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XML: A Manager's Guide, 2nd Edition

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XML: A Manager's Guide, 2nd Edition


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  • Copyright 2003
  • Edition: 2nd
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-201-77006-7
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-201-77006-3

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:

  • How XML fills a critical gap in Internet standards
  • Emerging standards that complete the XML paradigm
  • XML messaging and Web services
  • The software infrastructure needed to deploy XML applications
  • Staffing and project management advice for XML development teams
  • Preventing the problems commonly encountered on XML development projects
  • Applications for enterprises and vendors

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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Table of Contents

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 Basics.

Executive Summary.

Jumping in.

XML Conceptual Model.

Introducing Elements.

Introducing Attributes.

Creating an “Order” in XML.

Introducing Document Types.

Introducing Entities.

Technical Summary.

Related Standards.

Executive Summary.

Overview of Namespaces.

Overview of XPath, XPointer, and XQuery.

Overview of XSLT.

Overview of XSL.

Overview of XLink.

Overview of XML Schema.

Technical Standards.

Infrastructure Standards.

Technical Summary.

XML Messaging and Web Services.

Executive Summary.


Protocol Design Problem.

Messaging Architectures.

Major Web Services Initiatives.

Other Web Services Initiatives.

XML Software Infrastructure.

Executive Summary.

Fundamental Components.

Storage Systems.

Server Infrastructure.

Data-Oriented Components.

Content-Oriented Components.

Design Tools.

Infrastrcuture Selection Strategy.

Processes and People.

Executive Summary.

XML Applications Introduce Change.

Content Documents.

Business Documents.

Data Documents.

Common Issues.

Five XML Applications for Enterprises.

Executive Summary.

Workforce Automation.

Knowledge Management.

Trading Partner Coordination.

Application Integration.

Data Integration.

Five XML Applications for Vendors.

Executive Summary.

Flexible Content Provisioning.

Information Aggregation.

Application Services.

Configuration and Logging Files.

Distributed Protocol.

Index. 0201770067t05012002



Extensible Markup Language (XML) is an exciting new technology for exchanging structured information over intranets, extranets, and the Internet. As with many new software technologies, information flows into the developer community first. This flow starts electronically with email lists, newsgroups, and technical Web sites. Then technology references, developer guides, and tutorials appear on bookstore shelves.

After developers use a technology to create some inspiring prototypes, the computing press usually latches on to the trend. Articles hail it as the solution to a wide variety of application development problems. Executives take notice of the press coverage. They may even hear about internal "skunkworks" projects. Quickly, they want assessments of how the technology will impact their organizations.

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:

  • An introduction to XML technology and components at a level that will allow managers to communicate with developers without having to become one.
  • Information about the processes and people managers will need for successful XML projects.
  • Inspiration for how to deliver value through XML, including an analysis of market adoption and the types of applications where it offers the most benefit.

    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:

  • Chapter 1--Internet Crisis: Understanding Information. Motivates the need for XML by examining the requirements left unfilled by existing Internet technologies.
  • Chapter 2--XML Basics. Introduces fundamental XML concepts at a level that enables you to understand XML application without going into the details necessary for you to develop such applications. It has a Technical Summary section at the end that helps you refresh your memory about basic XML concepts.
  • Chapter 3--Related Standards. Gives an overview of standards and emerging standards closely related to XML, including an analysis of their benefits and some simple example code. For established standards, it discusses the practical uses and experiences. It also has a Technical Summary section at the end.
  • Chapter 3--Related Standards. Gives an overview of standards and emerging standards closely related to XML, including an analysis of their benefits and some simple example code. For established standards, it discusses the practical uses and experiences. It also has a Technical Summary section at the end.
  • Chapter 3--XML Messaging. Introduces the motivation and concepts of XML messaging. Compares the basic architectures for XML messaging and their respective requirements. Discusses some of the leading initiatives, including Web services.
  • Chapter 6--Processes and People. Analyzes the software development processes and staff necessary to deploy XML applications. The first part uses three general application categories to abstract common process and staff requirements. You probably want to concentrate on the category that matches the applications you plan to build. The second part discusses specific common problems on XML on how to prevent them.
  • Chapter 7--Five Applications for Enterprises. Presents an architectural overview of five XML applications important for enterprises and discusses the benefits of using XML in these applications.
  • Chapter 8--Five Applications for Vendors. Presents an architectural overview of five XML applications important for vendors of software products and services and discusses the benefits of using XML in these applications.
  • 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:

  • The treatment of related standards includes new standards, new examples, and information on the practical benefits of these standards.
  • There is a whole new chapter on XML messaging and Web services that explains motivation and advantages of this approach to distributed computing.
  • The analysis of software infrastructure to supports XML applications contains new advice on XML storage strategies, server infrastructure, and software components, plus updated coverage of currently available products.
  • The discussion of XML project management includes a whole new section on common project problems and measures that can help minimize their impact.
  • The example applications reflect the latest experience with XML, including replacing four of the previous examples and complete updates of the other six.
  • With 14 new diagrams, 16 updated diagrams, and 65% more content, the 2nd edition will appeal to those who enjoyed the 1st edition as well as managers looking for a concise introduction to XML and its impact.

  • 0201770067P05012002


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