Extensibility Jumps on BizTalk

While most of the industry waits for a BizTalk server to be released from Microsoft Corp. later this year, Extensibility Inc. (www.extensibility.com) jumped in with XML Authority 1.1, the first commercial product designed for the BizTalk Framework.

XML Authority 1.1 will provide import and output support for BizTalk-compatible schemas and for [XML?] schemas from standards bodies such as the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C, www.w3.org).

"The BizTalk Framework aims to accelerate the adoption of XML with a set of design guidelines that encourage the consistent development of XML schemas," says James Utzschneider, director of business frameworks at Microsoft. "Extensibility's XML Authority will facilitate this goal by providing [a] migration tool that customers can easily use to migrate their existing XML schemas to the BizTalk Framework."

Developers can use Authority to create and exchange schemas compliant with BizTalk, while existing formats can be ported to the Microsoft framework.

"This will enable users to get started now in developing BizTalk Framework-compatible applications," says Reid Conrad, president and CEO of Extensibility. "Developers who want to publish for schemas in the BizTalk.org repository will be assured that their schemas meet the BizTalk Framework specification."

A special trial version of XML Authority 1.1 will be available for download from BizTalk.org next month. "This is the first indication that Microsoft is proceeding more or less according to the schedule that it set forth for BizTalk development during its announcement in March, aiming toward the release of a Microsoft BizTalk server at the end of the year," explains a report from the analyst firm Zona Research Inc. (www.zonaresearch.com).

Extensibility is a member of the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS, www.oasis-open.org), which runs XML.org. OASIS is an independent standards committee, founded by the likes of IBM Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc., Oracle Corp. and others to design XML schemas. Zona indicates that Microsoft has recently joined the group and that interaction has been harmonious (see story in the July 19 issue of ENT).