Altova to exhibit at Microsoft PDC next week


PDC2008 The Altova team is busy preparing to head to LA and exhibit at next week’s Microsoft PDC (Professional Developers Conference) 2008. If you’re attending, be sure to stop by and visit us at booth #711, where we’d be happy to show you a demo of the Altova MissionKit tools for .NET developers working on XML, Open XML, database, UML, Web, and data integration projects. We may even have some nice swag and a drawing for you to enter… We hope to see you next week in LA or at another event in the future!

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Integration Watch: Remember good tools at low cost?


Andrew Binstock, principal analyst at Pacific Data Works, recently published a great article in SD Times about some of the software tools he relies on to make his life easier. In “Integration Watch: Remember good tools at low cost?” he notes:

“Today, of course, tools are either free or terribly expensive; there is little middle ground. And there are very few small vendors of tools, with the notable exception of the components market for Windows applications—but those are more libraries than pure tools. One vendor, however, that has persevered making great [tools] at remarkably approachable prices is Altova, which has put out a variety of interesting products for a long time.”

Read the complete article here and let us know what you think! What are some of the inexpensive software tools that you rely on?

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Free Altova Online Training is Back!


Back by popular demand, Altova Online Training is now available in a brand new format. It’s still free – only now it’s offered in a convenient, self-service training model. Classes are available on-demand, and you no longer have to sign up or arrange your day around fixed class times. You can learn at your own pace, on your own schedule.

Each interactive training module contains guided instruction, tutorials, quizzes to test your learning, and resources for further study. You can complete each module in one sitting, or return to the class as often as you’d like to pick up where you left off.

The first new Altova Online Training class available is Introduction to MapForce, which is currently in BETA status.

Free Altova Online Training

During the BETA period, we’ll be relying on your feedback to help us improve future courses. Please share your comments and suggestions using the survey included in the Introduction to MapForce module, or post your comments on this blog.

We’re excited that Altova Online Training is back, and we hope you find it helpful for learning more about Altova tools and technologies!

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Oracle OpenWorld 2008 recap


The Altova team exhibited at Oracle OpenWorld 2008 in San Francisco last week. The exhibit halls were packed, and we were happy to have a steady stream of visitors to our booth. We had the pleasure of talking with many Altova customers as well as other Oracle users and developers interested in Altova XML, database, and UML tools. Of particular interest with this crowd were MapForce and DatabaseSpy, but we talked with lots of folks whose challenges – from publishing XML and database data, to UML modeling, to Web services testing – could be met with other tools across the Altova product line. We also had the opportunity to introduce many visitors to the Altova MissionKit, and people were happy to hear that they could get a full suite of tools and save some money at the same time. Here are a few videos chronicling our trip, including some on-the-spot product demos. The first is a 1-minute bird’s eye tour of downtown San Francisco and the Altova booth in the Moscone West exhibition hall.

Here we learn how to efficiently migrate legacy relational data to a 21st-century XML application using XMLSpy. Bonus Scene: a water feature to improve your Feng Shui.

Finally, this video includes a demo of DatabaseSpy, featuring how to use the Graphical Database Design editor to explore and modify database tables. Bonus Scene: take a ride on a San Francisco cable car!

These were shot live on the floor of the exhibition, as you’ll hear from the enthusiastic crowds in the background, and at other spots around town. Whether you attended the show this year or not, we hope you’ll enjoy our video postcards. Altova’s next exhibit will be at Microsoft PDC in Las Vegas – we hope to see you there!

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New demo video: Mapping Excel 2007 / OOXML


We’ve just put the finishing touches on the latest Altova product demo video. This new module demonstrates the recently added support for mapping Excel 2007 data in MapForce.The video walks you through two data mapping scenarios, one where Excel 2007 data is filtered and then mapped into a relational database, and another where XML data is converted to Excel 2007. Other supported data formats for mapping are EDI, flat files, and even Web services. Please check out the video and let us know what you think! You can also try this new functionality for yourself with a free, fully functional 30-day trial of MapForce. MapForce Excel 2007 mapping

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Diff / Merge Tools and Dog Food


Since its release in 2005, the Altova marketing team has been actively using the DiffDog diff / merge tool to compare and merge changes on our Web pages (something Product Marketing Manager David McGahey likes to call “eating our own dog food.” Get it? Dog food? Anyway…). We create and edit our content directly in XML using the XMLSpy XML editor and use WinCVS as our version control client. This way, we [not-so-technical marketing folks] can easily view and revert changes to any files in our CVS repository. When we need to compare changes made in two versions of a given file, we simply highlight the versions and launch DiffDog directly from WinCVS. It’s a lightning-fast way to see exactly what has been changed. image Our Web Development team also makes good use of DiffDog’s directory comparison functionality to diff and merge between our test and live Web servers.

Using DiffDog with Team Foundation Server

Jeff Levinson, Microsoft MVP and Application Lifecycle Management practice lead at Northwest Cadence, also recently shared his DiffDog story in an online article for Visual Studio Magazine, “Performing Comparisons with Team Foundation Server.” He details how you can replace the default merge tool in TFS with DiffDog. Do you have any stories to share about how you use our tools? Let us know!

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