Re: Co-operating with Architectural Forms
Leigh Dodds wrote: > > I'm receiving XML [in Format A] from Company X. [...] > Now Company Y wants to join in the fun, but they are already > tooled up to produce Format B. > > Taking a look at Format B I see that it contains the same basic > information. So I write an XSLT transform to turn B -> A, and > plug this into my system. I can now co-operate with both X > and Y, without causing Y any additional work/difficulties. > > How do AFs help in this situation? They can help in the case where Format B contains all the data you need for a particular process, but cannot be converted into a full instance of Format A. Architectural schemas are usually much simpler than source document schemas, and source schemas often reference multiple architectures. If Format A conforms to Architectures M, N, and O, and Process P is based on Architecture N, then to get Process P to work with Format B, it suffices to map Format B to Architecture N. This should be easier than converting Format B to Format A (which might not even be possible). A slightly more concrete example: suppose Company X is providing you newsfeeds in ComplicatedNews-ML, and you're producing daily headline summaries (among other things). Company Y uses SimpleNews-ML, which can't be converted to ComplicatedNews-ML because it's lacking certain required data. Or the other way around, but ComplicatedNews-ML can't be converted to SimpleNews-ML without losing information. However, both formats can be mapped into the HeadlineSummaryArchitecture (which probably looks a lot like RSS). If you base your process on the HeadlineSummaryArchitecture, instead of either of the concrete schemas, then you can handle data from both companies. > > I'll hazard a response to this question, just to outline my confusion. > For an AF based solution we get together with X and Y and define > a meta-DTD. I then re-tool to process data according to the > meta-DTD, and do the appropriate AF magic to process A & B > according to this meta-DTD. > > Isn't this more work? Not necessarily. In many cases doing an architectural transformation followed by architectural processing can be simpler than a one-phase process that works directly off the source document. Also, it's easier to map N document types to an architecture and do M things with the architecture than it is to do M things with each of N document types, for large enough values of M and N. --Joe English jenglish@f...
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