XSLT development tips

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XSLT development tips

AshutoshSingh
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Hi All,

I am greatly impressed with OpenEsb offerings and trying to learn the designing and developing integration interfaces. I am not new to integrations but new to this framework. As we all know that xml xsl are extremely important for any integration technology, I was wondering if OpenESP's development studio (net beans) has some GUI based XSLT mapper?

I am struggling with xsl development, I am doing the designing on OpenESB standalone version's studio and it just given source view for xsl. Since many of you must have developed many complex transformations, I want to know your tips and tricks in this trade.

Thanks,
Ashutosh
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Re: XSLT development tips

Paul Perez
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Hello Ashutosh  

First I would like to thank you for your interest in OpenESB and your feedback .
You are right XSL is a KEY point in integration.
At the Netbeans Level,  there is no GUI to develop XSLT document. In the past long time ago, Sun microsystems tried to develop one XSLT plugin  on Netbeans, but gave up after few attempts. I don't see the community to invest in, especially regarding the tools on the market.  
The feature you can use  in Netbeans is a code editor that provides completion and validation on XSLT. That is useful for people really fluent in XSLT or to check an existing XSLT document, but starting from crash just with the editor is a more bit complex.
Recently I had to develop many complex XSL transformations, I tried many tool and especially Map Force from ALTOVA. Simple at the beginning, it becomes inaccurate when complexity increase and overall, it force you to use Java or C# code to do the transformation. That is not a good option for me. A friend of mine recommended me OXYGEN. It is a nice tool a bit more complex at the beginning but more accurate for our uses.
That is the point for Netbeans,

Now let's have a look on OpenESB.
You can use XSLT in two ways, the first is to create a XSLT project that can be configured in a request response mode or in the bridge mode. Few OpenESB developers use this features in their project. May be a lack of documentation.
The second and the most use feature is the possibility to do an XSLT transformation in a BPEL Assign activity through the BPEL Mapper. Here, I'm not talking about a Mapper transformation but a call to a XSL tranformation from the mapper.
you will find more detail in the BPEL documentation at the chapter Mapper.
In a real project, I recommend to use the mapper for small and easily understandable mapping or when we impact BPEL or OpenESB variables.
When the mapping is complex with loop and  strange rules, I advice the developer to use XSLT and call the xsl transformation in the mapper.
It is clean and easy since you split the transformation and orchestration concerns.

I hope I reply to your question.

Feel free to contact me

regards

Paul

www.pymma.com The best services on OpenESB
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Re: XSLT development tips

AshutoshSingh
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Hello Paul,

Thanks for the insights. I agree with you on the approach you suggested on transformation. Having the transformation project separate will make the clear understanding of logic and overall flow of the integration interface.

Thanks again.
Ashutosh
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