Middleware connects Excel to the Web

The XA 2500 appliance has 2G of memory and dual, autosensing 10/100/1,000-Mbps ports.

Middleware and a self-contained XA 2500 appliance from Westbridge Technology Inc. of Mountain View, Calif., can use Extensible Markup Language to set up secure Web services connections to common applications such as Microsoft Excel.

The XML Message Server 3.0 middleware presents a view of a Web service tailored to a particular user audience, chief executive officer Kerry Champion said. The view controls interoperability with the desktop client and also secures access to the Web service.

The client application most in demand for a Web services connection is Microsoft Excel, Champion said. The Westbridge middleware creates a downloadable plug-in for Excel in either Office XP or Office 2003.

To connect the desktop spreadsheet to a Web service, an Excel user opens a pop-up window and selects from a list of available Web services.

The message server's patent-pending SmartParser speeds up the XML conversion, Champion said. It is compatible with identity management tools from RSA Security Inc. of Bedford, Mass., and Oblix Inc. of Cupertino, Calif., and also with Lightweight Directory Access Protocol and public-key infrastructures.

XML Message Server 3.0 comes as a standalone application or preloaded on a 2.4-GHz, dual-Intel Xeon rackmount appliance.

XML Message Server 3.0 starts at $35,000. The XA 2500 appliance costs $42,000 to $77,000.
Contact Westbridge Technology at 650-210-0700.

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