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Tech Giants Endorse Directory Mark-up Language

Bowstreet Tuesday initiated the use of directory services markup language to several technology companies, including Sun Microsystems Inc.

Designed to bridge the gap between XML-based e-business applications, the XML standard connects companies' business Webs.

Created last year by Bowstreet, IBM Corp. , Microsoft Corp. , Novell Inc., Oracle Corp. and the Sun-Netscape alliance, the DSML 1.0 specification was completed and turned over to the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) and Microsoft's BizTalk.

Bowstreet was the first company to deliver a product supporting DSML -- the Bowstreet Business Web Factory. The Business Web Factory platform allows those with little technical skills manage business Webs.

Firms utilizing this language include:
  • Novell Inc. which has added DSML functionality in its DirXML, a product that allows organizations to distribute data ownership while centralizing information availability
  • IBM Corp. Business Transformation and CIO organization is leveraging and exploiting DSML as part of its strategic initiative with XML; SLAPHAPI allows quick, easy access to LDAP directories from Web applications written in any language
  • Critical Path places DSML in leading LDAP directory and meta-directory products
  • iPlanet recently released a DSML-enabled version of its LDAP software developer's kit, a tool that allows programmers to easily use the iPlanet Directory Server
  • Radiant Logic recently introduced DSML into its Virtual Directory Server software, a technology that enables directories to become central aggregation points for all key enterprise data In addition to the directory, application and server vendors, DSML is also gaining strong momentum with XML companies like infoShark, which integrates DSML into its XML-based data interchange technology

All of the firms list different uses for DSML, but it is perhaps Sun's involvement that is most complex.

The company has introduced a technology preview of a DSML module for the Java Naming and Directory Interface(JNDI). JNDI is part of the Java 2 platform, providing Java applications with connectivity to enterprise naming and directory services. Using JNDI, developers can access data - including information about people and computing resources - from any vendor's directory.

The DSML module fits beneath the JNDI API, allowing developers to manipulate and update directory contents and export them in DSML format, making it easier to customize and deploy B2B applications on a massive scale using a standard API.

"From the start, we thought DSML would be a linchpin for the next generation of e-business," said Bob Crowley, president and CEO of Bowstreet. "It's rewarding to see leading technology vendors using it to fully activate directories for industrial strength e-business and business Webs."

Development of DSML 2.0 is underway.