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Intel Launches XML Suite Aimed at Enterprise SOA

Intel today announced that it is shipping the XML Software Suite, a
set of libraries for Java and C++ that implement common XML functions
such as parsing, schema validation and language transformation. Based on
technology acquired with XML appliance maker Sarvega more than two years
ago, the suite aims to boost performance of application servers and SOA
middleware.

Intel has previously used the Sarvega technology as a way to drive
demand for its chips, but this launch looks like an aggressive move into
software. It also signals a change in Intel's target customers: Whereas
Intel previously aimed its technology mostly at OEMs, it now hopes to
sell directly to enterprise customers too.

Although Intel recommends that customers use hardware based its own
Core microarchitecture, the suite will work with any 32- or 64-bit x86
chips. Intel's own performance comparisons are against other software,
claiming improvement by a factor of two or better vs. open-source XML
libraries included with GNOME and

Apache.

The real competitor is still specialist XML chipmaker Tarari, whose
silicon is used in hardware acceleration appliances from vendors
including Cisco Systems and Layer 7 Technologies. To a lesser extent,
IBM plays in the same market, building its own XML chips for its own
appliances. However, by selling to enterprises directly, Intel is also
competing with the appliance makers themselves, something that could
cause tensions with its own customers.

According to Intel, the software's main advantage over hardware
appliances is a full implementation of the JAXP (Java API for XML
Processing) standard, allowing it to be used alongside existing
applications without rewriting. However, this only applies to Java.
There are no similar standards for C++. And although the software is
available for Windows as well as Linux, it doesn't support.NET applications.

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