XMLTools on GotDotNet

[via Scott Hanselman]

I really like Scott's blog and am a keen listener of his podcast. He had an interesting link recently to a tool from the XMLTools page on gotdotnet. It was to a tool called Microsoft XML Diff and Patch.

What really interested me about this tool was the potential application to the SQL Server 2005 BI applications. Now, the connection here may not be immediately obvious, but XML is used all through the MS BI stack, and not just in .config files. Below is a short list of the main object definitions that are stored in XML.

  • Reporting Services Reports (.rdl) and Data Sources (.rds)
  • Integration Services Packages (.dtsx)
  • Analysis Services objects
    • Cubes (.cube)
    • Dimensions (.dim)
    • Data Source Views (.dsv)
    • Data Sources (.ds)

The great thing about storing these objects in XML is that being a text based format, they can easily be stored in a source control system. The downside of this is that sometimes the designers will write out elements that have not changed out in a different order. Text based diff tools will interpret this change in position as equivalent to a change in content, as they do not know how differentiate between a change in content vs a change in position. I hope that this tool will have some of this intelligence. I hope to give it a test run in the next few days and will update this post with my findings.

Print | posted on Monday, February 27, 2006 8:09 PM