The Stylus Scoop April 2005 — NASA blasts off with XQuery!

Dear Stylus Studio Friends,

We think XQuery is great, but don't take our word for it (after all, we're biased). In this month's Scoop, read how a team of systems integrators with DynCorp (CSC) working on NASA's Aircraft Operations leveraged the power of XQuery to simplify their XML data integration project. And this is no marketing puff piece. Michael Ritchson, DynCorp (CSC) team leader tells in his own words why he and his team of systems integrators chose XQuery -- read it and learn about their experiences, the important lessons they learned, and how the project turned out.

Redmond, we have a problem.... While NASA and thousands of other leading companies worldwide are reaching the heavens with XQuery, Microsoft has grounded XQuery in the Microsoft .NET 2.0 Platform (Whidbey). All is not lost, but there's much work to be done, and not a lot of time in which to do it. So in this issue we're asking for your help -- support XQuery for All! You (yes, you!) can help preserve an XML developer's right to XQuery on any platform, not just Java, and we can show you how. Also in this issue, we've got the results of the 2005 XQuery Industry Study for the managers who lurk on this list (yes, we know you're out there), new online product video demonstrations, a chance to prove your love for Stylus Studio, and more. Our best issue ever! Read on, and see for yourself!


Ivan Pedruzzi, Senior Product Architect, and the Stylus Studio Team

Table of Contents - April 2005

XQuery Blasts off at NASA's Johnson Space Center

So you've read the Stylus Studio XQuery propaganda, but you're still skeptical about this XQuery thing -- it slices! it dices! Well, the hyperbole gets to us, too, which is why we're thrilled to be able to share with you how a smart team of systems integrators at DynCorp (CSC) working for NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, are Using XQuery to extract data and integrate systems in a live production environment. In their own words! With no editing! Not a single exclamation point in sight! Check it out!

(If you'd like to showcase your own XQuery application in The Stylus Scoop, drop us a line.)

Support XQuery for All! Help save XQuery on Microsoft .NET 2.0

Microsoft recently announced that they are dropping XQuery from the next release of their .NET Framework 2.0 (Whidbey). So while XQuery is all systems go at NASA and scores of other agencies and enterprises, it's t- minus who-knows in Redmond. Since .NET Frameworks ship only every 3 or so years, cutting XQuery from Whidbey means that the next opportunity for XQuery to find its way into the .NET core framework won't be until around 2009, and even then it's far from a sure thing. That's why it's so important that the community of XQuery developers makes XQuery a priority for Microsoft.

Clearly, Microsoft has been instrumental in the development of XQuery, but we believe that it has a much broader potential than merely as a database query language. XQuery belongs in the middle tier, with a dedicated XQuery API, XQuery processing components, tools, and so on. XQuery is more than just a niche market for XML geeks -- it is a core infrastructure component for all developers, one that provides easy integration of data from multiple, disparate sources and that simplifies Web services and SOA. If you agree with this vision and believe that XQuery shouldn't be shut out of the Microsoft .NET 2.0 Framework, sign our online petition today!

Microsoft's XQuery stance can be confusing, especially in light of success stories like NASA's and survey data of application development professionals who are already exploiting XQuery's vast potential. Following are some commonly asked questions about XQuery and its future.

Q: Is XQuery in trouble?
A: No. In fact, XQuery is thriving. Several recently released developer studies by Evans Data, Stylus Studio (see Story #3), and DevX; and real- world XQuery use-cases (see Story #1) all point towards tremendous momentum behind the XQuery standard. Vendors and end-users are already moving ahead, all in anticipation of the official W3C XQuery recommendation, which is expected to be finalized soon.

Q: Why did Microsoft drop XQuery in from .NET 2.0?
A: An official explanation has been posted on MSDN.

Q: Why is Stylus Studio organizing this online petition, Support XQuery for All?
A: We know from our customer surveys that a large percentage of the half-million strong Stylus Studio XML developer community is currently working with XQuery, and that they develop on the Microsoft platform or use SQL Server or other Microsoft XML components. These users often ask about XQuery APIs and components for the .NET platform, so we were quite surprised to read about Microsoft's decision to drop XQuery from the .NET Framework 2.0. Obviously we believe strongly in the productivity, ease of use, and power that the XQuery language has to offer -- as well as in the importance of supporting W3C XML standards for enhanced interoperability. Because we believe in the promise of XQuery, we are using our leadership position in the XML tools industry to advocate on behalf of this important standard and hopefully effect change in a positive manner. Read the list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about our campaign to Support XQuery for All is available here:

Q: How can I help support XQuery on the Microsoft .NET 2.0 Framework?
A: Sign the petition today and email and Microsoft why you believe in XQuery and let us share your story with the world. We've also compiled a list of ten simple things you can do to help save XQuery on the Microsoft

Download the 2005 Stylus Studio XQuery Industry Study for Free

Know the facts about XQuery! Stylus Studio recently surveyed 550 XML developers (many from this list, actually) to try to understand who is using XQuery, how they're using it, and why. The results were quite surprising, even to jaded XML developers like us -- over half of those who responded said that they already are using XQuery, and many more plan to use XQuery in the next year. This demand is noteworthy, especially given that the formal XQuery specification is still several months from final completion.

We've published the results of our 2005 XQuery developer survey and made it available as a PDF download, free for subscribers of the Stylus Scoop (and you thought we were just another pretty face). Stop wasting thousands of dollars on analyst reports and developer marketing studies which are so far behind the curve on exciting XQuery technologies that it's shameful. Download the 2005 Stylus Studio XQuery Industry Study today for free!

Stylus Studio Live: New XML Grid View Online Video Demonstration

Stylus Studio Live* is our newest segment of the Scoop newsletter. In our first installment of this new series, Stylus Studio's disembodied voice (and mouse!) demonstrates the power of the new XML Grid View. The new video, entitled "Using the Stylus Studio Grid View Editor", shows how easy Stylus Studio's Grid View makes it to:

  • Edit and modify structured XML files
  • Work with XML document trees
  • Understand XML elements and attributes
  • Work with columns and nested XML tables
  • Perform common editing operations, including insert, delete, and rename; add nested table; sort and move XML data; and more
  • Customize the XML editing view by toggling tag row names
  • Switch between Stylus Studio's synchronized XML editors, including the XML text editing and XML tree editing views

Watch the XML Grid View movie today. The ticket is free, and there's plenty of leg and elbow room!

*Recorded live.

So You Say You Love Stylus Studio? (Words are cheap. Prove it!)

Stylus Studio has helped you with your XML development -- but what have you done for Stylus Studio lately? Sure, use us and walk away. Who hasn't been there before? But this time, there's a way you can redeem yourself! Demonstrate your love for Stylus Studio and vote for us in the SQL Server Magazine Readers Choice Awards! Voting is easy, and it's just a click away! Vote now! Stylus Studio is listed in these categories:

  • Development Tools --> Best Integrated Development Environment (IDE)
  • Development Tools --> Best XML Development Tool
  • General --> Best New Product
  • General --> Most Innovative (Type in: "Stylus Studio 6")

Sure, we don't have the best marketing, and our Web site doesn't have any of that brooding, edgy anime noire that's so popular with the kids today. But none of that matters when you offer the best XML tools in the industry. So share the love, and vote today!

True Stylus Studio Stories: Why I switched to Stylus Studio

We've been hearing a lot from our readers lately -- JB Cavarec, a software engineer with OPENLAB, says: "I use Stylus Studio XML Professional Edition Release 2 to transform XML to SVG for intranet software of "le palais des congrés de Paris". I tried several XML editors but Stylus Studio Professional is the best. This product is very intuitive and easier [to use] than competitive products. It's very nice to be able detach windows. Congratulations!"

Industry experts are raving about Stylus Studio, too! Here's what the Editorial Staff at CNET's had to say about Stylus Studio 6: "This powerful environment provides extensive functionality for developing XML applications. Stylus Studio XML Professional Edition's convenient, tabbed interface lets you easily manage multiple documents. Add new buttons by dragging and dropping, and toggle panels just as easily. The preview window opens the document in Internet Explorer. Work with a DOM tree diagram, a grid representation, or raw XML text complete with highlighting and indenting. Numerous wizards assist in creating XML applications and converting among formats. You can map the schema of an XML file to the schema of another XML file, useful if you need the same information in several forms. As the last steps, you can debug your style sheets and design a Web service call without writing any code. Professionals will find the functionality-to-price ratio reasonable - 5 Stars!"

Read more about what people are switching to Stylus Studio, or tell us why you chose Stylus Studio, or anything else - we'll respond! Email us today!.

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