Some progress in server infrastructure for processing XML documents.
Its interesting to see the slow but sure emergence of middleware to exploit XML documents. Microsoft have WSS which can manipulate Infopath docuemnts stored in its document libraries for example. InfoWorld report on a mor ambitious tool from IBM, code named Project Cinnamon, you can get the full details here, but here is the real content:
Cinnamon was born in IBM’s Almaden Research Center and is a tool designed to automatically create mappings among different forms of data. By allowing users to define how an XML document gets mapped into a database such as DB2, the technology makes it easier to store those documents and to manage their content.
The upcoming utility hopes to address one of the thornier problems associated with XML-based development. Although XML serves as a clear standard for how content in a document is defined, the schema or definition of that content can be markedly different from document to document. This makes it impractical to place thousands of different documents in even a single data source and be able to retrieve certain data using a single search engine, an IBM representative said.
InfoWorld also says:
Some analysts think the upcoming technology can play a central role in helping corporate users crystallize the implementation of their Web services and SOA (service-oriented architecture) visions.
It may play a part, but I think “central role” is over stating it a bit.