Review: Altova Enterprise XML Suite 2005
Altova Enterprise XML Suite 2005
If you're working with XML at all, you probably know Altova, vendors of
the XMLSPY editor and much related software. They've just released a new
version of their high-end suite of products (and corresponding new
versions of the individual products, of course). Here's a quick rundown
of what you'll find new in this version.
XMLSPY itself is the XML editor of the batch. As you'd expect, it's been
brushed up to handle the latest standards (final or otherwise): XSLT
2.0, XPath 2.0, and XQuery. This includes a 3-pane XSLT 2.0 debugger,
which looks like it will come in really handy learning the new syntax.
If you're working with schemas, you'll also appreciate the new
SchemaAgent program, which works as the client side of a client-server
schema repository. This makes it easier to share schemas around your
organization and reuse parts of a schema in a new schema. XMLSPY also
adds Eclipse integration to the existing Visual Studio integration.
MapForce, the tool to create and manage mappings between XML, EDI, and
other files, gets a boost in this edition as well. You can generate XSLT
2.0 mappings, work with plain text files, and create your own functions
by aggregating existing functions. Nothing revolutionary here, just
polish on top of an existing fine product.
StyleVision is the designer for content output from XML. XSLT 2.0 and
XPath 2.0 are here too. Perhaps even more important is the support for
RTF output, letting you use StyleVision to turn XML files into Microsoft
Finally, Authentic is the free content editor designed to protect
ordinary users from XML. In addition to XML editing, Authentic has added
database editing: Access, SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle, and DB2 are all
supported here. This gives you a way to potentially standardize on an
editing tool that works with a lot of your backend data.
Overall, another nice upgrade from Altova, especially if your work
requires you to be on the cuttng edge of XML standards. If you don't
need all the high-end features, check out the Professional Edition at
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.