IBM, Oracle, Others Take Standards Initiative

IBM Corp., Unisys Corp. and Oracle Corp., accompanied by other software vendors and end-users, today presented the final proposal of an industry standard to streamline collaborative application development efforts on the Web. The three companies also demonstrated how disparate development tools and environments can interoperate using the new specification.

Known as the XML Metadata Interchange Format specification, or XMI, the proposed industry standard is intended to give teams of developers working with object technology and using a diverse set of tools the ability to exchange programming data over the Internet in a standardized way. As a result, development teams using various tools from multiple vendors can still collaborate on applications.

The proposal was submitted to the Object Management Group (OMG), an object technology standards body, at the group's annual member meeting here today. Product prototype demonstrations were also shown at the meeting. Earlier this year several proposals for a standardized method of sharing data were submitted to OMG, including the XMI submission. Since then, support for the XMI submission has grown, and other companies have withdrawn their own proposals and have lined up behind the XMI specification.

Along with the big three, the other submitters of the XMI specification are Cooperative Research Centre for Distributed Technology (DSTC), Platinum Technology Inc., Fujitsu Inc., SofTeam, Recerca Informatica and Daimler-Benz. The 20 additional supporters of the proposal include Rational Software and SELECT Software Tools (see list at end).

By establishing an industry standard for storing and sharing object programming and design information, development teams using various tools from multiple vendors can still collaborate on applications.

The proposed XMI standard will allow developers to leverage the Web to exchange data between tools, applications and repositories to create secure, distributed applications built in a team environment. Pervasive support of such standards throughout the industry and widely available supporting technology, including repositories and databases, significantly reduces the time and cost of development to provide product interoperability in distributed heterogeneous software environments.

"With XMI as a single standard for data interchange in a collaborative development environment, companies can reap the benefits of time savings and productivity gains in application development," said Emilie McCabe, vice president of marketing, IBM Application Development. "Corporate developers can rely on tools from multiple vendors and build applications faster by creating them in a collaborative environment and reusing application parts and models."

For a description of the technical features and benefits of the XMI proposal, visit IBM's Web site at or the Unisys web site at The supporters of the XMI proposal include the following companies: Ardent, Aviatis, Boeing, Cayenne Software, Genesis Development, ICONIX, Inline Software, Integrated Systems, MCI Systemhouse, NCR, Nihon Unisys, NTT, Rational Software, SELECT Software Tools, Sprint Communications Company, Sybase, Telefonica I+D, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Verilog, and Xerox. --Brian Ploskina, Assistant Editor

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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