By its own admission, Microsoft’s initiative to create XML-based standards within different industries is above all a great name! In last month’s PDM we saw how XML – the extensible markup language – allows for new tags to be defined to describe domain - specific objects. For these to have any currency, their meanings must be agreed upon by the participants, which is where the various BizTalk initiatives come in. BizTalk may not be much more than a meeting ground - or, according to XML Guru Mark Wilson as a "document repository".
Wilson further warns "Biztalk’s potential to provide a platform for business-to-business exchange is enormous. But as XML travels across this sea of information it may become more like a modern day Gulliver rather than a Christopher Columbus. While Columbus discovered the New World, Gulliver became tied down by thousands of bit part players. The same could happen to XML if poorly defined Schemas become prevalent and are used in document repositories such as BizTalk." You can download the very informative BizTalk Jumpstart kit, including Wilson’s white paper from www.biztalk.org.
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