XML Content Editing for Business Users

Altova Authentic is a powerful XML content authoring tool and document editor for non-technical users.

With Authentic enterprise forms, business users can query and create content using familiar conventions from existing business forms and office productivity applications, without being exposed to the underlying XML or relational database technology.

Authentic XML Authoring Tool

Altova Authentic is a powerful XML content authoring tool and document editor for non-technical users.

With Authentic enterprise forms, business users can query and create content using familiar conventions from existing business forms and office productivity applications, without being exposed to the underlying XML or relational database technology.

“Altova lets me define an XML model and then lets my non-technical team create XML all without ever having to look at the code. Authentic [is] in use in our office every day.”

Tim Bolger Project Manager – Learning Innovation, Construction Sector Council

XML Authoring Tool

Authentic XML Content Editor

Authentic includes a graphical interface with a wide variety of features that make editing XML data easy for non-technical users, while maintaining the power and flexibility of structured content authoring.

Helpful windows for project management, messages, entry helpers, and more guide users during the XML authoring process. Authentic offers business users the ability to directly edit XML (or database) content through easy-to-use document templates, with the benefits of real-time validation and customizable templates for the most demanding enterprise content editing. Authentic also seamlessly supports industry standard XML templates such as DITA and DocBook.

Authentic provides:

  • Real-time validation of user input
  • Schema-based and business logic validation
  • Intelligent entry helper windows
  • Multi-language spell checker for over 100 languages
  • Support for content industry standards
  • Integration with leading CMS (content management systems)
  • Remote files access via FTP & WebDAV
  • SQL database support for content storage
  • XML Signature support
  • Multi-channel publishing to a variety of output formats: HTML, RTF, PDF, Word, OOXML

Using the WYSIWYG XML editor, Authentic users edit XML in real-time based on stylesheet designs created in StyleVision that enable them to view content sequence and structure in easy-to-understand electronic forms. This gives non-technical users the ability to create high quality structured content.

In addition, thanks to StyleVision’s native single source publishing capabilities, Authentic-created content can also be instantly rendered in HTML, RTF, PDF, and Word (Office OpenXML) formats.

Authentic XML Multi-channel


Authentic provides full support for CALS/HTML tables, which are hierarchical XML structures that in themselves define the structure of the table, specify the formatting of the table, and contain the cell contents of the table. CALS/HTML tables may be specified by when the Authentic e-form is created in StyleVision, or, if desired, by the Authentic user during XML content editing via an easy-to-use toolbar. As the user works, the XML source is updated behind the scenes.

Industry Standards

Authentic ships with a set of ready-to-use templates that comply with many of the most prevalent industry standard XML vocabularies for content creation. By employing these templates, enterprises that must conform to these standards can begin creating and editing structured XML content with little or no up-front development effort. These include:

  • DITA
  • DocBook
  • NewsML
  • NITF
  • TEI
  • XMLResume

Portable XML Forms

Authentic Portable XML Form

When an Authentic e-form is created by a designer or developer using StyleVision, it can be saved in a revolutionary file format called PXF™ (Portable XML Form™). A PXF file embeds all the components and files required for editing in Authentic in a single file for convenient distribution.

When an end user opens a PXF file in Authentic, it includes the required XML Schema(s), XML instance(s), and SPS design file(s). It can even include the XSLT files generated by StyleVision that allow Authentic business users to publish content in HTML, Word, RTF, and/or PDF.

Authentic Features for Developers

Authentic Scripting Editor

Authentic, for end users, is an intuitive tool for data collection and content authoring. For XML- and SQL-focused solution developers, Authentic is an enterprise-scale forms and workflow platform, offering a comprehensive feature set and integration with other enterprise systems and resources.

Developer-oriented functionality includes:

  • Auto-calculation and business rule validation using XPath expressions
  • XML digital signatures
  • Event-driven workflow
  • Custom toolbar buttons
  • Dynamic form presentation based on user input
  • Integration with source control systems
  • Scripting and macros
  • COM, Java, and third-party plug-in APIs
  • Support for Java and .NET calls in XPath statements
  • WebDAV repository integration
  • Eclipse and Visual Studio integration

Scripting and macros

Authentic scripting lets developers create robust content editing applications for business users. Scripts are created in the Scripting Editor in StyleVision and executed in Authentic, with full support for global declarations, event handlers, macros, and custom forms that are embedded directly into the Authentic form.

Various examples of scripts in practice are included in the example files that ship with StyleVision, and the Scripting Editor for Authentic and its features are described in detail in the Authentic Programmers’ Reference.

XML Signature

To address security concerns, StyleVision developers can enable XML digital signature capabilities in Authentic forms quickly and easily. Then, the Authentic user can attach a digital signature (either his own or the one identified by the StyleVision designer) to the XML file.

Automation Server for XML Publishing

As an automation server, Authentic exposes programmable objects to other applications, enabling them to access its functionality and automate processes through an integrated COM API or Java API. These are the same APIs that provide access to XMLSpy functionality from external programs.

Flexible Deployment Options

Organizations can choose between desktop and browser-based deployment options, based on what best fits their information architecture and IT infrastructure.

Authentic Desktop

Authentic Desktop Edition can be deployed to enterprise clients' desktops to provide interactive XML authoring of document content as well as business data collection. Data can be captured directly into SQL databases or into XML documents for further processing in the organization’s IT infrastructure.

Authentic Browser

Authentic has long been available as a browser plug-in in addition to a desktop application. However, the more recent versions of popular browsers are discontinuing support for NPAPI and ActiveX and are in the process of ending support for browser plug-ins altogether. Therefore, Authentic Browser 2023 is the final version of the software, and no future versions will be released.

Luckily, customers have a path to continue using existing Authentic forms built in StyleVision by converting them to MobileTogether designs.

MobileTogether apps can easily be accessed in web browsers — but without the need for a plug-in. Read more about converting Authentic Forms to MobileTogether apps.

“Authentic provides great support for WYSIWYG editing of XML-based documents... Its scripting support also allowed to us to integrate several enhanced features, like a document treeview that provides the user with a complete vision of the document and in navigating into its content comfortably.”

Dr. Elisa Fornasini, Project Manager, Eagle Software

“Authentic allowed us to create a pure XML system from end to end but to shield the editorial staff from learning XML. The performance of the system is incredible.”

Doug Wallace, Doug Wallace, President of Agile.Net