We at AJB Consulting pride ourselves on our adherence to the following three core principles regarding the use of XML and its associated technologies. These involve the construction and handling of XML data, the XSD that describes it, and the XSL that transforms it.
Data Is King
If the above statement is accurate, then why would you treat royalty as a mere subject of your enterprise's 'kingdom'? Aside from database care and feeding, how one develops and utilizes their markup's data model is of paramount import to mission success.
XML is a data-encoding markup standard which accounts for both human and machine readability. Too often, the balance is unduly shifted toward one or the other. This imbalance is most likely due to the "tunnel vision" of the entity or entities that dominate the data-model creation and/or maintenance process. The beauty of XML, however, is that you shouldn't have to compromise! Well-crafted XML should meet the needs of all reasonable invested parties, achieve balance, and enable the job to get done.
If you and your business find yourselves in a situation where you need to restore that balance, then you need us - professionals with experience in all of the components that go into XML schema (XSD) creation and refactoring, such as element vs. attribute usage, complex-content definition, namespace creation/elimination and maintenance, value constraint, business rule creation and enforcement, consolidation of declarations and merging within schema sets, and more.
Data Is The Key That Unlocks Transformative Power
So now you have a well-crafted data model. Where do you go from there? What products do you produce from your data, and how? XML relies on XSL Transformation stylesheets (XSLT) to be transformed into... well, pretty much anything you can think of. XML which conforms to another schema? Text? Word documents? PDFs? Excel files? HTML? Even graphics? Yes. With accessibility from numerous programming languages, and the power of XPath node selection and processing alongside it, XSLT is often a core component of publishing pipelines and complex data structure/mapping translation schemes. XSLT is indeed pretty powerful on its own, but combine it with Java extensions, and well-structured, well-populated data, and the sky is truly the limit.
Of course, this doesn't just happen all by itself. Again, you need experts in data transformation that know how to turn your precious data into the products you and your customers need to thrive. This not only involves knowledge of the above technologies, but also of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) packages to drive this process, such as XSLT processors, PDF transformation engines (involving either XSL-FO or CSS-based styling), XML pipelining (XProc) technologies, and more. Again, you need us.
Better Author Experiences Mean Better Output
In between data architecture and final output sit the authors. Assuming a sharp, talented crew behind your content, catering to their needs and wants means improving the final product(s). You'll need professionals experienced in best-in-breed XML authoring suites, such as oXygen XML Editor, to get the job done.
An extremely flexible tool, oXygen allows enormous customization of the author experience through various programmatic and GUI-based means. Simplify the interface to focus them on what's truly important, or expand functionality to allow them to get creative or control particulars. Whatever the case may be, again - you need US.
You need AJBC.
And we're excited to enable XML to enable you.