XML, Web Services, and the Data Revolution

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Overview

"Frank Coyle's XML,Web Services, and the Data Revolution does a great job of explaining the XML phenomenon by clearly describing where it came from, why it has proved so useful, and where it is likely to take us."—Michael Champion

XML, Web Services, and the Data Revolution presents a revealing view of XML that places this emerging technology in the context of the ongoing Web revolution. Written for business and technical professionals, this book reveals the true value of XML for distributed information systems, explaining how it is transforming the way organizations manage data and build software systems, and the opportunities it offers for those organizations that understand its significance and impact.

This book places XML at the heart of a paradigm shift that is bridging the gap between traditional tightly coupled proprietary networks (DCOM, CORBA) and the dynamic, loosely-coupled, data-driven Web. The author explains how XML's simple rules for defining data vocabularies and protocols have opened up new possibilities for server to server interaction in the form of Web services for dynamic discovery and interaction. He goes on to discuss how frameworks such as .NET and J2EE(TM) provide important messaging, transaction, and security services for leveraging Web services in enterprise computing. The book also discusses how XML and Web services reflect a fundamental shift in software construction from monolithic applications to software based on the composition of simple parts. In addition, the book showcases XML at work in a wide array of applications, and explores how major software organizations have responded to the changes brought about by XML-based technology.

Specific topics include:

  • XML and its role in the expanding enterprise
  • The XML family of technologies including:
  • CSS, XFORMS, XHTML, and VoiceXML presentation technologies
  • DTDs and XML Schema technologies for structure and typing
  • XSLT, XPATH, and XQUERY technologies for manipulating XML
  • The three waves of XML in practice:
  • Vertical industry-specific data vocabularies
  • Horizontal industry vocabularies (SVG, SMIL, EJB descriptors)
  • XML protocols (XML-RPC, SOAP)
  • UDDI and WDSL (Web Services Definition Language)
  • XML security, including XML Encryption, XML Signature, and XML Key Management Specification
  • How .NET and J2EE(TM) fulfill the need for transactions and security for Web services
  • ebXML and process-based Web interaction
  • A new role for mainframe-based legacy applications
  • A future where Web services meets P2P (peer-to-peer) computing

Containing both technical details and a broader perspective, XML, Web Services, and the Data Revolution provides the insight organizations must have to understand and harness this powerful technology for a successful venture into the evolving, Web-based enterprise computing environment.

0201776413B03012002

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Frank P Coyle is Director of the Software Engineering Program at Southern Methodist University, Dallas. He is a frequent speaker at XML DevCon, XML One, and Wireless One. He is co-author of Object-Oriented Cobol published by Cambridge University Press and has published numerous articles on Web and object technologies.

0201776413AB11202001

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Table of Contents

Foreword.

Preface.

Acknowledgments.

About the Author.

Introduction.

1. XML: Extending the Enterprise.

XML: Extending the Enterprise.

Extending the Enterprise.

The Role of XML.

XML: Just Tags?

The XML Advantage.

XML: Design by Omission.

XML and the Web.

SOAP.

Web Services.

.NET and J2EE.

XML: The Three Revolutions.

The Data Revolution.

The Architectural Revolution.

The Software Revolution.

Combination and Collaboration.

Summary.

Resources.

Article.

Web.

2. The XML Technology Family.

XML Technologies.

Leveraging the XML Technology Family.

XML 1.0.

XML Namespaces.

Structuring with Schemas.

DTD.

XML Schema.

XML Processing.

DOM.

SAX.

Presentation Technologies.

CSS.

XSL.

XFORMS.

XHTML.

VoiceXML.

Transformation.

XSLT.

XLINK.

XPATH.

Xquery.

XML Infrastructure Technologies.

Infoset.

RDF.

Summary.

Resources.

Books.

Web.

3. XML in Practice.

The Dimensions of XML in Practice.

The XML Application Spectrum.

Wave One: Vertical Industry Data Descriptions.

Finance: OFX.

Human Resources and HR-XML.

Mortgage Banking: MISMO.

Tracking XML Standards.

Wave Two: Configuration and Action.

EJB and XML.

SVG.

VoiceXML.

SMIL.

From Action to Combination.

The Third Wave: Power Through Combination.

The British Government GovTalk Initiative.

Resources.

4. SOAP.

What Is SOAP and Why Is it Important?

The Road to SOAP.

HTTP.

POST Me Some Data.

XML-RPC.

Data Typing.

ZwiftBooks and XML-RPC.

XML-RPC Responses.

SOAP.

SOAP Background.

The SOAP Protocol.

SOAP Overview.

SOAP Message Structure.

SOAP Messaging Example.

Message Paths.

SOAP Intermediaries.

SOAP and Actors.

SOAP Design Patterns.

SOAP Faults.

SOAP with Attachments.

SOAP and Firewalls.

The W3C and SOAP.

Taking SOAP to the Next Level.

Summary.

Resources.

Web.

Book.

5. Web Services.

What Is Web Services?

What Qualifies as Web Services?

Opportunity and Risk.

Web Services: A ZwiftBooks Perspective.

Web Services Technologies.

The Web Services Architecture.

Key Technologies.

UDDI.

UDDI: Public versus Private Registries.

Using UDDI to Make the ZwiftBooks Connection.

WSDL.

A ZwiftBooks WSDL Example.

Web Services Caveats.

ebXML.

ebXML Technologies.

ZwiftBooks and ebXML.

Summary.

Resources.

6. .NET, J2EE, and Beyond.

SOAP, Web Services, and E-Commerce.

Transactions.

Security.

Identity.

.NET and J2EE.

.NET.

The .NET Platform.

The .NET Framework.

What about Transactions?

J2EE.

Sun ONE and Web Services.

IBM.

BEA.

HP.

Oracle.

Adapters.

Summary.

Resources.

7. XML Security.

Security Overview.

Single-Key Cryptography.

Public-Key Cryptography.

Digital Signatures.

Managing Certificates and Private Keys.

Why Is XML Special?

Canonicalization.

The XML Security Framework.

XML Encryption.

Encrypting XML Data.

XML Digital Signature.

Digital Signature Elements.

Steps in Signature Generation.

XKMS.

XKMS Structure.

Guidelines for Signing XML Documents.

Summary.

Resources.

8. Back to the Future.

Change.

Convergence.

Collaborative and P2P Computing.

What Is P2P?

P2P Software.

Other P2P Initiatives.

ZwiftBooks and P2P.

Legacy Systems.

Connection Challenges.

Legacy's New Position.

Summary.

Resources.

Article.

Web.

Appendix A: XML Language Basics.

Appendix B: SOAP Version 1.2 Specification.

Glossary.

Index. 0201776413T03012002

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Preface

The aim of this book is to try to tell the story that we're now all a part of--a story not just about emerging technologies such as XML and Web services, but also about how these technologies are coming together and combining in new ways, creating new applications for which the requirements have yet to be written.

Structure of the Book

Except for the first and last chapters, the book is essentially a bottom-up view of the XML-driven, open systems world in which we now find ourselves. Chapter 1 describes the big picture: how XML and the Web have changed our perspective about data so that instead of regarding data as something to be stored in a database and shuttled across networks by object systems locked in a tight transport protocol embrace, data is now free (thanks to XML and its family of standards) to move about the Web and create new synergies based on asynchronous loose coupling. After the next six chapters have described the current state of the technology, Chapter 8 then takes a top-down look at where we have arrived and explores some of the new kinds of interactions to expect in environments made up of traditional client-server networks, even more traditional mainframe applications, and the Web.

Chapter Overviews

Chapter 1 is an attempt to draw the big picture: how the Web and a data description technology known as XML have initiated fundamental changes in computing through a shift in focus from tightly coupled computing environments to loosely coupled networks centered around the Web and XML. The effect of this shift has been to spawn three revolutions. The first revolution, the data revolution, is the story of XML and its impact on how data businesses represent data. Although initially viewed as a data description language, XML in combination with HTTP, the Web transport protocol, quickly took on emergent properties, giving rise to SOAP. Today SOAP is the basis for communicating across loosely coupled Web space and is the key driver behind Web services. The second revolution is about software architectures and the move to loosely coupled distributed systems that are both an alternative and a complement to the more tightly coupled systems such as Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA), Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM), or Remote Method Invocation (RMI). The third revolution, the software revolution, involves a changing model of software construction influenced by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in its effort to build a universal Web. Instead of trying to construct software that "does it all," this new era of software assembly is based on the principles of simplicity and modularity, encouraging combination with other software entities.

Chapter 2 covers the core XML technologies, XML 1.0 and namespaces, and explores the family of technologies surrounding this core that provides the support system for delivering structured content across the Web. We examine the applicability of the various support technologies from the perspective of a fictitious company, ZwiftBooks, that has decided to adopt XML in an effort to build its business around Web standards and protocols. The chapter focuses on two important categories of XML support: presentation and transformation. For data presentation we look at cascading style sheets, Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL), Extensible Hypertext Markup Language, and VoiceXML, each offering options for delivering XML to a variety of devices in different formats. For XML manipulation we look at XSL Transformations, XPath, and XQuery, three technologies used to transform, process, and query XML data. Finally, to round out our tour, we look at Resource Description Framework and the XML Information Set, which permit different XML technologies to integrate more effectively, helping foster what the W3C refers to as the seamless Web.

Chapter 3 looks at XML in practice: how XML has been put to use in a variety of ways, from simple industry-driven data description languages, to vocabularies for configuration and action, to the use of XML as a protocol language that has changed the fundamental assumptions about distributed object computing.

Chapter 4 takes a detailed look at the forces and technologies behind SOAP. SOAP is an example of what can happen when you put two technologies such as the Web and XML together. True to the Web's spirit of emergent behavior, SOAP has created a framework for building loosely coupled confederations of servers that communicate by exchanging XML data over XML protocols. The surprise here is a new set of options that provide alternatives to the tightly coupled network islands of CORBA, DCOM, and RMI. SOAP and its associated protocol, XML Remote Procedure Call, have the balance of power in the computer industry, creating new paradigms based on message-oriented middleware and dynamic discovery and interaction that are the basis for Web services.

Chapter 5 examines the playing field of Web services. Building on a framework of loosely coupled networks, Web services takes object technology's goal of reusability to the next level, by defining XML protocols for discovery and connection. These protocols include Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI) and Web Services Description Language (WSDL). UDDI is a protocol for the discovery and deployment of Web services. WSDL describes how to connect to Web services. We examine details of both UDDI and WSDL to get a sense of how these technologies combine to create a new, developing framework for Web services.

Chapter 6 looks at how the software industry is reacting and adapting to the changes brought about by XML-driven loosely coupled networks and the emergence of Web services. Throughout the 1990s, the major network players--Microsoft, Sun, and the Object Management Group (OMG)--have been competing with their respective object-technology-based alternatives for distributed computing. Microsoft's DCOM, the OMG's CORBA and Sun's Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) represent competing options for building tightly coupled distributed networks. The advantage of these distributed networks is that they provide efficient communication and handle the complex interactions required for transactions and security. The downside is that each comes with its own object model and transport technology, so that connection outside their own universes is possible only with gateway software. Thus, what we're seeing--in Microsoft's .NET initiative, and in various J2EE implementations from Sun, IBM, HP, BEA, and others--are attempts to bridge the gap between tightly coupled, transaction-aware space (DCOM and J2EE) and the loosely coupled, XML-driven, message-centric space of the Web.

Chapter 7 is about securing the XML traffic as it travels across the loose fabric of the Web. XML's ability to structure data provides both opportunities and challenges for applying encryption, authentication, and digital signatures to XML-encoded data. For example, in a workflow environment where XML documents move between participants, and where a digital signature implies some commitment or assertion, participants may wish to sign only parts of a document to minimize liability. Existing secure Web standards, such as the HyperText Transfer Protocol over Secure Socket Layer, that support secure Web transmissions are not able to address XML-specific issues relating to partial document signing or to deal with the fact that XML documents may be processed in stages along loosely coupled network paths. To deal with this reality, three new XML-related security initiatives are explored: XML Encryption, for encoding individual parts of an XML document; XML Signature, for managing the integrity of XML as it moves across the Web; and the XML Key Management Specification for dealing with public key verification and validation.

Chapter 8 takes a high-level look at some of the forces driving the new hybrid world in which we now find ourselves, an amalgam of three architectures: (1) loosely coupled Web space driven by SOAP messaging, (2) tightly coupled transaction-capable; object systems with their own transport protocols; and (3) legacy applications, mostly mainframe based, that have long been difficult to integrate into client-server systems. The irony here is that the central repository model made possible by the mainframe, and made obsolete by client-server network computing, is now undergoing a renewed interest due to the need to manage collaborative peer-to-peer efforts over the loosely coupled Web.

0201776413P03012002

Read More Show Less

Introduction

The aim of this book is to try to tell the story that we're now all a part of—a story not just about emerging technologies such as XML and Web services, but also about how these technologies are coming together and combining in new ways, creating new applications for which the requirements have yet to be written.

Structure of the Book

Except for the first and last chapters, the book is essentially a bottom-up view of the XML-driven, open systems world in which we now find ourselves. Chapter 1 describes the big picture: how XML and the Web have changed our perspective about data so that instead of regarding data as something to be stored in a database and shuttled across networks by object systems locked in a tight transport protocol embrace, data is now free (thanks to XML and its family of standards) to move about the Web and create new synergies based on asynchronous loose coupling. After the next six chapters have described the current state of the technology, Chapter 8 then takes a top-down look at where we have arrived and explores some of the new kinds of interactions to expect in environments made up of traditional client-server networks, even more traditional mainframe applications, and the Web.

Chapter Overviews

Chapter 1 is an attempt to draw the big picture: how the Web and a data description technology known as XML have initiated fundamental changes in computing through a shift in focus from tightly coupled computing environments to loosely coupled networks centered around the Web and XML. The effect of this shift has been to spawn three revolutions. The first revolution, the data revolution, is the story of XML and itsimpact on how data businesses represent data. Although initially viewed as a data description language, XML in combination with HTTP, the Web transport protocol, quickly took on emergent properties, giving rise to SOAP. Today SOAP is the basis for communicating across loosely coupled Web space and is the key driver behind Web services. The second revolution is about software architectures and the move to loosely coupled distributed systems that are both an alternative and a complement to the more tightly coupled systems such as Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA), Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM), or Remote Method Invocation (RMI). The third revolution, the software revolution, involves a changing model of software construction influenced by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in its effort to build a universal Web. Instead of trying to construct software that "does it all," this new era of software assembly is based on the principles of simplicity and modularity, encouraging combination with other software entities.

Chapter 2 covers the core XML technologies, XML 1.0 and namespaces, and explores the family of technologies surrounding this core that provides the support system for delivering structured content across the Web. We examine the applicability of the various support technologies from the perspective of a fictitious company, ZwiftBooks, that has decided to adopt XML in an effort to build its business around Web standards and protocols. The chapter focuses on two important categories of XML support: presentation and transformation. For data presentation we look at cascading style sheets, Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL), Extensible Hypertext Markup Language, and VoiceXML, each offering options for delivering XML to a variety of devices in different formats. For XML manipulation we look at XSL Transformations, XPath, and XQuery, three technologies used to transform, process, and query XML data. Finally, to round out our tour, we look at Resource Description Framework and the XML Information Set, which permit different XML technologies to integrate more effectively, helping foster what the W3C refers to as the seamless Web.

Chapter 3 looks at XML in practice: how XML has been put to use in a variety of ways, from simple industry-driven data description languages, to vocabularies for configuration and action, to the use of XML as a protocol language that has changed the fundamental assumptions about distributed object computing.

Chapter 4 takes a detailed look at the forces and technologies behind SOAP. SOAP is an example of what can happen when you put two technologies such as the Web and XML together. True to the Web's spirit of emergent behavior, SOAP has created a framework for building loosely coupled confederations of servers that communicate by exchanging XML data over XML protocols. The surprise here is a new set of options that provide alternatives to the tightly coupled network islands of CORBA, DCOM, and RMI. SOAP and its associated protocol, XML Remote Procedure Call, have the balance of power in the computer industry, creating new paradigms based on message-oriented middleware and dynamic discovery and interaction that are the basis for Web services.

Chapter 5 examines the playing field of Web services. Building on a framework of loosely coupled networks, Web services takes object technology's goal of reusability to the next level, by defining XML protocols for discovery and connection. These protocols include Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI) and Web Services Description Language (WSDL). UDDI is a protocol for the discovery and deployment of Web services. WSDL describes how to connect to Web services. We examine details of both UDDI and WSDL to get a sense of how these technologies combine to create a new, developing framework for Web services.

Chapter 6 looks at how the software industry is reacting and adapting to the changes brought about by XML-driven loosely coupled networks and the emergence of Web services. Throughout the 1990s, the major network players—Microsoft, Sun, and the Object Management Group (OMG)—have been competing with their respective object-technology-based alternatives for distributed computing. Microsoft's DCOM, the OMG's CORBA and Sun's Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) represent competing options for building tightly coupled distributed networks. The advantage of these distributed networks is that they provide efficient communication and handle the complex interactions required for transactions and security. The downside is that each comes with its own object model and transport technology, so that connection outside their own universes is possible only with gateway software. Thus, what we're seeing—in Microsoft's .NET initiative, and in various J2EE implementations from Sun, IBM, HP, BEA, and others—are attempts to bridge the gap between tightly coupled, transaction-aware space (DCOM and J2EE) and the loosely coupled, XML-driven, message-centric space of the Web.

Chapter 7 is about securing the XML traffic as it travels across the loose fabric of the Web. XML's ability to structure data provides both opportunities and challenges for applying encryption, authentication, and digital signatures to XML-encoded data. For example, in a workflow environment where XML documents move between participants, and where a digital signature implies some commitment or assertion, participants may wish to sign only parts of a document to minimize liability. Existing secure Web standards, such as the HyperText Transfer Protocol over Secure Socket Layer, that support secure Web transmissions are not able to address XML-specific issues relating to partial document signing or to deal with the fact that XML documents may be processed in stages along loosely coupled network paths. To deal with this reality, three new XML-related security initiatives are explored: XML Encryption, for encoding individual parts of an XML document; XML Signature, for managing the integrity of XML as it moves across the Web; and the XML Key Management Specification for dealing with public key verification and validation.

Chapter 8 takes a high-level look at some of the forces driving the new hybrid world in which we now find ourselves, an amalgam of three architectures: (1) loosely coupled Web space driven by SOAP messaging, (2) tightly coupled transaction-capable; object systems with their own transport protocols; and (3) legacy applications, mostly mainframe based, that have long been difficult to integrate into client-server systems. The irony here is that the central repository model made possible by the mainframe, and made obsolete by client-server network computing, is now undergoing a renewed interest due to the need to manage collaborative peer-to-peer efforts over the loosely coupled Web.



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