Announcing CTP1 of the XML Schema Designer

Announcing CTP1 of the XML Schema Designer

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XML Tools team has released the first CTP of the XML Schema Designer - a graphical tool for working with XML Schemas. The XML Schema Designer is integrated with Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 and the XML Editor to enable you to work with XML Schema definition language (XSD) schemas. If you have used the Visual Studio editor or notepad to edit your schemas, consider downloading this CTP and using it for editing your schema files. You can download it from Microsoft Downloads site. This CTP introduces the Schema Explorer - a tool that helps you navigate, search and work with schema sets. You can view a short video of the new functionality here

Here are some of the main features that are included in this CTP. 



An XML Schema can contain multiple XML Schema files. The new XML Schema Designer lets you work with a schema set. That is, when you open an XML Schema file, the XML Schema Designer opens it as a schema set, which includes any included or imported schemas.

Tree View

The Schema Explorer displays pre-compiled schema set information in a tree structure. The tree structure is organized as follows:

  • At the top level is the schema set node.
  • The second level contains the namespaces.
  • The third level contains the files.
  • The fourth level contains the global nodes. This can include elements, groups, complex types, simple types, attributes, and attribute groups.

The following is an example of the tree structure:

Schema Set

    Namespace 1

        File 1

            Global node 1

    Namespace 2

        File 2

            Global node 2


The Schema Explorer enables you to search the schema set in the following ways:

  • Keyword search
  • Schema-specific search (for example, "Show All Derived Types")

Filter and Sort Feature

The Schema Explorer includes filter and sort options available on the Schema Explorer toolbar. The following filter options are available from the toolbar. The Show Namespaces and Show Schema Files options are selected by default.
  • Show Namespaces
  • Show Schema Files
  • Show Compositors (sequence/choice/all)

The following sorting options are available from the toolbar. The default is Sort By Type.

  • Sort By Type
  • Sort by Name
  • Sort by Document Order

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  • I just feel the overview section could have been a litte bit more uplifting than stating a very technical comment. The announcement and the overview section has no apparant connection and unfortunately its the first thing anyone reads.

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  • All I can say is THANK YOU!

    I've been using VS2005 for this task and while it's pretty good, I've always been wanting for a "document tree" view - exactly like the one shown in the video!

    If currently find myself just switching layout views just to maintain sanity...but alas, there are times when the IDE chokes - at least it doesn't kill the file :)

    Anyway, the obvious follow up question as far as Visual Studio is concerned, is will the XSD.exe tool be better integrated? And will it handle such grouped XSDs?

    It was easy enough to add XSD as an "external tool"  but the question really is why did I have to?

    Although I did somehow figure out (undocumented) that you could actually pass multiple xsd files as arguments,  to XSD.exe, results are "iffy"..

    Anyway, keep up the good work!

  • What about Relax NG?  It's better than XSD.

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