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Beth Massi is a Senior Program Manager on the Visual Studio team at Microsoft and a community champion for business application developers. Learn more about Beth.
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I just posted an interview on Channel 9 with Yang Xiao, a tester on the VB IDE. In this interview Yang shows us the new XML Schema Explorer in Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1. This new window is invoked when you right-click on an XML literal element or namespace and select "Show in XML Schema Explorer" in Visual Basic programs. It's a nice way to visually display the structure of your schema sets which makes you even more productive when working with XML in Visual Basic.
XML Schema Explorer in Visual Studio 2008 SP1
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It looks like a pretty good tool. The example set up had many more schemas than I have ever used at once. It might have been a better presentation if the example was a little more simplified.
I have yet to install SP1, does this schema explorer replace the schema tool?
No it doesn't replace the XML to Schema tool, it serves a different purpose -- it just helps navigate the schemas you already have in the project. The XML To Schema actually is a wizard that infers the schema from XML data and adds it to your project. This tool is now built into Visual Studio SP1 now so there's no need to download it.
Regarding the sample, I think Yang wanted to show off all the features of the window and how it handles complex schemas. A simple example wouldn't have shown all the powerful features. I'll make note to blog about it with a simple example in the future.
Beth Massi and Yang Xiao did a great Channel 9 session that centered on XML Literals and the XML Schema
Now, the explorer is nice, but what tool is available to allow us to manipulate the results at design time. If you make a strongly-typed dataset, you can bind it at design time to a datagridview and manipulate the look. Is there someway to do this with XML data that isn't cumbersome? Right now I use the XML to Schema tool and some work arounds to make the XML show up in the datasources tab, which them allows me to bind it to the datagridview. Thanks.