December 19, 2003

Debug XSLT/XML Applications "On-the-fly"

ActiveState writes "ActiveState, a leading provider of professional tools for programmers, today announced the release of Visual XSLT 2.0 at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference. Visual XSLT now ships with ActiveState's unique Just-in-Time (JIT) debugger, enabling developers to test XSLT code embedded in other applications or libraries built for the Microsoft.NET Framework without the need for special instrumentation or access to source code. Also new, the Visual Schema Mapper allows programmers to build transformations of XML files in an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, without writing a single line of code or employing XML schemas. In addition, Visual XSLT will support Microsoft's next major version of Visual Studio.NET, code named "Whidbey".

ActiveState Visual XSLT combines the familiar Microsoft Visual Studio.NET 2003 integrated development environment with XSLT-specific debugging and editing features and an interactive tool for building and testing XPath expressions. The resulting powerhouse environment helps developers quickly build robust and sophisticated transformations.

Key New Features:

Just-In-Time (JIT) Debugging - Test XSLT code embedded in other applications or libraries built for the Microsoft.NET Framework

Visual Schema Mapper - Visually generate XSLT based on XML schemas or instances

Enhanced Project Manager - Easily add folders and hierarchies to projects

"We've had incredible customer demand for just-in-time debugging. Developers can now quickly pull XML out of any database and debug the transformation, without needing the source code," said Matt Herdon, director of product management, ActiveState. "For those who are purely focused on XSLT development, Visual XSLT's new JIT and Mapper make coding on the.NET Framework with XML and other languages a breeze."

"ActiveState's Visual XSLT affords a rich experience in solving the programming challenges of today," said Christopher Flores, lead product manager for the Developer and Platform Evangelism Division at Microsoft Corp. "Visual XSLT's Just-in-Time debugger, Visual Schema Mapper and Project Manager gives developers more flexibility in building applications for the Web."

"We create technology apps for professional services firms around the world and use XML and XSLT extensively. I needed a tool that allowed me to easily debug XSL files, which we generate to produce html forms. Before Visual XSLT, we were trying to view the output code and figure out what we'd done incorrectly, which was virtually impossible to do," said Brad Reaves, developer, Thomson Elite. "Visual XSLT's step through debugging and variable watching is absolutely critical to my workwhich I can now do so much faster."

Visual XSLT licenses are $295. The program is also offered as part of the ActiveState Open Source Language Suite for Microsoft Visual Studio.NET 2003a value-priced bundle of Visual Perl, Visual Python, and Visual XSLTfor $495. Upgrades are $99.95 for current users. Free 21-day trial licenses, educational licenses, and more information are at

About ActiveState:
ActiveState, a division of Sophos, enables enterprises and IT professionals to increase productivity and organizational efficiency through the innovative use of open source technologies. Over 70% of the Fortune 500 rely on ActiveState's open source language programming tools, language distributions, and enterprise support services."


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