Sun Microsystems published details of two new interfaces to link its Java programming language to XML (Extensible Markup Language) yesterday.

The new application-programming interfaces (APIs) are Java API for XML Messaging (JAXM) and Java API for XML Parsing (JAXP) – for translating XML. Work on them is continuing. Sun called the details published "early access" versions of the specifications.

Core support The APIs, along with the still incomplete Java API for XML Data Binding (JAXB), form the core of Sun's support for XML in the Java 2 platform, the company said. All three technologies are being developed through the Java Community Process (JCP), an organization set up by Sun to manage the evolution of Java.

JAXM enables packaging, routing and transport of XML and other messages using HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) and FTP (File Transfer Protocol). It will be useful to programmers building robust, secure electronic-commerce applications, said Sun. Future versions of the API will support other messaging methods currently under development.

JAXP, enables Java applications to read, manipulate and generate XML documents. Sun expects to ship the final version in the first quarter of next year.

The third, as-yet unreleased API, will help developers create and maintain XML-enabled applications with a minimum of effort. Sun expects JAXB to ship in the first quarter of 2001.