XML Application

XML applications are software programs that process and manipulate data using XML technologies including XML, XSLT, XQuery, XML Schema, XPath, Web services, etc. Stylus Studio already provides many intuitive tools for working with all of the above — and now using XML pipeline you can design a complete XML application from start to finish! For example, you can visually specify the order in which different XML processing steps should occur, and can even debug the entire application and deploy it to your production environment in just minutes. In this tutorial, we'll cover how to build an example XML application using XML pipeline.

A Sample XML Application

In the following sample XML application, we'll building an order report. This will involve some XML processing, for example, applying various XML operations (converting, parsing, validating, transforming and publishing XML) on several data sources. The order report XML application is displayed here:

An XML Application

The steps involved in creating this XML application include:

  1. Getting a catalog of books from a Text File
  2. Getting an Order from an EDIFACT file
  3. Using XQuery to extract the order information
  4. Using XSLT to publish an HTML order report
  5. Using XQuery to generate an XSL:FO stylesheet
  6. Using XSL:FO to publish a PDF order report

Building XML Applications

The easiest way to build this XML application is to use Stylus Studio, and to follow along with this tutorial, we recommend downloading the free trial version of Stylus Studio which includes this sample application including all files in the example project. If you're just looking to get an overview of Stylus Studio's XML Pipeline tools for XML application development, simply just read on.

Stylus Studio provides many helpful tools and utilities to implement steps 1-6 listed previously. For example:

  1. Using Convert to XML, you could convert the text file into an XML format ...
  2. ... and also get your EDI to XML ...
  3. ... then integrate the required information using XQuery tools ...
  4. ... and use XSLT tools to publish the HTML order report to the Web ...
  5. ... then generate an XSL:FO stylesheet with XML Publisher ...
  6. ... and finally, run the XSL:FO to transform it from XML into a PDF format.

Now how do you get the entire XML application to work as one integrated program? Previously, this would have been a very difficult and error-prone process. The new XML Pipeline lets you visually assemble the entire application. Start by selecting "File" -> "New" -> "XML Pipeline", then drag and drop the different XML operations from the toolbox to the XML Pipeline editor's canvas, associate them with their respective XML artifacts (stylesheets, queries, etc), then connect them together and you're done! The XML Pipeline editor is customizable, you can zoom in, zoom out, copy, paste, undo, redo, etc.

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