eXtensible Information Server Version 3.0 (XIS) builds on three years of experience in managing XML data, said Larry Alston, executive vice-president for product management at eXcelon.
"We are seeing XML databases deployed in the middle tier of a distributed architecture, along with application and presentation servers," Alston said. "The XML server simplifies the task of accessing lots of different data systems on the back end."
Alston said the new JCA support allows XIS to connect directly to Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) systems. XA is a protocol for supporting distributed transactions accessing multiple data stores.
eXcelon has also fully implemented support for XPath, one of two XML data access languages. The software also supports Xquery though, the company claimed, the standard is still immature.
The debate concerning native XML databases versus relational databases with XML support is far from over. Martijn Vanderjagt, master of engineering at the business communications unit of Philips, said XIS has already made his life easier.
"We needed a way to manage and publish documents on a number of different intranets," Vanderjagt said.
Susan Funke, an analyst at IDC, said XML data management vendors know that they will never replace relational databases.
"[But] XML is becoming a standard for e-business and Web services. An XML database has an advantage when it comes to interoperating with application servers in this new environment," Funke said.