XML developer tool is upgraded

Altova on Wednesday announced availability of XMLSPY 5 Release 3, an XML development environment that adds support for C# code generation and a WSDL documenting utility in the new release.

XMLSPY is specifically tuned for XML development and has 1 million registered users, said Larry Kim, Altova marketing director.

Version 5 Release 3 offers key new features including a WSDL documentation utility, C# support, PDF publishing, and the ability to edit XML documents stored within Oracle XML DB, the XML repository within the Oracle9i Release 2 database.

The WSDL Documentation generation utility is intended to enable Web services developers to document and publish a Web service interface to business partners, developers, or to the public. WSDL files can be annotated then published into a Word or HTML output file.

"What this documentation generator does is automate the documenting of your Web service interface to your business partners and even to the public," Kim said.

The code generator for C# accelerates application development on the .Net platform, according to Altova. It provides XML Schema modeling to generate class files.

"What our schema editor does is provide an XML-to-object mapping," said Kim.

Oracle XML DB functionality in XMLSPY enables developers to perform common operations on data managed by XML DB, such as listing XML Schemas, loading a Schema, and saving or deleting an XML Schema.

XMLSPY's stylesheet designer now supports visual editing and generation of a PDF file from an XML document. Developers can preview output in either PDF or HTML formats.

An analyst, responding to an e-mail inquiry, said XMLSPY would have at least short-term appeal but could be displaced by larger suites.

"XML is becoming the favored format to structure, format, and exchange information, be it from databases, transactions, or desktop-oriented content," said Shawn Willett, principal analyst at Current Analysis. "A specialized XML tool such as this will have appeal, especially in the short term as users struggle to implement mandates to put information into an XML format. However, there is always the danger that XML tools will be added to larger application development suites and/or database and integration development suites over the long term."

Among other new features in XMLSPY 5 is Java integration support. This is accomplished via a Java API that enables easier customization and integration of the XMLSPY development environment for system integrators or Java-based product companies wanting to extend functionality of the product. XMLSPY functions can be controlled from Java-based programs. XMLSPY 5 Release 3 also features improved drag/drop functionality in its StyleSheet Designer component.

Available now, XMLSPY 5 Release 3 comes in three editions: the Enterprise edition, which includes all features and costs US$990 per installed user; the Professional edition, which lacks WSDL generation and is priced at US$399 per user, and the Home edition, which features basic XML file editing and costs US$99 per user.

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