Use Aspire and Tomcat to retrieve XML declaratively from any relational databases

Aspire in combination with Tomcat presents a very viable and cost-effective option for generating XML directly and declaratively from relational databases. Developers will start by choosing a set of SQL statements or stored procedures. Developers will then arrange these assets into a calling hierarchy in a configuration file. Aspire will execute this hierarchical data definition and returns a java based hierarchical data set. Aspire has pre-defined transformations that can convert this hierarchical data set into varieties of XML formats. Aspire also allows you to transform the resulting XML using XSLT via JAXP. The final XML or HTML can then be sent to the browser or consumed programmatically.

In addition to SQL and Stored-Procedures, you can also use File readers, java classes, and potentially others in their place. These assets are called relational adapters producing relational data sets. New relational adapters can be written quite easily for other enterprise data sources when needed.

The main focus of this article to allow programmers to quickly download Aspire and start generating XML from data bases. This is a cook-book/tutorial like approach that tells you everything you need to get started and be on your way to generate XML with very little coding. This article also encourages see-before-you-paint approach to web page development, meaning you can see your data on the web page as XML or text first before actually writing code for that page. This is very useful for debugging and discovering available fields in the data.