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New Web Services Package Beta Release from Wolfram Research

May 29, 2003--Wolfram Research is inviting users to try the beta version of its new Web Services Package, which allows users to interact with web services in Mathematica. With Web Services Package 1.0, Mathematica users can dynamically access new data and functionality located on the network, creating an automatic extension to the Mathematica environment. The release of Web Services Package is yet another demonstration of Wolfram Research's commitment to providing freely available, cutting-edge technology and support to fulfill the needs of the Mathematica community.

The emerging web services technology provides programmatic interfaces that are used for application-to-application communication on a network, thereby enabling the integration of code from two applications with completely different languages and platforms. Web Services Package 1.0 is a Mathematica application that integrates Mathematica and web services by letting a user call web services from Mathematica in a completely transparent way.

Web Services Package gives Mathematica users access to additional data and processing services, such as geographical data, financial data, remote calculation, language translation, file conversion, and Wolfram Research online information services, from directly within Mathematica. The package maps web service operations into Mathematica functions that may be called by Mathematica users.

Based on standardized, widely used technologies such as XML and HTTP, web services technology works by sending XML messages over HTTP to interfaces located on the network. These interfaces are XML based, and thus generally platform and language independent, making it quite practical to integrate diverse applications. The package also uses Mathematica's J/Link connection technology to invoke calls that send requests to web service operations via HTTP.

Web Services Package 1.0 requires Mathematica 4.2 and is supported on all platforms that J/Link supports. It is a free package that can be downloaded from the Wolfram Research website. To request Web Services Package 1.0 beta or to see additional product information, visit the product pages.