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Altova Conjures Up XML Alchemy

The XML mavens at Altova have worked to push out the 2013 version of Altova MissionKit. The firm's suite of XML, SQL, and UML tools consists of XMLSpy, MapForce, StyleVision, UModel, DatabaseSpy, DiffDog, and SchemaAgent, and now includes new support for SQL stored procedures in data mapping projects.

Key elements of the 2013 update are integration of MissionKit functionality in Java applications, updated standards support, and a Smart Fix validation function.

Altova president Alexander Falk calls out the Smart Fix as "true XML alchemy" and describes it as a huge leap forward in intelligent XML editing. The feature provides options for fixing validation errors that developers can apply with a single click. In addition to reporting information about validation errors, XMLSpy enumerates the possible corrections for fixing them and will make the required changes automatically, based on the user's selection. This, says Falk, reduces the time spent troubleshooting and testing considerably.

XMLSpy 2013 also includes support for embedded XML Schemas in WSDL files, enhanced WSDL document options, and support for CamelCase words in the spell checker.

MapForce has provided functionality for mapping, processing, and transforming SQL database data and now it includes robust support for SQL stored procedures. Support for these tools for designing, querying, and maintaining database architectures has been a frequent user request.

With these updates, developers can utilize stored procedures in a data mapping project as input components, output components, and data processing function calls. Never shy of over selling its wares, Altova boldly claims that MapForce 2013 is the "ultimate tool" for solving complex database-related data conversion and transformation challenges.

Other features here include watermark support: Designers and developers now have the ability in StyleVision 2013 to incorporate image and/or free text watermark content (such as diagonally page-spanning "confidential" or "draft" in the background) in PDF, RTF, and Word output. This adds even more power and flexibility to multi-channel publishing of XML, SQL database, and XBRL content.

Claiming to now be able to provide "seamless integration options in Java applications", Altova says that it is now possible for developers to integrate XMLSpy, MapForce, StyleVision, and Authentic functionality into custom Java applications for Windows. This "frequently-requested" capability adds support for integrating MissionKit tools in Visual Basic or C# applications.

NOTE: Example applications are also provided to give developers a head start implementing this functionality.

Users may now add up to 10 external programs that can be directly accessed inside XMLSpy and Authentic, allowing for workflow in these development environments. In the UModel 2013 release there is support for UML 2.4 (the latest version of the UML standard) and SysML 1.2. In addition, all XBRL-enabled MissionKit tools have also been updated with support for the most recent US-GAAP taxonomy, version 2012.

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