WEB SERVICES XML AS A MARSHALING FORMAT XPath support in SQL Server 2000. XPath support in SQL Server 2000 is accomplished by a portion of the SQL Server OLE DB provider (SQLOLEDB) that took a mapping schema and an XPath query, produced a SELECT… FOR XML query and sent that to SQL Server. Native support for XQuery, combined with XQuery s design for optimization, and support for multiple documents (a series of XML columns) should improve on the already good support for querying XML data. Web Services XML as a Marshaling Format Marshaling data to unlike platforms has always been a problem. In the past vendors could not even agree on a marshaling format, let alone a common type system. Microsoft used COM (the component object model) for their distributed object model and marshaling format; they did not support CORBA, the common object request broker architecture. Processor differences such as endianness (byte ordering), floating point representation, and character set were considered in both these models; marshaling between systems required a reader make right approach that is, the receiver of a message had to determine the format and convert it to something understandable to their processor. In addition, the distributed programming models were plagued by the requirement to have a specific naming model or security system. As an example, porting COM to the Solaris platform required installing the equivalent of a Windows registry and an NTLM security service. But the biggest problem was network protocol and access to specific ports on network servers. COM not only used a proprietary protocol and network ports when run over TCP/IP, but required opening port 135 for the naming service to operate correctly, something that few system administrators would permit. By contrast, most system administrators gladly opened port 80 and allowed the HTTP protocol, even setting up special proxy servers rather than denying internal users access to the World Wide Web. Systems such as DCOM over HTTP and Java RMI over HTTP were the first steps away from a proprietary distributed programming system. Vendors such as Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, and Sun are moving toward supporting distributed computing over HTTP using a framing protocol known as SOAP and using XML as a marshaling format. SOAP itself uses XML to frame XML-based payloads; elements and attributes used in SOAP are defined in two XSD schemas. SOAP also defined a portable way of representing parameters to remote procedure calls (RPCs), but since the completion and adaptation of XML schemas, a schema-centric format is now

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