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Date: Jan 26, 2001
Publication: WST
By: Cristina McEachern
Reuters Announces New XML Initiative
Taking the next step in its company-wide Internet strategy, Reuters is embarking on a broad reaching XML initiative aimed at bringing together its various financial market related XML projects. Reuters is calling it MarketsML and it is supposed to act as the "glue" that bonds all of its markup language projects together. In other words, MarketsML will provide an XML-based architectural framework to create interoperability between external and internal Reuters XML standards. Mark Hunt, director of eBusiness capabilities at Reuters, expects that some specification for MarketsML could be available within six months.

"The X in XML is about extensibility," says Hunt. "MarketsML is an umbrella which would act as a quite sophisticated translation between all the different formats and would also fill in some of the formats that don't exist." Reuters is currently participating in various other XML initiatives such as NewsML, FpML (Financial Products Markup Language), XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) and IRML (Industry Research Markup Language). MarketsML looks to bring together these other XML protocols for a more integrated and efficient end user experience.

"At the moment, Reuters customers have risk management systems, trading systems, market data systems and they're all vertically aligned," explains Hunt. "XML breaks down those barriers to get genuine collaboration at a fairly intimate level." MarketsML will bring together standardized XML formatted information from the various Reuters data outlets so users can access all of the information in a seamless format. "Say you want coffee grower prices, then maybe you'll want weather reports, background research, yield information, indexes or futures," says Hunt. "This is all quite difficult to navigate at the moment." MarketsML looks to change that and make accessing and assembling all of the information faster and easier as an architecture on which to bring the information together for the end user.

MarketsML also aims to lower costs associated with gathering and distributing data for Reuters. "Reuters collects and distributes data in a huge number of different formats to thousands of different end points and we spend a lot of money and resources doing that," says Hunt. "But with XML and the Internet it becomes much cheaper." Hunt adds that the MarketsML initiative will be constantly changing with the various industry standards. Reuters also plans to leverage its technology partners, including TibCo, which recently purchased an XML tools provider, in order to provide the MarketsML framework.

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