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Friday, December 21, 2007

XForms and Ruby on Rails at the Doctor's Office, Part 1

This is the first article in a four-part series about using XForms,
IBM DB2 pureXML, and Ruby together to more easily create Web applications.
We examine how XForms, DB2 pureXML, and Ruby on Rails can help you more
rapidly build XML-centric Web applications. We examine how XForms
simplifies creating an interactive front end. You will get the
interactivity of Ajax, but without having to write any JavaScript or
mapping code. We look at how easy it is to store and query XML using
DB2 pureXML: DB2's SQL/XML will let you mix SQL and XQuery together
to easily access XML data in your database. Finally, we look at how
to set up Ruby on Rails to work with DB2 pureXML. With just a few minor
adjustments, we were able to create XML-enabled tables in DB2 using
Ruby on Rails. XForms allows you to define your data in a simple XML
model and your view using standard HTML form elements. XForms then
provides declarative mapping between these elements. That means you
will not have to write either client-side or server-side code for
taking some submitted value and inserting into an XML structure. XForms
handles it for you. It even does all of this asynchronously: changes
in the HTML form are bound to the XML model and sent to the server
for synchronization. You get the benefits of Ajax without having to
write any JavaScript.

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