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Part II: Automations > XML Transference from Data to Layout

Chapter 4. XML Transference from Data to Layout

The speed at which XML was adopted across the business sector was stunning. My first indication of the XML phenomenon came when I was teaching a seminar on maximizing the potential of Dreamweaver 3 at the Seybold conference in Boston. Trying to gauge the audience’s level of expertise, I asked how many people had used Dreamweaver before. All but two or three raised their hands. When I asked how many people were familiar with Cascading Style Sheets, only about 1/3 responded. “How many people here use XML in their business?,” I asked next. Three-quarters of the audience— an audience of Web developers, mind you—shot up their hands. Clearly, XML was a technology about to explode.

Dreamweaver has long maintained—since version 3, in fact—a strong XML connection. Importing and exporting of the well-formed XML file is only a menu option away. Of course, Dreamweaver assumes you know how to format the XML file properly for importing and how to make the most of exported data. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to do these things; those topics are part of what will be covered in this chapter.

The standard Dreamweaver XML features are powerful ones, but really only serve as a foundation for what is possible. In this chapter, you’ll see how to automate the production of Web pages from XML data. We’ll also explore techniques for structuring XML data as content, ready for import into a Dreamweaver template. Finally, we’ll look at how to extract the content from a document derived from a template and how to store the information in a data source.

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