Software AG debuts XML database

A newcomer to the federal market, German company Software AG is hoping to

gain mindshare quickly by offering a new product designed to grease the

gears of government e-commerce projects.

Software AG's Tamino is an information server built specifically to

support Extensible Markup Language (XML), a data standard that is expected

by many industry experts to become the lingua franca of e-commerce systems.

Agencies and their industry partners can use Tamino and its related

software development tools to build XML-based applications. What sets Tamino

apart from the much more common relational database management systems (RDBMS)

in use for enterprise applications today is the way it stores, retrieves

and exchanges data in XML as its native format.

Several RDBMS vendors have added XML support to their products, typically

by providing add-on services or extensions that convert the XML data into

the relational database structure. But Helmut Wilke, Software AG's president

and chief executive officer, said Tamino is more efficient than RDBMS because

it provides a hierarchical structure that more closely resembles the organization

of XML objects.

In addition to its core content- management capabilities, Tamino provides

many of the features needed to support full application services, such as

transaction management, event logging and multilayer security. It can also

store a wide range of data objects, including HTML or XML pages, audio or

video multimedia files and relational data from other RDBMS.

Besides e-commerce, another application that will interest government

information technology managers is using XML to standardize the way image

files such as satellite photos are indexed and stored. The problem with

image files has been that they are usually managed in proprietary computer

systems, which makes them difficult to share and access from other systems.

Tamino is available for Windows NT with prices starting at $25,000

per server.

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