Quick Review: XML Spy 4.0
One of the best XML editors out there, hands down.
Assuming that you haven't been doing your development in a cave,
you've run across XML by now. Or possibly it's run over you. Whether
you're working with databases, help files, e-commerce, or web
services, XML files have become pervasive on today's development
landscape. What you may not have run across is a good way to work with
those files. If that's your situation, you can stop looking: XMLSpy is
here. This is simply the best editor I've yet seen for XML files of
One of the hallmarks of XMLSpy is its flexibility. It can handle XML,
XSL, XSLT, DTD, XSD, and many other types of files. Depending on what
you're doing you can edit in color-coded text, or in a table, or via a
tree view of your document. There's a document editor view that lets
you see an XML file as massaged by an XSL file -- and still keeps it
editable! The richness of the editing tool set reminds me of Word or
Excel; expect to spend some time learning all the bells and whistles
of this product, although you can pick up the basics almost instantly.
The XMLSpy Suite also includes an excellent XSLT designer, and the
document editor is available as a browser plug-in. Integration with
other applications includes database import and export and source code
control. XMLSpy even includes its own form editor, automation and
let you extend and automate the editing interface. The help files also
deserve special mention; not only are they an excellent guide to the
product, but they offer a good tutorial on the ins and outs of XML for
the beginner as well.
If XML has crept into your development life, this product will
definitely make things easier. You can download a fully-functional
trial version from the XMLSpy web site if you'd like to take it for a
Mike Gunderloy, MCSE, MCSD, MCDBA, is a former MCP columnist and the author of numerous development books.