xmlHelpline Blog
Xml, Xslt, data standards, and anything else...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Detailed feedback on Schema Lightener / Flattener

Been getting more and more interest and feedback on the free Schema Lightener and Flattener combo tool (and I can't resist a link explaining its testing here. I've recently tested with NIEM too).

Here is a note from Kurt Kanaskie, Enterprise Architect at Merck and Company:

In any case, I spent some time with the Flattener and Lightener today, excellent work on your part!!!

The Flattener does exactly what I need it to do for what I've been calling our Production BODs. Since we use extensions via UserArea our delivered BODs need to have access to the entire set of elements in the OAGIS common library since any element may be used in a UserArea extension. Especially if we change the UserArea over time, then I just need to update the UserArea type. I've been doing this manually by placing all of the common developer schemas in a shared folder which is used the BOD and Noun. Effectively I provide the developer Schemas in a simplified folder structure. But now with the Flattener its easier!

Then I went on to the Lightener and I am very impressed. It works great!!! I did notice some situations that are not behaving as I expect. For example if I have SalesOrderReference only on the PurchaseOrderLine it also shows up on the Header and vice versa. If I remove them both, they both go away. [This behavior is by design. The Lightener removes components that are *never* used. It does not handle contextual variation, meaning an element used in one place but not another. In this case, it simply retains the elements. I've worked on a contextual variation version of the Lightener, but have not yet finished it. ]

I even ran it on a custom BOD, SyncActivity which just creates components for Activity and Resource from OAGIS components and fields. It works!!! Even lightens the imported Schemas! I did notice though, a few empty sequences, but still validates just fine. [Yes it may create empty sequences, but as you state this is still valid. If enough folks want the Lightener to remove empty sequences, it can be done.]

Let me know how I can really buy you coffee, this is great work!!! [You can buy me a coffee here.]

Best Regards,

Kurt Kanaskie
EA Solution Architect
Merck & Co., Inc.
© Copyright Paul Kiel.