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xmlLinguist offers the ability to translate a flat, text file into XML, and visa-versa. Once a file is in XML format, the power of XML is fully applicable to this previously flat file. Stylesheets can be applied, translating it to different formats, etc.

The translation of files in xmlLinguist translates the text as it lies in the flatfile into an XML format. It does not translate the layout of the file. In other words, if an Order Number appears before the Customer Name in the file, that's how it will appear in the XML translation. xmlLinguist makes a direct translation of format, not structure. Using XML Stylesheets on the translated file is an easy and powerful way to change the structure of the file.

xmlLinguist has two environments to offer: a Map Editor GUI and a Translation Engine. The Map Editor is a visual Windows32 application, where-as the Translation Engine comes in many flavors, mainly designed particularly for automation purposes in B2B environments.

Map Editor Benefits
  • Visual Tree View layout
    The Mapping tool in xmlLinguist displays the structure in a Tree View, allowing direct editing of names, also of Field Properties within the tree view itself. This map also shows exactly how the nodes in the XML document will look after a Text-to-XML translation.

  • Property Window
    The Property Window in xmlLinguist shows properties for the Document, the currently selected Line and Field. All three of these property groups are editable, and after selecting/editing a Line or Field, the Map Tree View will synch itself to that line/field.

  • Map Execution
    Within the GUI, users have the ability to execute the currently loaded Map. A Dialog appears, prompting the user for a Source file, a direction from which to translate the file, and a Destination location.

  • Map Node Manipulation
    xmlLinguist's Map GUI allows nodes to be moved around in many different ways. In addition to the typical Drag/Drop methods most Windows users are used to, Ctrl+Arrow keys will also move Fields and Lines up and down in their position, left and right for Lines in their hierarchy, etc.

Translation Engine Benefits
  • Bi-directional Engine
    xmlLinguist's translation engine can translate flat, text files to XML and also translate XML files to their flat equivalent, all with the same map. Just set the appropriate direction parameter and the file is translated in the correct direction.

  • Introducing Hierarchy into Flat Files
    Flat Files are just that, flat. They have only implied structure that users have said, "Well, this line is a child of that line" etc. xmlLinguist has the ability to introduce hierarchy into a flatfile. When creating the Map, you can make a Line a childline of a different Line, and when the file is translated, in the resulting XML that line will appear as a child element of the Line is was inserted into.

  • Automation Capabilities in EXE and DLL
    The Translation Engine has two different ways of becoming automated. First, the engine is wrapped in an EXE that if passed the appropriate Command Line parameters, will execute a map. This can therefore be easily automated through various scheduling tools, such as the Windows 2000 Scheduler. Second, a DLL is supplied that wraps the execution in a Windows COM Object, with properties for the different parameters needed to run a map. This can therefore be programatically automated using any Windows programming language, such as VB, C++, Delphi, Java, etc.

  • Interactive and Silent Execution Modes
    The Translation Engine has the ability to execute maps with no user interaction ("silent" mode) and any necessary parameters (such as map, source and destination files, direction, etc) are passed in through command line parameters, or as parameters of the COM object. It also has the ability to execute maps with visual interaction ("interactive" mode) where a dialog is displayed, prompting the user for the necessary parameters to execute the map. The former is necessary for automating map translation processes, as found in many B2B/A2A scenarios, but the latter is used for immediate testing/interaction. The latter is also used in the xmlLinguist Map GUI, being the dialog that is displayed when the Run command is envoked.