Posts

Data Mapping Protocol Buffers (Protobuf)


MapForce 2019 supports data mapping protocol buffers with other structured data formats as mapping sources or targets. In the constant quest for more efficient ways to transfer, manipulate, and manage large structured data sets, Google has created a language- and platform-neutral data format similar to XML, but smaller, faster, and simpler than even JSON data. Tools are available to generate and work with protocol buffers (often abbreviated as protobuf) using Java, Python, C++, C#, Ruby, and other programming languages.

The structure of any protocol buffer message is defined in a .proto file that defines each field name and value type. Altova MapForce lets users drop these .proto files into a data mapping as a source or target along with any other data, including XML, JSON, relational databases, Excel, flat files, REST and SOAP web services, and other data formats. MapForce supports data mapping protocol buffers using .proto files versions 2 and 3.

A MapForce protocol buffers data mapping creates compatibility between existing XML, JSON, database or legacy data formats and new applications leveraging the efficiency of protocol buffers.

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Get Sharp with Altova’s Latest Release


Altova Software Version 2019 introduces over 20 new features to help you sharpen your development game – starting with support for high-res monitors in both XMLSpy and UModel. There are also tools for working with new standards and database versions across the product line, the ability to map and convert data in Google Protocol Buffers format, and much more. Let’s take a look at the highlights.

Altova Version 2019

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How to Debug XSLT and XQuery


Nothing’s more frustrating than getting unintended results from an XSLT or XQuery transformation and having to spend hours tracking down the issue – especially if you’ve inherited the project from another developer or haven’t looked at the code in a few months.  Of course, XMLSpy has long included an XSLT debugger and XQuery debugger for setting break points and stepping through transformations to identify problems.

For a more interactive debugging process, XMLSpy also includes XSLT/XQuery back-mapping.

With back-mapping enabled, you can simply click on or hover over the portion of your output document you want to zero in on, and XMLSpy will immediately highlight the source XML and XSLT or XQuery instruction that is responsible. Let’s see how it works.

Debug XSLT with back-mapping

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Node Functions Simplify Mapping Hierarchical Data Structures


MapForce node functions simplify mapping hierarchical data such as XML nodes or CSV, JSON, EDI, or database fields by permitting users to define a data processing function at the node level and apply it recursively to all descendant items.

Similarly, default values can also be assigned to nodes and automatically applied to descendants.

Defaults and node functions are particularly useful when a data mapping and transformation task requires the same processing logic for multiple descendant items in a structure, for example:

  • Replace null values with some other value, recursively for all descendant items
  • Replace a specific value (for example, “N/A”) with some other value recursively for all descendant items
  • Replace all database null values when reading from a database table
  • Trim all trailing spaces for all values from a source database
  • Append a custom prefix or suffix to all values written to a target file or database
  • Formatting of output values
  • And many others

Defaults and node functions simplify mapping hierarchical data by eliminating need to copy-paste the same function multiple times into a mapping. Repeating the same function unnecessarily clutters the mapping layout and makes it more difficult to understand or revise.

Let’s look at an example.

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The Only JSON Dev Tool You’ll Need


While XMLSpy might not be the first tool developers think of when they’ve got a JSON development task, XMLSpy includes comprehensive support for working with JSON, JSON Schema, and related technologies.

Over the past few product releases, we’ve added intelligent functionality for editing and converting JSON and JSON5 data to the product. We’ve completed the circle with one-click conversion between XML Schemas and JSON Schemas, as well as sample instance generation and JSON Schema documentation generation. And, most recently, we’ve added support for processing JSON with XSLT,  XPath, and XQuery.

Let’s walk through some common examples demonstrating this functionality – and see how these time-saving tools make XMLSpy the only JSON development tool you’ll need.

Developer using JSON tool

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CbC Reporting Made Easy


A recent mandate from the OECD calls on large, multi-national companies to report financials annually for each country in which they do business to their local tax authority. The OECD requires that this detailed Country by Country (CbC) Report be filed in XML document according to their reporting schema. But for tax departments that work largely in Excel, this provides a significant stumbling block – and companies are scrambling to meet the requirements by the end of 2017.

The new CbC Reporting Solution from Altova takes the pain out of meeting the mandate by automatically generating valid, properly formatted CbC XML reports based on data either entered manually – or imported directly from Excel. Let’s take a look at how it works.

 

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Data Mapping NCPDP SCRIPT


EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) standards allow participants with different roles in an industry to communicate clearly and rapidly, and date back to the earliest implementations of electronic communication in the 1950s, long before modern business technologies such as ERP, CRM, and many others. Yet even today, EDI standards continue to evolve to support new requirements and opportunities.

MapForce has long supported data mapping to and from ANSI X12, UN/EDIFACT and other popular EDI standards, and now in the latest release adds support for data mapping NCPDP SCRIPT.

SCRIPT is the state of the art EDI standard developed by the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) for electronically transmitting medical prescriptions, also known as ePrescribing (eRX) in the United States.

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