With the release of FME 2011 just a few days old, I wanted to share five of the most exciting ways that FME 2011 enables the league of spatial superheroes to battle the forces of XML more effectively than ever before.
Why more XML improvements? Well, we constantly hear about people struggling to deal with unruly XML. XML can be complicated, and many feel that they need a PhD in order to understand it. Yet, XML is a reality that can’t be ignored – like it or not. XML (and its Geographic relative GML) are here to stay and used for many initiatives in different industries (INSPIRE, AIXM, CIM, etc.). Recognizing the many challenges that the world of XML poses, we spent great effort working to develop new tools to help in the fight against even the most complex of XML documents.
So, in the spirit of Dale’s FME 2011 By the Numbers, here are the top 5 ways that we have equipped the league of spatial superheroes to battle the force of XML in FME 2011!
- Number 5 – Better Formatting of XML Documents
Have you used FME or another tool in the past and not been happy with the formatting of your XML document?
With FME 2011, you’re equipped with a new transformer called the XMLFormatter which enables you to clean up your XML documents. It also takes care of duplicate namepace declarations that it finds!
Have you struggled figuring out what namespaces you need to declare when writing an XML document? If so, then you can now use the XMLNamespaceDeclarer transformer that will copy only the needed namespaces from a sample XML document.
- Number 4 – New Ability to Validate XML Documents
Never again will you wonder if the XML document that you are reading or writing is valid! The new XMLValidator transformer enables you to validate an XML document for proper syntax and validate it against XML Schema documents if desired. It is actually surprising how many bad XML datasets are out there wreaking havoc on the world of data.
- Number 3 – Improved XML Writing
In FME 2010 we debuted the XMLTemplater which made writing complex XML documents easier than before. We have continued this work in FME 2011, now making it even easier to access and set FME feature attributes within XML documents.
- Number 2 – GML Support Updated to 3.2.1 and Multiple Geometries per Feature
FME 2011 adds GML specific improvements, making it even easier to work with GML. In particular, we now support GML 3.2.1 for both reading and writing. FME 2011 also now supports multiple geometries per feature in both GML 3.1.1. and GML 3.2.1. Again this is for both reading and writing.
- Number 1 – Easier and More Powerful XML Reading
FME 2011 makes reading XML easier by providing access to the pieces of an XML document in a number of different ways. First, we added the XMLFragmenter transformer which makes it easier to work with complex nested documents by breaking them into subdocuments which you can work with directly. Next, we added the XMLFeatureMapper which essentially gives you the full power of our xfmap technology at any point within a workspace. Finally, we have added the “flatten” options to both the XML reader and the XMLFragmenter, making it easier than ever to convert objects to attribute values.
Together these FME 2011 updates go a long way in the battle against the complex forces of XML.
What are your biggest challenges when dealing with XML? Are you winning in your battle with XML? What type of XML documents are you working with? If so, does FME 2011 support it directly? I would be greatly interested in opening a discussion with users and organizations about the XML documents that are being used and how we can help you in your battle with XML.
Don MurrayDon is the co-founder and President of Safe Software. Safe Software was founded originally doing work for the BC Government on a project sharing spatial data with the forestry industry. During that project Don and other co-founder, Dale Lutz, realized the need for a data integration platform like FME. When Don’s not raving about how much he loves XML, you can find Don working with the team at Safe to take the FME product to the next level. You will also find him on the road talking with customers and partners to learn more about what new FME features they’d like to see.