XML Schema Editors — A Comparison of Real-World XML Schema Visualizations

Felix Michel, Erik Wilde

Felix Michel, Erik Wilde, XML Schema Editors — A Comparison of Real-World XML Schema Visualizations, Computer Engineering and Networks Laboratory, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland, TIK Report 265, December 2006.

XML Schema is a complex language for defining schemas for classes of XML documents, and its inherent complexity as well as its XML transfer syntax make it hard to read XML Schemas for humans. This is a problem, because in many cases XML Schemas are not only used for validation purposes, but also as the data model for classes of XML documents, which must be understood by developers working with these documents. This report looks at various visualizations of XML Schemas in existing software tools and compares them in terms of how well they are suited to represent the data model behind the XML Schema syntax. As of today, no available tool provides a level of abstraction that would be appropriate for a data model perspective; most of them are visualizations of the syntax rather than the model. The tools included in this report are the Eclipse XML editors, XML Spy, oXygen, Turbo XML, and Stylus Studio. This report is not a complete evaluation of these tools, it only looks at them in terms of their schema visualization and their support of a less syntax-centered view of XML Schema.


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