Using XML And XSLT In Delphi

Craig Murphy decrypts the latest crop of acronyms to fly across our desks and shows how to use XML and XSLT within our Delphi apps to transform documents (such as HTML report files or websites) into other formats on demand.

As most website builders will know, creating a website that looks good in the plethora of browsers now available is not an easy task. Frequently we find ourselves maintaining two (or more) versions of our sites: one for Internet Explorer, the other for Netscape. With the advent of micro-browsers in PDAs and the sheer profusion of mobile telephones, it seems that managing a website is doomed to become even more complex. Thankfully, combining XML and XSLT offers light at the end of the tunnel. XML allows us to streamline our website content, while XSLT makes the presentation of the content more manageable.

Equally, we're all used to deploying our traditional applications with a collection of reports. Some of these reports will be standard, some defined by the customer, but they all require some sort of reporting engine. When changes to those reports are required, often a new executable is built and deployed. XML and XSLT can help us alleviate this requirement. After all it is much easier to deploy XSLT files: there's no recompile required and they are nothing more than plain text files.

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