New in StyleVision 2012 – Composite Styles for Enhanced Formatting

StyleVision is an intuitive stylesheet and report designer that transforms XML, XBRL, and database content into HTML, RTF, PDF, Word 2007+, and Authentic electronic forms – all from a single design. With the 2012 release (available for download here), StyleVision now offers even more formatting control so that you can design even more visually sophisticated output.

One of the more versatile features introduced in StyleVision 2012 is support for composite styles for output to RTF, Word, and PDF as well as HTML and Authentic electronic forms. This feature allows you to combine styles defined in an XML instance document with those you set in the report itself. You can also build a composite with XPath to control multiple style features of the same design element (e.g., font, background color, alignment).

Support for composite styles means that you can quickly and easily change the look of a design component by selecting an attribute from the XML instance file or by changing the XPath expression. This feature is used most often in cases where the XML document includes HTML fragments that contain style information – now you can use an XPath selector to extract style information from the HTML fragment and apply it directly to an output document.

Here for example we’ve used XMLSpy, Altova’s XML editor and development environment, to create an XML instance file containing the contents of a music library. (We also created the Schema in XMLSpy.)

The StyleIt attribute of the Recording element pictured below includes formatting instructions for this individual recording – according to our file the Fun Factory recording should be red and bolded.

Now we can move to StyleVision and start creating a design based on our XML instance document.

All we need to do to apply the formatting instructions in the XML instance document is to call the StyleIt attribute from the composite style drop down in the Properties pane in our StyleVision design.

The Fun Factory recording appears in red bold in the resulting output.

We can also choose to ignore the formatting instructions from the instance file and provide our own.

Here we’ve replaced the StyleIt attribute in the drop down list with an XPath if-then-else statement that assigns formatting based on an attribute of the Recording element called PlaylistCode – party tunes are in blue Papyrus 12 point font, easy listening favorites are in maroon Pristina 14 point font, and background music by default is in green Onyx 14 point font.

Here’s what the output file looks like now. 

Support for composite styles is only one of the new styling features in the StyleVision 2012 stylesheet and report designer. Click here to read more about the new features across the entire Altova product line.

Have you used created a great project using the StyleVision stylesheet and report designer or any of Altova’s other tools? Want to show it off? Please share your story with other Altova users by commenting on this blog post. If you think it would make a great case study please visit the Altova case studies page – if we use your story you’ll receive a $200 Amazon gift card. We’d love to hear from you!

Announcing Altova FlowForce® Server Beta 1

Altova FlowForce® Server Beta 1 is an exciting new tool for execution of automated data mappings designed to provide comprehensive management and control over data transformations performed by dedicated high-speed servers, virtual machines, or even regular workstations, depending on the size of the task. To gather user input and accelerate product development, Altova is offering Altova FlowForce Server Beta 1 as a free public beta test to all licensed users of Altova MapForce® 2012 Enterprise Edition and MapForce® 2012 Professional Edition. Users employ Altova MapForce data mappings for two different types of data transformations:

  • One-time data conversions
  • Data transformations that are repeated by date or time, when new source data is available, or based on some other external event

While command-line execution, royalty-free code generation, and the MapForce API can assist with automation of repeated transformations, FlowForce Server Beta 1 provides much greater power and flexibility. FlowForce Server Beta 1 is a server-based tool with a Web interface that makes it much easier to implement, manage, or modify data transformation jobs in a busy data processing environment. FlowForce Server Beta 1 can administer multiple transformation jobs simultaneously, lets users define and adjust a variety of job triggers and actions on the fly, can perform housekeeping tasks like moving output files or cleaning up intermediate work, records detailed logs of all activity, and much more. FlowForce Server Beta 1 consists of four components that work together as illustrated in the diagram below. Altova FlowForce Server Beta 1 block diagram The FlowForce Server continuously checks for trigger conditions, starts and monitors job execution, and writes detailed logs. MapForce Server is an implementation of the MapForce Built-in execution engine that executes mapping packages previously deployed via the MapForce graphical environment. The FlowForce Web Administration Interface is a standalone web application that runs in an internet browser and provides the front-end of FlowForce Server. MapForce Beta is an enhanced version of the Altova MapForce application with an integrated deployment feature to deploy MapForce data mappings to a FlowForce server package. Altova FlowForce Server Beta 1 is available immediately as a free public beta test to all licensed users of Altova MapForce® 2012 Enterprise Edition and MapForce® 2012 Professional Edition. Visit the FlowForce Server Beta 1 page at the Altova Web site for more information!

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