A Beginners’ Guide to XML Compare, how to get started

I have had my DNA analysed.  Not only did I discover that I have 4% Neanderthal DNA but also that I have many distant cousins across the world, many in the USA.  My distant ancestors must have emigrated, perhaps back in the 1700s, however I have no records of any emigration.

I am imagining that one of my distant cousins currently has a job that means that he or she has to understand how to use the DeltaXML products to compare documents or data and he isn’t quite sure how to do this.  I have not worked for DeltaXML very long and some of the technology is new to me.  This blog is here to share the knowledge that I have gained about XML Compare to help my cousin and perhaps you too.

You have two xml files that you want to compare.

If you’re not a geek and you don’t want to use java (yet) then you have three broad options.  All of them use special files defined by DetaXML called DXP or DCP which are there to define how the comparison is run. For now just use them, the details will be explained in a later blog (More about DXP and DCP).

DeltaXML’s GUI (Graphical User Interface)

This is documented here: graphical user-interface (GUI)Wait! Before you click on the link you need to know that you start it up by opening a command prompt (or terminal window) at the directory where the product is installed and typing deltaxml-gui.bat at the Windows command prompt or deltaxml-gui.sh in a terminal window.

Note that the GUI is designed to help demonstrate some of the built-in capabilities of XML Compare, but it is not intended as a standalone productivity tool.

The GUI has a drop-down list of all the DXP and DCP files it finds in certain strategic places on your computer. (See The Location of DXP/DCP Files on a Computer)

Best when: dipping your toe in comparison waters

An oXygen plugin, extending the abilities of oXygen

Also see this blog: The oXygen Comparison Adaptor

This is a great method to get into XML Compare if you already use oXygen. oXygen lists all the DXP and DCP files it finds in the DeltaXML menu once you have selected the product. It will look in certain strategic places on your computer. (See The Location of DXP/DCP Files on a Computer)

Here’s some good documentation about the installation of the DeltaXML oXygen Adaptor 

Best when: you are already familiar with oXygen

Use a command line or terminal window

This takes you into the underbelly of your computer, using DOS or UNIX… See the Command-Line ReadMe.

When you enter this command line from the directory where XML Compare is installed

    java -jar command.jar

it will give a list of configurations for DXP and DCP files that exist in certain strategic places on your computer, with their configuration-ids and a short description. (See The Location of DXP/DCP Files on a Computer)

If you want to find out more about any one of the configurations type in

    java -jar command.jar describe

replace with the name of the configuration that you are interested in.  You will see a longer description and also parameter information.

Best when: you are happy to use the command line and want a powerful interface

I encourage you to choose one of these three options, take your XML files and make the comparison using XML Compare.  Try out the different DXP and DCP files that present themselves and compare the results.  Any questions you have may be answered through the links below, in the general DeltaXML documentation or through one of the support channels.

(Please note: I don’t have brow-ridges and I’m flexible about tool-use!)

Pipelines and the Differences Between DXP and DCP

For in-depth information about DXP start here.

For more information about DCP and the Document Comparator see here.

The location of DXP/DCP files on a computer

Links to useful documentation

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