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Eddie Churchill - Biztalk's sexy new XSLT Mapper

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Who said enterprise apps have to be boring? Check out Biztalk's future XSLT Mapper, which makes use of new information interaction technologies. Here you get to meet two researchers from Microsoft research and see how they worked with the product teams to come up with an improved version of the schema mapper.

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  • Is this a biz talk only solution - It sure would be nice to edit xslt's in vs
  • IanIan Proud to be geek ....
    Cool stuff  (I want it all and I want it now)

    In the meantime can anyone clear up a couple of questions about the 2006 xslt editor?

    Is it  a standalone app?

    What are the licencing issues surrounding using it elsewhere (ie outside of BizTalk itself)?


    Thanks in anticipation..
  • Is this new map avaialble with Biztalk 2006?
  • AIM48, yea that would be nice Big Smile but for now those prototypes are BizTalk specific
  • Sorry if it wasn't clear but the concepts and technologies shown in the above prototypes are not going to be in BizTalk 2006.

    The current Mapper (BizTalk 2006) is not standalone at the moment but it is something we are looking at for its follow up release. Feel free to contact me directly (eddie dot churchill at microsoft dot com) and I will be happy to put you in touch with the folks working on that effort. They might be able to give you a better idea when a standalone version might be available.

    Glad you like what you saw. There is a lot more but that was all we were allowed to show. Smiley

  • echurchill wrote:

    They might be able to give you a better idea when a standalone version might be available.

    Glad you like what you saw. There is a lot more but that was all we were allowed to show. Smiley



    Eddie,

    I gotta say, you are halarious. One of the more entertaining presenters that I have seen on Channel9 thus far.

    As far as tick marks in the scroll bar, ReSharper uses them to indicate "issues" that it finds in your code. If you hover over them you get a tool tip with the problem and can choose if/how you want them fixed. Not sure if they were the first to use them. Maybe they patented them?

    I also agree with the others. The XSLT mapper would be a great add-in to the XML tools in Whidbey. Have you shown this stuff to Yag and Ken Levy?

    Now, get back to work.

    BOb
  • revsorgrevsorg Revs.org

    I thought this was going to be about XSLT, which is why I started to watch it.  But it turned out to be a mind expanding foray into the Windows user interface.  Amazing.

    All the way through the demo I assumed that at some stage the interface was going to become 3D, but no, maybe because the Windows UI is too far from that right now.

    I wonder, did you investigate the idea of making the lists on the left and the right smaller in height by giving them a depth dimension?  Some sort of categorisation that would let items sink into the distance, or come into the foreground?

  • CGMCGM

    Hey guys, I must say, it's looking good! All those little improvements will make a big difference!

    Can I make a suggestion? I have an idea for something that is effectively "two stage" mapping that should simplify and clean up the UI (and all those mapping links/lines!).

     

    One can start off with high level mapping: “complexType(s) to complexType(s)”, and then once you have these “high level” structures mapped, you can drill down into one of the above links/maps and start the low level mapping: “elements to elements”. This low level mapping only shows the complexTypes that you chose/linked/mapped to in the high level view.

     

    So, how would this look/work: Take the Biztalk mapper. The first high “level view” will have the source schema on the left, the mapping surface in the middle and the destination schema on the right (exactly like now) except the schemas on the left and right will only contain lists of all the complexType’s in the schemas. One can then click and drag to link two (or more) complex types from left to right (similar to how mapping is down now). Once this link is created, you can then double click on this link, and it takes you to the “low level mapping” view. All that’s changed in this view is that the compexTypes “linked” in the previous view, and only those complexTypes, are now expanded in the source and destination surfaces to show the elements and only the . Now one can map individual fields/elements.

     

    We have quite huge and complicated schemas where I work, and mapping from one xml instance to another is an almost impossible task, abstracting things a bit like possibly just mapping complexTypes, will simplify mapping a great deal!

     

    Hope all this made sense, drop me a mail and I will be more than willing to discuss it.

    Keep up the good work! … and let me know what you think.
    Big Smile

  • Great stuff, Eddie. I have been driven bananas many O time by a convoluted map. Glad to see time invested with this tool.

    Any thoughts about adding the capabilities for adding comments to the map? A recent development where I had to hand over a large mapping to another developer made me think about the concept for adding comments. The idea is that maps can contain a block of functoids that may all pertain to the same element of work with respect to the transformation between schemas. Comments may be used to quickly inform the developer what the block of functoids is doing in the transformation; much like commenting code. I'm not sure of the visual rep on this concept, but just thought I'd post the idea.

    Thoughts anyone?

    -ak
  • The sibbling coalesce is a good idea IMO and also a simple "sort by" click like on a dataview column to sort by the items that have existing links, might be another option.


    despite its problems i would hope by now that the MSN search team is using the same kind of technique for searching the way as demonstrated in this video.

  • This is all great news!

    However, a key feature of the Mapper, the functoids, is a great abstraction when you want it, but is obfuscation when you don't want it.

    Ideas:

    When you hover over a functoid, show the properties.

    Simplify getting to the properties, rather than having to go to the Visual Studio properties window.

    Allow grouping composition and copy/paste of a group of functoids.

    Comments, like the Orchestration Designer Group shape, would be great.

    Much clearer handling of loops and repeating constructs would be helpful, perhaps like the reply about two-level (complexType and simpleType) mapping would help.

    thanks
  • The video play button is greyed out... is there somewhere this can be seen or is it obsolete?

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