Data Mapping Files with XML Mixed Content


As more specialized data is adapted for delivery on demand to mobile devices with smaller screens, documents with complex structures can be a challenge. Fortunately, MapForce, Altova’s graphical data mapping, conversion, and integration tool, has special features to accelerate data integration projects of all sizes.

For example, richly-formatted documents may include XML mixed content, a complex datatype that permits an XML element to contain text, attributes, and other child elements. Common instances of XML mixed content include blocks of text with tags for bold or italic fonts, or tags that select terms for indexing or other special treatment. Documents with XML mixed content can be difficult to include in a data integration project, since they appear to be free-form and unpredictable, with child elements that occur in any order or even multiple times within the parent.

Mapping_mixed_content

Read more…

Tags: , ,

Foolproof, Fast, and Flexible XML Validation Options


The most recent few releases of XMLSpy included some pretty powerful speed increases for validations jobs, achieved by strengthening synergy between Altova products. Now, developers using XMLSpy can take advantage of RaptorXML Servers installed on their network for the processing of large or complex XML, XBRL, and project-based validation jobs – directly inside the XML editor.

raptorxml

The XML validator in XMLSpy is powered by the Altova RaptorXML validation engine, which already provides the closest possible standards conformance coupled with fast validation speeds. However, the validation rates achieved are still limited to single-core execution on the CPU available in the developer’s machine.  RaptorXML Server, on the other hand, benefits from the substantial increase in processing power afforded by multi-CPU, multi-core servers for increased throughput and more efficient memory utilization.

What does this mean for you? Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of connecting XMLSpy to RaptorXML Server.
Read more…

Tags: , , , ,

DiffDog E-book Now Available


We’ve published an e-book in multiple formats for your favorite tablet or other e-reader.

DiffDog Field Trials e-book cover image

DiffDog Field Trials is a collection of information from the Altova blog, Tech Notes from the Library section of the Altova Web site, and DiffDog product feature pages. The e-book describes a wide range of real-world applications for DiffDog, Altova’s XML-aware diff/merge tool for files, folders, directories, and databases.

You can download DiffDog Field Trials from the Altova Web site in various formats:

· EPUB (1.57 mb)

· Kindle (3.08 mb)

· PDF (11.1 mb)

· iBooks (16.5 mb)

Or, look for DiffDog Field Trials soon in your favorite online electronic bookstore.

Editing EPUB files with DiffDog

As you can see from the list above, EPUB, the XML-based free and open e-book standard by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), is potentially the most efficient sharable file format. An EPUB document is based on a ZIP compressed archive containing style information, text formatted as html, and the images that appear in the e-book.

Altova XMLSpy provides powerful support for accessing, editing, validating and previewing EPUB 2.x documents. We used XMLSpy to assemble the EPUB version of our book, where we were able to interactively preview the result as we worked:
XMLSpy EPUB Preview Window Read more…

Tags: , , , , ,

Directory Sync Tools: Move over little dog, a new DiffDog is moving in


Altova DiffDog was originally launched in 2005 as a diff/merge tool with XML-aware functionality to help users identify differences between XML files. It even identifies files that are XML-equivalent but appear different in a text comparison because of spacing, line-ending, or attribute order variations. Altova DiffDog DiffDog has continually improved over time with many new features including:

DiffDog 2011 Release 3 adds a new simplified directory sync feature to its robust folder diff/merge functionality. The Synchronize Directories dialog now includes a button at the top to select a complete directory sync in a single step. Folder sync tool mode selection The Fully Synchronize feature produces an exact copy of the source directory, even if the target has newer versions of some files, and deletes files from the target that don’t exist on the source, making this choice a quick tool to backup complex directories containing many files and sub-folders. DiffDog provides a summary of all actions to be taken before any files are copied or deleted: Folder sync summary If you want to prevent a file being overwritten or deleted from the target directory, you can click Cancel, and then use the Manual Override feature to ignore or reverse the copy direction for any file pair. Folder sync tool Manual override option Pretty good trick for an app that’s older than 42 in dog years*, isn’t it? Find out for yourself how DiffDog can faithfully synchronize your directories – download a fully-functional, free 30-day trial! * Popular myth suggests that one calendar year for a software developer is equivalent to 7 years in the life of a dog. For a more complete discussion of canine lifespan, see the Wikipedia article titled Aging in Dogs.

Tags: , ,

New XML Schema Editing Tools in XMLSpy


Let’s take a look at some of the new features for working with XML Schemas in the latest release of XMLSpy.

Sorting in Schema View

When you’re working in the graphical XML Schema editor, you can now sort some or all of the schema components alphabetically with a single click. This is a huge time saver when you need to organize large schemas that have evolved over time and for understanding new schemas that come across your desk. Simply click the A-Z button in the Schema Overview window and select the sort options you prefer. Your components are instantly sorted in the graphical view… xmlspy-sort-schema …and when you click over to Text View, the schema code itself is reordered and organized.

Schema Refactoring

Another new feature that’s invaluable when working with complex schemas or ones inherited from other developers is schema refactoring support. Taking advantage of XMLSpy’s powerful Find in Schemas functionality, you can quickly locate all the instances of a global element or type across a schema – and all imported and included schemas – and then rename that component in each place it occurs. This makes schema refactoring easy while ensuring the validity of all impacted schemas.

Intelligent Support for Changing Types

You may also find the need to change the type of an element or a base type, which previously meant reconfiguring all the facets associated with that component. This new feature gives you the option to preserve any facets or attributes that are compatible with the new type. Rename components to refactor schema  

Customizable XML Schema Documentation

Another option schema developers have requested quite often is the ability to customize the comprehensive XML Schema documentation generated by XMLSpy. This is now possible via integration with StyleVision. The StyleVision stylesheet design tool provides countless advanced options for customizing the documentation templates, from adding your company’s logo and branding to changing the appearance and organization of the documentation completely. StyleVision integration also gives you the option to generate documentation in PDF in addition to the HTML, Word, and RTF output options available for the fixed documentation in XMLSpy. Here’s an an example of XML Schema documentation we customized for the fictional Nanonull corporation: Embed image in XML XMLSpy 2011r2 also ships with several useful documentation templates that can be used as is or customized further in StyleVision:

  • XML Schema Structure Overview: documents the structure of global elements and complex types to the number of levels you specify
  • All XML Schema Type Derivations: displays all simple and complex types and their derived types in a tree format
  • XPath List: generates all possible XPath statements that are possible for a schema based on a user-specified number of levels
  • Statistics: lists the numbers of elements, types, attributes, groups, etc., for the overall schema, and for each associated schema file

To use a custom schema documentation template, you must have XMLSpy and StyleVision installed. If you are a MissionKit customer, you already have both tools and can take advantage of this feature and countless other options for working with XML Schema, from stylesheet and report design, to data mapping, and more. If you aren’t currently a StyleVision customer, grab a free trial from our Web site. The XBRL and WSDL documentation generated by XMLSpy may also be customized using StyleVision.   As always, we rely on your input and feature requests when planning each release – please let us know what you think of these new features and what you’d like to see in the next product version by leaving a comment here on the blog.

Tags: , , ,

Altova Tools for IT Professionals – Tell Us Your Story


MissionKit XMLSpy and the other tools in the Altova MissionKit are well-known in the development community as the go-to toolset for XML, data integration, UML, and database development projects. But Altova tools are also used by IT professionals to efficiently complete a variety of enterprise support tasks: XMLSpy is an advanced tool that makes XML documents easy to navigate and edit. Do you use XMLSpy to edit or validate any of the wide variety of XML configuration and data files increasingly essential to today’s IT environments? MapForce integrates and maps data between any combination of XML, databases, flat files, EDI, Excel 2007, XBRL, and/or Web Services. Have you ever used MapForce to merge an end-user’s Excel data into a database? DatabaseSpy is the unique multi-database query, design, content editor, and comparison tool selected as Roundup Champion by Redmond Magazine. Have you used DatabaseSpy to browse an unfamiliar database or build a SQL query to get a quick answer? And who could forget DiffDog? At every trade show visitors come to the Altova booth to rave about Altova’s file, folder, and database diff/merge tool. Do you depend on DiffDog to quickly identify changes between the live instance of a mission-critical file or folder and a backup copy? If you’re an IT professional who uses Altova tools to support the technical infrastructure of your enterprise, we’d like to hear your story. Click here to visit the Altova Case Studies page and check out the right margin to contact us. Of course you can comment right here too!

Tags: , , , , , ,

Integration Watch: Remember good tools at low cost?


Andrew Binstock, principal analyst at Pacific Data Works, recently published a great article in SD Times about some of the software tools he relies on to make his life easier. In “Integration Watch: Remember good tools at low cost?” he notes:

“Today, of course, tools are either free or terribly expensive; there is little middle ground. And there are very few small vendors of tools, with the notable exception of the components market for Windows applications—but those are more libraries than pure tools. One vendor, however, that has persevered making great [tools] at remarkably approachable prices is Altova, which has put out a variety of interesting products for a long time.”

Read the complete article here and let us know what you think! What are some of the inexpensive software tools that you rely on?

Tags: , ,