XML: Introduction to Applied XML--Technologies in Business

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9780130338549: XML: Introduction to Applied XML--Technologies in Business

For courses in Internet/World Wide Web, Java-Intro to Programming/CS1, Web Programming and Design, HTML, XML, and Internet Survey. *An introduction to the markup technology of XML, this text covers its features and abilities as well as explains the strategic importance for developing web-based applications. It: *1) helps students envision how XML can be used to gain a competitive advantage in e-commerce, *2) offers substantial hands-on experience in using and understanding the workings of XML, *3) clarifies confusing terminology that currently pervades the field, and *4) encourages the development of more sophisticated e-commerce applications. *The book also shows students the many ways that XML based applications can be deployed, using available technologies and referring to anticipated developments based on work in progress.

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From the Back Cover:

An Intelligent Approach to XML Applications,
not just another "cook book"

TEXT OVERVIEW

This text provides an introduction to the markup technology of XML, covers its features and abilities and explains the strategic importance for developing web-based applications. Additionally, the text:

  1. Helps students envision how XML can be used to gain a competitive advantage in e-commerce
  2. Provides substantial hands-on experience in using and understanding the workings of XML
  3. Clarifies confusing terminology that currently pervades the industry
  4. Encourages the development of more sophisticated e-commerce applications.

FEATURES/BENEFITS

  • An emphasis on creative thinking.
  • Provides students with more than just a cookbook programming text, and challenges them to apply XML to typical EC scenarios.
  • Chapter-opening mini-cases—The framework that XML can be explained within.
  • Describes for students actual XML applications that have been taken from the professional press.
  • Chapter-end exercises—Features a set of three different cases drawn from a variety of contexts.
  • Shows students how different types of organizations would apply the XML features described in each chapter.
  • Chapter-end discussion questions.
  • Offers students the opportunity to review their comprehension of key content in each chapter before moving on to the next one.
  • Tutorials with a general XML theme—e.g Data Content; Data Definitions; Data Output; and Parsing XML to Collect Data.
  • Serves students with progressive lessons and working examples that allow them to build their knowledge upon what they have learned previously.

INSTRUCTOR SUPPORT PACKAGE:

  • Instructors Resource CD contains two key components:
    (1) Instructors Resource Manual
    (2) Test Bank which supplies instructors with a variety of different types of questions that enable them to check students' understanding of key concepts.
  • Companion Website: Send your students to the web to complete various exercises, review questions, and to learn more about XML.
    www.prenhall.com/wagner_hilken

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

About This Edition: Introduction

eXtensible Markup Language (XML) is a topic that is receiving increasing attention in the popular press. Numerous professional publications tout it as the next generation of technologies to facilitate commerce, especially automated business transactions through the Internet. But this new technology is still quite young and rapidly evolving; it is just beginning to make its way into academic curricula. What makes this technology even more confusing for new readers is that it is not simply a new language but has the potential to fundamentally change the way organizations manage and share information. For this reason, this text not only covers the use and application of XML markup technology but also explains the strategic importance of XML for developing Web-based applications. As an introduction to the technology of XML, we assume that readers are versed in Internet applications and simple Web design and are familiar with business transactions. As such, this book is especially suitable to be used in courses on e-commerce or Internet-based application development. This is also the first XML text to come with complete pedagogical support to enable instructors to rapidly assimilate this very important topic into their existing curricula.

Focus of the Book. This text is generally oriented toward readers interested in applying XML to solving business problems, especially those where it has already been determined that an Internet-based automated solution is to be developed. It is uniquely designed to help both students and application developers better envision how XML can be used to gain a competitive advantage in e-commerce and also to give them a substantial hands-on experience in using and understanding the workings of XML. Because of the rapid development of this technology, this text will help beginning students make sense out of the confusing terminology that pervades this field and will give them the confidence to develop more sophisticated e-commerce applications. Great efforts were made to ensure that this text would not be a random walk through XML and its related technologies, as many technology books tend to be. A glossary of terms is provided, and a detailed context for each new concept and technology is presented so that students should feel that they are getting an education in XML and not just being trained to repeat keystrokes.

Defining XML. Because XML has many uses and is rapidly evolving, readers may be confused about the possible functions of XMI and how it may fit into their organization's overall IT strategy. To clarify this, the text lays out the many abilities of XML with examples and attempts to explain clearly and define the many features of XML. The text also makes clear that XML is a family of technologies, based on the original XML recommendation, maintained by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), based out of MIT The W3C develops many of the other XML technologies, but not all of them. Vendor consortiums and user groups sponsor and develop others. One important point about the XML technologies is that the W3C does not have standards, nor does it have any authority to enforce the use of XML to one method or another. What the W3C does offer are recommendations, which most people like to think of as standards. The W3C makes recommendations as to what are the best practices for a technology, and then copyrights those best practices. To date, most software vendors have abided by these rules, with occasional prodding from the user community.

Deploying and Practicing XML. Toolsets are still immature for many Web-based applications, and XML is no exception. While standards are being devised for functionally lacking areas of XML, vendors have adapted their wares to work with XML technologies, and in the more recent time period vendors have begun to develop tools that natively use XML technologies. We strive to show the reader the many ways that XML-based applications can be deployed, using available technologies and referring to anticipated developments based on work in progress.

One thing this text tries to avoid perpetuating is the hype surrounding the XML technologies. The content provided herein is based on existing markup technologies, referring to the W3C recommendations and actual experience in deploying these technologies. XML is a simplistic vehicle, allowing for itself to be deployed in more than one manner. Only working technologies and practices are discussed and demonstrated in this textbook, although it is possible that other manners and procedures could be used successfully. This textbook limits the sphere of XML technologies discussed in detail to:

  • XML recommendation
  • DTD vocabularies
  • CSS style sheets
  • XSLT style sheets
  • XPath language
  • DOM parsers
  • SAX parsers

These seven technologies are sufficient for one to accomplish almost anything using XML. Other XML technologies reviewed are:

  • XSD vocabularies
  • XML namespaces
  • XSL language, including XSL-FO
  • XML-RPC
  • SOAP-RPC/WSDL/Web services

This list does not include industry-specific vocabularies, a variety of which are also reviewed throughout the text. From experience, we have found that this group of technologies is adequate for the XML novice reader to be immersed in, especially to prevent the reader from being overwhelmed with the intricacies and interaction between all the technologies.

Another aspect of the textbook that readers should be aware of is the choice of platform for the tutorials. We leaned on a few Microsoft products out of a desire to minimize the cost of tools required and to have a widely available toolset with which many readers would be familiar. Assuming that readers have access to a Windows workstation, the software to work out the tutorials is cost-free. Because many users, especially enterprise users, have access to Windows workstations, the material learned in this textbook can be shared among others with whom the reader may have a working relationship. However, in no way should the reader take our own reliance on Microsoft products in the tutorials as a carte-blanche endorsement of the Microsoft way. Rather, it is recognition that Microsoft has made inroads in enterprise computing, where a good chunk of XML application development will take place.

For the Instructor

Instructors Resource CD-ROM. The Instructors Resource CD-ROM that is available with Introduction to Applied XML Technologies in Business contains:

  • Instructor's Manual in Word and PDF format.
  • Solutions to all questions and exercises from the book and Web site.
  • PowerPoint lectures with PresMan software.
  • A Windows-based test manager and the associated test bank in Word format with more than 350 new questions, none picked up from the textbook.

Tools for Online Learning. This text is accompanied by a companion Web site at http://www.prenhall.com/wagner_hilken. This Web site is designed to bring you and your students a richer, more interactive Web experience. Features of this new site include the ability for you to customize your homepage with real-time news headlines, current events, exercises, an interactive study guide, and downloadable supplements.

Requisite Software. At a minimum, readers will need to have a workstation that can manipulate text files so that they become XML documents. That workstation will need to run an XML parser that can handle both DOM and SAX parsing. A graphical XML editor is recommended, at least to provide a view of the XML files that will be worked with in this textbook. To follow along with the examples provided in this text, it is recommended that a Microsoft Windows workstation be used. One that runs Windows NT, 2000, or better is suggested, because it natively handles Unicode and handles large text files better. Windows 98 or Me will also have the capability to run the exercises in the tutorial, but readers will need to watch how the XML files are stored. If one uses Windows, the native Internet Explorer Web browser should be used. The version 5.5 SP2 is recommended, as it will load the version 3 MSXML library. The exercises provided throughout this text were written against MSXML version 3, but version 4 will work just as well, as will Internet Explorer version 6.

Microsoft offers a free program XML Notepad (http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q296/5/60.asp, or search for the Knowledge Base Article Number Q296560 at the Microsoft Knowledgebase web site), which is included on the CD-ROM and is also available on the companion Web site for the book. This is a useful tool for creating and editing XML documents in a graphical manner. This tool is dependent on Internet Explorer version 5 or better being loaded on the student's Windows workstation. This program will be used in the tutorial portion of the text; however, many other commercial XML editors can be used in place of XML Notepad. There are additional third-party programs that can be downloaded to assist with the tutorials. One of those is another cost-free program that is of benefit to readers, called XPath Visualiser, written by Dimitre Novatchev. This program is of immense benefit to those who need to verify XPath statement syntax and ensure that they were written accurately. Finally, some commercial XML and DTD editors are referred to in the text. Each of these has a trial version available for downloading. None of them are required to work out the tutorials, and they are only mentioned to show what is being offered for commercial use at the time of this writing.

For the Student

The following pages are designed to help you get the most out of the material and make the learning process rewarding. We call your attention to areas that ...

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