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Automate XML file updates, Part 1: XML process introduction and conversion stylesheet creation

A methodology using XSLT, Apache Ant, and Java SE

Tom Coppedge (tcoppedg@us.ibm.com), developerWorks Software Engineer, IBM
Tom Coppedge has been a member of the developerWorks design team since the site was launched in 1999. Tom's focus includes XML & XSLT strategy, information architecture, and site design. He joined IBM in 1988 after receiving a degree in Information Systems & Operations Management from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Summary:  This is the first part of a tutorial series that describes a method for automating updates to a library of XML files so that they all conform to an updated XML schema. In Part 1, you learn the steps in the entire process and then create an XSLT stylesheet to update the XML files. In Part 2, you learn how to install, configure, and run Apache Ant and Java SE to iteratively transform each of your XML files based on the updates specified in your XSLT stylesheet.

View more content in this series

Date:  17 Aug 2006
Level:  Intermediate PDF:  A4 and Letter (303 KB | 15 pages)Get Adobe® Reader®

Activity:  13991 views
Comments:  

The conversion process: A quick reference

Here's a summary of the entire process. After you read the tutorial, you might want to return to the following table and use it as a quick reference as you plan, schedule and do the work.

Note: You can apply the process described in this tutorial series to XML instance documents based on a document type definition (DTD), as well as those based on a schema. For brevity, I refer only to schema-based documents. The process is applied to the XML instance documents, not the schema or DTD.


Table 1. Process steps
StepDescription
1Obtain copies of the former schema and the updated schema in its final, approved state.
2Compare schema files and other update sources. (Part 1)
3Determine whether an XML file update is required. (Part 1)
4Create and test XSLT conversion templates. (Part 1)
5Create and test the XSLT conversion stylesheet. (Part 1)
6Apache Ant: Introduction and installation instructions. (Part 2)
6Download and install Java SE. (Part 2)
7Create a build.xml file for Ant. (Part 2)
8Run Ant to create new XML and HTML files. (Part 2)

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