Extensible Markup Language (XML) has revolutionized distributed computing. By providing a standard means for specifying the structure of information, XML enables sophisticated e-commerce systems and facilitates interoperable enterprise software. Knowing how to leverage XML's technical capabilities into business value has become an important asset for managers.
Fully updated and expanded to incorporate the latest in XML technology advances and its application, XML: A Manager's Guide, Second Edition serves as a concise guide for managers as well as a starting point for developers. It helps managers build a working knowledge of XML's capabilities so they can communicate intelligently with XML developers and make informed decisions about when to use the technology. This book also provides manager-specific information about software acquisition, staffing, and project management.
The author provides practical experience-based information on the following key topics:
Designed to let you quickly and easily access exactly the information you require, this book clearly delineates different paths through the chapters based on your needs, provides executive briefings for every chapter, and includes fast-track summaries of major points in the margins.
With this book in hand, you will have a firm grasp of the fundamental technology, competitive advantages, and potential best uses of the XML standard.
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Sample Chapter 5
The Internet Crisis: Exchanging Information.
Connections Without Understanding.
Convergence of Information Exchange Problems.
Metadata Standard is a First Step.
Shared Context Standards Deliver True Understanding.
The XML Approach.
XML Conceptual Model.
Creating an “Order” in XML.
Introducing Document Types.
Overview of Namespaces.
Overview of XPath, XPointer, and XQuery.
Overview of XSLT.
Overview of XSL.
Overview of XLink.
Overview of XML Schema.
Protocol Design Problem.
Major Web Services Initiatives.
Other Web Services Initiatives.
Infrastrcuture Selection Strategy.
XML Applications Introduce Change.
Trading Partner Coordination.
Managers get caught in the middle. They are at an information disadvantage when it comes to assessing the benefits of the technology and managing its use. On the one hand, developers are pushing from the bottom to use the technology on projects. On the other hand, executives are pushing from the top for formal technology planning. Unfortunately, information resources targeted specifically at managers are usually extremely limited. They must often resort to a time consuming process of scanning volumes of developer-oriented details and dissecting executive summaries to synthesize a manager's perspective. The need for this synthesis continues as a technology evolves, because every new advance follows the information path from developers, to executives, to managers.
XML, Second Edition: A Manager's Guide, addresses this problem for XML. It delivers:
Obviously, this book targets managers. More specifically, it targets software development managers in: (1) information systems (IS) organizations within enterprises and (2) product development groups within software vendors. To a great extent, the needs of these two different managerial audiences intersect. They both need a basic understanding of the technology as well as guidance in the components, processes, and people necessary for success. They do differ in the types of XML applications relevant to their organizations and this book accommodates the difference.
Even within these two audiences, managers differ significantly in their individual backgrounds and managerial goals. Different managers will require different levels of detail for each of the three basic XML topics listed above. To a certain extent, the level of detail required correlates with job responsibility.
The organization of this book allows you to either read all the chapters sequentially or pick and choose the chapters that you find most interesting. All chapters after Chapter 1 begin with an Executive Summary section. After reading this section, you can decide whether you need the details contained in the rest of the chapter. You can also quickly skim these details by using the Fast Track paragraph summaries in the margins. This book has eight chapters:
As you can see, the last three chapters focus on the needs of project managers, enterprise technology planners, and vendor technology planners, respectively. If you don't fall into the primary audience for one of these chapters, you may wish to read only the Executive Summary.
There is a Glossary at the end of the book that defines many of the XML and Internet terms used in this book. You will find it helpful if you come across an unfamiliar term or simply want to refresh your memory of its definition. The first time a word defined in the Glossary appears, it is set in color. Terms specific to XML appear in italics while general terms appear in plain typeface.
The 1st edition of XML: A Manager's Guide arrived in 1999, just as XML emerged as a commercially attractive technology. Since then, XML has evolved into a comprehensive paradigm for Internet documents and achieved widespread adoption. We have new standards to support this paradigm, XML messaging and Web services have begun revolutionizing distributed computing, and we have gained a great deal of practical experience in deploying applications that use XML.
The 2nd edition mirrors these advances. While preserving with only minor changes the well-received motivation for XML and introduction to the technology in the beginning of the book, the rest of the 2nd edition represents massive revisions:
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