XML and Java for E-Business (1/4) - exploring XML
XML and Java for E-Business
Many E-Business applications are using XML and Java. Java application servers with integrated XML processing are a powerful development environment for this type of program. Furthermore XML and Java have special appeal due to their platform-independence and availability as open source software.
Message transfer of e-business applications struggled in the past due to incompatible component models such as CORBA and COM, as well as complex, competing message standards such as ANSI-X.12 or EDIFACT. XML lowers these traditional barriers because all you need for processing is an XML parser. XML documents are easily transformed from and to other formats for conversion purposes. This simplicity seems to have enabled XML to succeed for business-to-business applications where EDIFACT failed.
Distributed applications gave birth to a new type of server: The application server. It's a component that communicates with different types of clients, such as a Web browser, and integrates various backend services such as databases or legacy systems. On the other hand, application servers became the foundation for new E-Business applications. Java turned out to be the programming language of choice for these distributed applications. Java works relatively platform-independently through the use of intermediate byte-code. Only the byte-code interpreter is system-dependent. With the Java-2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) Java application servers offer a standardized runtime environment for Java in distributed e-business applications. Therefore, vendors also integrate XML processing into their servers.
Java and XML complement each other very well. Java offers everything necessary for processing data. It offers little functionality for data exchange between applications. Remote procedure calls requires complex means of communications such as Remote Method Invocation (RMI) and CORBA. XML shines here since the text-based messages can be easily sent via HTTP. Every system with an XML parser can process documents. XML is a technology for describing data which in turn needs applications to process this data. Java is an obvious candidate, being platform independent and freely available.
Created: Jan 03, 2000
Revised: Jan 03, 2000