XSLT Debugger

XSLT debugger

XSLT Debugging Features:

  • Support for XSLT 1.0, XSLT 2.0, XSLT 3.0
  • XSLT back-mapping
  • Debugging XSLT containing Java, JavaScript, C#, & VBScript
  • Step-by-step node transformation
  • Stepping into, out, and over nodes
  • Setting breakpoints and tracepoints
  • Context information window
  • Call stack window
  • XML, XSLT, and output panes displayed in parallel
  • XSLT Profiler and XSL Speed Optimizer to optimize transformations

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XSLT Back-mapping and Debugging

Testing and perfecting XSLT stylesheets can be a complicated, time-consuming process. With XMLSpy's unique back-mapping functionality, you can immediately identify the source XML node and XSLT instruction driving each portion of your output document simply by clicking on the output.

You can also take advantage of the XSLT debugger, which enables you to step through and debug even the most intricate stylesheets quickly and easily. Support for XSLT 1.0, XSLT 2.0, and XSLT 3.0 is provided, and you can even debug stylesheets that contain program code in Java, C#, JavaScript, or VBScript.

XMLSpy also includes a powerful XSLT profiler to help you further optimize XSLT code by helping you identify and remove bottlenecks.



XSLT Back-mapping

See Source XML and XSLT Instantly

When you enable back-mapping via the tool bar button, XSLT transformations will be carried out so that the result document can be mapped back on to the originating XSLT+XML documents. This means that when you click on a node in the result document, the XSLT instruction and the XML source data that generated that particular result node will be highlighted.

The back-mapping button also gives you the option to automatically tile the source, XSLT/XQuery, and result documents after transformation for easy review, as shown to the right.

You can click the transformed output in either text or browser view to back-map. What’s more, when you view the HTML output in Browser view, you can simply mouse-over the desired section and XMLSpy will automatically highlight the source XML node and XSLT expression.

Video Check out the XSLT back-mapping video.

XSLT back-mapping in XMLSpy

Why choose XMLSpy?

Back-mapping in XMLSpy is revolutionary in two ways.

First, it will save you incredible amounts of time in debugging, refining, and perfecting your code as well as understanding inherited code written by other team members.

Second, XMLSpy does not make any changes or add additional code to the output document in order to achieve back-mapping!



Testing XSLT Code

XSLT Debugger

For more indepth testing, you can use the XSLT Debugger. You can start the debugger at any time when working with an XML or XSLT file. If a permanent XML / XSLT file designation has not been specified, XMLSpy will prompt you to select the associated file. The XSLT debugger includes a three-panel interface (shown in the image at the top of this page) that displays the XML document, the associated XSLT stylesheet, and the output document as it is being built in real-time. Below the three panels, Context and Callstack information windows include multiple tabs that supply all the necessary debugging information.

Depending on the complexity of your XSLT stylesheet and your personal preferences, the XSLT debugger allows you to debug XML and XSLT files in Advanced Text View or Grid View, and view the dynamic output in Advanced Text, Grid, and Browser View, switching between the different views as required.

Step-by-step Debugging

The XSLT debugger allows you to move through the transformation step-by-step, and you can step into, step out, and step over nodes. It highlights the current instruction in the XSLT and the current node in the XML file, and produces output for each step, highlighted in the output pane. Seeing all three factors at the same time provides you with an immediate visual understanding of the way that your code is rendering the XML data.

Setting Breakpoints & Tracepoints

When debugging complex XSLT stylesheets, it is useful to be able to understand exactly what output is produced by each instruction. In the XSLT debugger, you can define breakpoints in the XML and XSLT files, and tracepoints in the XSLT document.

Breakpoints halt the XSLT debugger when a particular node, element, or attribute is accessed by an XSLT instruction, allowing you to view the output to that particular point in the transformation. When you start the debugger, the XSLT processor stops at the first breakpoint and displays all data relevant to the node in the debugger info windows.

In contrast to breakpoints, tracepoints do not halt the XSLT debugger. When a tracepoint is hit during an XSLT debugging session, the instruction is executed, and information is written to the Trace window. Once the transformation is complete, the trace window displays the list of tracepoints as well as the output produced by each. This allows you to view exactly how each XSLT instruction is executed.

Setting breakpoints and tracepoints in the XSLT debugger



Debugging and Perfecting XSLT Stylesheets

Context Window

As you’re debugging a stylesheet, the XSLT debugger presents you with several useful pieces of information. To supplement the information shown in the output pane and Trace window, the debugging information windows display additional important details.

The Context information window includes the following tabs:

  • Context: displays the context node and associated attributes or value(s).
  • Variables: displays the global, local, and parameter based variables as well as the name and variable value.
  • XPath Watch: displays the result of XPath expressions, which are evaluated against the root or context node, depending on how they are entered. You can define the XPath expressions you want to monitor here.
XPath watch results

Call Stack Window

Tabs in the Call Stack info window include:

  • Call Stack: displays a list of the previously processed XSL instructions and templates, with the current instruction appearing at the top of the list.
  • Templates: displays all templates used while debugging the current XSLT file. This includes the provided default templates in the built-in template, as well as any included or imported templates.
  • Info: displays information about the type of debugging (XSLT 1.0, 2.0, or 3.0), the files used, and the debugger status.
  • Messages: displays the xsl:message instruction(s) or any error messages that may occur during debugging.
  • Trace: displays output information for each tracepoint.
Tracepoint results
More Information

Next Steps