[LINK] XProc (XML Pipeline)
stephen at melbpc.org.au
stephen at melbpc.org.au
Tue May 18 11:42:06 AEST 2010
W3C: For Immediate Release
New W3C Standard Defines Way to Organize and Share XML Workflows
"XProc" Replaces Ad-Hoc Approaches
http://www.w3.org/ 11 May 2010 Today W3C announced a powerful tool
for managing XML-rich processes ..
The specification "XProc: An XML Pipeline Language," provides a standard
framework for composing XML processes.
XProc streamlines the automation, sequencing and management of complex
computations, involving XML, by leveraging existing technologies widely
adopted in the enterprise setting.
XProc Helps Organize Processes using Standard Descriptions
XML, the Extensible Markup Language, is a mainstay of contemporary
enterprise computing that is used to store, transform, and exchange an
enormous range of information, from tax returns to fuel tank levels.
Many business processes can be modeled as a series of operations, each of
which involves XML input or output. Companies use these models for many
purposes, such as ensuring quality controls are met or assembling
W3C published the first XML standard in 1998. Since then W3C has
standardized a number of core operations on XML including validation
(Schema languages), query (XQuery), transformation (XSLT), and linking
Business processes combine and build on these core operations, but there
has been no standard to describe such sequences. Instead, ad-hoc
solutions have been used, which are not easily shared (e.g., with others
in a supply chain) and do not leverage widely deployed tools or support.
"XML is tremendously versatile," said Norman Walsh, MarkLogic, and one of
the co-editors of the specification. "Just off the top of my head, I can
name standard ways to store, validate, query, transform, include, label,
and link XML. What we haven't had is any standard way to describe how to
combine them to accomplish any particular task. That's what XProc
XProc can be used, for example, to sequence the following set of
operations: (1) given a news ticker feed (2) whenever a company is
mentioned, use a Web service to contact a stock exchange then (3) insert
current share prices into the feed and (4) insert background information
about the company that has been extracted from a database. In addition,
this enhanced feed could be presented in several ways to multiple users
including (5) for print or (6) with an interactive form so that people
can purchase shares online. In this scenario, XProc controls a number of
processes that might be implemented using other standards such as XQuery,
XSLT, XSLT-FO, XForms, and HTML.
XProc is XML; Benefits from Existing XML Infrastructure
Because XProc descriptions are in XML, people can use readily available
XML tools to generate, transform, and validate them.
"Processing XML as XML is a hugely powerful design pattern, and XProc
makes this easy and attractive," said Henry Thompson, University of
Edinburgh and one of the co-editors of the specification. "XProc
exemplifies what W3C does best: we looked at existing practice people
have been using a number of similar-but-different XML-based languages
and we produced a consensus standard, creating interoperability and
XProc is supported by a test suite that covers all of the required and
optional steps of the language as well as all the static and dynamic
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