BEA Service Aims to Ease XML-Java Fusion

BEA Systems Monday took
the wraps off of a free service to make the inclusion of XML
into Java easier.

With XMLBeans, San Jose, Calif.’s BEA said it is working to create a common
framework for business process modeling, application development and J2EE

Not only will this make it easier for Java developers to create
XML-based applications that employ XML, but the developers will be able to
to focus their time on other pressing development projects. XMLBeans turns XML code into Java to pave the way for developers to create Java-based applications with XML.

BEA said it created the service to help assuage the tricky practice of
getting XML to function with Java, which is important as more and more
Web services applications are relying on XML because it works across
operating platforms and programming languages. Many organizations are making hefty investments in XML data and information exchange because of XML’s interoperability.

“Customary approaches to incorporating XML data with Java, such as using
traditional DOM or SAX, are difficult and time-consuming,” the company said
in a statement. “Other approaches to connecting Java data models and XML
often result in a loss of data due to the fundamental differences between
the two languages. This requires developers to re-code information and
create custom linkages.”

XMLBeans, according to BEA, treats developers to a Java object-based view of
XML data. XMLBeans lets programmers preserve the fidelity of raw XML data,
while benefiting from the flexibility Java provides.

Ronald Schmelzer, senior analyst for XML and Web services research firm ZapThink described the significance of
BEA’s announcement as a acknowledgement that XML and Java integration are
tough tasks worthy of addressing.

“It is clear that BEA realizes that working with XML in Java is not
particularly optimal today. This is also the case in trying to shoe-horn XML
in other object-oriented or procedural languages,” Schmelzer told “What is interesting is that XML is viewed
differently from different developer perspectives: programmers think of XML
documents as objects and database designers think of XML as data sets. Each
of these views is incorrect, which results in lots of shoe-horning in trying
to get their respective developer environments to work with XML.”

Schmelzer discussed some forward-looking possibilities: “While this step by
BEA is no doubt needed to help smooth the integration of XML with Java
(wasn’t the JAX Pack supposed to do this?), it is quite possible a new
language might be needed to deal with the document-oriented nature of XML.
That’s why there are all these rumors about X#. However, BEA has a lot to
gain if Java remains the primary development platform of choice for XML and
Web Services, so they would rather smooth out the problems than necessitate
a move to a new development environment.”

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