Comparison analysis and opportunities for future improvements

For over 20 years, DeltaXML has continued to improve their products and procedures. A big part of this process depends on deeply encouraging the development team to voice ideas of our own. Between development cycles, we run week-long ‘free’ sprints to let developers try out new ideas. A recent free sprint saw one of our developers look at some interesting customer tools to help summarise an operation and also choose which software to use. Here we look at the detail of that development and future extensions, asking, if we made a change, what would matter to you?

Change report generation

The free sprint began with researching the idea of generating a change report of a comparison, which produces an analysis of the separate inputs and comparison results. This work focussed on the implementation within our flagship product XML Compare, and the possibilities of generating multiple outputs from a single comparison. We are excited to share the potential of this comparison analysis with you.

Comparison analysis results

The analysis of the input includes values, such as the total number of elements and attributes. A more subjective analysis defines the type of content included in the input, such as whether it has mixed contents, contains tables, and the general size of text. By using these input characteristics, we suggest whether they are ‘Document’ or ‘Data’, and recommend which of our products or built-in features would be best suited for the most accurate comparison. For example, XML Compare’s Document Comparator or XML Data Compare. You can see the results of this report in the image below.

In addition to the input analysis, the change report includes a result analysis. The information gathered surrounding the result includes fields such as percentage change between the two inputs, element and attribute additions/deletions, alongside the total number of changes, text changes, and attribute changes.

In a similar fashion to using our input analysis to suggest the product best suited to your needs, we hope to use our result analysis to suggest ways to improve your results. This includes optimising your comparisons and bettering user experience with our products.

Future ideas

After concluding the free sprint investigation, further internal discussions have sparked several exciting ideas.

Now that we have the foundations of a comparison analysis, the information we attain can be provided to customers in a variety of ways. Our first thought was to include the report details within the DiffReport output of a comparison. This would add to the HTML rendering of a comparison and keep all your information in one place.

Another idea included a web app. Customers would provide a sample of the inputs they wished to compare and we would suggest which of our products would best fit their needs. This would give a clearer view on which products to investigate further.

Finally, information from the change reports could be stored using our up and coming global usage logging database, which keeps track of all comparisons made with our products. With the change report analysis’ saved, we could provide customers access to a breakdown of their use of DeltaXML, including the specifics of comparison results found through the change report.

Be a part of the change

To help us improve our products in a way that delivers real value and benefit, we welcome all customer feedback and input. Please use the comment section below and help us bring you the updates you need.

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