Release 2 of Altova Software Version 2011


clip_image001We’re pleased to announce the availability of Release 2 of Altova’s 2011 product line, which adds numerous new features to our entire MissionKit tool suite, as well as all standalone products. Even though it’s been just five short months since Version 2011 was announced, Release 2 packs a formidable punch, delivering innovative new features to meet customer requests and provide the unique, advanced functionality you’ve come to expect in the award winning MissionKit. Below are a few details on Release 2 of the Altova MissionKit 2011. For complete information and screenshots, click over to the Altova What’s New page. Subsequent posts over the next few weeks will cover each product and each feature in more detail. Advanced Chart and Report Creation The new functionality added in the MissionKit 2011 for creating charts and reports to analyze database, XML, XBRL, and other types of data received some important updates in Release 2, including new chart types, new formatting options, and more. New chart types add to the long list already available and include area charts, stacked area charts, candlestick charts, and more. You can add even more advanced formatting options to your charts now, using background images, color gradients, and variable axis label positions, as shown in the stacked area chart below. Area chart with background image R2 also adds support for chart overlays, which combine two disparate sets of data in one chart, as shown below. This example combines a candlestick chart of a stock’s daily prices with the daily sales volume indicted using a bar chart. XML candlestick chart with bar chart overlay These new charting and reporting tools add to those already available in XMLSpy, StyleVision, and DatabaseSpy, providing multiple opportunities to visualize, analyze, and report business data in innovative ways. Other v2011r2 Highlights R2 includes a lot more than just new chart and report creation features. We’ve got some great new tools for XML Schema editing in XMLSpy, as well as fully customizable documentation generation for XML Schema, WSDL, and XBRL via StyleVision integration. MapForce provides several enhancements for data mapping, such as enhanced ETL performance through data streaming, support for the IATA PADIS EDI format, and more. StyleVision now supports barcodes and other new tools for advanced report creation and publishing. BPMN support in UModel has been updated to the latest version, 2.0, and you can also now generate code from State Machine UML diagrams. And finally, just when you thought the DiffDog diff/merge tool couldn’t be any cooler, we’ve added full support for comparing and merging Microsoft® Word docs (yes, it’s actually easy to use). Diff/merge for Word documents   All these new features are expanded on here and will also be covered at length in upcoming blog posts. Make sure you are subscribed to the blog or our Facebook page, and do check back often for updates!

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New Software Feature: Charting in DatabaseSpy 2011


Multi-database query, design, and database comparison tool. A colorful, eye-catching chart is much more vivid and communicates meaning more quickly than a table of numeric data. As part of the v2011 launch of the Altova Missionkit on September 8, 2010, DatabaseSpy 2011 includes a new SQL charts tool that provides a wide variety of charting features to graphically represent SQL query results. DatabaseSpy 2011 supports the following chart types to provide the most appropriate representation of various data sets:

  • Line charts
  • 2-D and 3-D pie charts
  • 2-D and 3-D bar charts
  • Round gauge and bar gauge charts

A line chart generated from SQL query results by Altova DatabaseSpy DatabaseSpy SQL Charts Tool Supported Databases DatabaseSpy 2011 supports multiple database types and can generate charts from the results of SQL queries to the following databases:

  • Microsoft® SQL Server® 2000, 2005, 2008
  • IBM DB2® 8, 9
  • IBM DB2 for iSeries® v5.4, 6.1
  • Oracle® 9i, 10g, 11g
  • Sybase® 12
  • MySQL® 4, 5
  • PostgreSQL 8
  • Microsoft Access™ 2003, 2007

Charting SQL Query Results A link in the Altova DatabaseSpy 2011 SQL Editor Results window toolbar opens the Chart Selection dialog to initiate data charting. A SQL query and result table in Altova DatabaseSpy The chart tool icon opens the Select columns dialog, where users can specify which column of the Results table to use for the X-axis. Users can also change the order of value columns, or even leave one or more results column uncharted. This feature permits multiple charts to be generated for subsets of data from a single query that retrieves many table columns. DatabaseSpy SQL Chart Tool Select Columns dialog The data is initially plotted using the default chart type and settings in a new Charts window. Like other DatabaseSpy helper windows, the Charts window can be unpinned, moved, and resized, as a floating window. The Charts window has nine tabs that permit users to specify properties of nine different charts that can even be assigned to different query results. A bar chart generated from SQL query results by Altova DatabaseSpy The Change Type dialog gives users instant access to a wide variety of other chart styles. DatabaseSpy SQL Chart Tool Change Type dialog Within each chart type, sub-menus specify all the details of the chart appearance. Numerous customization options are available for each chart type, including chart titles, foreground and background colors, definition of axis ranges and labels, control of fonts, text colors and sizes, and more. A pull-down menu also lets users save and reload customized chart settings in files, for instance to store standardized chart styles and reuse them with multiple query results. The screenshot below shows a few of the settings for the line chart at the top of this page, which illustrates the same temperature and humidity data shown in the SQL query screenshot. DatabaseSpy SQL Chart Tool Chart Appearance dialog The screenshot below shows a bar chart reporting total sales for the year to date by sales territory. This is a typical example of a chart style that can be reused in a report that is frequently updated with the latest sales data. A 3-D bar chart generated from SQL query results by Altova DatabaseSpy Multiple Charts from a Single SQL Query Results Table Generating multiple charts from the same SQL query is simple and straightforward by selecting different columns of data in the Results table. The SQL query in the screenshot below returns the population and land area of the boroughs that make up New York City: A SQL query and result table in Altova DatabaseSpy Users can choose any tab in the Charts window, then assign data by clicking the Select Data menu option in the Charts window menu bar. DatabaseSpy SQL Chart Tool Select Data dialog Here are examples of an ordinary pie chart and a 3-D pie chart generated individually from the population and square miles data columns of the Results table: A 2-D pie chart generated from SQL query results by Altova DatabaseSpy A 3-D pie chart generated from SQL query results by Altova DatabaseSpy DatabaseSpy 2011 lets users change the chart colors by selecting an alternate palette or any custom colors. Customization of chart colors in Altova DatabaseSpy Gauge Charts from a Single Value or Calculated Results Gauge charts are used to illustrate a single value and show its relation to a minimum and a maximum value. For a round gauge chart, users can specify the beginning and ending values of the range, and the starting and ending locations on the gauge. DatabaseSpy 2011 enables complete gauge customization through selection of the background color, border color, needle color, text font, size, and color, and more. A round gauge chart generated by Altova DatabaseSpy DatabaseSpy 2011 can generate charts from results tables that contain relational data, or from results of calculations performed by SQL queries. Gauge charts are a good fit for illustrating a single calculated value. The screenshot below shows a percent of quota calculation in a DatabaseSpy 2011 SQL Editor window, based on a table of stored daily sales and sales quota data. SQL query that generates a single calculated result in Altova DatabaseSpy The calculated value can be more dramatic when represented in a bar gauge chart, where DatabaseSpy 2011 permits multiple background colors defined by ranges along the axis, as shown below. clip_image018 Export Charts for Reports DatabaseSpy 2011 exports charts to image files in .png, .bmp, .gif, or .jpg files in customized sizes, independent of the size of the chart window on the screen to create eye-catching visual elements in reports of all types. Export option in the DatabaseSpy Charts menu Whether you are a developer, business analyst, research professional, or other database user, DatabaseSpy 2011 can generate elegant charts from SQL query results to illustrate your data reports – download a free 30-day trial today!
If you’d like to find out for yourself how well DatabaseSpy works with other Altova tools, download a free trial of the Altova MissionKit.

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New Software Release : MapForce 2011


  clip_image002 On September 8, Altova released v2011 of the MissionKit with powerful new features across the entire product line. MapForce has benefitted from the addition of advanced data integration functionality like chained transformations, integration with StyleVision for rendering transformation output, new formatting functions, and extended support for the UN/EDIFACT and ANSI X12 EDI formats. Let’s take a closer look at the exciting new features in MapForce 2011 including:

  • Chained transformations
  • Integration with StyleVision for output components
  • Formatting of numbers, dates, and times
  • Extended support for EDIFACT
  • Extended support for X12

Chained transformations Support for chained transformations lets you create complex mappings where the output of one mapping becomes the input of another. This is a powerful feature that adds to MapForce’s ability to execute fully automated transformations. Each chained component becomes a modular entity in an interdependent transformation sequence, allowing for conversions to be made on-the-fly. You can create chained transformations using any number of mapping components connected to a final target component. Preview and code generation features can be displayed/generated for intermediate components, as well as for the final mapping result. Intermediate mapping components also now have a "pass-through" button in the title bar that lets you define the set of data that gets passed on to the following component.  

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For example, the mapping above shows a chained mapping where the pass-through button is active and sample data is assigned to component A. The output preview offers two separate sets of data: XML that conforms to the Contacts.xsd schema and incorporates a subset of data mapped from the Employees.xml sample file, and XML that conforms to PersonList.xsd using data from the Employees sample file. In both cases, the data has been amended with the relevant constants and functions that are shown in the MapForce design pane.   clip_image004 Integration with StyleVision for output components Support for Global Resources throughout the MissionKit has already offered you some integration between Altova software applications… But this feature takes that integration to a whole new level, allowing you to render XML and XBRL output from your data mappings into HTML, RTF, PDF, and Word 2007+ using an associated StyleVision template design. This essentially combines MapForce’s any-to-any data mapping capabilities with a sophisticated rendering engine, meaning that you can now automate report generation from virtually any data format that can be mapped to an XML Schema or XBRL taxonomy. In the example below, a StyleVision design has been associated with the mapping by simply right-clicking the output file and browsing to select a suitable SPS file using the Component Settings dialog.   clip_image005   Once the SPS file is entered or selected, you will be able to simply click on the relevant format tab (i.e., HTML, RTF, PDF, or Word 2007+) to view rendered data.   mapforce-html Formatting of numbers, dates, and times Probably one of the most requested features, this lets you easily convert numbers, dates, and times to their string representations using several different formatting functions. For example, the simple format-number function below converts a numerical input (e.g., 12345) to a monetary one in with a USD prefix, comma separating the thousands digits, and two decimal places (e.g., $12,345.00).   format-number   This post really just scrapes the surface of what the new MapForce release has to offer -download a free 30-day trial of Mapforce today to experience all of these new features and more!

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New Software Release : StyleVision 2011


On September 8, Altova released v2011 of the MissionKit with the addition of powerful reporting functionality across many of the products. Specifically, StyleVision has been supercharged with a multitude of new features, securing its place as an advanced and versatile business intelligence application, priced for today’s market. Let’s take a closer look at the exciting new features in StyleVision 2011 including:

  • Charts as a new design element
  • Chart wizard for XBRL files
  • Explicit support for HTML/CALS tables
  • Ability to import existing XSLT files
  • Scripting & toolbar editor for Authentic®

Charts as a new design element StyleVision joins other MissionKit 2011 tools with support for charting, adding to its already advanced general purpose reporting capabilities to create a highly scalable decision support tool for XML, database, and XBRL content. As with all StyleVision designs, charts can be easily rendered for multi-channel output in HTML, RTF, PDF, Word 2007+, and electronic forms. The following types of charts are available:

  • 2D & 3D pie charts
  • 2D & 3D bar charts
  • Category line graphs
  • Value line graphs
  • Gauge charts

The chart configuration dialog lets you use XPath to select data for your charts. This can be as simple or as complex as you want, running the gamut from database data that is already laid out in a tabular format to XML files where the nodes you need to select are spread out over hundreds of lines of code. Pssst… if you’re thinking that this would be great for the unique demands of XBRL, read on because we created something special with that in mind ;). Here are a couple of examples of charts that you can build in StyleVision: clip_image001 clip_image003 Yup, you can even chart completely different sets of data on the same graph. How creative you want to get with your visual analysis reports is really up to you. You can even create interactive charts for use with Authentic – allowing end users to manipulate eForms to view the desired result. For example, the screenshot below shows the Authentic view of a pie chart where a drop-down menu (combo box) selection dictates the subset of data that is represented. clip_image005 Charts are easily integrated into your StyleVision report templates at any point by simply dragging the relevant node onto the design pane and choosing Insert Chart from the context menu. The Chart Configuration dialog can then be used for chart settings (choosing chart type and style) and data selection (populating your chart axes with the relevant data from the source). clip_image007 You can even use Dynamic XPath Settings to apply transactional data to your chart. Of course, if you sometimes have trouble telling your .s from your /s, you can always get some help with more complex expressions from StyleVision’s XPath Builder. Chart wizard for XBRL files If you are familiar with XBRL, you are intimately aware of the complexities associated with navigating XBRL taxonomies. And, if you’re impressed with what you’ve just read about StyleVision’s charting capabilities, you are probably trying to remember where you put that old XPath reference guide. Not to worry! StyleVision has added to its XBRL rendering support with an XBRL Chart Wizard that lets you easily select data and define presentation settings for your XBRL reports. clip_image009 Concept and Period Properties dialogs are included to let you specify which elements should be included and how periods (instants or intervals of time) should be handled in your chart. Explicit support for HTML/CALS tables StyleVision now provides direct support for HTML/CALS tables, meaning that it will automatically recognize values dictating table structure (column number, row height, etc.) and apply them to rendered output. (v2011 adds support for rendering HTML/CALS tables in HTML, RTF, PDF, AND Word 2007+ – previous releases have supported output to Authentic eForms.) clip_image011 You can also easily assign additional presentation styles to HTML/CALS tables using the Edit CALS/HTML dialog. clip_image013 Ability to import existing XSLT files Well, I’m sure a few of you were hoping that this one was coming soon… You can now base your StyleVision template designs on existing XSLT files that were designed for HTML output or XSLT files with XSL:FO commands that were designed for output to PDF. Simply choose the New from XSLT File option and presto change-o, your design will be fully manifested in the design pane. Now you can edit your template using StyleVision’s graphical interface and output to even more formats (HTML, RTF, PDF, Word 2007+, and Authentic eForms) with just the click of a button. Scripting & toolbar editor for Authentic This feature is just way too cool not to devote an entire post to it, so keep your eyes peeled for a full description coming up on this blog. In the meantime, check out the Authentic scripting page for a brief description and examples. Better yet, just download a free 30-day trial of StyleVision today to test drive all of these new features for yourself!

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Altova Software Version 2009 SP1 Available


Today we released Service Pack 1 of Altova Version 2009 product line (v2009 SP1), which includes helpful bug fixes and other enhancements, as well as a new feature in the MapForce data mapping tool (detailed below). v2009 SP1 is a free update for all v2009 customers, as well as any customer with a valid Support and Maintenance Package. Note that v2009 SP1 is a new product version, and not a patch – you can simply visit the Altova Download Page to download and install the latest version of your product(s) to update.

Recursive User Defined Functions

Added based on feedback from Altova partners, this new feature in MapForce 2009 SP1 provides support for non-inlined user-defined functions in data mapping projects. Now users can create recursive function calls, enabling them to map data dynamically by expressing operations in terms of themselves. In hierarchical data structures like XML, for instance, it is possible for an element to contain itself or be referenced, in some way or another, by a descendant. Creating a recursive user-defined function allows you to process this data, looping through the elements incrementally and returning data that has been evaluated dynamically.   Update to get this new functionality and all the v2009 SP1 enhancements across the Altova product line. If you’re not already a v2009 customer, you can download a free, fully functional trial using the same link. 

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Service Pack 1 of Altova Software Version 2008 Release 2 is Available


Today we released Service Pack 1 (SP1) of our complete Version 2008 Release 2 product line. SP1 contains helpful bug fixes and other useful enhancements and is a free update for all v2008r2 users. It’s also a free upgrade for any customers with an active Support and Maintenance Package.  Simply visit the Altova download page to get the latest version or learn more about all the functionality added in R2.

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Altova Announces Version 2008 Release 2 of its Software Product Line


(Altova today announced the availability of Version 2008 Release 2 (v2008r2) of its award-winning line of software tools. The release of v2008r2 adds a host of new features and enhancements to Altova’s product line, including support for working with very large files in XMLSpy, extended Office Open XML (OOXML) functionality across multiple products, support for creating Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) diagrams in UModel, and much more.
Visit https://www.altova.com/whatsnew.html to view a complete list of new v2008r2 features with screenshots.
Very Large XML File SupportXMLSpy v2008r2 contains a number of advanced optimizations that allow you to open and work with files that are about 4 to 5 times larger than those supported in the past*, providing a huge benefit for working with large amounts of data in the context of database applications, financial services, data gathering, and enterprise data integration. This new support results in a reduction of memory-consumption by up to 75-80 percent as compared to the previous version when opening and validating XML documents in Text View.
In this latest release, XMLSpy v2008r2 also provides multiple features for optimizing XSLT development, including new entry helper windows and support for Java, C#, JavaScript, and VBScript in the XSLT 1.0/2.0 and XQuery engines. This enhanced functionality makes XMLSpy and AltovaXML(TM) the first universal XSLT engines to support all of these programming dialects.
In addition, XMLSpy’s support for seamless integration with and code generation for Visual Studio(R) has been extended in v2008r2 to include support for Visual Studio 2008.
Extended Microsoft(R) Office 2007 / OOXML functionality – With OOXML functionality already available in XMLSpy, Altova now expands that support across its MapForce(R), StyleVision(R), and DiffDog(R) products. MapForce supports the OOXML data format in Microsoft Excel(R) 2007. Now you can map Excel 2007 data to and from XML, databases, text, EDI, and Web services, and then convert data instantly or autogenerate royalty-free program code for recurrent transformations. As Microsoft customers continue to upgrade to the newest version of the Office suite, support for Excel 2007 will become an indispensable feature for sophisticated data integration projects and applications.
In StyleVision v2008r2, new OOXML support allows designers and developers to create stylesheets to publish XML and database data in Word 2007. StyleVision’s drag-and-drop stylesheet design interface simultaneously generates output in HTML, PDF, RTF, Word 2007, and Authentic(R) e-Forms, plus the corresponding XSLT stylesheets. Support for Word 2007 / OOXML in StyleVision will now enable you to design stylesheets for an even larger network of users as adoption of Office 2007 / OOXML continues.
In addition, Altova has reduced the price of StyleVision considerably to further ease the transition for developers working with the new OOXML formats.
For DiffDog v2008r2 users, detailed differences in Office 2007 / OOXML file pairs and other ZIP archive pairs are now displayed. You can perform extensive comparisons of OOXML files and ZIP archives, identify differences, and merge changes with more accuracy and efficiency than ever before.
Expanded Modeling CapabilitiesUModel v2008r2 now supports the Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN), allowing you to create BPMN diagrams to illustrate a business process prior to development.
UModel v2008r2 also includes updated code generation and reverse engineering support for Java 6.0, C# 3.0, and Visual Basic 9.0, including accurate parsing of new language constructs introduced in C# 3.0 and VB 9.0 that directly support XML. This added functionality makes UModel the first UML tool to support C# 3.0 and VB 9.0. These are just a few of the many compelling new features being introduced in UModel v2008r2.
Access to Global Resources – Direct access to global resources is now available within XMLSpy, MapForce, StyleVision, and DatabaseSpy(R), providing increased integration between these tools. This new functionality will be especially useful for customers with multiple Altova products, such as those using the Altova MissionKit(TM) product bundle.
Global resources support allows you to define, share, and access file, folder, and database resources across multiple projects and multiple software tools. This will allow MissionKit users to, for example, access and work with the output of a MapForce data mapping project — as it is produced on-the-fly — in XMLSpy and/or StyleVision. Countless other scenarios of tight integration between XMLSpy, MapForce, StyleVision, and DatabaseSpy are possible.
You will also now be able to define a target deployment environment on-the-fly within XMLSpy, MapForce, StyleVision, and DatabaseSpy projects, specifying ancillary files, directories, data sources, databases, etc. This means that a project can be thoroughly tested in multiple environments without having to be redesigned before it goes live. Support for global resources only adds to the numerous other productivity-enhancing features of the Altova MissionKit, which bundles up to eight Altova XML, data integration, and data management tools for less than the price of two.**
v2008r2 is a free update for Altova customers with an active Support and Maintenance Package. Visit https://www.altova.com/download.html to update now.
To download a 30-day free trial of any of the Altova products visit: https://www.altova.com/download.html
*Reduced memory-consumption of up to 75-80% measured in internal tests at Altova with XML files ranging from 10MB to 200MB in size, comparing XMLSpy 2008r2 with XMLSpy 2008sp1. Your results may differ.

**Pricing comparison is edition-specific and based on Altova MissionKit vs. any two individual licenses of the following included products: XMLSpy and MapForce.

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