Information and Content Exchange

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Information and Content Exchange (ICE) is an XML-based protocol used for content syndication via the Internet. By using XML both sender and receiver have an agreed-upon language in which to communicate. Using a client–server architecture, ICE defines a syndicate/subscribe model that is comparable to the binary publish/subscribe protocol standards used in CORBA and DCOM. However, in ICE messages are delivered through XML, typically over an HTTP connection, rather than through a lower-level binary protocol.[1]


The first standard specifically for web syndication,[2] ICE was proposed by Firefly Networks and Vignette in January 1998.[3] The two companies ceded control over the specification to the ICE consortium, which consisted of an authoring group and an advisory council. The ICE Authoring Group included Microsoft,[4] Adobe, Sun, CNET, National Semiconductor, Tribune Media Services, Ziff Davis and Reuters, amongst others,[5] and was limited to thirteen companies. The ICE advisory council included nearly a hundred members.[2]

ICE was submitted to the World Wide Web Consortium standards body on October 26, 1998,[6] and showcased in a press event the day after.[7] The standard failed to benefit from the open-source implementation that W3C XML specifications often received.[8]

Version 1.1 of the protocol was published on July 1, 2000.[9] Version 2.0 featured improved web service support and was released on August 1, 2004.[10] No further versions have appeared since.

Vignette had a demo version of an ICE-capable server named Site-to-Site in February 1998, aiming to show how the protocol could facilitate content exchange between websites.[11] Site-to-site was initially scheduled for release in summer 1998;[3] it was launched under the name Vignette Syndication Server on February 22, 1999.[12] Through Syndication Server, Vignette became the primary ICE vendor.[13]

In June 1999, Vignette invested $14 million in the leading web syndicator iSyndicate to adopt Vignette StoryServer for further development of the iSyndicate website. As part of the deal iSydicate committed to making all of its content available in the ICE protocol.[14] [15]

Comparable XML specifications include WDDX,[16] NITF, XMLNews, NewsML, and PRISM,[8] as well as CDF, RSS, Atom, and Open Content Syndication (OCS).[17]


TwICE is a Java implementation of ICE 2.0. Rice is a Ruby implementation of ICE 1.1. Both TwICE and Rice are developed and maintained by Jim Menard.

ICEcubes is the original Java reference implementation of ICE 1.1, although it has not been actively maintained since December, 2000.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Greening, Dan R. (November 1999). "Self-Service Syndication with ICE". Web Techniques. Archived from the original on August 17, 2000. Retrieved 2016-02-11. 
  2. ^ a b Werbach, Kevin (July 1999). "The Web Goes Into Syndication" (PDF). Release 1.0. Retrieved 2014-09-09. 
  3. ^ a b Clark, Tim (1998-01-29). "Software to help Net stores". Archived from the original on February 2, 1999. Retrieved 2014-09-07. 
  4. ^ Clark, Tim (1998-02-06). "Short Take: Microsoft joins ICE group". CNET Archived from the original on February 3, 1999. Retrieved 2015-12-22. 
  5. ^ Votsch, Victor (1998-03-10). "Vignette and Firefly propose the ICE protocol". Archived from the original on March 2, 2003. Retrieved 2014-09-08. 
  6. ^ Webber, Neil; Conlet O'Connell; Bruce Hunt; Rick Levine; Laird Popkin; Gord Larose (1998-10-26). The Information and Content Exchange (ICE) Format and Protocol. W3C. Retrieved 2014-09-07. 
  7. ^ Copeland, Lee (1998-10-28). "Authoring Group Launches ICE". Computer Reseller News. Archived from the original on October 2, 1999. Retrieved 2014-09-08. 
  8. ^ a b Dumbill, Edd (2000-07-17). "XML in news syndication". 
  9. ^ Brodsky, Jay; Bruce Hunt; Sami Khoury; Laird Popkin (2000-07-01). "The Information and Content Exchange (ICE) Protocol Version 1.1". Archived from the original on September 6, 2004. Retrieved 2014-09-09. 
  10. ^ Brodsky, Jay; Marco Carrer; Bruce Hunt; Dianne Kennedy; Daniel Koger; Richard Martin; Laird Popkin; Adam Souzis (2004-08-01). "ICE Specification". Archived from the original on September 5, 2004. Retrieved 2014-09-09. 
  11. ^ Thomas, Owen (1998-02-11). "ICE may unstick content markets: Will a new media-exchange spec let content flow from site to site with ease?". Red Herring Online. Archived from the original on March 5, 2000. 
  12. ^ "Vignette Ships Vignette Syndication Server(TM) Helping Online Businesses Efficiently Broaden Customer Reach". PR Newswire. Austin, TX. 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2014-09-09. [dead link]
  13. ^ The XML Revolution for Commercial Publishing. Gartner Group. 1999-10-26. Archived from the original on January 12, 2001. Retrieved 2014-09-08. 
  14. ^ "Vignette Announces Investment in iSyndicate to Accelerate Growth of Online Content Syndication". 1999-06-15. Archived from the original on October 10, 1999. Retrieved 2015-12-06. 
  15. ^ Reilly, Richard Byrne (2001-02-14). "ISyndicate blames layoffs on expansion". Red Herring. Archived from the original on July 6, 2002. Retrieved 2015-12-06. 
  16. ^ Itoi, Nikki Goth (February 1999). "Syndicating the Web: Businesses are hoping that the ICE protocol will reduce the Web's content-sharing hassles". Red Herring. Archived from the original on October 13, 1999. 
  17. ^ Cover, Robin (2003-12-01). "Information and Content Exchange (ICE) Protocol". Cover Pages. Retrieved 2015-11-15. 

External links[edit]