8 Introduction

This chapter provides an overview of Format Builder.

The Format Builder tool assists you in creating descriptions of non-XML data records. Format Builder lets you describe the layout and hierarchy of the non-XML data so that it can be transformed to or from XML. With Format Builder, you can describe sequences of bytes as fields. Each field description includes the type of data (floating point, string, and so on), the size of the data, and the name of the field. Format Builder lets you further define groupings of fields (Groups), repetition of fields and groups, and aggregation.

The descriptions you create in Format Builder are saved in an XML grammar called Message Format Language (MFL). MFL documents are used at runtime to transform an instance of a non-XML data record to an instance of an XML document (or vice-versa).