New Support for XPath/XQuery 3.1, WS-Security, and More Debut in R3


Release 3 of the Version 2015 Altova MissionKit desktop developer tools and Altova server software products is now available with updated standards support, customer requested features, and innovative new functionality that will save you time on everything from XPath and XQuery development, to advanced data mapping, to XBRL report rendering and beyond. You can skip right to the good stuff and upgrade now, or click Read More below for all the details.
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Now Available: MobileTogether 1.4 with Support for Geolocation, Android 5, iOS 8, and Much More


We are pleased announce version 1.4 of MobileTogether, Altova’s multi-platform mobile development framework that empowers organizations of any size to quickly design and deploy custom enterprise mobile solutions that are accessible on any mobile device.

New features in Altova MobileTogether 1.4

Read more…

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Mobile App Dev Survey and a Chance to Win


We wanted to take a moment to let you know about an important survey of mobile app developers and users. Read on below to take the survey and enter for a chance to win an Amazon gift certificate.

In an effort to bring to market the best mobile application tools and platforms, Smith’s Point Analytics is conducting a survey of mobile application developers, creators, and users to better understand market requirements and quantify the value provided by codeless mobile application platforms. They are also measuring how satisfied users are with these platforms.

The survey will take 5 to 10 minutes and as a token of appreciation, you will be entered in a drawing for one of two $50 Amazon gift certificates.

Please click on the link below to begin the survey. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8KFGCSJ

A Cross-Platform Simulator for Enterprise Mobile App Development


In the past it was difficult and time consuming to synchronize development of cross-platform mobile enterprise applications because each mobile operating system required a different tool set or unique steps to build a compiled result.

Altova MobileTogether simplifies and accelerates cross-platform mobile development with the MobileTogether Designer. Using MobileTogether, developers create a single Solution file for Android, iOS, Windows Phone 8, Windows 8, and in HTML-5 browsers on other platforms.

Even better, the MobileTogether Designer includes a Simulator window that lets developers instantly execute the Solution to test logic, view the design as it will appear on a variety of devices, and examine changes in workflow data during execution.

Here is a view of the BizBudget example Solution as seen in the Simulator representations for iOS and Android devices:

MobileTogether Simulator showing iOS and Android devices

Both views were generated from the same solution file, simply by changing the simulation preview device.
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New Data Integration Whitepaper Now Available


The data engulfing enterprises today comes from many seemingly unrelated sources. Collecting, refining, and assimilating all this information, and being flexible enough to accept new data formats and resources, is critical to success in the 24/7 connected world.

We are proud to announce a new whitepaper titled Data Challenges and the MapForce Platform for Data Integration that addresses these issues, now available for free download from the Altova Reference Library.

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This data integration whitepaper gives business executives, data analysts, data-focused developers and others an overview of current trends and issues in data integration, then discusses how Altova MapForce combines with Altova Server products to create a highly automated enterprise data integration platform that is configurable, scalable, and cost-effective.

To cover all the relevant, up-to-date information, the whitepaper even includes a section titled Data Integration for Mobile Devices that discusses how Altova MobileTogether easily integrates to bring data integration results to mobile devices, providing business intelligence dashboards, elegant enterprise forms, and much more in today’s cross-platform BYOD (bring your own device) workplaces.

Click here to download your copy today!

The MapForce Platfrom for Data Integration whitepaper

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Format Charts and Graphs for Any Mobile Device in Your BYOD Environment


One challenge in development of mobile business solutions is formatting for all the different devices end users will bring. Each mobile OS supports a family of display sizes from the smallest smartphones to the largest tablets. And when you switch to a competing OS, all the screen sizes all change again. The need to support many different mobile devices can slow down development of mobile solutions for BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) enterprises.

Pie chart for any mobile device created using Altova MobileTogether

Altova MobileTogether is a cross-platform mobile development framework that lets you build once across multiple platforms:

  • Android
  • iOS
  • Windows 8
  • Windows Phone 8
  • HTML-5 Browser Based Client

Going further, MobileTogether supports all available screen sizes for each OS, with special features to accelerate developer productivity.

Read more…

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Data Integration for Mobile Devices – MobileTogether Works with FlowForce Server


When an offsite manager can read and reply to company email on a mobile phone, it’s only a short step to wanting access to all up-to-the-minute company data from the most convenient device.

Previously we’ve written about using FlowForce Server to generate HTML output that communicates data integration results. And yes, HTML results can be made available to Web browsers on mobile phones and tablets, but that’s an inferior solution for several reasons – the data will be cumbersome to view because it is not formatted for each device, and there is no interactive support for user interface controls built into mobile operating systems like buttons, combo boxes, edit fields, etc.

Fortunately, FlowForce Server jobs can be triggered by Altova MobileTogether solutions. The results are delivered directly to the mobile device and presented in a beautiful native-client form.

Altova MobileTogether is a unique cross-platform mobile development solution that includes functionality to work with FlowForce Server, and by extension MapForce Server, to bring data integration results to mobile devices to integrate business intelligence dashboards, elegant enterprise forms, and much more.

Here’s how a month-to-date sales report can appear on a mobile phone as a MobileTogether solution:

Month-to-date sales report on a mobile device, created with MobileTogether

When the solution launches, the sales manager selects the region and product, the report is generated by execution of the FlowForce Server job running on a server back in the enterprise data center, and the results are displayed.

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Now Available: MobileTogether


We are pleased to announce commercial availability of MobileTogether. Altova’s brand new, cross-platform mobile development framework lets you design mobile solutions in record time and deploy them to all device platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows 8, and Windows Phone 8 smartphones and tablets, as well as Windows 8 tablets and computers, or any other browser-based client.

‘MobileTogether brings control of mobile data in-house, where your team can create, test, and deploy mobile solutions quickly, moving from business requirements to live mobile solutions within hours. Your organization retains full control of your data, user security, access control, and the entire development cycle.

MobileTogether Business Budget Solution

MobileTogether works for enterprises of all sizes, across all verticals. Whether you need to create BI reports, data collection forms, department-specific dashboards, or something else altogether, MobileTogether makes it easy.

MobileTogether consists of three components that unify the development experience with a visual designer, a powerful simulator, and a streamlined deployment process:

  • The MobileTogether Designer is a sophisticated mobile development tool that lets your in-house development team connect to backend systems and use a combination of visual design and functional programming to create mobile solutions, including sophisticated BI dashboards, dynamic enterprise forms, business analysis reports, and more. MobileTogether supports bi-directional connectivity to SQL databases, XML, HTML, and more. The MobileTogether Designer even includes a built-in simulator for previews matching supported devices.
  • Mobile solutions are deployed to the high-performance MobileTogether Server, which handles security, workflow logic, and integration with database back-end systems. The MobileTogether Server is available for Windows, Linux, and Macintosh platforms.
  • Enterprise users access your mobile solutions on the server via the native MobileTogether Mobile Apps, which are available free of charge in the Android, iOS, Windows Phone 8, and Windows 8 app marketplaces. There is also an HTML5 browser-based client for any other device.

With today’s release, MobileTogether introduces several new features based on invaluable feedback from beta test users, including enhanced support for images captured directly from a camera or stored in a photo gallery, new Actions that can be assigned to UI controls or included in Action Groups, new XPath functions for image and geolocation processing, and additional new XPath functions.

MobileTogether is designed to be affordable for firms of all sizes. The MobileTogether Designer and MobileTogether Mobile App are free to use – so teams can get to work immediately. When they’re ready to deploy custom mobile solutions, the MobileTogether Server provides powerful data processing and affordable scalability that is licensed based on the number of mobile devices the enterprise needs to support.

Visit the Altova Web site for detailed information about MobileTogether, watch a MobileTogether demo video, or to get started yourself, download the MobileTogether Designer!

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Cross-Platform Mobile Development with Altova MobileTogether


Software engineers have long wanted to create an application once and run it on multiple platforms. With today’s rapidly evolving mobile devices, the problem is even more urgent, as iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Surface tablets all compete for developer resources.

If you’re working on apps to communicate with enterprise users, you risk disenfranchising and alienating influential and important subsets of your colleagues when you build for each device sequentially or deliver unequal functionality.

Altova MobileTogether lets you create a cross-platform mobile solution once and deploy it in seconds to all mobile users in the enterprise, who may run it on iPhones, iPads, Android phones or tablets, Windows Phones, Surface tablets, or even laptop or desktop computers.

And these are not simple .html-based one-size-fits-all Web pages, but true native mobile solutions that take advantage of all the rich interface features users already know, delivering mission-critical data from databases, XML files, or by issuing HTTP requests to remote servers and filtering and formatting the response as necessary.

A mobile sales report application created with MobileTogether

The MobileTogether Designer is an easy-to-use development tool for creating high-quality business intelligence dashboards, interactive reports, enterprise forms, and other mobile applications by using drag-and-drop functionality. You simply drag various controls into the work area and assign data structures and actions to build a cross-platform solution.

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Oracle OpenWorld Here We Come!


image The Altova team is on its way to an exciting event next week in San Francisco, Oracle OpenWorld! If you will be there, stop by booth #220 in Moscone South near the database demo grounds from September 29th – October 1st for a demo of Altova’s tools for Oracle users and to see our new cross-platform mobile development solution MobileTogether.

We would love to hear from you about your latest projects and challenges, collaborate on best  practices or let us show you some of the new exciting things Altova has to offer. While you are at our booth, spin our prize wheel for a chance to win some fun giveaways. We hope to see you next week!

 

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MobileTogether Beta 2 is Now Available


UPDATE: MobileTogether exited Beta with the formal launch on November 10, 2014. Check out the more recent post announcing the MobileTogether launch to learn about even more new features added during the Beta period.

MobileTogether Beta 2 is Now AvailablePacked with new features, the Beta 2 version of Altova MobileTogether is now available for download. If you’ve already participated in the first round of MobileTogether Beta, then you already know how easy it is to create sophisticated app solutions and get them into your end-users’ hands.

But if you’re new to MobileTogether, it works like this: you can connect to your backend data and use the information found in relational databases, XML documents, or on the web to create powerful, cross-platform business solutions, including BI dashboard, electronic forms, and even complex business workflows. Once constructed in the MobileTogether Designer, you can test your solution with the built-in simulator to ensure it works on all devices. Finally, your solution is effortlessly deploy to your end-users on the device of their choice—whether that’s a mobile phone, a tablet, a laptop, or all three! What takes other app developing approaches weeks, months, or even a year to complete, takes less than a few days with MobileTogether.

What’s new in Beta 2?

With the release of a new product version, comes a host of new updates. Here is a list of the new features and fixes available in the latest Beta 2 version:

  • Support for SQLite databases
  • Support for dynamic SELECT statements fully generated with XPath/XQuery
  • Automatic retrieval of auto-number primary key after Save action to database
  • Support for data retrieval in DB Execute action
  • Support for user authentication via Windows Active Directory
  • Support for user to choose his own password in client
  • Support for user to change his password on first login
  • Auto-correcting HTML parser
  • Clients translated to German, Spanish, and Japanese
  • New variables: $MT_ButtonBackgroundColor, $MT_ButtonTextColor, $MT_EditFieldBackgroundColor, $MT_SimulationMode, $MT_EditFieldTextColor, $MT_LabelBackgroundColor, $MT_DBExecute_Result
  • New functions: mt-has-serveraccess, mt-refresh-userroles, mt-external-error-code, mt-external-error-text, mt-refresh-userroles

During the Beta period, all three components of the MobileTogether system (the Designer, the Mobile App, and the Server) are available as a free-to-use download. The Beta provides you with a great opportunity to take MobileTogether for a test drive by creating app solutions and then deploying them to your end-users.

After the beta period concludes later this year, the Mobile App and Designer will continue to be free to use, and the Server pricing – based on the number of client devices connected – will be extremely affordable.

If you’re a current beta customer, you may need to update your MobileTogether Designer and Server software on the MobileTogether Beta pages. Your MobileTogether Mobile App will be updated through the respective app stores.

Don’t Just Take Our Word for It

MobileTogether has been in Beta testing for just a few weeks and we have already been garnering a lot of positive feedback. Here is a sample of what your colleagues have told us:

“Excellent approach. The ease with which one can develop data driven apps with this is just amazing.”

“Very effective tool, congratulations!”

“I’ve found MobileTogether very easy to use, even with my lack of experience.”

Isn’t it about time you see what everyone is talking about? Begin your MobileTogether experience now by downloading the Designer.

Learn more about MobileTogether:

MobileTogether Support Forum
MobileTogether Video Demonstrations
MobileTogether product page
MobileTogether intro video
A Gentle Introduction to XPath

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Altova Software Version 2015 Now Available


We are pleased to announce availability of Version 2015 of Altova’s MissionKit desktop developer tools and server software products! In this latest version, you’ll find updated standards support across the product line, powerful new support for XQuery Update Facility and previewing the layout of XBRL Tables in real-time in XMLSpy, data mapping support for JSON and XBRL Table Linkbases in MapForce, support for HTML fragments in StyleVision, and much more.

Read on for more details below, and visit the What’s New page for more information.

Read more…

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Meet us in Las Vegas to see the future of Mobile!


MobileCon Altova will be in Las Vegas, NV September 9-11th at CTIA’s Super Mobility Week. Come see us in booth 7506 in the MobileCon Pavillion to see MobileTogether, our revolutionary new, cross-platform mobile development environment for building mobile app solutions for corporate data. MobileTogether allows you to build one solution for all platforms – in record time – and deploy it seamlessly to all the mobile and desktop devices in your workplace.
roulette Let our experts show you first hand how instead of cumbersome and time-consuming native app development tools, MobileTogether unifies the development experience by providing a visual designer, a powerful simulator, and a stream-lined deployment process.

Feeling lucky? While you are at our booth take a spin at the prize wheel in our booth for a chance to win some exciting giveaways!

Automating Data Integration Workflows – Download the E-Book


We’ve published an e-book titled Automating Data Integration Workflows with Altova FlowForce Server that is now available for free download from the Altova Web site.

Here is a brief description: FlowForce Server is a highly-customizable platform to automate data transformations defined by MapForce data mappings, report and document generation, and other tasks on dedicated servers, virtual machines, or workstations scaled for the scope of the project. FlowForce Server empowers data architects, analysts, and other IT professionals to efficiently complete enterprise-level data integration tasks.

Automating Data Integration Workflows with Altova FlowForce Server provides an overview of the Altova FlowForce Server platform through a series of real-world data integration tasks and examples.

Automating Data Integration Workflows with Altova FlowForce Server

The new e-book collects updated information from the Altova Blog, the Altova Web site, and some all-new material, organized in one location to help new FlowForce Server users get started and to suggest new applications and efficiencies for experienced users.

Read more…

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MobileTogether Mobile App Beta Availability


The MobileTogether Beta period is moving along at a brisk pace as more and more users have downloaded the MobileTogether Designer to create custom mobile solutions for their organizations. This easy-to-use mobile development platform just got a lot easier to implement as the MobileTogether Mobile App is now available for download in every major device’s app store.

Once you’ve perfected your first mobile solution in the MobileTogether Designer and run it through the built-in simulator, you’re ready to connect your device to the Designer for further testing. Be sure to follow the steps laid out on the Beta Getting Started page, and then visit the app store for your mobile device to download the free MobileTogether Mobile App:

Download MobileTogether for your Android Device

Download MobileTogether for your Apple Device

Download MobileTogether for your Windows Phone 8

Download MobileTogether for your Windows 8 Device

Please continue to ask questions, share feedback, and collaborate with other users in the MobileTogether Support Forum.

Learn more about MobileTogether:

· MobileTogether Beta page
· MobileTogether Support Forum
· MobileTogether Video Demonstrations
· MobileTogether product page
· MobileTogether intro video
· A Gentle Introduction to XPath

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Sign Up Today for MobileTogether Beta


By now you’ve heard of Altova MobileTogether, the new cross-platform, mobile development environment that delivers lightning-quick access to your data via mobile devices. Now we are happy to announce the MobileTogether public beta period, which gives developers an opportunity to test this game-changing system for FREE and render their data into eye-catching mobile solutions, quickly and securely.

The MobileTogether beta period begins July 22, 2014.

Choose MobileTogether Beta for your BYOD needs

Start the beta process by exploring the MobileTogether Beta information page and then downloading the MobileTogether Designer. This is where you will begin building your mobile solutions and discovering what you can accomplish with MobileTogether. From BI dashboards to enterprise forms to department reports and more, MobileTogether is THE choice for your mobile business solutions.

Creating a mobile solution is easy. Forget about learning multiple mobile languages or using Java, .NET, or Objective-C to create a mobile solution. As soon as you open the MobileTogether Designer, you can immediately start creating impressive-looking mobile solutions using drag-and-drop functionality and a bit of XPath or XQuery knowledge. Once you’ve finished, run it through the Designer’s built-in simulator to make sure it works correctly. Get started now.

After you mastered crafting your mobile solutions—help can be found on the video demonstration page as well as in our Gentle Introduction to XPath —download the Mobile App for your mobile device. Then install the MobileTogether Server, which is also known as “Mission Control” for the MobileTogether system. You will then be able to empower your colleagues with the data they need as you deploy the mobile solutions. Full directions for these steps can be found on the MobileTogether Beta Page.

During the beta period, we will be relying on invaluable feedback from customers like you to refine processes and add new features. Please ask questions, share feedback, and collaborate with other users in the MobileTogether Support Forum. For more information, read all about MobileTogether at the MobileTogether page on the Altova web site.

Learn more about MobileTogether:

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Installing Altova Server Software in the Cloud


Cloud-first is becoming the new normal. At recent events we have frequently been asked about using Altova Server tools in the cloud. The answer is definitely, go for it. The installation is easy. In fact, we use Altova Server Software products ourselves for an internal reporting application, installed on local virtualized servers and on an AWS cloud instance. The charts below were generated by StyleVision Server running in the cloud to quickly communicate information about changes in dynamic data.

StyleVision Server is based on the built-in report and document generation engine developed for StyleVision and renders .SPS stylesheets originally designed in StyleVision, including features like a rich variety of charts to visually represent data.

In this post we will walk through the installation of FlowForce Server, MapForce Server, StyleVision Server, and RaptorXML Server for a complete data integration solution in the cloud.

Read more…

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2014 XBRL International Conference


Altova will be
exhibiting and presenting at this year’s 2014 XBRL International Conference in
Orlando, FL June 9 – 11th. We hope to see you at the event. Don’t
forget to stop by our booth to speak to us about how RaptorXML +XBRL Server can
speed up XBRL validation processes in your organization.  We’ll also be demoing the Altova MissionKit XBRL development and data
integration products
.
You can also sit in on the sessions where our CEO Alexander
Falk will be speaking
about problems and potential solutions in processing
large instance documents for both government and business implementations, as
well as a technical demonstration about extracting useful data from the SCC’s
RSS feed.  

We hope to see you there! 

Take BYOD From Challenge to Advantage – Introducing MobileTogether


We are so excited to announce a brand new product from Altova for the mobile space, which we will be unveiling today at the sold-out TechEd North America show in Houston, TX.

Introducing MobileTogether

Armed with smartphones and tablets, we are constantly connected to touch screens – yet when it comes to true business productivity, these devices still only provide email, calendar, and contacts connectivity, and not much else. Think about it: when’s the last time you used your work phone for anything other than email? There has to be a better approach. Altova MobileTogether is the answer. It brings control of mobile data in-house, where your team can create, test, and deploy mobile solutions quickly, moving from business requirement to live mobile solution within hours.

Your organization retains full control of your data, user security, access control, and the entire development cycle.MobileTogether is a revolutionary approach to creating mobile app solutions for corporate data. Instead of cumbersome and time-consuming native app development tools, MobileTogether unifies the development experience and provides a visual designer, a powerful simulator, and a stream-lined deployment process. It allows you to build one solution for all platforms – in record time – and deploy it seamlessly to all the mobile devices in your workplace.

MobileTogether supports all platforms with free, native client apps:

  • Android
  • iOS
  • Windows Phone 8
  • Windows 8
  • Any other device via HTML5 browser client

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Cross-platform support makes MobileTogether perfect for today’s ubiquitous BYOD scenarios and provides for easy adaptation to changes.

Availability

In the weeks following the MobileTogether announcement at TechEd, we will make a public beta available to interested customers, with full commercial availability expected this fall. If you’re attending TechEd, stop by booth 2027 for a demo!  Learn more and stay tuned for more details about this revolutionary new platform for building mobile business solutions!

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Houston, Altova here, we have landed at TechEd


Altova will be exhibiting in Houston, TX from May 12-15 at Microsoft TechEd in booth #2027. Come on down to the George R. Brown Convention Center and speak with our experts about our server software products and MissionKit Developers tools.

If you are attending TechEd, stop by our booth to see first-hand how our products offer high-speed automation for projects designed using familiar Altova MissionKit developer tools. While you are at our booth mention this blog post to receive a special giveaway. We can’t wait to see you next week in Houston!

FlowForce Server Job Cache Enhancements


FlowForce Server has new enhancements that add functionality to job caching. Job caching allows administrators to schedule execution of time consuming jobs, store the results, and deliver output instantaneously in response to HTTP requests from end users. Our earlier post titled Result Caching Accelerates Application Response Time described how to configure a job to take advantage of caching.

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New XBRL Tools for Compliance and Beyond


It can be hard to keep up with all the exciting developments in the XBRL space. Standards are constantly evolving to make compliance easier and deepen the benefits provided by XBRL for internal analysis and reporting. As a leader in XBRL development and validation, Altova is committed to supporting the latest standards, coupling strict conformance with high-performance, easy to use tools. With the latest product launch, Version 2014 Release 2, we’ve added some important enhancements, including significant increases in validation speeds, XBRL Table Linkbase support, and extended XBRL Formula tools. Below is a portion of an XBRL Table generated in XMLSpy, using XBRL Table Linkbase to render revenue calculations in new and productive ways:

XBRL Table

Let’s take a look at the benefits of these new features for your XBRL implementation.

Read more…

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Altova’s Latest Release Sets the Performance Bar Even Higher


Release 2 of Altova MissionKit desktop developer and server software products is now available for downloading. This release packs a punch, delivering enhancements that boost performance by two or even three times, as well as updated standards support – and a revolutionary new approach to speeding up XSLT execution called XSL Speed Optimizer.

 

Altova Software Version 2014r2

Let’s take a look at some of these new features in depth.

Read more…

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Deploy Data Mappings and Report Designs for Automated Processing


Deploying data mappings created in MapForce and report designs created in StyleVision for automated processing by Altova server products is straightforward and quick.

The File menu in MapForce includes two options to optimize, preprocess, and deploy data mappings for MapForce Server and FlowForce Server. Preprocessing enables faster performance and reduced memory footprint for most data mappings.MapForce menu option to deploy to FlowForce Server Read more…

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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…

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XML Validation: The Need for Speed


When it comes to XML validation, more is better. By more, of course, I mean more speed, and more data. The faster you can get a list of validation errors – along with the information to help fix them – the better. Over the past few releases, we’ve made this an important priority in XMLSpy, first in Version 2013 with the introduction of Smart Fix XML validation, which actually provides a fix for a validation error that you can apply automatically.

In the latest release, we’ve improved on Smart Fix even further by enabling it in the graphical XML Schema editor, in addition to Text View and Grid View.

Smart Fix XML validator

Simply review the list of fixes automatically generated by XMLSpy, choose the one required, and click Fix.

You’ll also experience faster-than-ever XML validation speeds in XMLSpy 2014 thanks to integration of the super-fast RaptorXML engine, which also adds validation support for XML Schema 1.1, XSLT 3.0, and XQuery 3.0 (and earlier versions) with the strictest conformance to the corresponding standards.

Last but not least is the ability to display multiple validation errors at once, which has been requested by many customers.

Reporting multiple XML validation errors

You can now choose any number of errors to be reported during validation. As always, detailed information is returned for each validation error, allowing you to immediately visualize multiple issues and correct them in any order. The multiple tabs of the validation window let you store the list of errors as you re-validate, which can also be useful when fixing multiple issues.

If you haven’t upgraded to the latest version of XMLSpy, now’s the time. New customers can try all these features for free for 30-days.

By the way, if you’re running an older version of XMLSpy and want to see what’s been added since you last upgraded, the New Features Index is a great page see it all at a glance.

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XML Wildcard Data Mapping and Transformation in MapForce


MapForce 2014 now supports mapping of XML wildcards that create a designed-in extension mechanism for XML Schemas, implemented as <xs:any> or <xs:anyAttribute>.

Consider this XML fragment viewed in XMLSpy:

Fragment of an XML document following the GPX XML Schema

This small portion of a very long file shows two track points recorded during a road trip by a Garmin GPS device. The XML data follows the GPX XML Schema, with Garmin extensions to add speed and course heading values. XML wildcard mapping lets you map these extensions in MapForce just like any other elements explicitly defined in the XML Schema.

Let’s assume we want to read the .gpx file and extract the highest speed recorded for a trip:

Output of the completed mapping Read more…

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Result Caching Accelerates Application Response Time


Rapid response to user input is critical to the success of any Web application. FlowForce Server administrators can leverage result caching, a new feature introduced in version 2014, to deliver nearly instantaneous results to users running FlowForce Server jobs in a browser window as HTTP services.

A FlowForce Server job running as an HTTP service

Configuring a FlowForce Server job to take advantage of result caching is a simple two-step process. As an example, let’s look at the job we created recently in FlowForce Server Jobs as HTTP Services. We defined a StyleVision Server transformation as the last step in a FlowForce Server job and made the job available as an HTTP service that delivered the HTML result to a Web browser window. Read more…

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Learn About XML Schema 1.1


Coinciding with support for XML Schema 1.1 validation and editing in XMLSpy 2014, we’ve released a brand new Altova Online Training course on XML Schema 1.1 technology. The course covers the fundamentals of the XML Schema language and is appropriate for beginners as well as experienced XSD developers who want to learn the ins and outs of the latest version of the standard.

Learn XML Schema 1.1 with Altova Online Training

This self-paced, online course is broken into nine chapters, which you may complete in order or simply focus on the areas that interest you:

  1. Schema Languages
  2. Schema Core Concepts
  3. Built-in Datatypes
  4. User-defined Simple Types
  5. Complex Types
  6. Namespaces
  7. Identity Constraints
  8. Include / Import / Override
  9. New Features in XML Schema 1.1

The XML Schema 1.1 Technology course provides a balanced mix of narrated content, hands-on practice exercises, and video demos, helping you learn about XML Schema in your preferred style.
Like all Altova Online Training courses, the XML Schema 1.1 training is provided 100% free of charge. Simply access the class on our training page and complete it at your own pace.

What course would you like to see next? Leave us a comment here on the blog!

 

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Altova Software Version 2014 is Available


It’s time for Altova’s annual major release, and this year, we’ve added support for the latest version of major W3C standards: XML Schema 1.1 and XPath, XSLT, and XQuery 3.0. Validation and processing of these standards in Altova MissionKit products is Powered by RaptorXML, bringing the benefits of Altova’s third-generation XML and XBRL engine to your favorite developer tools.

Integration for relational databases has been extended, as well, with compatibility provided for new database versions and database vendors. Support now includes:

  • SQL Server® 2012
  • PostgreSQL 9.0.10, 9.1.6, 9.2.1
  • IBM DB2® 9.5, 9.7, 10.1
  • Informix® 11.70
  • MySQL® 5.5.28
  • Sybase® ASE 15, 15.7
  • Access™ 2010, 2013

We’ve also added numerous features based on customer requests, such as reporting multiple validation errors at once in XMLSpy, support for XML wildcards in MapForce data mapping projects, and new options for rendering section breaks in StyleVision. An overview of the new features follows, but for all the details, head over to the Altova What’s New page.
RaptorXML XML and XBRL EngineNew in XMLSpy® 2014

  • XML Schema 1.1 support
  • Powered by RaptorXML for lightning-fast validation and processing
  • Smart Fix validation with auto-correction now extended to Schema View
  • XPath 3.0 support
  • XSLT 3.0 (subset) support
  • XQuery 3.0 (subset) support
  • Support for XBRL Formula and XBRL Concept Types
  • Ability to display multiple validation errors at once
  • Support for new databases
  • Integration with Eclipse 4.3
  • Ability to generate sample XML instances with all schema choices

XML Schema 1.1 Editor



New in MapForce® 2014

  • Support for XML wildcards (xs:any and xs:anyAttribute)
  • Support for comments and processing instructions in output XML
  • Integration of RaptorXML
  • New function to calculate age based on a birthdate
  • Support for new databases
  • Integration with Eclipse 4.3

Wildcard support for XML mapping



New in StyleVision® 2014

  • Support for new databases
  • Integration with Eclipse 4.3
  • New option for rendering section breaks – ability to avoid a blank first page


New in Authentic® 2014

  • Support for new databases
  • Integration with Eclipse 4.3


New in UModel® 2014

  • Support for project-related SPL templates
  • Support for new databases
  • Integration with Eclipse 4.3

Get complete details and upgrade to Version 2014 now! If you have active Support and Maintenance, this is a free software update.

Version 2014 of Altova Server Software is also available for download, with new features including support for caching results in FlowForce Server.

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FlowForce Server Jobs as HTTP Services


FlowForce Server administrators can define jobs as HTTP services to empower end users to execute the job on demand, as easily as opening a Web page.

A FlowForce Server job as an HTTP service with a URL

When a FlowForce Server job runs as an HTTP service results are delivered back to the Web browser. If the last step is a StyleVision Server transformation, the job can create a rich HTML-based Web page.

Even better, the same result is simultaneously saved in the enterprise workflow.
Read more…

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XPath Expressions for Data Reporting


In our earlier post titled Use XPath Expressions to Refine Data Selection, we described how to use XMLSpy to develop an XPath expression to select one table of data contained in a much larger data set provided by the US Department of Education.

An HTML report based on XPath data selection in StyleVision

We can reuse the work in XMLSpy to quickly create a StyleVision design for a report or an e-Form to communicate highlights from the data.
Read more…

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XBRL US National Conference in Las Vegas


clip_image002If you will be in Las Vegas next week for the 5th annual XBRL US National conference, be sure to check out the XBRL Data Forum for IT Pros & Developers. Altova is sponsoring this one day workshop that is part of the conference which consists of an intensive, practical day of discussion and presentation on XBRL dclip_image004ata, databases and opportunities for IT professionals interested in expanding their technical knowledge in the growing area of XBRL.

Along with RaptorXML + XBRL, the newest addition to our product family, Altova has a number of tools for processing and validating XBRL data such as XMLSpy, MapForce and StyleVision.

 

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Stop by booth 535 next week at Oracle OpenWorld


clip_image004September here at Altova means ramping up for a busy Autumn, beautiful cool crisp days in New England and… flying out to San Francisco for Oracle OpenWorld 2013! If you are planning on attending come by booth #535 in Moscone South and see Altova from September 23 – 25th for a demo of Altova’s tools for Oracle Users and to see our new line of cross-platform server software products: RaptorXML Server, FlowForce Server, MapForce Server and StyleVision Server. See first-hand how thesclip_image002e new products offer high-speed automaton for projects designed using familiar Altova MissionKit developer tools.

We would love to hear from you about your latest projects and challenges, collaborate on best practices or let us show you some of the new exciting things Altova has to offer. While you are at our booth mention this blog post to receive a special giveaway. Hope to see you next week in San Francisco!

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Use XPath Expressions to Refine Data Selection


In this era of big data we often need to simplify analysis and communication by creating customized views into sections of a larger file. XPath, short for XML Path Language, is designed to allow users to address parts of large XML documents. XMLSpy supports XPath with an XPath Analyzer window and in its interface for charting XML data, MapForce supports XPath functions for XML data mapping, and StyleVision supports XPath in conditional templates, extension templates, and template filtering.

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Read more…

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Filesystem Commands and More Wizardry with FlowForce Server Built-in Functions


In our earlier posts on FlowForce Server, we described jobs that execute MapForce Server for data transformations, StyleVision Server for report and document rendering, and RaptorXML Server for XML processing. In each scenario we also used built-in system functions to copy move, or delete files, as is often required in real-world workflows.

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In this post we’ll take a look at more of the built-in functions automatically installed in the FlowForce Server system container. You can use these commands as execution steps to automate the file housekeeping so often required in enterprise production.
Read more…

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Constant Quest for Efficiency


In last week’s blog post titled FlowForce Server Supports RaptorXML, we created a FlowForce Server job that defined a RaptorXML execution step to validate XML files, and we called that job as a step at the end of our job that processes camera GPS data, as a final check on the output. That was a quick way to demonstrate integration of FlowForce Server and RaptorXML Server, but for real-world production we would want to perform the same task more efficiently.

RaptorXML as an execution step in a FlowForce Server job

If we insert the RaptorXML validation function at the top of the job, right in front of the On error definition as shown above, we can apply the same error handling steps for failures of either the data mapping or the validation step. In other words, an error in any one of a series of steps before the On error definition forces the job to take the error path.
Read more…

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FlowForce Server Supports RaptorXML


Altova FlowForce Server supports RaptorXML Server and RaptorXML+XBRL Server.

Log details of a RaptorXML job step

Altova RaptorXML is the third-generation, hyper-fast XML and XBRL processor from the makers of XMLSpy. RaptorXML is built from the ground up to be optimized for the latest standards and parallel computing environments. Now FlowForce Server jobs can include steps to validate XML, transform XML with XSLT, execute XPath and XQuery, and even perform complex XBRL operations for financial reporting including validating XBRL taxonomies, and validating XBRL instances against XBRL taxonomies with support for XBRL Dimensions and XBRL Formula, which define new, compatible functionality to extend XBRL 2.1.

For example, we can return to the FlowForce Server job described in Taming Bad Input Data with FlowForce Server and add a RaptorXML operation to validate the XML files created from raw GPS data captured by a digital camera.
Read more…

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XBRL Validation and Processing Tools


When we were designing RaptorXML Server, we knew from the get-go that the engine should support XML and XBRL standards. The former standard is ubiquitous and the latter will be, as well, given increasing mandates from governments worldwide as well as adoption by enterprises for analyzing financial data in a standards-based, cost-effective manner. However, we knew that at this time a sub-set of customers would be interested in the XBRL capabilities of the engine, so we created two versions: RaptorXML Server and RaptorXML+XBRL Server.

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Let’s take a look at some of the powerful XBRL-oriented features in RaptorXML+XBRL Server.
Read more…

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Download Example Files for FlowForce Server, MapForce, and StyleVision


In response to an interested reader’s suggestion, the Altova MapForce mapping files and StyleVision stylesheet we deployed to FlowForce Server for the job described in the blog post Taming Bad Input Data with FlowForce Server are now available for download on the Altova Web site at www.altova.com/documents/AltovaBlogExampleFiles.zip

Altova MapForce and StyleVision sample files

Simply unzip the archive into a new folder and you’ll have all the data mappings, the stylesheet, and other supporting data files all in one place. A ReadMe file explains the contents. You can download fully functional free trials of Altova MissionKit and FlowForce Server at https://www.altova.com/download.html and implement and test FlowForce Server yourself.

Or, execute the data mappings in MapForce and the stylesheet in StyleVision to see how easy it is to extract meaningful information from the GPS data recorded by your own digital camera or GPS device. The example files in the download were also used in Web Service as a Look-Up Table to Refine GPS Data, XPath Enhances XML Reports, and others in our series on working with XML and Global Positioning Systems.

If you’re already an Altova MissionKit user, you can download these files with examples of Web services and user functions for MapForce, and XPath calculations and chart features for StyleVision, and add them to the extensive libraries of MapForce and StyleVision samples installed with Altova MissionKit tools.

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Taming Bad Input Data with FlowForce Server


Whenever you accept data from an outside source you risk encountering errors. We have blogged about this phenomenon in the past in Expect the Unexpected – Altova MissionKit Solves a Number Format Mystery and in the series of posts on Processing the Groupon API.

Bad data in an input file can cause the data transformation step of a FlowForce Server job to fail. When a FlowForce Server Job fails, further execution steps will not be performed. FlowForce Server is designed this way to prevent an error in one job step from cascading into a series of additional invalid results. Happily, FlowForce Server also includes features to help you recover from errors and keep production flowing.

In this post we will further extend the data mapping and report rendering job described in Customizing a FlowForce Server Job to gracefully handle bad data in an input file.

FlowForce Server New Job Steps
Read more…

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RaptorXML is here!


Altova RaptorXMLWe are thrilled to announce general availability of RaptorXML®, Altova’s third-generation XML and XBRL processing engine, for download and purchase.
Named for the dinosaur famous for its incredible speed and agility, RaptorXML provides blazing-fast validation and processing of XML, XSLT, XQuery, and XBRL data. Because it’s optimized for parallel computing on multi-core, multi-CPU machines, RaptorXML can scale quickly based on the amount of data you need to process.

Interface Options

In addition to numerous hyper-performance features and strict standards conformance, RaptorXML offers flexible implementation options for developers. These include command line operations, Java and COM APIs, a Python interface, and a built-in HTTP server. The built-in HTTP server allows RaptorXML to be integrated into SOA infrastructures and accept validation jobs, XSLT transformation jobs, etc., submitted via HTTP by other services or client applications.

Workflow Integration

RaptorXML may also be run as a component of Altova FlowForce Server, which provides a user-friendly Web interface for managing workflows based on customizable time or event triggers. This way you can automate validation or XSLT processing jobs based on a variety of triggers, or even pipeline RaptorXML jobs into multi-step processes utilizing MapForce Server and StyleVision Server that start with data aggregation, validation, and conversion and end with multi-channel report generation. The possibilities are many.

Product Options

There are two versions of RaptorXML available:

– RaptorXML Server supports validation and processing of: XML 1.0 & 1.1, XInclude 1.0, Xlink 1.0, XML Schema 1.0 & 1.1, XPath 1.0, 2.0 & 3.0, XSLT 1.0, 2.0 & 3.0 (subset), XQuery 1.0 & 3.0, and more.

– RaptorXML+XBRL Server supports all the features of RaptorXML Server, with the addition of processing and validating the XBRL family of standards: XBRL 2.1, XBRL Dimensions, XBRL Formula 1.0, XBRL Functions, and XBRL Definition Links.

A note to current customers of AltovaXML Reporting Edition: As Altova’s third generation XML processing engine, RaptorXML Server replaces AltovaXML, which is being discontinued. To help existing AltovaXML Reporting Edition customers transition to the new engine and get the full value from their Support and Maintenance Package (SMP), Altova is offering all AltovaXML Reporting Edition customers with current SMP an additional license for RaptorXML Server for the remaining duration of their SMP at no cost. In fact, the value of this new RaptorXML license is significantly higher than the list price of AltovaXML. The RaptorXML Server license is for four cores and can be used in addition to the AltovaXML Reporting Edition license you currently have. To upgrade visit this page.

Free Trial


RaptorXML: XML and XBRL processor RaptorXML Server and RaptorXML+XBRL Server are available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS, and you can download a free trial for your preferred OS.

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Come see us at TechEd in New Orleans!


clip_image004Altova will be exhibiting in New Orleans, LA from June 3-6 at Microsoft TechEd in booth #429. Come on down to the Morial Convention Center and speak with our experts about our new line of cross-platform server software products: FlowForce Server, MapForce Server and StyleVision Server. clip_image002If you are attending TechEd, stop by our booth to see first-hand how these new products offer high-speed automation for projects designed using familiar Altova MissionKit developer tools. While you are at our booth mention this blog post to receive a special giveaway. We can’t wait to see you next week in New Orleans!

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Customizing a FlowForce Server Job


In our earlier post titled Automate Data Mapping and Transformation with FlowForce Server, we created a job called SimpleMapAndTransform to automate data mapping with MapForce Server and creation of html reports by StyleVision Server. After the FlowForce Server job ran several times, we have accumulated many output files in the same folder we use to process input files, as well as temporary intermediate files in the workFiles folder, as seen in the image below.

FlowForce Server job execution log and working folders

In this post we will enhance the job to create more orderly results and remove unneeded temporary files.
Read more…

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Automate Data Mapping and Transformation with FlowForce Server


Altova FlowForce Server, launched on April 29, 2013, includes numerous enhancements over earlier beta releases and one of the most exciting new features is the implementation of StyleVision Server. Now a FlowForce Server job can automate a complete data transformation workflow by executing MapForce Server for data mapping and pipelining results to StyleVision Server to render a variety of output formats.This post describes a straightforward FlowForce Server mapping and transformation job as illustrated in these messages from the FlowForce Server Log, with the most recent step at the top of the list:

FlowForce Server Job Log showing MapForce Server and StyleVision Server job steps

We’ll start with the GPS log files created by a digital camera. We wrote about these files last January in the post titled Process Multiple Input Files in a Single Data Mapping. We’ll use the mapping output with a StyleVision SPS stylesheet adapted from the XPath Enhances XML Reports post to produce a time and elevation report for each file.A FlowForce Server For-each job step repeats based on the result of an expression. We can use For-each to build a list of files in a folder, then repeat one or more steps for each file. Here is how it looks in the job configuration page:

FlowForce Server data mapping job step

The line labeled Execute function defines the mapping to be used by MapForce Server, and the input parameter {file} refers to each file in the list C:CameraGPSexample*.LOG.We can add an execution step to instruct StyleVision Server to perform the transformation:

FlowForce Server transformation job step

The data mapping creates output files by adding .gpx to the name of the input file, and now we can define the transformation input using the {file} variable with the new file suffix. We chose to create .html output, but we could just as easily create other formats for a multi-channel publishing implementation.The transformation working directory is the location where StyleVision Server unpacks the contents of the .pxf file containing the stylesheet, XML Schema, and other needed components. Using a dedicated working folder will keep the workflow more organized.We want to allow network users to drop new .LOG files into the C:CameraGPSexample folder and we want run the FlowForce Server job on a regular schedule, but we don’t want to process the same files over and over. We can define one more job step to move the processed file to a different location:

FlowForce Server file move job step

The complete FlowForce Server job is a series of three steps that loops for each .LOG file found in the folder. We can set up a repeating trigger for the workweek or any other appropriate schedule:

FlowForce Server calendar-based job trigger

Here is a portion of a .LOG file created by the camera that is an example of one input file:

.csv input file example

We can drop this file into the C:CameraGPSexample folder, where it will be processed based on the FlowForce Server job trigger:

Workflow folder structure

When the timer triggers execution of the FlowForce Server job, the Web interface Job Log page displays this series of messages for the complete job:

FlowForce Server job log for complete job execution

The contents of the C:CameraGPSexample folder now look like this:

Completed work files after FlowForce Server job execution

We can examine the 121130.LOG.gpx file in XMLSpy:

XML file created by MapForce Server job step

And we can open the .html file in any Web browser:

.html output from StyleVision Server job step

In future blog posts we will enhance this FlowForce Server example to illustrate jobs with error handling and more complete cleanup of working files.FlowForce Server is available for Windows, Linux, and soon for Mac OS platforms. To get started yourself, click here to download a free trial!

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New Server Products for Data Transformation


Altova Server ProductsOn the heels of our RaptorXML announcement earlier this month, we are very excited to tell you about the availability of three more new products that round out the Altova server software product family.

These high-performance server products are optimized for multi-CPU servers and are highly complementary when used together for defining and managing information pipelines. Cross-platform support is immediately available for Windows and Linux, with MacOS support expected just around the corner in May. Supported languages include English, German, Spanish, and Japanese.

Let’s take a look at each of these new products in detail.

FlowForce ServerAltova FlowForce Server

After receiving valuable customer feedback during the beta period, we have announced general availability of FlowForce Server, a powerful new tool for managing multi-step, enterprise-level data aggregation, processing, and reporting tasks. The straight-forward FlowForce Web browser interface makes it easy to configure and monitor jobs, whether they require a single step, or multiple cascading steps starting with data aggregation and conversion, and completing with multi-channel report generation.

FlowForce Server Job Log

A flexible and highly customizable system of job triggers lets you schedule FlowForce Server job execution based on each job’s unique requirements. Jobs can be triggered by date and time, by the arrival of files in hot folders, or by http command – and you can define multiple triggers per job. To take full advantage of server resources and meet the demands of busy data transformation workflows, multiple jobs – even multiple instances of the same job – can run simultaneously on FlowForce Server.

FlowForce Server Job Triggers

FlowForce Server provides strong security measures through user, role, job credential, and permission definitions that enable multiple simultaneous jobs while preventing unauthorized access to restricted data repositories or system resources.

So, what kind of jobs can you set up on FlowForce Server? Most customers will want to use it in conjunction with MapForce Server and/or StyleVision Server for high-performance automation of data integration and multichannel publishing projects that doesn’t require writing or compiling any source code.

FlowForce Server enterprise workflow

MapForce ServerAltova MapForce Server

You may already be familiar with MapForce, Altova’s desktop developer software for aggregating, mapping, and converting data. We describe it as an any-to-any data mapping tool because it lets you move between any combination of XML, SQL database, flat file, EDI, Excel, XBRL, and Web services data. With the introduction of MapForce Server, it’s now easy to fully automate those transformations that have been defined in MapForce.

MapForce Server performs data transformations based on preprocessed and optimized data mappings stored in MapForce Server Execution files prepared by MapForce and uploaded over a network. Preprocessing enables faster performance and reduced memory footprint for most data mappings.

When operating under the management of FlowForce Server, MapForce Server is a powerful transformation engine suitable for the high-volume, quick turn-around demands of today’s leading edge data centers. The standalone version is suitable in a department level or other small environment that does not require the extensive multi-tasking, job scheduling, and security features of FlowForce Server.

StyleVision ServerAltova StyleVision Server

StyleVision Server provides high-performance automation of report and document generation tasks based on templates designed in Altova StyleVision. A graphical XSLT stylesheet and report design tool, StyleVision helps you create one design to render XML and XBRL data in Web and print formats including HTML, Word, RTF, and PDF, simultaneously. Using StyleVision Server, you can generate reports from XML and XBRL data on a recurring basis faster than ever before.

Like MapForce Server, StyleVision Server is an important option for document production by FlowForce Server, and the standalone version can be run from the command line and is suitable in smaller deployments that may not require all the features of FlowForce Server.

This new line of Altova server products represents a huge leap forward in effective automation of essential business processes, whether they require a single step, or multiple cascading steps starting with data aggregation and conversion via MapForce Server and completing with multi-channel report generation via StyleVision Server. These high performance workflow servers help customers design information pipelines quickly and easily, and then deploy them in a flexible way, utilizing the power and speed afforded by multi CPU servers. We’re excited to offer this new family of server products to our customers developing data integration and reporting projects using Altova MissionKit developer tools, as well as welcoming new customers who need a multi-platform, lightning fast orchestration engine.

Download a free fully-functional 30-day trial!

As with all Altova tools, we invite you to try these new server products before making a purchasing decision. Download a free, 30-day trial now!

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Announcing RaptorXML, the Hyper-fast XML and XBRL Server


  clip_image001We are very excited to be at the XBRL 26 Conference in Dublin, Ireland today to announce a brand new server product in the Altova family of XML and XBRL tools! Altova RaptorXML is a hyper-fast XML and XBRL validation and processing server. It’s Altova’s third-generation XML and XBRL engine, built completely from scratch to help organizations efficiently validate, process, transform, and query the vast and ever-increasing amounts XML and XBRL data being generated as a result of XBRL compliance regulations and myriad other big data trends. RaptorXML is written to be highly scalable for today’s multi-CPU and multi- core computers and servers. This, along with high performance code optimizations and an extremely low memory footprint, has helped make RaptorXML a lightning-fast XML and XBRL server that can meet the demands of today’s data processing applications. Simply put: we architected RaptorXML to combine the performance benefits afforded by modern parallel computing environments with strict compliance to the latest versions of all relevant XML and XBRL standards. RaptorXML includes support for the very latest versions of all relevant standards and has been submitted to rigorous regression and conformance testing. The server will be available in two versions, both of which are available for Windows, Linux, and MacOS platforms. RaptorXML Server supports validation and processing of:

  • XML 1.0 & 1.1
  • XInclude 1.0
  • Xlink 1.0
  • XML Schema 1.0 & 1.1
  • XPath 1.0, 2.0 & 3.0
  • XSLT 1.0, 2.0 & 3.0 (subset)
  • XQuery 1.0 & 3.0
  • And more

RaptorXML+XBRL Server supports all the features of RaptorXML Server, with the addition of processing and validating the XBRL family of standards:

  • XBRL 2.1
  • XBRL Dimensions
  • XBRL Formula 1.0
  • XBRL Functions
  • XBRL Definition Links

Developers creating solutions using Altova MissionKit XML development and XBRL development tools will be able to power their server applications with RaptorXML for hyper-performance, increased throughput, and efficient memory utilization, giving them the opportunity to validate and process large amounts of XML or XBRL data cost-effectively.  Check out the complete list of supported XML and XBRL standards and more details on this groundbreaking new server product. RaptorXML will be available to download and purchase in May. clip_image003

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Editing, Converting, and Generating JSON


As the use of JSON as a data transport protocol increases, I thought it would be useful to take a look at JSON support in XMLSpy. There’s been much debate about advantages of JSON vs. XML, but when you boil it down, there are simply some cases for which JSON is the best choice, and others where XML makes more sense. This article on the XML Aficionado blog unpacks this topic quite well.
While you might need to choose between JSON and XML depending on the development task at hand, you don’t have to choose between code editors – XMLSpy supports both technologies and will even convert between the two. Let’s take a look at how that works.
Editing JSON
To make JSON editing as easy as possible, Altova extended its intelligent XML editing features to the JSON editor. If you choose to edit JSON in text view, XMLSpy helps you along with syntax coloring, bracket matching, source folding, entry helper windows and menus, and so on.

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Here’s that same JSON file in grid view, which offers a graphical representation of the JSON structure with drag and drop editing. Both views provide JSON syntax checking and advanced error checking features.

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Another common requirement is converting XML to/from JSON, which is a one-click option on the XMLSpy convert menu. The JSON data above has been converted to valid XML:

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Having JSON editing and conversion functionality directly inside the XML editor is quite useful, especially if you’re using the free Eclipse or Visual Studio integration package.
Check it out and let us know what you think.

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Web Interface Simplifies Automation of Data Transformations


FlowForce Server is a new product designed to provide automation of data transformations performed by dedicated high-speed servers. FlowForce Server can start jobs based on a variety of triggers, runs multiple jobs simultaneously, and can even run multiple instances of the same job, depending on workflow.Monitoring all these complex activities is critical to success in a busy production environment. The FlowForce Server Web interface includes customizable views into operations, simplifying management from anywhere on the network.

FlowForce Server viewed in a Web browser window

The screen shot above shows the Home page of the FlowForce Server Web browser interface, displaying all currently running jobs and active triggers. Six instances of the gpxElevationUSGS job are running, each identified by a unique job ID. Four job triggers are also active, three watching hot folders, and one based on a timer. Each FlowForce Server job automates a MapForce data transformation.The orange arrows below each grid are clickable update buttons, and the job names link to the definition pages for each job.The blue headings at the top are also clickable buttons. The Log link displays the Log View, a detailed history of all system activity, shown in a truncated version below.

FlowForce Server Log View Shows History of Operations

Each message line describes one step in one instance of a FlowForce Server job, and may have links to more information, as we described in our earlier blog post titled Automate Data Transformation with FlowForce Server. If the status is anything other than 0, the more link opens a detailed error message.

Description of a single FlowForce Server job step

In a busy environment, all this can be just too much information. In that case, the Log View offers several alternatives to help you find critical information quickly. The options bar above the list lets you filter items displayed by a particular job or Message severity.

Filter FlowForce Server Log messages by date, by job, or by severity

If you only want to know if anything unexpected occurred, select Warning as shown above to hide all normal Info messages.You can also sort the list by any of the column headings Date, Severity, Module, User, or Instance ID in ascending or descending order. When the FlowForce Server is running multiple simultaneous jobs and instances, it’s very likely individual steps from different jobs will be shuffled. Sorting by Instance ID can let you more easily review the job history.Click here to learn more about FlowForce Server Beta 3 at the Altova Web site, or visit the FlowForce Server Beta 3 download page to get started automating data transformations in your data center!

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Compare Folders Fast and Efficiently with DiffDog


Three user preferences in DiffDog work together to accelerate directory differencing tasks into hyperdrive, especially when you compare folders with thousands of files.DiffDog can perform specialized comparisons. For instance, XML comparison mode commands DiffDog to determine whether two files contain equivalent XML content, even if they would be different in a text comparison because of spacing, line-ending, or attribute order variations. For the fastest directory comparisons, choose Quick Comparison mode, which only looks at file sizes and modification dates.

DiffDog Quick Comparison toolbar button

When you compare large directories, most often you want to quickly locate differences. Choose the Hide Equal setting to avoid listing all identical files.

DiffDog Show/Hide equal toolbar button

Show/Hide empty directories should be set to Hide, otherwise subdirectories that contain identical files will be listed, but since their contents are equal, none of the files are shown.

DiffDog Show/Hide empty directories toolbar button

After you choose settings and click the Compare button, DiffDog flies through the directory comparison.

DiffDog Quick Comparison progress bar

When the comparison is finished DiffDog displays a concise listing showing only the differences, with a summary message at the bottom of the window. The toolbar in the screenshot below illustrates the settings for Quick Comparison on, Show Equal files off, and Show Empty directories off.

DiffDog directory comparison results

DiffDog saves your preferences to apply to the next folder comparison, and DiffDog even includes a quick synchronization tool to merge folders in either direction.

DiffDog Synchronize directories summary

Find out for yourself how fast DiffDog can run your folder comparisons – download a fully-functional, free 30-day trial!

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