The Stylus Scoop - August 2004 — An Interview with Dr. Michael Kay on XML Technologies

Dear Stylus Studio Friends,

August is Big News month at the Scoop. We know we should be enjoying what's left of our summer, but we've got so much going on — an exclusive interview with a leading thinker in the XML community, our first-ever new edition of Stylus Studio, and more! — that we didn't feel like waiting for Autumn to share it with you.

As always, we hope you have fun reading the Scoop, and let us know what you think! Email us. We're always interested in hearing from you. See you next month!

Ciao!
Ivan Pedruzzi, Product Architect, and the Stylus Studio Team

Table of Contents - August 2004

An interview with Dr. Michael Kay on emerging XML technologies

We're pleased to present an exclusive interview with Dr. Michael Kay on emerging XML technologies. In the discussion with Stylus Studio's Ivan Pedruzzi, Dr. Kay provides an update on the exciting work being undertaken at the W3C on emerging XML technologies including XSLT 2.0, XPath 2.0, XQuery 1.0. He shares his insights on how these technologies are likely to inter-operate and work alongside related XML technologies such as SQL/XML, and the challenges facing XML tools and components providers.

Dr. Kay is the author numerous books, including the XSLT Programmer's Reference from Wrox Press. The author of what is broadly considered to be the XSLT reference standard is also the editor of the W3C's XSLT 2.0 specification, which is currently a Last Call Working Draft, and his Java-based Saxon XSLT and XQuery processors are two of the most successful and popular processors in the languages' histories. Dr. Kay recently formed his own company, Saxonica, and has launched a commercial version of Saxon with support for XML Schema.

You can read the interview with Dr. Michael Kay online at our Web site.

Stylus Studio 5 Home Edition Now Available

Stylus Studio 5 Home Edition is a new edition of Stylus Studio designed for students and home users learning or working with XML technologies in educational and other non-commercial settings. Stylus Studio 5 Home Edition can be purchased from our online shop for only $49 (USD) for a single-user license. Substantially more powerful than other low-cost XML tools, Stylus Studio 5 Home Edition offers many of the features included in Stylus Studio 5 XML Professional Edition, our award-winning XML IDE, including:

  • XML Editor — Full support for intelligent XML editing, XML editing views, parsing, and validation
  • XML Schema Editor — Visually develop XML data models
  • XSLT Editor — A productive, intuitive environment for developing XSLT stylesheets using text and/or graphical editors (the XSLT Mapper)
  • XSLT Debugger — Set breakpoints and step through any XSLT stylesheet to locate errors
  • DTD Editor — Visually design document type definitions
  • XPath tools — Test, evaluate, edit and visualize XPath expressions

There are quite a few low-cost XML tools on the market these days, and even some that claim to be free. But before signing up, shop carefully — are you getting what you pay for? Will you have to pay more (often much more) down the road to enjoy a complete and capable tool? And how long is that road? Some XML editors come with constraints that render the application unusable after short (sometimes as few as 24 hours) trial periods. Compare Stylus Studio 5 Home Edition with any other tool in its class — features, support, price — and we think you'll agree that Stylus Studio 5 Home Edition offers a clear alternative to partial solutions and bait-and-switch software.

We've compiled a list of frequently asked questions about Stylus Studio 5 Home Edition at our Web site to help you learn more about this important new XML IDE for students.

New Stylus Studio Video Demonstrations Available

We recently published new demonstration videos that show how easy it is to use Stylus Studio's DB-to-XML Data Sources to access relational databases with industry-standard SQL/XML and render relational data as XML. The 'Working with Relational Data as XML' series of videos shows two simple ways to create these powerful data sources, which you can reuse in Stylus Studio anywhere you might use XML, as when creating an XSLT stylesheet using Stylus Studio's intuitive WYSIWYG XSLT Designer, for example.

The new XML video demonstrations cover the following topics:

  • Creating a data source from a relational database (a DB-to-XML Data Source) using the Stylus Studio DB-to-XML Editor
  • Connecting to Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, IBM DB/2, Sybase, Informix, Progress, or any ODBC-compliant relational database
  • Browsing database objects such as tables, views, and columns from Stylus Studio
  • Visually specifying relational database-to-XML mappings
  • Generating SQL and SQL/XML SELECT statements with the Stylus Studio SQL/XML Editor
  • Querying and extracting relational database data as XML using SQL/XML and SQL
  • Modifying SQL/XML code to create custom result documents containing both XML elements and attributes
  • Previewing and saving the results of an SQL/XML query
  • Visually developing an XSLT stylesheet using a live DB-to-XML Data Source to generate an HTML report

The new SQL/XML videos can be viewed at our Web site, along with a comprehensive collection of video demonstrations covering XML application design with Stylus Studio.

True Stylus Studio Stories: Why I Switched to Stylus Studio

This month's True Stylus Studio Story for the Scoop comes from Romin Irani, a Software Engineer with InSync Software Inc. Romin said, "I used to primarily use a competing product for my XML editing needs. However as the need for using multiple XML technologies like XSLT, XPath, and XQuery rose, I found myself using Stylus Studio more due to its excellent support for XSLT Mapping. The XPath Querying is also a very useful feature that I turn to repeatedly while using XML. It is the de facto tool that I use today for any XML needs."

Find out why thousands of XML developers like Romin are making the switch to Stylus Studio!

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