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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Mobile App Debugging


MobileTogether is a tool for building highly complex, elegant, cross-platform solutions. Developers need mobile app debugging tools to troubleshoot during development and understand app behavior. The MobileTogether Designer offers full-featured debugging of app execution flow inside action trees and debugging of XPath/XQuery functions. These features are provided in two mobile app debugging views integrated into a single tool.

The Actions Debugger view allows developers to debug the Actions of a Control event or a Page event. This view is available when an Action that has been selected for debugging is encountered during processing. The XPath Debugger view opens the XPath/XQuery evaluator window for in-depth tracing and debugging of expressions.

Developers can set breakpoints at various locations and the app, then execute one step at a time, pausing in either view to allow examination of the complete execution environment.

Let’s see mobile app debugging in action:

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Design Templates for Mobile Apps


In an earlier post we wrote about using software design templates for mobile apps to facilitate design reuse and make it easy to build efficient, flexible options for various app requirements. We described an example of a Control Template designed to present multiple levels of hierarchical data based on user selection at runtime.

Our example was built using MobileTogether, Altova’s RMAD (Rapid Mobile App Development) tool to help developers build cross-platform apps that deliver dynamic, sophisticated app performance that delights end users.

You can also build Control Templates for cross-platform mobile apps by combining multiple controls into a larger unit, like a complex sub-assembly built from individual parts. This creates design templates for mobile apps that can easily be dropped in anywhere, speeding development and ensuring consistency.

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Programming Techniques for Mobile Development


MobileTogether is an easy to use, low-code app development framework that lets you create sophisticated apps for all platforms from a single design.

Low-code doesn’t mean no code. A database specialist might start with a few SQL queries and use the MobileTogether drag and drop interface to create an app with elegant tables and graphs to report up-to-the-minute enterprise data, while experienced developers often use familiar programming techniques in mobile development to build highly complex, elegant MobileTogether solutions.

Developers define user functions, parameters, variables, loops, or a complex data structure when that’s the right tool for the job. MobileTogether makes it fast and easy to control all the features in the device – camera, microphone, GPS, SMS, handwriting capture, and more. MobileTogether helps you achieve your vision fast and build really cool mobile apps with charisma enough to go viral.

MobileTogether is about getting the work done efficiently, not limiting how you do it. Let’s check out a couple examples of programming techniques in MobileTogether apps.

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Validating Data Transformation


Software developers and other data professionals often need to transform data from one format to another. These transformations can be simple one-to-one conversions or may require more complex manipulation. For instance, relationships must be generated when importing flat CSV files into a database, or source data may need to be split for the target, as in full name vs. first, middle, last, and optional suffix. Validating data transformation is critical to prevent data loss or corruption.

In our recent post on Web service data integration combined a string value for GMT time with a numeric offset in seconds to generate the local time for weather forecasts. We created a user function that performed all the steps required to complete this operation. MapForce includes a powerful interactive data mapping debugger that can easily trace and validate this transformation. Let’s take a look at how it works.

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