the default XML parser in JAXP, the software's pluggable architecture allows any XML-conformant parser to be used, such as xml.apache.org's XML parser.