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Altova at Microsoft PDC


clip_image001The Altova road trip continues as we head west to Microsoft PDC in Los Angeles from November 17-19 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. If you’ll be attending PDC, make sure to stop by and meet with the Altova team at booth 517. We’ll be demonstrating all the Most Wanted features of Version 2010, our latest software release that includes XBRL enhancements in XMLSpy, support for WSDL 2.0 in XMLSpy and MapForce, a new absolute positioning design paradigm in StyleVision, database schema conversion in DatabaseSpy, and much more. With the new emphasis on software modeling in Microsoft development tools, you’ll want to check out SysML and all the other new functionality in UModel 2010. We love L.A., but if you’re not going to PDC this year, be sure to check the Altova blog again later for updates about the event and more details about Version 2010.

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MapForce v2010 – “Most Wanted”


As a frequent attendee at the Altova booth at tradeshows, I have to say that this v2010 "Most Wanted" release has been one of my favorites since I’ve been with the company. Rather than centering the release around a marquee technology like we have in the past with XBRL, OOXML, etc., this time we have added to the MissionKit a collection of over 70 (not a typo) of the features that our customers have requested the most. Many of these requests have come directly from the tradeshow floor, and some I even recall scribbling down myself. Others have come from through our Support Center, and still more from Altova’s online user forums. So keep those requests coming, and we’ll keep on listening! In this post I’ll outline a few of the new features added to MapForce below, and be sure to look out for our future posts where we will spotlight individual features in more detail. Processing data from/into multiple files MapForce users have always been able to map data explicitly to and from many different components at the same time. This feature takes that ability much further, letting you implicitly process files, for example to/from a file collection or directory using a variety of different methods including wildcard values, database tables, auto-number sequences, and more. For example, the screenshot below shows files from a directory being mapped into a single target file using a wildcard (?) value. clip_image002 The output file generated from this mapping can be saved to any location from the Output Preview window. If you’d rather separate the output results into two separate XML files, you can just add a connection between the two file items at the top of each mapping component. Using file names as parameters As a complement to this functionality, you can now use file names as parameters in your mappings – an extremely useful feature for real-time transformations when this information may not be known until run time. In the example below, this is accomplished using an input parameter and connecting it to the file item node in the source mapping component. clip_image004 Support for WSDL 2.0 Like XMLSpy, MapForce v2010 has added support for Web services based on WSDL 2.0 in addition to WSDL 1.1. When you are building or connecting to Web services, MapForce automatically recognizes the syntax of WSDL 2.0 documents and applies appropriate processing rules. clip_image006 This feature gives MapForce users the flexibility to work with either version of the W3C format. A number of other features have been added to the "Most Wanted" release of MapForce including: · Support for xsi:type in XML Schema · EDI file validation in generated code · Support for additional EDIFACT messages So… be sure to download a free trial of MapForce v2010 – or if you have active SMP, download your upgrade today!

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XMLSpy’s Most Wanted


Altova's Most Wanted When we announced that Altova Software Version 2010 included over 70 of the features most requested by our customers, we weren’t talking about little tweaks and enhancements, but major new functionality! To show you we mean business, I’ll outline some of the most requested features added to XMLSpy 2010 here.

WSDL 2.0 Support

In response to requests from from Web services developers, the graphical WSDL editor in XMLSpy 2010 now supports the latest version of the WSDL standard, WSDL 2.0. This adds to existing support for WSDL 1.1, giving you the choice of which version of the standard to work with. The WSDL editor automatically provides the correct editing environment for the version currently being utilized, and XMLSpy even provides one-step conversion capabilities for migration between WSDL 1.1 and 2.0. Since the XMLSpy WSDL editor uses a graphical interface (you can, of course, also work in Text View if you wish), you can easily visualize the structure of your WSDL document and edit it using drag-and-drop functionality and context-sensitive entry helpers, which offer the relevant choices based on the selected WSDL version.

WSDL 1.1/2.0 editor

Enhanced XBRL Functionality

Since we added support for XBRL validation and XBRL taxonomy editing in XMLSpy 2009, we’ve received excellent feedback from customers, including some feature requests that we were able to address in v2010. The new XBRL documentation generation capabilities of XMLSpy 2010 make it easy to generate comprehensive documentation – in RTF, MS Word, or HTML – for your XBRL taxonomies. Multiple options let you choose exactly what to include in the documentation, and the resulting output (snippet shown below) includes hyperlinked components for easy navigation. XBRL taxonomy documentation

Another option for documentation is to print the graphical representation of your taxonomy as it is shown in XMLSpy’s graphical XBRL view. XMLSpy 2010 also includes the new XBRL Taxonomy Wizard to give you a head start when creating a taxonomy. Simply enter the company name, ticker, or other identifier for your XBRL taxonomy, and then select the base taxonomy to extend (if any).

XBRL Taxonomy Wizard

XMLSpy creates the required taxonomy files and prompts you to select the entry points of the base taxonomy. Once you click finish, XMLSpy 2010 displays the newly created XBRL taxonomy files in the graphical XBRL Taxonomy Editor, where you can continue editing and refining the taxonomy in a visual manner. The new Find in XBRL and XBRL Sort options in XMLSpy 2010 meet customers’ requests for quick, easy ways to find data in and

navigate through large, complex XBRL taxonomies.

XBRL Taxonomy Editor

JSON Editor

We’ve recently heard from a lot of developers working on Web 2.0 and Web services apps in XMLSpy who also use JSON – so we decided to add a JSON editor in XMLSpy 2010. You can compose JSON strings in Text View or Grid View, and even convert between XML and JSON. In Text View, the JSON editor provides syntax coloring, line numbering, source folding, bookmarking, and more, making it easy to comprehend and navigate your JSON code, and find and edit strings. Intelligent JSON editing populates the Elements entry helper window with a dynamically built list of the elements present in your JSON file, which you can insert with a double-click.

JSON editor text view

Intelligent JSON editing is also available in Grid View, which provides graphical representation that shows the structure / outline of a JSON document through a set of nested containers. These can be easily expanded and collapsed to get a clear picture of the document’s tree structure, and drag-and-drop editing is supported.

JSON Editor Grid / Outline View A final must-have feature for working with JSON is the JSON <=> XML converter in XMLSpy 2010. One click lets you, for example, convert an XML file to JSON for transport with JavaScript, or convert data received in JSON format to valid XML. No more JSON vs. XML arguments – XMLSpy gives you the best of both worlds.

Redesigned Scripting Environment & Forms Editor

XMLSpy includes an integrated scripting environment and forms editor that has been redesigned for this latest release. Scripts can be written in JScript or VBScript to access and interact with the XMLSpy API, allowing you to modify and add functionality to your installation of XMLSpy 2010. Improvements and optimizations in Version 2010 include:

  • Access to most of the .NET framework
  • New form editor controls
  • Testing & debugging of macros directly in the scripting editor
  • Execution of macros directly through XMLSpy menus
  • Improved entry-helpers & auto-completion in the scripting editor

Read more about the “most wanted” features in XMLSpy and the rest of the Altova MissionKit. Please be sure to let us know your most wanted features, either by commenting here on the blog or entering a feature request.

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