Those who've been following my XML tips for any length of time will recognize that I have a penchant for XML tools and that Altova's XMLSpy keeps popping up among my very favorites at least once a year. That's why I recently read about SQL Server Magazine's selection of this excellent toolset as a 2006 Editor's Choice Award Platinum Winner with some interest. Of course, this begs the entirely inevitable question of "Why would a database magazine award accolades to an XML content creation package?" The answer is, of course, that among its many outstanding features, XMLSpy 2006 includes some pretty powerful database interaction capabilities amidst its burgeoning bag of tricks and data handling tools. The language of the award also mentions XMLSpy's outstanding support for creating and editing XML and XSD documents, along with visual XML schema development capabilities, graphical WSDL development, schema-aware XQuery development and XML-to-relational database mapping, as well as generating Java, C# and C++ XML access code (including Visual Studio and Eclipse integration).
XMLSpy 2006 currently includes the following database related items and elements, which probably helped to attract notice and accolades during their award selection process:
- Support for interacting with relational databases uses native interface languages, including Microsoft Access and SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle, Sybase, IBM DB2 and any other RDBMS that supports ADO or ODBC connectors.
- Developers can connect to relational databases, generate XML schemas based on database structure and contents, import and export data into or out of database structures, and generate relational database structures from XML schemas as well.
- Offers XML support for data modeling, editing and server administration for the Oracle XML DB that completely outstrips native Oracle tools and interfaces.
- SQL Server XSD mapping schemas for SQL Server 2000 map directly into XMLSpy's own graphical XML schema editor.
Given these capabilities, along with other advanced data exchange functions, it's no wonder that XMLSpy 2006 earned top honors in this category. Likewise, given the ever-increasing importance of XML as a medium of data exchange, including in the database world, these kinds of capabilities should continue to help the product attract a broader audience.
XML's not just about documents, as this database connection so strongly attests. Ultimately, that's what makes this award so interesting to me, because it shows that XML capability counts for so much more than human-readable content nowadays.
About the author
Ed Tittel is a freelance writer and trainer whose background as a database developer and networking professional drew him inexorably into the Web and markup languages. The author of numerous books and articles on HTML and XML, Tittel has covered XML topics for TechTarget since 2000.