The XML for Analysis (XMLA) Advisory Council announced the success of the first public XMLA Interoperability Event. The goal was to provide detail on the XMLA specification and to further demonstrate XMLA’s importance as a leading open industry standard in the business intelligence and business performance management marketplaces. The event showcased early release versions of XMLA-compliant products from 18 business intelligence and business performance management solution providers. The event, which took place at The Data Warehouse Institute (TDWI) conference in San Francisco, May 11–14, followed the XMLA Council's second successful interoperate workshop, which was hosted by Simba Technologies in early April.

"XMLA has the potential to dramatically impact both the business intelligence and business performance management categories and drive the development and implementation of new applications deployed through Web service architectures," said Rich Clayton, vice president of business performance management product strategy at Hyperion.

The XMLA Council is working on enhancements to the current XMLA specification. Such enhancements include support for mdXML (multidimensional extensible markup language), the standard linguistic interface being defined as part of XMLA and support for data mining providers.

"The tremendous support for and momentum of the XMLA Council signals the industry's desire for a single standard that allows multidimensional databases to be accessed as a Web service," said Stan Sorensen, director of SQL Server product management at Microsoft. "With the growing number of participants, the XMLA Council will provide an industry standard that incorporates the experience and best practices of leading business intelligence companies."

As part of the recent interoperability events the XMLA Council demonstrated the interoperability among the various independent software vendors (ISVs) that make up the council, but also the interoperability between XMLA and J2EE architected solutions and other cross- platform technologies. Given that XMLA is built on standard Web services technologies and is fundamentally a standard Web services query and reporting interface for business intelligence platforms, it is proving itself to be an open and cross-platform industry standard that works well in either .NET or J2EE environments.

One example of the cross-platform interoperability enabled through XMLA was provided by council member MIS AG, which demonstrated both Java and DHTML based consumers that use XMLA to seamlessly connect to XMLA Providers at the interoperability events.

The XMLA Council has received applications from more than 60 companies from around the world to become members of the XMLA Council. Since the first XMLA Council interoperate workshop, held in November, the XMLA Council has added three new members, including Bandwiz, Informatica and Intellimerce.

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