EZ xslt
Easy XSLT Stylesheet builder for FileMaker Pro Users


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Do you need a web server to use XML and XSLT?

It is a common misconception that XML and XSLT is only for use with web technologies. Although XML can be used for integration with web services and to aid in the generation and exchange of information over the internet it is not limited to internet applications.

This technical note looks at how FileMaker Pro 6 implements XML and XSLT with a focus on deployment options.

FileMaker Pro 6 includes a build-in an industry-standard XSLT Stylesheet transformation engine. FileMaker Pro 6 can export XML information in two different "grammars", and optionally can apply an XSLT Stylesheet transformation to the output on the fly. This is configured using a single dialog-box that is integrated into the Export Records function when a user selects XML as the export file type. This new dialog box is called "XML and XSLT Options", and provides for the selection of the XML Grammar and the optional use of an XSLT Stylesheet.

FileMaker Pro 6 provides for both manual and fully-automatic means for executing an XML Export and applying an XSLT Stylesheet. End users can experience both control or one-click convenience at the option of the developer. This range of options, and the ease of setting up the XML/XSLT configuration is straightforward and consistent with other FileMaker Pro development methods.

XSLT Stylesheets may currently be referenced in three ways:

  1. Via a static path to a local hard drive volume or network share
  2. Via an http URL to a web server
  3. Via a path or URL stored in a FileMaker Pro field


1. Via a Static Path

XSLT Stylesheets may be placed in a directory on a local hard drive and referenced manually or via a Script. If the FileMaker Pro 6 solution is designed for multiple users, then the local volume path must be the same on each user hard drive volume to allow a fully scriptable solutions. Alternatively, the stylesheets may be stored on a network share that is always mounted.


2. Via an http URL

XSLT Stylesheets may be placed on any web server that is visible to the workgroup. This is an extremely powerful deployment mechanism that does not require any file be copied to the local desktops nor for a file share to be mounted and reachable by every user.


3. Via a path or URL stored in a FileMaker Pro field

In a scripted environment the values for any path or URL may be calculated or saved into a field value and referenced dynamically.