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IntraNet Solutions Wants to Spread Some XML

With an eye toward securing the standards employed in its product line, IntraNet Solutions® Inc. Tuesday joined the Organization for Structured Information Standards.

OASIS, the world's largest Extensible Markup Language (XML) interoperability consortium, fights for industry standards to make it easier for firms to conduct business online.

Essentially, it lobbies for businesses to use XML, a common Web language, in formats that can be shared and accessed across applications. Why XML as opposed to HTML? The latter is a set language while the former allows designers to create their own customized tags, enabling the definition, transmission, validation, and interpretation of data between applications and between organizations.

In contrast to HTML, which describes document structure and visual presentation, XML describes data in a human readable format with no indication of how the data is to be displayed. Since XML is truly extensible, rather than a fixed set of elements like HTML, use of XML will eventually eliminate the need for browser developers and middleware tools to add special HTML tags.

However, whether XML eventually supplants HTML as the standard Web formatting specification depends a lot on whether it is supported by future Web browsers.

The move makes a world of sense for IntraNet Solutions, whose No. 1 product, Xpedio Web content management system is a flexible application for dot-coms.

The tool converts content from desktop applications and other business sources to Web formats including XML, PDF, HTML or WML, with advanced security. Xpedio has been configured to particular XML standards adopted by various industries -- healthcare, high technology and financial, by creating style sheets and other technologies specific to those industries.

"OASIS is the most active XML forum operating today, which will help us be involved in leading the creation of new XML standards and incorporating them into our products, ultimately enabling our customers to take full advantage of technology gains." said Dan Ryan, vice president of marketing and business development for IntraNet Solutions.

Essentially, the development of XML standards can only make the firm's Xpedio Web content management system better.

With more than 140 organizational members, members of OASIS are organizations and individuals that provide, use and specialize in the implementation of the technologies that make these standards work in practice. OASIS' board of directors consists of technology directors from the likes of Sun Microsystems Inc. and IBM Corp.