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Technology Consultant Loves, Recommends Stylus Studio
Actual Email from Consultant / Developer to Client
Good morning, < COMPANY NAME >.
Turns out that Stylus Studio Enterprises Edition is a gem. For the price of cubic zirconium ($695.00) you get a high-end diamond. Converting from EDI to XML is a snap. Let me tell you what I like best about the software:
(1) You can validate a sample EDIFACT submission in less than 5-seconds. Any errors are highlighted, and a mouse-over gives detail as to why an error has been detected. This is great for anyone doing QA during development since you can easily, and independently, validate the input data before running any unit tests. And did I mention that the software automatically detects the EDI dialect (e.g., EDIFACT) and version (e.g., D98B)? The included “find” feature should make it easy to visually confirm the presence or absence of specific elements, etc. that you expect to be included in any submitted test file.
(2) The way in which the XML data is presented makes it very easy for a developer to visualize how individual items are nested within a single EDI file. I found this appealing because it makes coding loops (for extracting each item) pretty intuitive (e.g., CNI-GID-DGS-SGP looping). I think this feature will speed the development of data parsing routines.
(3) There should be no problem handling custom elements, segments, etc. for < COMPANY NAME >. This is because the EDIFACT dialect files are totally customizable and extensible. And the process for adding a custom item is straight-forward.
(4) The software is supported by clear documentation, on-line videos, and lots and lots of examples. I evaluated many of the examples provided by the vendor ("trust but verify" -- to quote the political adage), and they are spot-on. Here are links to two short videos that are worth watching:
(5) They pretty much have written the code you will need to integrate the software's functionality into your server's environment. The software comes with a bevy of Java and XML development tools, support for SOAP, .NET, and the Java Web Service framework, and code examples and/or code building wizards for whatever you need. Microsoft’s dotNET 2.0 is supported along with Microsoft’s XML API, C# program code can automatically be generated, and there is support for SQL Server (from 2000 onward).
Based upon my understanding of the project and your environment, I think this software will give you the toolset you need to quickly develop auto-import functionality for your application using in-house resources at < COMPANY NAME >.
There is, of course, a ton of other XML-stuff Stylus Studio can do, and you may very well find other uses for the product.
As a final note, you should know the company has been responsive to both e-mail messages and telephone calls (a live person -- a developer, I believe -- has answered when I have called them).
A fully functional 15-day trial version is available (http://www.stylusstudio.com/xml-download.html). Download the Enterprise Suite since it is the only version with the EDI conversion functionality enabled.
Please let me know whether or not you need more information or feedback on the product, and please contact me with any follow-on questions, comments, or concerns. Thanks.
Knoll Enterprises - Custom Software Development
Stylus Studio is a registered trademark of Progress Software Corporation. XML Pipeline Server is a pending registered trademark of IVI Technologies, Inc.
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