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Need recommendations for a report design tool that handles output to multiple documents

 
 
marklawford
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      12-08-2006
I've been prototyping a reporting solution using XSLT and Java to
transform a number of XML files into different formats (PDF and CSV
mainly). The XML comes from a legacy system where a number of report
instances are all combined into a single XML file (each separate
"document" contained within an element below the root node). I've been
using the xsl:result-document instruction and the SAXON processor to
split these.

As part of the next stage we are looking at the viability of allowing
business users (probably at the business analyst end of the spectrum)
to (re)design reports as requirements shift. As such I need to evaluate
a number of tools that may open this up. Importantly, as we're not
going to change the legacy system, the design tool must allow for the
breaking of content into separate documents.

I've looked at Actuate BIRT and Altova StyleVision so far.

BIRT appears to work best on tabular XML content (ours is a tree
structure) and I think will disqualify itself on that basis.

StyleVision has a nice drag and drop interface but it doesn't look as
though it supports the result-document instruction.

I think I need some advice on whether there are any tools out there
that might fit the bill.

Thanks,

Mark

 
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Tony Lavinio
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      12-08-2006
On 12-08-2006 3:21 AM, marklawford wrote:

> I've been prototyping a reporting solution using XSLT and Java to
> transform a number of XML files into different formats (PDF and CSV
> mainly). The XML comes from a legacy system where a number of report
> instances are all combined into a single XML file (each separate
> "document" contained within an element below the root node). I've been
> using the xsl:result-document instruction and the SAXON processor to
> split these.
>
> As part of the next stage we are looking at the viability of allowing
> business users (probably at the business analyst end of the spectrum)
> to (re)design reports as requirements shift. As such I need to evaluate
> a number of tools that may open this up. Importantly, as we're not
> going to change the legacy system, the design tool must allow for the
> breaking of content into separate documents.


It appears that the publishing module in Stylus Studio is
just what you're asking for. It supports pipelines, so that
you can take a single source and send it in multiple directions
simultaneously, and you can generate code for Saxon.

See http://www.stylusstudio.com/xml/publishing.html for details
on the publishing tools which will generate PDFs using either the
bundled RenderX XEP processor or Apache FOP (or whatever else you
want to plug in).

See http://www.stylusstudio.com/xml/pipeline.html for details on
hooking together conversion and transformation.

There is even a sample application on the page
http://www.stylusstudio.com/multi_ch...ublishing.html that
you can download and try with a copy of Stylus Studio. Evals
are available at http://www.stylusstudio.com/xml_download.html

--
Sincerely,
Tony Lavinio
Stylus Studio Principal Software Architect
http://www.stylusstudio.com/
 
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MKline
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      12-08-2006
Have you checked StylusStudio yet?
www.stylusstudio.com


marklawford wrote:
> I've been prototyping a reporting solution using XSLT and Java to
> transform a number of XML files into different formats (PDF and CSV
> mainly). The XML comes from a legacy system where a number of report
> instances are all combined into a single XML file (each separate
> "document" contained within an element below the root node). I've been
> using the xsl:result-document instruction and the SAXON processor to
> split these.
>
> As part of the next stage we are looking at the viability of allowing
> business users (probably at the business analyst end of the spectrum)
> to (re)design reports as requirements shift. As such I need to evaluate
> a number of tools that may open this up. Importantly, as we're not
> going to change the legacy system, the design tool must allow for the
> breaking of content into separate documents.
>
> I've looked at Actuate BIRT and Altova StyleVision so far.
>
> BIRT appears to work best on tabular XML content (ours is a tree
> structure) and I think will disqualify itself on that basis.
>
> StyleVision has a nice drag and drop interface but it doesn't look as
> though it supports the result-document instruction.
>
> I think I need some advice on whether there are any tools out there
> that might fit the bill.
>
> Thanks,
>
> Mark


 
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