IBM extends DB2 Content Manager with open standards

Project Cinnamon, JSR 170, new Web services capabilities demonstrated

SAN JOSE, CALIF. -- IBM on Monday extolled the value of open standards as it revealed plans to expand Web services, XML, and Java interoperability in the next version of its DB2 Content Manager.

During an event at its Silicon Valley Labs, company executives revealed further details about its previously introduced Project Cinnamon, a set of features designed to provide graphical XML schema mapping at the administration level. Also announced Monday are plans to support the emerging JSR (Java Specification Request) 170, which seeks to define a standard interface for content management systems, and increased Web services support.

Deep support of open standards in content management technology is critical for extending content to various applications, according to Jim Reimer, distinguished engineer and chief architect of IBM content management.

"Content is set of information that can be exploited in a number different solutions, and standards can ease that path for solution builders," Reimer said.

Cinnamon technology is now in beta and will ship with the next version of DB2 Content Manager. The technology aims to help users define attributes based on XML schemas and import XML documents into the Content Manager.

Furthermore, Cinnamon can automate data modeling and provides a graphical XML schema mapping tool designed to simplify exporting items from one content management system to another.

"XML is an established standard, but the schemas are still evolving," said Reimer. "Cinnamon provides graphical modeling to see the schemas, schema reporting, and establish mapping."

No longer does it require programming skills to achieve this kind of complex, custom mapping, he added.

IBM also introduced a new graphical builder for delivering workflow based on the BPEL (Business Process Execution Language) standard.

The new tool is used by an administrator to describe flows of business tasks and how to have information flow through the CM system, according to Mimi Vo, software engineer for IBM DB2 Content Manager.

As part of its enhanced Web services support, Content Manager can now receive transaction requests in SOAP and other Web services standards.

The addition of Web services support, combined with enhanced XML capabilities, helps simplify development whether the APIs are written in .Net, Java, or use SOAP directly, said Reimer.

Support for JSR 170, which is still in draft form with the Java Community Process, will simplify the process of adding content and connecting business applications to content management systems.

The standard will define an element of J2EE for a content repository API. JSR 170 has more than 50 vendors involved in its development and is likely to go to final vote in the fall, according to Reimer.