InfoPath Alternatives from Altova


InfoPath, the popular business forms software from Microsoft, was sunset by the company starting in 2016. Without a direct replacement, customers have turned to InfoPath alternatives to facilitate forms creation and automated data collection.

Altova offers two alternatives that meet different customer implementation requirements. This article will walk you through some background information and help you decide which product to choose.

XML forms
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Create Mobile Apps that Automatically Support Dark Theme


Android and Apple mobile devices support a display option called Dark Theme, which you can think of as  almost a negative image of the normal screen display. In Dark Theme white is black, black is white, and color intensity in general is adjusted. Dark Theme reduces power requirements, which can extend runtime for a battery charge, and can be easier to view in low light.

Altova MobileTogether includes features to let developers create mobile apps that automatically support Dark Theme by detecting the user setting when the app is launched.

Let’s look at an example:

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New Features for Refining Your App UI


The latest release of Altova’s rapid application development (RAD) framework introduces several new features that make it easier to customize and refine the UI of your app, with new features for styling controls, flexible options for users, and new logging tools.

Let’s take a look at what’s new in MobileTogether 7.2.

New in MobileTogether
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Automatically Convert EDI to XML


Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) has proven to be a durable business-to-business communication technology in use today with history dating to the 1960s and even earlier. Efficient EDI data encoding reduced transaction payload size and improved data transfer speeds at a time when messages were sent over teletype at speeds equivalent to a 300 baud modem. EDI standards bodies promote wide acceptance among enterprises, and systematic evolution of new EDI formats extends support across industries. EDI improves profitability and is a dominant format for e-commerce data exchange.

But EDI files are barely human readable and need to be translated and mapped for compatibility with other business technologies. Altova MapForce is a graphical EDI mapping tool with native support for all major business data formats in use today, including XML, JSON, databases, flat files, Excel, and Web services, as well as the EDIFACT, X12, HL7, NCPDP SCRIPT, IDoc, PADIS, and SWIFT EDI transaction sets. MapForce can even automatically convert EDI to XML without the need to specify a target XML Schema or perform any manual mapping.

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New JSON Editing Features


In Version 2020, Altova introduced an entirely new approach to JSON editing in XMLSpy called JSON Grid View. This visual JSON editor offers a graphical representation of the JSON document structure that is immediately easier to understand and work with than the corresponding JSON code in a text editor, especially for long, complex documents with multiple nested levels of arrays and objects.

With each release we improve upon the list of unique editing tools in JSON Grid. Let’s take a look at  some important updates announced in Version 2021, which was released in October of 2020.

New JSON editing tools
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Data Mapping Binary Objects – Part 2


Binary objects – BLOBs — can be cumbersome to manage in databases. In an earlier post we described a MapForce data mapping to insert binary objects into a database with generated metadata to identify the BLOBs later. The companion challenge in data mapping binary objects is to extract binary data and save it in a comprehensible form faithful to the original.

Let’s look at how that’s done.

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Data Mapping Binary Objects


Binary objects are difficult to manage in databases. They are large, their content is not human readable, and they can contain bytes of data easily misinterpreted as control characters. Even the data type name for binary large objects – BLOB – reflects most database managers’ dislike of them. Before relational databases, the definition of a blob was “something undefined or amorphous.”

Altova MapForce, the award-winning, graphical data mapping tool for any-to-any conversion and integration, includes features for effortlessly data mapping binary objects to or from all popular relational databases. Data such as images, PDF files, video files, or any other binary data can be mapped. Let’s look at an example.

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