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10g Release 2 (10.2)

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10 Using the TransX Utility

This chapter contains these topics:

Introduction to the TransX Utility

TransX Utility enables you to transfer XML to a database. More specifically, the TransX utility is an application of XML SQL Utility (XSU) that loads translated seed data and messages into a database schema. If you have data to be populated into a database in multiple languages, then the utility provides the functionality that you would otherwise need to develop with XSU.

The TransX utility is particularly useful when handling multilingual XML. The utility does the following:


This chapter assumes that you are familiar with XML SQL Utility (XSU) because TransX is an application of XSU.

TransX utility Features

This section describes the following features of the TransX utility:

Simplified Multilingual Data Loading

When inserting multilingual data or data translations into an Oracle database, or when encoding, each XML file requires validation. The traditional translation data loading method is to change the NLS_LANG environment variable setting when switching load files. This variable sets the language and territory used by the client application and the database server. It also sets the client character set, which is the character set for data entered or displayed by a client program.

In the traditional method, each load file is encoded in a character set suitable for its language, which is necessary because translations must be performed in the same file format—typically in a SQL script—as the original. The NLS_LANG setting changes as files are loaded to adapt to the character set that corresponds to the language. As well as consuming time, this approach is error-prone because the encoding metadata is separate from the data itself.

With the TransX utility you use an XML document with a predefined format called a dataset. The dataset contains the encoding information and the data so that you can transfer multilingual data without changing NLS_LANG settings. The TransX utility frees development and translation groups by maintaining the correct character set while loading XML data into the database.

See Also:

Oracle Database Globalization Support Guide to learn about the NLS_LANG environment variable

Simplified Data Format Support and Interface

The TransX utility provides a command-line interface and programmable API. The utility complies with a data format defined to be the canonical method for the representation of seed data loaded into the database. The format is intuitive and simplified for use by translation groups. The format specification defines how translators can describe the data so that it is loaded in an expected way. You can represent the values in the data set with scalar values or expressions such as constants, sequences, and queries.

Additional TransX utility Features

Table 10-1 describes other useful TransX utility features.

Table 10-1 TransX Utility Features

Feature TransX Utility . . .
Command-line interface Provides easy-to-use commands.
User API Exposes a Java API.
Validation Validates the data format and reports errors.
Whitespace handling Does not consider whitespace characters in the data set as significant unless otherwise specified in various granularity.
Unloading Exports the result into the standard data format based on an input query.
Intimacy with translation exchange format Enables transformation to and from translation exchange format.
Localized user interface Provides messages in many languages.

Using the TransX Utility: Overview

This section contains the following topics:

Using the TransX Utility: Basic Process

TransX is accessible through the following API:

  • oracle.xml.transx.loader class, which contains the getLoader() method to obtain a TransX instance

  • oracle.xml.transx.TransX interface, which is the TransX API

Figure 10-1 illustrates the basic process for using the TransX API to transfer XML to an Oracle database.

Figure 10-1 Basic Process of a TransX Application

This graphic is described in the following text.

The basic process of a TransX application is as follows:

  1. Create a TransX loader object. Instantiate the TransX class by calling getLoader() as follows:

    TransX  transx = loader.getLoader();
  2. Start a data loading session by supplying database connection information with You create a session by supplying the JDBC connect string, database username, and database password. You have the following options:

    • Create the connection with the JDBC OCI driver. The following code fragment illustrates this technique and connect as user hr with password hr: "jdbc:oracle:oci8:@", "hr", "hr" );
    • Create the connection with the JDBC thin driver. The thin driver is written in pure Java and can be called from any Java program. The following code fragment illustrates this technique and connects as user hr with password hr: "jdbc:oracle:thin:@myhost:1521:ORCL", "hr","hr"); 

      The thin driver requires the host name (dlsun489), port number (1521), and the Oracle SID (ORCL). The database must have an active TCP/IP listener.


    If you are just validating your data format, then you do not need to establish a database connection because the validation is performed by TransX. Thus, you can invoke the TransX.validate() method without a preceding open() call.

  3. Configure the TransX loader. Table 10-2 describes configuration methods.

    Table 10-2 TransX Configuration Methods

    Method Description
    setLoadingMode() Sets the operation mode on duplicates. The mode determines TransX behavior when there are one or more existing rows in the database whose values in the key columns are the same as those in the dataset to be loaded. You can specify the constants EXCEPTION_ON_DUPLICATES, SKIP_DUPLICATES, or UPDATE_DUPLICATES in class oracle.xml.transx.LoadingMode. By default the loader skips duplicates.
    setPreserveWhitespace() Specifies how the loader should handle whitespace. The default is FALSE, which means that the loader ignores the type of whitespace characters in the dataset and loads them as space characters. The loader treats consecutive whitespace characters in the dataset as one space character.
    setValidationMode() Sets the validation mode. The default is TRUE, which means that the loader performs validation of the dataset format against the canonical schema definition on each load() call. The validation mode should be disabled only if the dataset has already been validated.

    The following example specifies that the loader should skip duplicate rows and not validate the dataset:

    transx.setLoadingMode( LoadingMode.SKIP_DUPLICATES ); 
    transx.setValidationMode( false ); 
  4. Load the datasets by invoking TransX.load(). The same JDBC connection is used during the iteration of the load operations. For example, load three datasets as follows:

    String  datasrc[] = {"data1.xml", "data2.xml", "data3.xml"}; 
    for ( int i = 0 ; i < datasrc.length ; i++ ) 
      transx.load( datasrc[i] ); 
  5. Close the loading session by invoking TransX.close(). This method call closes the database connection:


    See Also:

Running the TransX Utility Demo Programs

Demo programs for the TransX utility are included in $ORACLE_HOME/xdk/demo/java/transx. Table 10-3 describes the XML files and programs that you can use to test the utility.

Table 10-3 TransX Utility Sample Files

File Description
README A text file that describes how to set up the TransX demos.
emp-dlf.xml A sample output file. The following command generates a file emp.xml that contains all data in the table emp:
transx -s "localhost:1521:mydb" scott tiger emp.xml emp

The emp-dlf.xml file should be identical to emp.xml.

txclean.sql A SQL file that drops the tables and sequences created for the demo. A sample Java application that creates a JDBC connection and loads three datasets into the database.
txdemo1.sql A SQL script that creates two tables and a sequence for use by the demo application.
txdemo1.xml A sample dataset.

Documentation for how to compile and run the sample programs is located in the README. The basic steps are as follows:

  1. Change into the $ORACLE_HOME/xdk/demo/java/transx directory (UNIX) or %ORACLE_HOME%\xdk\demo\java\transx directory (Windows).

  2. Make sure that your environment variables are set as described in "Setting Up the Java XDK Environment". It is recommended that you set the $ORACLE_SID (UNIX) or %ORACLE_SID% (Windows) environment variables to the default database.

  3. Set up the sample database objects by executing txdemo1.sql. Connect to the database as scott and run the txdemo1.sql script as follows:

  4. Run the TransX utility from the command line. For example, assume that you want to connect with the Java thin driver and that your host is localhost, your port is 1521, and your SID is mydb. You can execute the following command to load dataset txdemo1.xml:

    transx "localhost:1521:mydb" scott tiger txdemo1.xml

    When the operation is successful, nothing is printed out on your terminal.

  5. Query the database to determine whether the load was successful. For example:

    SELECT * FROM i18n_messages;
  6. Drop the demo objects to prepare for another test. Connect to the database as scott and run the txclean.sql script as follows:

  7. Compile the Java demo program. For example:

  8. Run the Java program, using the same JDBC and database connection data that you when invoking the command-line interface. For example:

    java txdemo1 "localhost:1521:mydb" scott tiger txdemo1.xml

    Perform the same query test (step 5) and clean-up operation (step 6) as before.

  9. Run the TransX Utility to unload data into the predefined XML format. For example:

    transx -s "localhost:1521:mydb" scott tiger emp.xml emp

    Compare the data in emp.xml with emp-dlf.xml.

Using the TransX Command-Line Utility

TransX utility is packaged with Oracle Database. By default, the Oracle Universal Installer installs the utility on disk. As explained in "Java XDK Component Dependencies", the TransX library is $ORACLE_HOME/bin/xml.jar (UNIX) and %ORACLE_HOME%\bin\xml.jar (Windows).

You can run the TransX utility from the operating system command line with the following syntax:

java oracle.xml.transx.loader

The XDK includes a script version of TransX named $ORACLE_HOME/bin/transx (UNIX) and %ORACLE_HOME%\bin\transx.bat (Windows). Assuming that your PATH variable is set correctly, you can run TransX as follows:

transx options parameters
transx.bat options parameters

For example, the following command shows valid syntax:

transx -s "localhost:1521:mydb" scott tiger emp.xml emp

TransX utility Command-Line Options

Table 10-4 describes the options for the TransX utility.

Table 10-4 TransX utility Command-line Options

Option Meaning Description
Update existing rows. Does not skip existing rows but updates them. To exclude a column from the update operation, set the useforupdate attribute to no.
Raise exception if a row is already existing in the database. Throws an exception if a duplicate row is found. By default, TransX skips duplicate rows. Rows are considered duplicate if the values for lookup-key column(s) in the database and the data set are the same.
Print data in the database in the predefined format. Similar to the -s option, it causes the utility to perform the opposite operation of loading. Unlike the -s option, it prints to stdout. Redirecting this output to a file is discouraged because intervention of the operating system may result in data loss due to unexpected transcoding.
-s Save data in the database into a file in the predefined format. Performs unloading. TransX Utility queries the database, formats the result into the predefined XML format, and stores it under the specified file name.
-p Print the XML to load. Prints out the data set for insert in the canonical format of XSU.
-t Print the XML for update. Prints out the data set for update in the canonical format of XSU.
-o Omit validation (as the data set is parsed it is validated by default). Causes TransX Utility to skip the format validation, which is performed by default.
-v Validate the data format and exit without loading. Causes TransX Utility to perform validation and exit.
-w Preserve white space. Causes TransX Utility to treat whitespace characters (such as \t, \r, \n, and ' ') as significant. The utility condenses consecutive whitespace characters in string data elements into one space character by default.

Note the following command-line option exceptions:

  • -u and -e are mutually exclusive.

  • -v must be the only option followed by data, as shown in the examples.

  • -x must be the only option followed by connect information and a SQL query, as shown in the examples.

Omitting all arguments results in the display of the usage information shown in Table 10-4.

TransX Utility Command-Line Parameters

Table 10-5 describes the command-line parameters for the TransX utility.

Table 10-5 TransX utility Command-line Parameters

Parameter Description
The JDBC connect string (not the Oracle net service name). You can omit the connect string information by using the at symbol (@), in which case jdbc:oracle:thin:@ is supplied.
Database user name.
Password for the database user.
An XML document specified by filename or URL.
Described in Table 10-4, "TransX utility Command-line Options".

See Also:

Oracle Database XML Java API Reference for complete details of the TransX interface

Loading Data with the TransX Utility

The TransX utility is especially useful for populating a database with multilingual data. To use the utility to transfer data in and out of a database schema you must create a dataset that maps to this schema. This section describes a typical use scenario in which you use TransX to organize translated application messages in a database.

This section contains the following topics:

Storing Messages in the Database

To build an internationalized system, it is essential to decouple localizable resources from business logic. A typical example of such a resource is translated text information. Data that is specific to a particular region and shares a common language and cultural conventions needs to be organized with a resource management facility that can retrieve locale-specific information. A database is often used to store such data because of easy maintenance and flexibility.

Assume that you create the table with the structure and content shown in Example 10-1 and insert data.

Example 10-1 Structure of Table translated_messages

CREATE TABLE translated_messages
     CONSTRAINT tm_mess_id_nn NOT NULL
, MESSAGE          VARCHAR2(200)

The column language_id is defined in this table so that applications can retrieve messages based on the preferred language of the end user. It contains abbreviations of language names to identify the language of messages.

Example 10-2 shows sample data for the table.

Example 10-2 Query of translated_messages

----------  -----------  ----------------------------------
1           us           Welcome to System X
2           us           Please enter username and password

See Also:

Oracle Database Globalization Support Guide for Oracle language abbreviations

Creating a Dataset in a Predefined Format

Chapter 28, "Data Loading Format (DLF) Specification" describes the complete syntax of the Data Loading Format (DLF) language. This language is used to create a DLF document that provides the input to TransX.

Given the dataset (the input data) in the canonical format, the TransX utility loads the data into the designated locations in the database. Note that TransX does not create the database objects: you must create the tables or views before attempting to load data.

An XML document that represents the translated_messages table created in Example 10-1 looks something like Example 10-3. The dataset reflects the structure of the target table, which in this case is called translated_messages.

Example 10-3 example.xml

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<table name="translated_messages">
  <!-- Specify the unique identifier --> 
    <column name="message_id" />
    <column name="language_id" />
  <!-- Specify the columns into which data will be inserted -->  
    <column name="message_id"  type="number"/>
    <column name="language_id" type="string" constant="us" translate="yes"/>
    <column name="message"     type="string" translate="yes"/>
  <!-- Specify the data to be inserted -->
      <col name="message_id">1</col>
      <col name="message" translation-note="dnt'X'">Welcome to System X</col>
      <col name="message_id">2</col>
      <col name="message">Please enter username and password</col>
    <!-- ... -->

Format of the Input XML Document

The XML document in Example 10-3 starts with the following declaration:

<?xml version="1.0"?>

Its root element <table>, which has an attribute that specifies the name of the table, encloses all the other elements:

<table name="translated_messages">

As explained in "Elements in DLF", the <table> element contains three subsections:

The preceding sections map to element in Example 10-3 as follows:


The lookup keys are columns used to evaluate rows if they already exist in the database. Because we want a pair of message and language IDs to identify a unique string, the document lists the corresponding columns. Thus, the message_id, language_id, and message columns in table translated_messages map to the attributes in the <column> element as follows:

<column name="message_id"  type="number"/>
<column name="language_id" type="string" constant="us" translate="yes"/>
<column name="message"     type="string" translate="yes"/>

The columns section should mirror the table structure because it specifies which piece of data in the dataset section maps to which table column. The column names should be consistent throughout the XML dataset and database. You can use the <column> attributes in Table 10-6 to describe the data to be loaded. Note that these attributes form a subset of the DLF attributes described in "Attributes in DLF".

Table 10-6 <column> Attributes

Attribute Description Example
type Specifies the datatype of a column in the dataset. This attribute specifies the kind of text contained in the <col> element in the dataset. Depending on this type, the data loading tool applies different datatype conventions to the data.
<column name="col" type="string" />
constant Specifies a constant value. A column with a fixed value for each row does not have to repeat the same value.
<column name="col" type="string" constant="us" />
sequence Specifies a sequence in the database used to fill in the value for this column.
<column name="id" type="number" sequence="id_sq" />
translate Indicates whether the text of this column or parameter should be translated.
<column name="msg" type="string" translate="yes"/>

The constant attribute of a <column> element specifies a value to be stored into the corresponding column for every row in the dataset section. Because in this example we are working in the original language, the language_id column is set to the value us.

As explained in Table 28-10, the valid values for the type attribute are string, number, date, and dateTime. These values correspond to the datatypes defined in the XML schema standard, so each piece of data should conform to the respective datatype definition. In particular, it is important to use the ISO 8601 format for the date and dateTime datatypes, as shown in Table 10-7.

Table 10-7 date and dateTime Formats

Datatype Format Example
date CCYY-MM-DD 2009-05-20
dateTime CCYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ss 2009-05-20T16:01:37

Example 10-4 shows how you can represent a table row with dateTime data in a TransX dataset.

Example 10-4 dateTime Row

  <col name="article_id">12345678</col>
  <col name="author_id">10500</col>
  <col name="submission">2002-03-09T16:01:37</col>
  <col name="title">...</col>
  <!-- some columns follows -->

Specifying Translations in a Dataset

As explained in "Attributes in DLF", you can use the translation attribute to specify whether the column contains translated data. In Example 10-3, two <column> elements use the translate attribute differently. The attribute for the language_id column specifies that the value of the constant attribute should be translated:

<column name="language_id" type="string" constant="us" translate="yes"/>

In contrast, the following translate attribute requests translation of the data in the dataset section with a name that matches this column:

<column name="message"     type="string" translate="yes"/>

For example, the preceding element specifies that the following messages in the dataset section should be translated:

<col name="message" translation-note="dnt'X'">Welcome to System X</col>
<col name="message">Please enter username and password</col>

When translating messages for applications, you may decide that specified words or phrases should be left untranslated. The translation-note attribute shown in the preceding example achieves this goal.

An XSLT processor can convert the preceding format into another format for exchanging translation data among localization service providers for use with XML-based translation tools. This transformation insulates developers from tasks such as keeping track of revisions, categorizing translatable strings into units, and so on.

Example 10-5 shows what the document in Example 10-3 looks like after translation.

Example 10-5 example_e.xml

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<table name="translated_messages">
  <!-- Specify the unique identifier -->
    <column name="message_id" />
    <column name="language_id" />
  <!-- Specify the columns into which data will be inserted -->
    <column name="message_id"  type="number"/>
    <column name="language_id" type="string" constant="e" translate="yes"/>
    <column name="message"     type="string" translate="yes"/>
  <!-- Specify the data to be inserted --> 
      <col name="message_id">1</col>
      <col name="message" translation-note="dnt'System X'">Bienvenido al Sistema X</col>
      <col name="message_id">2</col>
      <col name="message">Porfavor entre su nombre de usuario y su contraseña</col>
    <!-- ... -->

If you use a text editor or a traditional text-based translation tool during the translation process, it is important to maintain the encoding of the document. After a document is translated, it is probably in a different encoding from the original. As explained in "XML Declaration in DLF", If the translated document is in an encoding other than Unicode, then add the encoding declaration to the XML declaration on the first line. A declaration for non-Unicode encoding looks like the following:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-15"?>

To ensure that the translation process does not lose syntactic integrity, process the document as XML. Otherwise, you can check the format by specifying the -v option of the command-line interface. If a syntactic error exists, the utility prints the location and description of the error. You must fix errors for the data transfer to succeed.

Loading the Data

Suppose that you want to load the sample documents in Example 10-3 and Example 10-5 into the translated_messages table that you created in Example 10-1. You can use the sample program in Example 10-6, which you can find in the TransX demo directory, to load the data.

Example 10-6

// Copyright (c) 2001 All rights reserved Oracle Corporation
import oracle.xml.transx.*;
public class txdemo1 {
   * Constructor
  public txdemo1() {
   * main
   * @param args
   * args[0] : connect string
   * args[1] : username
   * args[2] : password
   * args[3+] : xml file names
  public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {
    // instantiate a transx class
    TransX  transx = loader.getLoader();
    // start a data loading session args[0], args[1], args[2] );
    // specify operation modes
    transx.setLoadingMode( LoadingMode.SKIP_DUPLICATES );
    transx.setValidationMode( false );
    // load the dataset(s)
    for ( int i = 3 ; i < args.length ; i++ )
      transx.load( args[i] );
    // cleanup

The program follows these steps:

  1. Create a TransX loader object. For example:

    TransX  transx = loader.getLoader();
  2. Open a data loading session. The first three command-line parameters are the JDBC connect string, database username, and database password. These parameters are passed to the method. The program includes the following statement: args[0], args[1], args[2] );
  3. Configure the TransX loader. The program configures the loader to skip duplicate rows and to validate the input dataset. The program includes the following statements:

    transx.setLoadingMode( LoadingMode.SKIP_DUPLICATES );
    transx.setValidationMode( false );
  4. Load the data. The first three command-line parameters specify connection information; any additional parameters specify input XML documents. The program invokes the load() method for every specified document:

    for ( int i = 3 ; i < args.length ; i++ )
      transx.load( args[i] );
  5. Close the data loading session. The program includes the following statement:


After compiling the program with javac, you can run it from the command line. The following example uses the Java thin driver to connect to instance mydb on port 1521 of computer myhost. It connects to the hr schema and loads the XML documents in Example 10-3 and Example 10-5:

java txdemo1 "myhost:1521:mydb" hr hr example.xml example_e.xml

In building a multilingual software system, translations usually become available at a later stage of development. They also tend to evolve over a period of time. If you need to add messages to the database, then you can add new rows in your <dataset> definition by running the TransX utility again. TransX recognizes which rows are new and inserts only the new messages based on the columns specified in the <lookup-key> section. If some messages are updated, then run TransX with the -u option to update existing rows with the data specified in XML, as shown in the following example:

transx -u "myhost:1521:mydb" hr hr example.xml example_e.xml

Querying the Data

After using the program in Example 10-6 to load the data, you can query the translated_messages table to see the results. The results should look like the following:

----------  -----------  ----------------------------------
1           us           Welcome to System X
1           e            Bienvenido al Sistema X
2           us           Please enter username and password
2           e            Porfavor entre su nombre de usuario y su contraseña

An application can retrieve a message in a specific language by using the language_id and message_id columns in a WHERE clause. For example, you can execute the following query:

SELECT message 
FROM   translated_messages 
WHERE  message_id = 2 
AND    language_id = 'e';

Porfavor entre su nombre de usuario y su contraseña