A pair of software companies are teaming up to help developers overcome two key issues facing XML application development: performance and complexity.
DataPower Technology Inc. and Altova Inc. this week will begin selling a bundle of each others development products—DataPowers XA35 XML Accelerator processor and Altovas XML Spy IDE (integrated development environment). The package is designed to give developers a unified way of creating, debugging and deploying XML applications and Web services.
Currently, XML applications are developed separately from the staging server used for their deployment, which can be time-consuming and prone to errors. The bundle from DataPower, of Cambridge, Mass., and Altova, of Beverly, Mass., will enable developers to shorten the time necessary to create applications by first developing and then debugging on the fly in the same run-time environment used for the applications deployment, said Eugene Kuznetsov, founder, president and chief technology officer of DataPower.
Tim Sloane, an analyst with Aberdeen Group Inc., in Boston, said the integration of Altovas IDE with DataPowers XML processor represents "a new generation of tool kits" for XML developers. Currently, most tool vendors, including Microsoft Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc., offer XML parsers but not an integrated engine for them.
Hemscott plc., of London, doesnt use an IDE for XML development but does use Microsofts Notepad, which has limitations when it comes to staging and testing applications, said CTO Steven Roche. An integrated product would enable Hemscott to "know what the application looks like," something that is difficult to do in Notepad, he said. Roche said Hemscott was able to cut the time of some of its XML transactions from 20 to 30 seconds to less than a second with DataPowers XA35. Adding Altovas IDE will bring greater efficiencies, he said.
DataPowers XA35 box will be accessible from the Altova IDE via a DataPower XA35 plug-in for Altovas XML Spy. XML Spy features Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations debugging, as well as visual design and editing of XML documents, including XML Schema and Web Services Description Language.
The XA35 is a network device designed to process XML up to 10 times faster than software alternatives, Kuznetsov said. The processor eliminates the need for hand coding to optimize applications for better performance, he said.
A developer who did not want to be identified said having a unified environment also will help in enterprise application integration by eliminating network lags and inconsistencies that occur when porting applications from one system to another. With the bundle, applications can be created and deployed from the same system.