Introduction to Visual Mapper

 

The Visual Mapper tool is delivered with some Axway products. Its interface, known as the Data Map Editor, can be found in the following place(s):

  • Axway Policy Studio, at the Resources > Data maps node of the Policy Studio tree.
  • Other points of access may exist at the time you are reading this. Refer to the documentation of the product(s) you are using for further information.

The Visual Mapper matches an input format to an output format, to convert incoming data - either read from Web services or from a disk - for the purpose of easily delivering ready-to-use data to your applications. The formats available for input and output are the following:

  • XML
  • Json

Here are some examples of use cases of Visual Mapper, chosen in the context of Policy Studio:

  • to convert legacy data from a XML format to Json, for consumption as by mobile applications, via REST APIs
  • to convert data from one XML or Json format to another, for example in the context of a corporate merger, where two companies with separate histories have decided to use the same data format
  • to extract small portions of larger APIs, for easier and more convenient consumption by your applications.

Visual Mapper's Data Map Editor is composed of several views, available from the Design - Source - Run tabs at the bottom of the main section.

  • The Design view is a drag-and-drop interface for designing a map relationship for linking and enriching the outcoming data from the incoming data.
  • The Source view contains the XSLT (Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations) code generated by the manipulations in the Design view. One way of using Visual Mapper is to start by manipulating the Design view to approximate the result, and then pursue editing the XLST code in text mode on the Source view. 
  • The Run view provides a test environment for your transformations

Visual Mapper Overview Screen of accounts and owners

Map overview

Each map receives input messages (JSON or XML) and transforms them into the required output messages (JSON or XML) based on the map relationship you design in the Data Map Editor. You can also customize the map using external parameters.

Creating a new Map

  • In Policy Studio: to create a new map , right-click the Data Maps node in the tree (under Resources) and select Add new Data Map.
  • Other means of creating new Data maps may be available at the time you are reading this.

To define the new map with a single input schema, you need to provide:

  • A name for the map.
  • A description of the input message (source schema). This must include the type of the message (XML or JSON), the schema and the root element.
  • A description of the output message (target schema). This must include the type of the message (XML or JSON), the schema and the root element.

To define the new map with multiple input schemas, you need to provide:

  • A name for the map.
  • A description of each input message (source schemas). This must include the type of the messages (XML or JSON), the schemas and the root element for each selected schema.
  • A description of the output message (target schema). This must include the type of the message (XML or JSON), the schema and the root element.

Known limitations

The following limitations exist for this version of the Visual Mapper:

  • Not all XSD elements are supported (for example, xsd:list).
  • Only JSON schema draft4 is supported.
  • Only the most common XSLT functions are available in the Visual Mapper palette; although, all XSLT functions can be used in the expression editors.
  • When using large XSD schemas (more than 1000 elements), the Auto-mapping feature should be disabled, or used only on small number of records (see Configure auto-mapping settings).

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