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  • What XML is—and what it isn't —Presents clear, non-technical XML explanations focused on the value of the technology in real-world applications.
    • Helps students understand why XML matters, and how it can be used to solve a wide array of important business problems.

  • Includes comprehensive applications coverage—Explains how XML can support a wide range of e-business and "bricks-and-mortar" applications, including enterprise application integration, "digital dashboards," trading exchanges, wireless, and even voice-based applications.
    • Shows students how XML can enable or streamline virtually all of today's core enterprise and supply chain applications.

  • Real-world case studies—Shows how leading companies are actually using XML to solve key business problems and achieve competitive advantage.
    • Illuminates the challenges and opportunities real companies face in implementing XML technologies.

  • Specialized XML industry languages—Introduces several examples of XML-based languages optimized for the needs of specific industries.
    • Helps students understand one of XML's most powerful advantages: its adaptability to any business or knowledge domain.

  • Simple, carefully explained XML markup examples—Presents XML markup examples from a wide range of real-world applications—all carefully explained and annotated clearly, for non-technical readers.
    • Presents the basics of XML markup simply and clearly, so students can understand the key principles that make it work.

  • Authored by Ronald Turner, member of several computer science faculties and creator of the XML Fundamentals training course for IT professionals—Followed by sentence description with verb.
    • Reflects extensive pedagogical expertise and a detailed understanding of how students and professionals learn XML.


  • Copyright 2002
  • Dimensions: K
  • Pages: 416
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-065565-1
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-065565-3

The up-to-the-minute XML briefing for every nontechnical professional and business decision-maker

Companies worldwide are discovering the extraordinary value of XML technology—and professionals of all types are suddenly discovering that they must understand XML to achieve their business goals. Now there's a complete, non-technical briefing on XML technology that cuts through the hype and focuses on what nonprogrammers need to know. The Essential Guide to XML Technologies explains what XML is, how it works, exactly what problems it can solve—and how you can use it for competitive advantage.

  • How XML differs from HTML and other previous markup technologies
  • Real-world case studies: manufacturing, publishing, and many more
  • XML applications in both e-business and "bricks-and-mortar" companies
  • Using XML to simplify enterprise application integration
  • Advanced XML applications: trading exchanges, "digital dashboards," and more
  • Building wireless, portable, and voice-based applications with XML
  • Industry-specialized XML languages: finance, e-business, media, security, and beyond
  • The politics of XML-inside your organization, and throughout the industry
  • Where XML is headed: tomorrow's standards and applications
  • Includes XML markup examples from many real-world applications-with structured "talkthroughs" explaining how they work

Written for everyone from managers to marketers, this book doesn't just provide a snapshot of where XML is now. It helps you project XML's long-term impact on your company, take control of your XML initiatives, and leverage the full power of this remarkable technology.

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Why XML?

Table of Contents




Who Are You?
This Book is Distinctive Because.
Road Map.
1. Why XML.

W3C Agenda for XML. W3C Goals for XML. Isn't the Web Another Strong Motivator for XML?

2. What's the Difference Betweenú?

Decision Maker's Problem. Snapshot of the Terminology Chaos. Look at Me First. Ten Questions About XML that a Manager Should Ask.

3. What's the Really Big Idea?

The Big Idea. Computer-Recognizable Content. Author's (Embarrassing) Lesson Learned.

4. How Does XML Solve the Digital Problem.

Why Digital? Why Open Systems? So What's the Problem? So What's the Solution? Content as Categories. Content as Structured Data. Separation of Structure and Appearance.

5. XML as Workflow.

Electronic Content: Content in Motion. XML Is Communication. XML as the Total Solution: Reality Check. Translation and Transformation. So What Has XML Bought Us?

6. XML as Knowledge.

Markup Knowledge. Hierarchies to Express Relationships. Markup's Value Added. Easier Interpretation: XML as Exposed Content. More Intelligent Searches.

II. Core Technologies.

7. Elements and Attributes to Expose Content.

Need for Elements. Element as a Basic Unit of XML. Deeper Knowledge Exposure. Advantages of Elements and Attributes. Five Ways Elements and Attributes Add Value to Information.

8. Getting Personal-Attributes.

Two Faces of Attributes. Case: Business rules for Investment Records. Attribute Mechanics (Syntax). Seven Business Aspects of Attributes.

9. Well-formed XML.

Self-Exposing Mixed Content? Lowering One Bar. Not Just “Good Enough” But Pretty Good. “Good Enough” XML. Case: Repository for State Laws. Where's the Catch? Seven Reasons Why Well-Formedness Makes Business Sense.

10. Why a Type Definition?

Need for Structure Definition in Large Systems. Document type: Working Definition. Something's “Under the Hood”. A Talking Document Type. Five Reasons Why Schemas Make Good Business Sense.

11. The Self-Describing XML Tree.

Why Should I Bother with DTDs? How a DTD Works. Assessing the DTD.

12. XML Schemas.

Why Should I Bother? How Does It Work? XML Namespaces in an XML Schema. How the Schema Describes Structure. The Beauty of Namespaces. Schema-aware Tools. As The Specification Saysú Four Reasons why XML Schema Makes Good Sense.

13. Entities.

The Indispensable Layer: Why? How does It Work? Entities of Distributed Content: One-to-Many. Executive Talkthrough. Unparsed entities for non-XML Data. How Do You Create Entities? Entities as Reusable Objects. If No Entities Then What? As The Specification Saysú Eight Reasons Why Entities Make Good Business Sense.

14. Xpath.

Why Do I Need Yet More Notation? How Does It Work? Essential Syntax. Selecting Nodes: Location Paths and Location Steps. XPath Meets the Bard. As The Specification Saysú Four Reasons Why XPath Makes Good Business Sense.

15. XML Namespaces.

XML for Serious Work. How Does It Work? The Syntax. As the Specification Saysú Five Reasons Why Namespaces Make Good Sense.

16. Transforming Your Data with XSLT.

Why Do I Need XSLT? How does It Work? XSLT in the IT Workplace. Management Issues in Web Distribution. XML as Data Islands. Executive Talkthrough: Creating an HTML Data Island. XSLT for More Exotic Data Islands. Island Hopping with XSLT. As the Specification Saysú Five Reasons Why Even Elementary XSLT Transformations Make Sense.

17. XSLT for Adaptive Content.

Unlock My System...Please! How Does It Work? Browser Wars Hit Data Island Beaches. XSLT for Schema Translation. Workflow Broken: Incompatible Schemas. XSLT Transforms the Schema. XSLT Transformation to Restore Original Structure. XSLT and XSL-FO. As The Specification Saysú Four More Good Reasons Why XSLT Makes Good Sense for Serious Data Exchange.

18. XSL for Format.

No Style, No Content. How Does It Work? Executive Orientation. The Bookends. XML to Beyond. How Formatting Objects View a Page. How To Build Formatting Objects that Really Format. As the Specification Saysú Five Reasons Why XML-FO Makes Good Business Sense.

19. XLink and Xpointer.

Managing Links: A Battle We Can Never Win. How Does It Work? Beyond the Web. Proposed XML Solution. DIGAM: Executive Talkthrough. Digital Playlist: Executive Talkthrough. Xpointer: Conjoined Twin of Hyperlinking. As The Specification Saysú Four Reasons Why XLink/Xpointer Make Good Business Sense.

III. XML At Work.

20. XML At Work: Manufacturing.

Using XML to Enhance Mature Manufacturing Technology. What Does a BOM Contain? Who Uses the BOM? Summary of XML BOM.

21. XML At Work: Extensible Business Reporting Language.

Abstract of the XBRL Specification. Purpose of XBRL. Taxonomies and XML Schema. Sample Report. Adoption Curve.

22. XML AT Work: Security.

Security in a Nutshell. Use Case Studies. Encryption. Digital Signatures.

23. XML At Work: Law and the Courts.

Michigan State Law. LegalXML. “Raw” XML on a Web Browser After All?

24. XML At Work: WAP & WML.

Wireless Markup Language. Wireless Exhibit: Interactive Professional Training Planner. Has WAP's Time Come?

25. It's Up to You: Ten Questions You Should Ask About XML.
Decision Maker's List.



The Essential Guide to XML Technologies is intended to help you understand XML and to articulate the XML story in a way that makes sense to a manager, decision-maker, or decision influencer. Not that there has been any lack of articulation about XML! XML evangelists, consultants and developers have spared neither words nor slicks to impress upon us that XML is "neat stuff," a really-nice-to-have. Marketeers furthermore have touted this or that XML tool for easier, more cost-effective management and processing of data. Yet very few have offered a sober justification for XML as a need-to-have. The Essential Guide to XML Technologies offers many explicit lists of XML benefits and reasons why XML makes good business sense.

The Essential Guide to XML Technologies situates XML in the information technology (IT) landscape: what is XML exactly and what kind of problems can we expect it to solve? XML is not a product or a format or a browser add-on. It is not something that you simply download and install. Instead it forms an integral part of the IT "sandwich," freeing information to move much more freely across platforms, throughout the enterprise, and between Internet-connected organizations. The Essential Guide to XML Technologies seeks to demonstrate how XML makes that possible.

No innovation in IT comes without a management price tag. Beyond the obvious costs for upgraded tools and data management systems, there are inevitable expenses for training and job redefinitions. Although XML's most visible impact is on the data it supports, the most profound impact of XML is likely to be on information workflow. Managed correctly and with foresight, both types of impact can be favorable. The Essential Guide to XML Technologies is meant to help the IT manager foresee these visible and not-so-visible impacts within the organization.

The decision to launch an XML-based initiative can have far-reaching consequences for an organization, hopefully good consequences. But it would be irresponsible to delegate that decision to technicians and programmers who do not have a feel for the larger picture. So the IT manager as XML decision maker may likely be in an awkward position, needing to comprehend the specialists' arguments for XML without understanding its basic terminology and paradigms. The Essential Guide to XML Technologies can serve as a survival kit of essential terms and concepts-those pieces that are necessary for a sensible decision. Furthermore, the many executive-level views of XML code examples in The Essential Guide to XML Technologies removes any possible psychological shock of viewing "raw XML." Nothing that an XML specialist displays should now be a total surprise to the manager.

My motivation for this book began with a defining event at the first national XML meeting (Seattle," XML, The Conference 1998"). It was actually a minor incident, an exchange during the Q&A following a presentation. A printing specialist had come to the conference with the unreasonable hope that XML would solve some of his industry's intractable problems. After the attendee and presenter had each repeated themselves three times, the frustrated presenter put him down with a slightly rude remark and the printer left the room in disgust. The underlying problem in that encounter was two-fold: (1) XML had not yet been presented accurately in terms that made sense to this attendee and (2) the attendee had not yet been sufficiently informed to ask the right questions about XML. The same problem persists even now. The Essential Guide to XML Technologies confronts this on-going issue for the manager in two ways: (1) presenting XML in terms that make business sense and (2) helping the manager to ask the right questions.

XML is a pervasive cluster of technologies, far more than just the Next Big Thing. No one now doubts that XML is here to stay, and its scope is expanding dramatically. Because it is so far-reaching, XML represents a body of knowledge that is impossible to capture in a single book. Nevertheless The Essential Guide to XML Technologies should provide the reader with a satisfying sense of having gotten the big picture.

I sincerely hopes that the conversation begun in this book will continue. Feel free to contact me at RonT@Soph-Ware.com. Tell me what's going on in your IT workplace.


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