Java 2EE and XML Development

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This method is clearly advantageous compared to data level integration without XML. Tools such as XSLT and XQuery allow your application to manipulate the data coming from the remote data store. This means that your application can be flexible and easily adapt to changes in the data format.

For example, in a simple case you may be reading data from a remote repository of XML flat files. When your application retrieves one or more files, it performs and XSLT transformation to put the data in a format that is meaningful to your application. This transformation only requires an XSL stylesheet that can easily be modified if the source or target output format changes. XML and data level integration are illustrated in figure 4.7.

XSL Stylesheet





Read XML Document and transform using XSLT





Figure 4.7 Using XML for data level integration

XML and message level integration

As noted in chapter 2, much work has been done in the area of XML messaging. Leveraging the ability of XML to describe, validate, and structure messages between systems, many industry groups h
ave developed standards for XML messaging to facilitate B2B commerce and electronic document interchange (EDI). These standards include RosettaNet, cXML, and ebXML. While each of these efforts began under different circumstances, they are attempting to do very similar things:

■    Define an unambiguous XML language for the exchange of business data

   Define a standard mechanism for integrating new business partners into existing processes

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