Issue 67 - Feb 1, 2003
Macintosh Weekly Journal
"Impressive" - "Snazzy" - "Useful"
October 12, 2002
OK, FileMaker Pro 6 supports Extensible Stylesheet Transformations (XSLT) for exporting data any way you want, but what can you do with that? XSLT stylesheets are XML documents that, when run through an XSLT translator, produce other XML documents or even text output. The language is recursive and powerful, one we admire quite a bit (though we don't quite have the tools to use it for setext production), and is a powerful way for automating today's data flows. If you can get an XML document, you can use an XSLT stylesheet to turn it into just about any other kind of structured document: XML, HTML, XHTML - even RTF.
That's where Chaparral Software's new EZxslt 1.0 comes in. FileMaker Pro 6 can not only export records in XML format, it can run them through an XSLT stylesheet first to customize the output. EZxslt takes any modern Microsoft Word document saved in RTF format and converts it to an XSLT stylesheet. You then import that stylesheet into your FileMaker Pro database and use it during export, and voila! The exported data is transformed into a new fully formatted Microsoft Word (RTF) document, with your data inserted in the appropriate places.
It's impressive because you don't have to touch XML or XSLT to get the work done. EZxslt transforms RTF to XSLT, and FileMaker Pro creates XML data and transforms it back to RTF using the XSLT stylesheet. No XML for you, unless you want to use the sample templates for your own XSLT hacking. This is a one-time procedure, too: once you have the stylesheet embedded in the database, you can export through it with a simple FileMaker Pro script. Users never have to touch EZxslt at all. Pretty snazzy, and probably worth US$129 for any FileMaker Pro developers that want to export real Microsoft Word documents. Chaparral bills EZxslt as the first automatic XSLT stylesheet generator for the Macintosh, and it's a useful one at that.
|Copyright 2002 Chaparral Software & Consulting Services, Inc.|
EZxslt is a trademark of Chaparral Software & Consulting Services, Inc.
Filemaker Pro 6.0, FileMaker Server, FileMaker Developer, FileMaker Unlimited are trademarks of FileMaker, Inc.
Microsoft Word is a trademark of the Microsoft Corporation.