Mapping Structured Data with Enhanced Node Functions

We’ve reported previously on support for node functions that simplify mapping structured data by eliminating need to copy-paste a function multiple times into a mapping. Repeating the same function unnecessarily clutters the mapping layout and makes the data mapping more difficult to understand or revise.

Now in MapForce 2019, additional filters are available for defining node functions. These new parameters allow developers to apply functions and default values to specific nodes based on custom-defined criteria. For example, you can apply a node function based on node metadata such as the node name, node length, precision of the node’s data type, customized node annotations, and more.

Let’s look at a mapping with enhanced node functions.

Read more…

Tags: , , ,

Data Mapping Protocol Buffers (Protobuf)

MapForce 2019 supports data mapping protocol buffers with other structured data formats as mapping sources or targets. In the constant quest for more efficient ways to transfer, manipulate, and manage large structured data sets, Google has created a language- and platform-neutral data format similar to XML, but smaller, faster, and simpler than even JSON data. Tools are available to generate and work with protocol buffers (often abbreviated as protobuf) using Java, Python, C++, C#, Ruby, and other programming languages.

The structure of any protocol buffer message is defined in a .proto file that defines each field name and value type. Altova MapForce lets users drop these .proto files into a data mapping as a source or target along with any other data, including XML, JSON, relational databases, Excel, flat files, REST and SOAP web services, and other data formats. MapForce supports data mapping protocol buffers using .proto files versions 2 and 3.

A MapForce protocol buffers data mapping creates compatibility between existing XML, JSON, database or legacy data formats and new applications leveraging the efficiency of protocol buffers.

Read more…

Tags: , , , ,

Get Sharp with Altova’s Latest Release

Altova Software Version 2019 introduces over 20 new features to help you sharpen your development game – starting with support for high-res monitors in both XMLSpy and UModel. There are also tools for working with new standards and database versions across the product line, the ability to map and convert data in Google Protocol Buffers format, and much more. Let’s take a look at the highlights.

Altova Version 2019

Read more…

Tags: , , , , , , ,

How to Debug XSLT and XQuery

Nothing’s more frustrating than getting unintended results from an XSLT or XQuery transformation and having to spend hours tracking down the issue – especially if you’ve inherited the project from another developer or haven’t looked at the code in a few months.  Of course, XMLSpy has long included an XSLT debugger and XQuery debugger for setting break points and stepping through transformations to identify problems.

For a more interactive debugging process, XMLSpy also includes XSLT/XQuery back-mapping.

With back-mapping enabled, you can simply click on or hover over the portion of your output document you want to zero in on, and XMLSpy will immediately highlight the source XML and XSLT or XQuery instruction that is responsible. Let’s see how it works.

Debug XSLT with back-mapping

Read more…

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Node Functions Simplify Mapping Hierarchical Data Structures

MapForce node functions simplify mapping hierarchical data such as XML nodes or CSV, JSON, EDI, or database fields by permitting users to define a data processing function at the node level and apply it recursively to all descendant items.

Similarly, default values can also be assigned to nodes and automatically applied to descendants.

Defaults and node functions are particularly useful when a data mapping and transformation task requires the same processing logic for multiple descendant items in a structure, for example:

  • Replace null values with some other value, recursively for all descendant items
  • Replace a specific value (for example, “N/A”) with some other value recursively for all descendant items
  • Replace all database null values when reading from a database table
  • Trim all trailing spaces for all values from a source database
  • Append a custom prefix or suffix to all values written to a target file or database
  • Formatting of output values
  • And many others

Defaults and node functions simplify mapping hierarchical data by eliminating need to copy-paste the same function multiple times into a mapping. Repeating the same function unnecessarily clutters the mapping layout and makes it more difficult to understand or revise.

Let’s look at an example.

Read more…

Tags: , ,


EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) standards allow participants with different roles in an industry to communicate clearly and rapidly, and date back to the earliest implementations of electronic communication in the 1950s, long before modern business technologies such as ERP, CRM, and many others. Yet even today, EDI standards continue to evolve to support new requirements and opportunities.

MapForce has long supported data mapping to and from ANSI X12, UN/EDIFACT and other popular EDI standards, and now in the latest release adds support for data mapping NCPDP SCRIPT.

SCRIPT is the state of the art EDI standard developed by the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) for electronically transmitting medical prescriptions, also known as ePrescribing (eRX) in the United States.

Read more…

Tags: , , ,