Friday, December 18, 2009

RAD 7.5.5 adds support for XPath 2.0 and XSLT 2.0

Today, RAD 7.5.5 became available. Of interest to WebSphere XML customers, you'll see major new function in the XML areas to complement the features provided by the Feature Pack for XML.

IBM Rational Application Developer 7.5.5 provides enhancements to the existing XSLT 1.0 and XPath 1.0 authoring tools to support XSLT 2.0 and XPath 2.0, as well as the ability to program against the new IBM XML API and invoke the XML runtime provided by the WAS Feature Pack for XML. Developer benefits include: the ability to work seamlessly with XSLT 1.0 and 2.0 artifacts using a consistent set of tools, the ability to author - create, edit, validate - XSLT 2.0 artifacts, the ability to invoke the XSLT 1.0 or 2.0 processor with ease using the enhanced XSLT launch configuration and the ability to easily configure a project's classpath to program against the new XML Application Programming Interface.

There is more info on what's new here.

- You can now compile and integrate XSL 1.0 and 2.0 stylesheet documents into Java projects. This new functionality automatically handles classpath and runtime configurations. Also, a new option is available to incorporate a Java utility class is offered so that you can integrate compiled stylesheets.
- The Expression Builder tool in the XSL Editor now supports as-you-type evaluation for XPath 1.0 and 2.0.
- The XSL Editor now supports grammars for XSL versions 1.0 and 2.0. Content assist has been enhanced to incorporate better prefix handling, customized icons and detailed descriptions for all XSL element suggestions. Version sensitive file decorations are now available for XSL documents.
- You can now run XSLT 2.0 transformations.
- Content assist for XPath 2.0 and XSLT 2.0 functions in the XSL editor and XPath Expression Builder is now available.
- The XSLT validator now supports both XSLT 1.0 and XSLT 2.0, and provides build, manual and as-you-type validation. The validator helps you ensure that your XSLT documents are correct according to the XSLT 1.0 or 2.0 specifications.
- XSL templates are now available that can be added to new XSL files from the New XSL wizard. The templates can also be inserted into XSL files through the content-assist feature in the XSL editor.
You can modify the XSL templates through XML preferences page (Window > Preferences > XML > XSL> Editor > Templates).
- A new XSLT 2.0 sample is available that demonstrates the XSLT 2.0 transformation using context menu and Java code.

There are many other improvements and new features in RAD 7.5.5 and I expect Tim or I will blog about them in an upcoming blog post.


Nico said...

Is there any chance that XProc will be supported? I think it's great that we can now get rid of the DOM boilerplate code, but there is still the code to prepare, execute and examine results of an XSLT or XPath or XQuery.
This still leaves the door open for imperative pollution in XML applications.
I have been a user of Apache Cocoon for a long time, and its pipelines do away completely with all the Java boilerplate, making XML applications completely declarative. XProc is supposed to do the same thing.

Andrew Spyker said...


Interesting comment. I cannot comment on future direction for IBM. I could post my thoughts on XProc at some point in the future (as a person, not IBM's thoughts of course).

In the meantime, if you could reach out to me on Linkedin (Andrew Spyker), I would love to query more about your thoughts on the topic.