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XML Enabled Networking provides an abstraction layer that exists alongside the traditional Internet Protocol (IP) network. This layer addresses the security, incompatibility and latency issues encumbering XML messages, web services and service oriented architectures (SOAs).

History of XML Enabled NetworkingEdit

Many organizations have adopted XML technologies - often as Web services or service oriented architectures (SOAs) - as the standard for new application development and integration. Applications based on XML and Web services offer rapid interoperability and seamless service re-use by establishing a standard data format and a standard interface.

With faster development cycles, less development effort and improved agility, XML and Web services enable IT to deliver more solutions to the business at a substantially lower cost. However, using these technologies also creates some potential problems:

  • Security concerns: XML messages are text-based, human readable, verbose, and self-describing. An XML message could include descriptions of identities and credentials used to authenticate services, signatures requiring verification etc. XML by itself does not provide an infrastructure for integrating with multiple identity/access control systems across the organization, ensuring trust and compliance for XML message processing, or protecting the organization from the threats that malicious individuals could introduce into the organization with XML.
  • Incompatibilities: Many XML standards have emerged. XML messages use a variety of security standards, transport protocols, credential types and data structures. Web service developers need some way to mediate between these different standards and protocols, especially when they are integrating with business partners who may employ entirely different standards and protocols.
  • Application latency: XML messages can consume significant processing resources from application servers, lowering performance for the XML-based service and for other applications that run on the same platform.

XML Enabled Networking attempts to address these issues by creating an abstraction layer that exists alongside the traditional Internet Protocol (IP) network to provide security and access enforcement, accelerated XML message processing, mediation between standards and protocols, policy control and auditing. XML Enabled Networks have typically been sold as network appliances. Initially they required application-specific integrated circuits, but appliances that run on standards-based hardware and operating systems are now available.

Common Features of XML Enabled NetworkingEdit

  • It is powered by hardened network appliances, ready to incorporate into the network with minimal disruption
  • XML Enabled Networking appliances have software to make the appliances easy to install, configure and manage
  • They can validate XML messages for well-formedness as they enter or exit the appliance
  • They can convert XML to any data format
  • They have built-in storage capabilities to enable on-device logging for compliance and debugging purposes.
  • They have built-in support for many XML standards such as XSLT, XPath, SOAP and WS-Security
  • They are easily upgradeable

Classification of XML Enabled NetworkingEdit

XML Security Gateways or XML Firewalls offer comprehensive XML security processing. XML Security Gateways include acceleration and integration functionality. Enterprise class XML Security Gateways include robust policy management, correlated event/message/policy logging for visibility and extensibility frameworks.

XML Routers deliver robust access control and integration with identity authorities with acceleration and integration functionality. Enterprise class XML Routers include robust policy management, correlated event/message/policy logging for visibility and extensibility frameworks.

XML Accelerators optimize both message throughput and server performance for XML operations including schema validation, encryption/decryption, authentication, signing, data transformation and protocol mediation. Enterprise class XML Accelerators include robust policy management, correlated event/message/policy logging for visibility and extensibility frameworks.

XML Enabled Networking vendorsEdit


See also • XMLSOAPWS-SecurityXML appliance

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