MapForce 2008 Enterprise Edition is the latest version of Altova's graphical data mapping, conversion, and integration tool. The intent of this product is to make it easy to map data between any combination of XML, Database, flat file, EDI, Excel 2007, and/or Web service. Once mapped, it can then transform the data immediately or it can generate code for the execution of recurrent conversions. There is also a standard and professional version available and if you would like to view the differences, you can check out the feature comparison list.
What is MapForce 2008? it is a product that provides a graphical interface for defining and executing mapping between data sources. As indicated above, these mappings can involve a wide range of file types. To map data you first define the source data; that is where the data is coming from, and then you define the destination source, where the data is to go.
Since the information contained within these sources can be completely different, there may be some filtration that needs to go on in between the two end points. For example, if in your source you have a first name and a last name, but in your destination you have a full name, there is a concatenation function that will allow you to merge these two pieces of information together and they will end up as one in the destination. In fact, there are a lot of functions that will help you get the data from one place to the other in the right format. There is even a visual function builder to put together user-defined functions in a visual way to create just about anything you can think of.
Once you have the mapping done, you can then preview your results to make sure that everything is a go. At that point you can do the conversion on the spot, or, if it is something that you will need to do repeatedly, you can generate source in C++, C#, or Java that can be integrated into a program. You can even customize your generated output code using the Spy programming language (SPL).
If you use Microsoft Visual Studio or Eclipse, Altova offers an optional, but free, package for integrating the MapForce user interface and functionality into your favorite environment. This way you will have access to all of the tools right at hand.
So with all this, what's new with MapForce 2008 Release 2?
• Visual Studio integration extended to include seamless support for Visual. It can create a VS 2008 project file when generating C# or C++ data transformation code as well as for prior versions.