Using Stylus Studio® with RenderX XEP

RenderX XEP is a production-quality engine that converts XSL:FO into PDF or PostScript files, for use in single-source publishing, multi-channel publishing, and XML content management applications. XSL:FO is an intermediate publishing format. In order to actually use it for something, a program such as RenderX XEP (called a renderer) is necessary. The most common target for rendering is the PDF format.

Starting with Stylus Studio 2006 Release 3, DataDirect Technologies and RenderX, Inc. have worked together to package RenderX XEP with Stylus Studio®.

Configuring Stylus Studio® for RenderX XEP Use

To switch to using PDF output, we'll need to get to the Scenarios dialog for the XSLT or XQuery program we're working on. Then go to the "Post-process" tab.

Specifying the Use of RenderX XEP from the Scenario dialog Post-process tab

Switch your processing from "Do not perform..." to "Post process with RenderX XEP", and you are all set. (Note that although you can install any XSL:FO to PDF renderer, only RenderX XEP and Apache FOP are included with Stylus Studio®.)

Now, we are ready to begin actually using Stylus Studio® and RenderX XEP together.

Generating and Rendering the XSL:FO File

Choose your XSL:FO file. RenderX has kindly provided some samples that you can download from here. We'll use the "XPath Recommendation" one. You can download the transforming .xsl and other source files from here.

File|Open and navigate to the directory in which you unzipped them, and you should see something like:

Generating and Rendering the XSL:FO File using RenderX XEP

Then choose the Scenario Properties dialog, either from the XSLT or XQuery menu or from the Scenario Properties dialog for specifying RenderX XEP settings button and set the Source XML URL. For the XPath 1.0 specification, choose the xpath.xml file that was in the same directory as the .xsl file above. (In your copy, it might be called REC-xpath-19991116.xml)

Next, choose the Post-process tab. There, select "Post process with RenderX XEP". That's all it takes to configure XEP to work with Stylus Studio®.

Now choose XSLT|Preview Result (or XQUery|Preview Result) or click on the Previewing the results of a RenderX XEP XML to PDF transformation icon, and the preview window will show the PDF as generated by Stylus Studio® working in harmony with XEP.

RenderX XEP and Stylus Studio (Click to enlarge)
(click to enlarge)

Whether you are interested in XSL:FO, RenderX, or Stylus Studio®, we've got the goods. Try it yourself by heading over to here to download a copy of Stylus Studio® with RenderX XEP, and explore both the XML Editor and the XML Publishing module for designing beautiful XML reports.


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