XML for Java gains new support with Sun API enhancements

Sun introduces its JAXM and JAXP APIs

December 4, 2000 -- Sun Microsystems published details on Monday of two new interfaces to link its Java programming language to XML.

The two new Java APIs -- Java API for XML Messaging (JAXM) and Java API for XML Parsing (JAXP) -- are part of a group of new releases dealing with messaging and the parsing of XML. Work on the APIs is still continuing, and Sun described the information released Monday as "early access" versions of the specifications.

The APIs, along with the still incomplete Java API for XML Data Binding (JAXB), form the core of Sun's support for XML in the Java 2 Platform, according to a company statement. All three technologies are being developed through the Java Community Process (JCP), an organization set up by Sun to manage the evolution of Java.

JAXM enables packaging, routing, and transport of XML and other messages using HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) and FTP (File Transfer Protocol), and will be useful to programmers building robust, secure electronic commerce applications, according to Sun. Future versions of the API will support other messaging methods, including those being defined in the ebXML (Electronic Business XML initiative) framework by OASIS (the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) and the UN/CEFACT (United Nations Center for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business). Sun expects the final version of JAXM to be ready in early 2001, and hopes to make the specification available through "a credible open source organization, such as the Apache Software Foundation."

The other API, JAXP, enables Java applications to read, manipulate, and generate XML documents. The draft version of the specification is available through the JCP and supports XML standards including the recently released Document Object Model (DOM) Level 2, said Sun. It expects to ship the final version in the first quarter of 2001.

JAXB, the third as-yet unreleased API, is intended to help developers to develop and maintain XML-enabled applications with a minimum of effort. JAXB maps XML documents to Java objects. It will include a compiler that can automatically generate Java classes from XML schemas without developers having to write any parsing code. The compiler will automatically check XML messages for errors and validity. Sun expects JAXB to ship in the first quarter of 2001.

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