Altova Updates MissionKit Suite

MissionKit 2010 promises productivity improvements across a suite of tools addressing XML, data, modeling and Web services.

Altova in October released an update to its popular MissionKit suite of XML, data, modeling and Web services tools. MissionKit 2010 arrives with a broad range of feature improvements intended to make the suite more compelling and efficient for customers, according to Altova CEO Alexander Falk. The approach distinguishes the new suite from MissionKit 2009, which focused on adding support for eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL).

"We compiled a list of what we call the most-wanted features," explained Falk in an interview. "These are not tiny features. They are really 70 features that will be huge time savers and productivity gains for people."

Among the notable improvements in MissionKit 2010 is support for JavaScript Object Notation (JSON), a text-based data interchange format that is a viable alternative to XML in lightweight application scenarios. The XMLSpy 2010 module includes a JSON editor as well as a bi-directional JSON/XML converter for moving files between the two formats. XMLSpy 2010 also adds support for Web Services Description Language (WSDL) 2.0, including a WDSL 1.1 to WSDL 2.0 conversion utility. XMLSpy also adds XBRL document generation in its XBRL Taxonomy Generator.

The MapForce module adds simultaneous, batch processing of multiple input and output formats, eliminating the need for developers to hand-run conversions to multiple formats. It also adds automatic validation of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) code directly within generated code, ensuring that invalid EDI messages are not processed.

Falk said that the Altova StyleVision module underwent more change in the 2010 release than any other. He singled out the addition of a forms-based document layout designer, which lets developers create paper-like forms from scratch or from existing templates. StyleVision also adds the ability to render HTML code directly within form documents, for additional flexibility.

'You can now create document layout container elements first and then connect them to data elements later," Falk said.

Other improvements include the addition of Systems Modeling Language (SysML) support in the UModel 2010 module, and in DatabaseSpy and DiffDog 2010 an expanded database differencing engine, which makes it possible to compare and address database structures and schemas.

"If you have made changes in your development environment and then migrate those changes to your production server, we can automatically generate the SQL script to alter the tables accordingly to move those changes from one environment to another," Falk explained.

Altova MissionKit 2010 is available in four SKUs. The top-end MissionKit 2010 for Software Architects Enterprise Edition costs $1739 and covers the entire waterfront of Altova modules. The Professional Edition of this product costs $869 and excludes the DiffDog, SchemaAgent and SemanticWorks modules. Altova MissionKit 2010 for XML Developers Enterprise Edition costs $1619 and excludes only the UModel and DatabaseSpy modules. Finally, the Professional Edition of the XML Developers product costs $739 and drops the DiffDog, SchemaAgent and SemanticWorks modules from the XML Developers Enterprise Edition feature set.

About the Author

Michael Desmond is an editor and writer for 1105 Media's Enterprise Computing Group.

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