Review: XMLSPY 2004
XMLSPY 2004 Release 4
starting at $499 (but see below)
XMLSPY remains my tool of choice for dealing with XML files. Over the
years, Altova has built in support for everything from straight XML
editing to visual tools for handling WSDL files. Fortunately for them,
new things keep cropping up in XML-land, and they continue to find new
features to add. If you've used previous versions of XMLSPY, you won't
find the new release revolutionary, but you may well appreciate some of
the added features.
For starters, plain text editing has been replaced by a new advanced
text view. The new view includes source code folding, bookmarks, and
context-sensitive helpers (think IntelliSense for XML). It doesn't get
in the way, but it can make entering XML by hand a whole lot faster.
You'll also find an XML-aware diff and merge engine. Using regular text
editors to spot differences in XML files can be problematic because many
formatting differences have no syntactic impact; using XMLSPY's tools
gets around this problem.
Finally, XMLSPY's database capabilities have been increased with this
version, to include connectivity to just about any database you're
likely to be working with. You can automatically generated XSD schemas
from a database, or vice versa. System tables and views are also
included in the database objects that XMLSPY can access.
In addition to the commercial versions, XMLSPY now has a free Home
Edition, so you can work with many of its tools without paying.
Advanced capabilities like database integration and WSDL support
have been stripped from the free edition, but it's still a useful
XML editor. Visit
the Altova store
for details and download links.
Mike Gunderloy has been developing software for a quarter-century now, and writing about it for nearly as long. He walked away from a .NET development career in 2006 and has been a happy Rails user ever since. Mike blogs at A Fresh Cup.