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New Software Feature: Charting in DatabaseSpy 2011


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

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

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

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

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

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UML Database Modeling in UModel 2011


As software applications interact with growing amounts of data, database designs and structures become critical to development of successful projects. UModel® 2011, just launched on September 8, 2010, adds a new feature that empowers users to extend software modeling functionality by modeling relational databases along with Java, C#, and Visual Basic software applications. UModel 2011 accelerates database modeling with features that permits users to:

  • Import existing tables from all popular relational databases to create UML database diagrams
  • Modify diagrams for existing tables and generate SQL database change scripts to synchronize the database
  • Design new database tables and relationships from scratch and issue SQL CREATE scripts

UML database diagram UModel Database Diagram Supported Databases The UModel 2011 database diagram functionality supports multiple databases and automatically adjusts SQL dialects, data types, and other specialized features for the following databases:

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

UModel Database Diagram Elements UModel 2011 database diagrams support all the following database elements:

  • Database schemas
  • Tables
  • Views
  • Check Constraints
  • Primary / Foreign / Unique keys
  • Indexes
  • Stored procedures
  • Functions
  • Triggers
  • Database Relationship Associations
  • Database Relationship with Attributes

Import Existing Database Structures Users can import an existing relational database via a selection in the UModel 2011 Project menu. UModel Project menu The Import SQL Database option opens the UModel 2011 Database Connection dialog, with the Database Connection Wizard and all the additional connection options available in DatabaseSpy and other Altova MissionKit tools that interact with popular relational databases. UModel database connection dialog When importing a database, UModel 2011 also automatically adds a database profile to the project. UModel 2011 database diagrams are displayed in a special category in the Diagram Tree Helper window. UModel Diagram Tree helper window Modifying Databases in the Model UModel 2011 database diagrams use a dedicated toolbar with icons indicating database elements that are shared with DatabaseSpy, easing the learning curve between tools. UModel database diagram toolbar As editing proceeds in UModel 2011, the SQL Auto-completion helper window assists with creation of diagrams valid for the SQL database type. UModel database diagram SQL autocompletion window As an alternative to working directly in the diagram, users can also edit database elements in the Properties helper window. UModel database diagram Properties helper window Database Change Scripts When a developer synchronizes program code from the UModel project, changes in any database diagram generate a Database Change Script with SQL commands to implement the revisions. Database Change Scripts created in UModel can be saved as SQL files, executed directly in the database, or opened in a DatabaseSpy SQL Editor window via a convenient button in the UModel Database Change Script dialog. UModel Database Change Script Conversely, if another team member modifies a table directly in the database, a developer can update the UML model by merging the database changes. UModel Message window After synchronization of the UML model with the latest version of the database, the database diagram shows a new column in the Teachers table. UModel updated database diagram Like all other UModel diagram types, UModel 2011 lets users save database diagrams as image files and include them in automatically-generated project documentation. Visit the Altova What’s New page to learn more about all the new features in the Altova MissionKit 2011. Model databases along with system requirements, business rules, and application code for your next development project – click here to download a free 30-day trial of UModel 2011 today!

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August MissionKit Special – Upgrade Now and Save!


Get one year SMP FREE when you upgrade to the Altova MissionKit! Upgrade Now and Save! For a limited time*, we are offering our current customers the opportunity to get one full year of Support & Maintenance free when they upgrade their individual software product license(s) to the MissionKit tool suite. This represents a potential savings of hundreds or even thousands on Support and Maintenance! The MissionKit brings together innovative tools and standards-based technologies in a comprehensive package that every enterprise architect and application developer needs to complete their software development arsenal.

  • XML development
  • Web & Web services development
  • Data mapping & integration
  • Rendering & publishing XML, XBRL, and database data
  • Database query, design, and comparison
  • UML modeling
  • Data/code differencing and merging
  • Code generation
  • Automation through APIs, ActiveX controls, or command line
  • Visual Studio & Eclipse integration

Take advantage of this exciting offer to upgrade to the MissionKit today – it expires on August 31, 2010!*

SMP includes:

Free Software Updates You will receive all maintenance releases and major software versions that are released during your support period – including v2011 as soon as it ships this autumn. Updates that you receive cover the specific edition of the product that you have purchased and typically include many additional features. Priority Technical Support We are extremely proud of our high quality technical support; here are just a few actual customer comments about our excellent support team. “Thanks again for the quick reply. You guys have the fastest response time and in my opinion among the best customer/technical support I have dealt with.”– Sacha Korell, Cobham, plc. “Thank you for the clear explanation and rapid response. Altova provided an excellent customer service for an excellent product.” – Ray Burrows, Ensign Energy Services, Inc. “Working with Altova Support has been my best support experience in my professional life. I really appreciate the way you have understood my obstacles and used your time to remove them. Thank you!” – Frode Reinertsen, NetCom GSM * This limited offer expires on August 31, 2010 and is available from Altova GmbH and its licensed distributors and resellers. The twelve (12) or twenty-four (24) month Support Period for the MissionKit SMP commences on the date that the upgrade order is received and replaces any existing SMP Support Period then in effect for the upgraded licenses. Pricing will automatically reflect that 12 months of the Support Period are at no cost.

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Altova Named to SD Times 100


the award for “Tools & Frameworks” goes to Altova!

  SDTimes100We are honored to be named to the SD Times 100 for the sixth time! The award, now in its 7th year, recognizes the top innovators and leaders in multiple software development industry areas. Each year the editors of SD Times scour over thousands of nominations in search of companies, non-commercial organizations, open source projects, and other initiatives that exemplify innovation and leadership. When choosing the SD Times 100, the editors consider each company’s offerings and reputation. They listen to the “buzz” — how much attention a company, its products and technologies are creating — as a sign of leadership within the industry. Did the company set the industry agenda? Did a company’s products and services advance the software development art? Were programmers anxiously awaiting its developments? For the judges of the SD Times 100, these are qualities that mark a leader. So what makes us a SD Times 100 winner? In Version 2009, our MissionKit suite of XML, database, and UML tools added key support for working with industry standards like Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) and Health Level 7 (HL7) to help companies adopt these standards while reducing costs and development time. We also rolled out over 70 new, customer-requested features in Version 2010 as part of our “Most Wanted” release, including support for WSDL 2.0, JavaScript Object Notation (JSON), and SysML, as well as compatibility with Windows 7 and 64-bit operating systems, and much more. Download a free, 30-day trial of the MissionKit (v2010r3) and see what’s new in the latest version (v2010r3) of our awarding winning suite of XML, database, and UML tools.

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Working with XML in Databases


More and more users are storing XML documents in database columns, especially when XML data is sent or received from other entities. Storing data in XML helps enterprises more easily accommodate revisions to industry-standard data formats as XML Schemas evolve over time. One challenge in migrating from a relational database to an XML-oriented database application is developing queries that replace traditional SQL queries of relational data to parse XML documents stored in the database. We recently had an opportunity to address XQuery for XML in databases in a presentation titled Altova Tools for DB2® in a teleconference sponsored by IBM® for the pureXML™ Devotees user group. After an introduction and brief background on Altova, we focused on the special functionality included in XMLSpy to manage XML Schemas in DB2 and to edit XML data stored in DB2. The XMLSpy Database Query Window makes it easy to edit XML database content directly in XMLSpy. XMLSpy_editDB2_blog Altova has built specialized capabilities for deep integration of Altova tools with the DB2 pureXML data server to help customers working with XML, XML Schema, XQuery, and other XML-related technologies. We demonstrated the XMLSpy XQuery editor, XQuery debugger and XQuery profiler, with support for executing XQuery scripts directly against the DB2 database and for the special DB2 xmlcolumn and sqlquery operators. We closed the presentation with a walk-through of the steps a user can take to migrate legacy relational data to an XML-based application, including inferring an XML Schema from relational data in a table in DB2, then importing data from the table and automatically tagging it in XML according to the new XML Schema. We have uploaded a PDF file the slides from the presentation on SlideShare. You can also get a copy at the IBM pureXML Devotees page, where you can listen to the recorded audio as well. The best way to experience for yourself how well the features of XMLSpy, MapForce, StyleVision, and DatabaseSpy work with DB2 and other databases with XML is to click here to download a free trial of the Altova MissionKit.

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Altova Adds to NIEM Support in v2010r3


Clashes between government agencies are the stuff of legends and entire TV shows: the FBI and the CIA, the local sheriff’s department and the big city CSI, Homeland Security and the Pentagon, Jack Bauer and CTU. Perhaps this has to do with the territorial nature of some of these entities, but perhaps, just perhaps, technology has a part to play in these conflicts. Incompatible architectures and data formats, legacy systems, and other technology road blocks within the United States government sometimes made it difficult for agencies to efficiently share pertinent information such as arrest reports, amber alerts, immigration details, and more.
The National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) is an XML-based standard for data exchange between United States government agencies and their information partners. It aims to provide a means for these entities to improve decision making, achieve greater operating efficiency, mitigate risk, improve public safety, and increase ROI through intergovernmental information exchange.
As a leader in XML tools and technologies, the Altova MissionKit already inherently supports NIEM on a variety of different levels. In v2010r3, we added two very specific features to XMLSpy that extend the XML editor with capabilities that are invaluable for NIEM development. For more on these features, see the recent NIEM blog post by our CEO and XML Aficionado, Alexander Falk.
Below is a brief overview of the support provided for NIEM across the MissionKit, from XML Schema editing in XMLSpy, to XMI import and UML diagramming in UModel, to data integration in MapForce, and beyond.

XMLSpy

XMLSpy® 2010 provides a graphical schema design interface which simplifies the development of XML Schemas, allowing XML code to be generated in real-time behind the scenes. Users can switch back and forth between this view and text view at any time during their design process.

The graphical schema editor provides built-in support for creating the IEPD Extension Schema, Constraint Schema, and Exchange Schema.

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In addition to the broad XML Schema support described above, XMLSpy provides comprehensive support for all other prevalent XML technologies, including:

UML Diagrams

The first stage in any development lifecycle is a thorough business requirements review. UML is particularly well-suited to modeling software projects because it provides a standardized approach to the design process. Scenario-based planning is recommended for NIEM, and though there is no UML diagram requirement, class diagrams, use-case diagrams, and sequence diagrams all provide value to IEPD documentation. In addition, NIEM provides a free tool for mapping data requirements based on an uploaded XMI representation of a UML model
UModel® 2010 is an advanced UML tool that supports all fourteen UML 2.3 diagrams, BPMN, SysML, and more. It works seamlessly with XML technologies like XMI, letting users easily import and export XMI based on their UML diagrams. UModel can even render XML Schemas in a format similar to UML diagrams and integrates seamlessly with all other MissionKit tools including XMLSpy, MapForce, and SchemaAgent. UModel also supports code generation, round-trip engineering, and reverse engineering, as well as integration with the popular Visual Studio and Eclipse IDEs.
UModel can be used two different phases of NIEM development:

  • Scenario Planning – to model and document with use case diagrams, sequence diagrams, and business process modeling
  • Map & Model – to develop class diagrams to create the exchange content model
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XML Schema Management

Because of the potential to have many different schemas in each IEPD, XML Schema management can become an arduous process. SchemaAgent® 2010 is a unique file management tool that lets users visually manage their XML Schema, XML, XSLT, and WSDL assets in a project-based environment so that changes and structure of the file configuration can be easily recognized. SchemaAgent users can even view mapping files created using MapForce.

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Data Mapping & Exchange

Data mapping is a crucial step at several levels in the NIEM process. Mapping helps users generate a subset schema to determine what elements can be used from the core and domain models, it is also used to perform a transform from one NIEM vocabulary to another. Some NIEM implementations also employ Web services to provide a mechanism for the exchange.
MapForce® 2010 is an any-to-any data mapping and integration tool that supports all of the potential data formats used in the NIEM lifecycle including XML, databases, flat files, Excel 2007+, and Web services. MapForce maps data based on its underlying structure (i.e. XML Schema), enabling mapping designs to be reused for recurrent transformations. MapForce also supports mapping to and from multiple source or target components. In addition, MapForce can be used to generate documentation detailing mapping projects for non-technical stakeholders in a variety of formats such as HTML and Microsoft® Word.

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To try out this functionality on your own, download a free 30-day trial of Altova MissionKit now!

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Altova MissionKit Integration with Visual Studio – On with the Show!


VisualStudioWebButton Altova products have long supported tight integration with Visual Studio, giving developers seamless access to the advanced functionality of XMLSpy, MapForce, StyleVision, and UModel directly in their preferred development environment.So naturally, the Altova team is excited to attend the launch of Visual Studio 2010 on April 12-14 at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. We’ll be demonstrating all the latest features of the Altova MissionKit 2010 Release 2 and we’d love to meet you at booth 614 on the Exhibition floor.If you’re not headed to Las Vegas, you can read more about Altova Integration with Visual Studio at the IDE Integration page on the https://www.altova.com/. Or follow the links below for detailed information on Visual Studio integration for each tool in the MissionKit:XMLSpy 2010 Professional and Enterprise Editions support seamless integration with Visual Studio , Microsoft’s premier application development environment, where you’ll have access to all of XMLSpy’s tools and utilities for modeling, editing, transforming, and debugging XML technologies.MapForce 2010 Professional and Enterprise Editions support full Visual Studio integration, allowing you to harness the power of MapForce for data integration, Web services implementation, and C++, C#, and Java code generation directly inside Visual Studio.StyleVision 2010 Professional and Enterprise Editions are offered as Visual Studio plugins, meaning that you can easily design and implement stylesheets for simultaneous XML, XBRL, and database output to HTML, RTF, PDF, and Word 2007+ (OOXML) directly within Visual Studio.UModel 2010 Enterprise Edition now supports advanced integration with Visual Studio, including code/model synchronization, giving you access to all of its UML modeling capabilities from within Visual Studio.(Oh yes, we know Visual Studio is not the only tool for all the XML, data integration, and UML developers out there. The Altova MissionKit IDE integration modules also support Eclipse.)

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