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Altova MapForce 2022 Enterprise Edition

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This section includes the list of key terms specific to MapForce and MapForce-related products.



In MapForce, the term component is what represents visually the structure of your data, or how data is to be transformed. Components are the central building pieces of any mapping. In the mapping area, components are represented as rectangular boxes. Examples of MapForce components are listed below:


Input components;

Output components;





Flat files (CSV, fixed-length, and other text files);

Function components;

EDI documents (UN/EDIFACT, ANSI X12, HL7);

Excel 2007+ files;


XBRL documents;

XML Schemas and DTDs.



A connection is a line that you can draw between two connectors. By drawing connections, you instruct MapForce to transform data in a specific way: for example, to read data from an XML document and write it to another XML document.



A connector is a small triangle displayed on the left or right side of a component. The connectors displayed on the left of a component provide data entry points to that component. The connectors displayed on the right of a component provide data exit points from that component.



Credential objects provide a way to make authentication data (such as usernames, passwords, and OAuth authentication details) portable across various mapping execution environments, in a secure way. Credentials are useful in mappings that require basic HTTP authentication or OAuth 2.0 authorization. You can define credentials in MapForce and also in FlowForce Server. If credentials were defined in MapForce, you can optionally deploy them to FlowForce Server, similar to how mappings are deployed.


Fixed Length Field (FLF)

A common text format where data is conventionally separated into fields which have a fixed length (for example, the first 5 characters of every row represent a transaction ID, and the next 20 characters represent a transaction description).



FlexText is a module in MapForce Enterprise Edition which enables you to convert data from non-standard or legacy text files of high complexity to other formats supported by MapForce, and vice versa.


Global Resources

Altova Global Resources are portable references to files, folders, or databases. When stored as Global Resources, paths and database connection details become reusable and available across multiple Altova applications. For example, if you frequently need to open the same file in multiple Altova desktop applications, you may find it convenient to define it as a Global Resource. This way, you don't even need to remember the file path because you can select the respective Global Resource from the "Open File" dialog box instead. This also has the advantage that, if the file path ever changes, you will change it in one place only.


A typical usage of Global Resources is to define a database connection once and reuse it across all Altova applications that support Global Resources. For example, you can create a database connection on the machine where a MapForce mapping was designed and then reuse the same connection on the machine where MapForce Server runs the mapping (this may require, in some cases, that both machines have the same database client software installed).


Optionally, you can create multiple variations of the same Global Resource (known as "configurations"). This lets you easily switch file or folder paths (or even databases) depending on your needs. For example, you could create a "database" resource with two configurations: "development" and "production". Taking MapForce as example, you could then easily retrieve data from either the development or production database, by choosing the desired configuration from a list before previewing the mapping.


You can create Global Resources from the following Altova desktop applications: Altova Authentic, DatabaseSpy, MobileTogether Designer, MapForce, StyleVision, and XMLSpy. On the server side, Global Resources can be consumed by the following Altova server applications: FlowForce Server, MapForce Server, RaptorXML Server, RaptorXML+XBRL Server.


Input component

An input component is a MapForce component that enables you to pass simple values to a mapping. Input components are commonly used to pass file names or other string values to a mapping at runtime. Input components should not be confused with source components.


Join component

A Join component is a MapForce component which enables joining two or more structures on the mapping based on custom-defined conditions. It returns the association (joined set) of items that satisfy the condition. Joins are particularly useful to combine data from two structures which share a common field (such as an identity).



MapForce is a powerful and flexible tool that allows any-to-any graphical mapping of different data formats. See Mapping: Sources and Targets for a complete list of available data formats. MapForce enables you to map one source to one target, one source to multiple targets, multiple sources to one target, or multiple sources to multiple targets. To find out more about mapping scenarios, see Mapping Scenarios and Tutorials. MapForce also provides an extensive range of data processing and filtering options, such as functions, variables, filters and conditions, that allow you to manipulate your data.


In order to be able to carry out a mapping, you must provide a data structure that describes the structure of each of your source and target files. For example, an XML schema defines the structure of an XML document. The mapping (from source to target) is achieved by means of a drag-and-drop graphical user interface. You do not have to write any program code for the mapping. The code is generated for you by MapForce. You can then use this code to transform documents having the source data structure to documents having the target data structure.



A MapForce mapping design (or simply mapping) is the visual representation of how data is to be transformed from one format into another. A mapping consists of components that you add to the MapForce mapping area in order to create your data transformations. A valid mapping consists of one or several source components connected to one or several target components. You can run a mapping and preview its result directly in MapForce. You can generate code and execute it externally. You can also compile a mapping to a MapForce execution file and automate this mapping execution using MapForce Server or FlowForce Server. MapForce saves mappings as .mfd files.



The file name extension of MapForce function files.



The file name extension of MapForce design documents (mappings).



The file name extension of MapForce Project files.



The file name extension of MapForce FlextText template documents.


Output component

An output component (or "simple output") is a MapForce component which enables you to return a string value from the mapping. Output components represent just one possible type of target components, but should not be confused with the latter.



parent-context is an optional argument in some MapForce core aggregation functions such as min, max, avg, count. In a source component which has multiple hierarchical sequences, the parent context determines the set of nodes on which the function should operate.


Source component

A source component is a component from which MapForce reads data. When you run the mapping, MapForce reads the data supplied by the connector of the source component, converts it to the required type, and sends it to the connector of the target component.


Target component

A target component is a component to which MapForce writes data. When you run a mapping, the target component instructs MapForce to either generate a file (or multiple files) or output the result as a string value for further processing in an external program.

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