XML file output


D

Dick Watson

Has anybody lurking here ever messed around with the XML files Money can
create from Reports? Hopefully an XML/XSLT god?

I'm no XML expert, but the whole thing just seems like a hack so they could
put "Exports XML" on the features list. You can't just export it. You have
to export it as an email attachment--which you can then not send but get the
XML file back out of, but it also generates a useless .TXT output. Or you
can generate ALL THREE forms Money knows how to generate to the desktop.
That's all the choices. (And given that one of the reports I'm playing
around with data from takes hours to actually generate a file--after taking
half an hour to render in the first place--waiting 2x or 3x that long just
so you can throw away 2/3 of the output produced is kinda galling.

So then you have the XML file. Again, I'm no XML expert, but it's just not
clear what they were thinking. The elements are completely divorced from the
underlying data. They string values have lots of leading and trailing edge
white space to contend with. And on and on. And there's no sense of the
structure/schema of the underlying data encoded in the XML. Not a drop. When
they say you are exporting a REPORT they aren't kidding. The elements in the
XML are all about rows and columns and fields. A transaction root in one
line and its split elements in the following lines? The only way to make
anything useful of this is to infer the arrangement of rows from an
attribute of the row element that looks like it would get you there. The XML
without a lot of looking at the report it came from would be pretty useless.
That seems backwards to my meager understanding of XML.

I was hoping to figure out a better way to get data into Access than via the
..CSV files and lots of ugly parsing to deal with the strange things like
VOID text in the check number column and on and on. My meager understanding
of XML suggested to me that these files and a XSLT could convert this stuff
into something reasonably usable by the ADO XML methods. Again, I'm no
expert, but eight or ten hours later, it's still not clear that there's a
way to write an XSLT that could put this stuff back together in any useful
way.

So, has ANYBODY lurking here ever put any of this Money-generated XML to any
useful purpose? Has anybody ever asked you to mail a Money report as XML to
them? (Since that seems to be the use case the designers envisioned...) What
did they do with it? (Seems to me that the report data would be more useful
if you just printed it to a PDF or XPS or MDI and mailed them that and they
re-keyed it.)

Anybody?
 
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R

Ron Pierce

Dick,
Just an interesting FYI. I am not the XML expert you are looking for, but
decided to view one of the XML exports for grins. I use GMail for email. I
never configured Outlook with an email account - just did need it. Why I
installed Outlook? Don't know, maybe habit. Anyway, when I try to "send
to - mail recipent with XML data" - MS Money Plus prompts with a "MS
Outlook - No Profiles have been created dialog with an OK button. Pressing
OK reveals another dialog from MS Money: "MS Money is unable to find your
email provider. Do you want to send the file to your desktop so you can
attach it to an email later?". Pressing "OK" sends the file directly to my
desktop. Don't know if this is usefull in any way - but it is
interesting. Good Luck on the XML Expert.

- Ron
 

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