Build Advanced XML Reports with New XPath Debugger


Altova StyleVision is a unique, easy-to-use tool for creating business reports using a drag-and-drop visual design interface. StyleVision lets you build reports for XML as well as database and XBRL sources. Each design you create can be automated for recurring reporting to HTML, PDF and Word, either using the auto-generated XSLT stylesheet or via StyleVision Server.

Integral to XSLT stylesheet design is XPath for selecting and calculating data, as well as defining styling rules, in your report. New features added to StyleVision include an XPath debugger that makes testing and perfecting your report easier than ever. Let’s see how it works.

Developer working from home
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Excel Data Mapping to Update Existing Documents


Excel began life as a simple spreadsheet tool. Over time, support for rich text styling options, built-in charts, and copy and paste formatting features has led many enterprises to create reports in Excel documents. This can cause difficulty when data changes and existing documents need to be manually updated for distribution to a wide audience in the familiar report style.

Altova MapForce, the award-winning, graphical data mapping tool for any-to-any conversion and integration, supports Excel data mapping to convert data to existing Excel documents while preserving styles and formulas in the original.

This feature lets you write directly to nicely formatted Excel files to update data at runtime: any designated worksheets, rows, and cells from the specified file will be replaced with data from the mapping and all formatting in the existing file will be preserved as-is. To protect functionality in the existing spreadsheet, cells with formulas are not overwritten.

Let’s look at an example:

Financial pros using XBRL
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New Tools to Work with XBRL in Excel


With the importance of accurate, standardized financial reporting enforced through XBRL filing mandates, having XBRL tools you can rely on is a must. What’s more, financial professionals need to be able to generate XBRL reports easily without getting bogged down by the complexities of XBRL syntax.

Altova offers several add-ins for Excel that make it easy for organizations to comply with regulations from the EBA, EIOPA, and other regulatory bodies that mandate reporting in XBRL. These easy-to-use software products integrate directly into Excel so that users can create valid XBRL reports in an environment where they’re already comfortable working. And, the add-ins support importing existing XBRL reports to Excel for easy readability and analysis.

The latest release of the Altova XBRL Add-ins for Excel provides some important new features – let’s take a look.

New tools to work with XBRL data in Excel
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New Data Integration Tools


Altova MissionKit tools offer numerous ways to connect to, query, and integrate data from disparate sources. With multiple product releases each year, we’re constantly working to deliver increased power and efficiency for data integration, while adding features requested by customers. This includes ongoing updates to built-in support for all major SQL databases across the product line.

Let’s take a look at some of the recently added tools and enhancements.

New data integration tools in Altova's release
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New Tools for XML and JSON Editing


The latest release of XMLSpy adds several user-requested features for working with JSON and XML, as well as new functionality for debugging XPath, updated standards and database support, and more.

JSON and XML tools in XMLSpy
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How to Convert Legacy Text Files [Video]


It’s a common requirement to convert non-standard or legacy text files to or from structured data formats like XML, JSON, and relational databases. However, many times legacy text files are not in a format that can be readily processed by data mapping tools, especially when they have a complex and unique structure that does not consistently fit into CSV or fixed-length field patterns. Moreover, sometimes you need to extract only portions of useful data from a legacy text file.

MapForce, Altova’s any-to-any data conversion tool, includes a unique utility called FlexText that makes it easy to visually define templates for parsing text files and making them accessible to the data mapping tool.

See how FlexText works in our video tutorial.

The example files referenced in the video are available here and you can try FlexText with a free, 30-day trial of MapForce.

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Data Mapping JSON Lines


The JSON data format continues to evolve as an open standard as it is creatively applied to new data interchange requirements. JSON Lines, defined at http://jsonlines.org/, is a convenient text format for storing structured data where each record is a single line and a valid JSON object. JSON Lines handles tabular data and clearly identifies data types without ambiguity. This allows records to be processed one at a time, which makes the format very useful for exporting and sending data.

Altova MapForce supports data mapping JSON Lines as either a data source or target. Let’s look at a mapping project to extract records from a database table and map to a JSON Lines file for output.

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