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Authentic browser-based editor

Feb 03, 20032 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsProgramming Languages

* Editing XML in a browser

A few issues ago I discussed a couple of tools that provide WYSIWYG document editing in browsers so that users can create and manage formatted documents on a Web server (see editorial links below). Today, I’ll introduce a browser-based editor that goes to the next step – editing XML documents – specifically editing XSLT transformed XML documents within HTML pages.

The product is called Authentic 5 Browser Edition and it is from Altova (, which is best known for xmlspy, its excellent XML development environment.

Authentic 5 Browser Edition is an ActiveX control for Windows 98, ME, NT, 2000, or XP and requires IE5.5+.

In essence, Authentic allows you to edit XML forms that are incrementally parsed and validated. Because the form is defined by an XSLT stylesheet the user can only add, extend and modify elements in the document according to the stylesheet rules.

The beauty of this is that documents implicitly have structure and upon saving to the server can be interpreted and acted upon by other processes with certainty about the context of every document element.

A good example of the use of Authentic can be found on the Altova site. This demonstrates “NanoNull News,” the creation and editing of news articles. In the demo you can create new articles as well as review and modify existing articles.

The graphical Schema editor of xmlspy was used to create the XML Schema for the news articles. The demo also uses some client-side JavaScript and server-side JavaScript in an ASP page along with SQLXML 2.0 mapping-extensions to the XML Schema to map the documents to SQL database tables under MS SQL Server 2000.

Altova provides an ASP.Net Server Control that integrates with Visual Studio .Net and allows developers to drag & drop Authentic 5 Browser Edition into Web forms. There is also a Microsoft Content Management Server 2002 Placeholder Control that integrates with CMS 2002.

Pricing for Authentic 5 Browser Edition starts at $238 for a single user license and includes one year of support and maintenance. Licenses for multiple users and per server are also available.


Mark Gibbs is an author, journalist, and man of mystery. His writing for Network World is widely considered to be vastly underpaid. For more than 30 years, Gibbs has consulted, lectured, and authored numerous articles and books about networking, information technology, and the social and political issues surrounding them. His complete bio can be found at

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