What's new in HALE 2.5.0.RC1

Here are descriptions of some of the more interesting or significant changes made to HALE for the 2.5.0.RC1 release candidate. The described features are new since the 2.5.0.M2 milestone release.

User Interface

Validation of transformed instances During the transformation, all new instances are validated against the constraints that come with the target schema. The results are presented in the validation report, highlighting any problems with missing or invalid property values, grouped by the property where they occur. Problematic instances can be inspected in the data view.

For more information, see Validate the transformed data.

Instance validation in data views Validation information is also available in the data views. When using the Compare mode, a validation summary is displayed as tooltip. In the Explore mode, validation warnings are shown for the affected properties.

Instance population If you have loaded a source data set, information about how the schema elements are populated in the data are displayed. The population states the overall count of instances of the respective type or values of the respective property. In the Schema Explorer you can filter unpopulated properties to only focus on those where values are present.

For more information, see the Schema elements reference.

Load pre-defined schemas HALE now offers a selection of pre-defined schemas you can load. When importing a source or target schema just select From preset and then click on the selection field to show the list of pre-defined schemas. The tag Bundled marks a schema that is bundled with HALE and can be loaded without internet connection.

Currently the presets include CityGML schemas from citygml.org and the INSPIRE Annex I GML Application Schemas from the INSPIRE schema repository.

Compare only populated properties In the data views there is a new variant of the Compare mode, which only displays properties populated in the loaded source data set or the live transformation result - this makes it easier to compare instances, especially with very complex schemas.

Transform external data Up to now you had to load your data into HALE to execute a transformation and export it - but using source data to support in the mapping creation with HALE is best done with a manageable example. In the new Transformation menu you have the possibility to launch a dedicated transformation job based on the current alignment and schemas, to transform bigger data sets.

For more information, see Transform external data.

Show cells associated to a schema element If you want to see or edit the mapping cells associated with a specific schema element you can use the new Mapping View. It displays the cells associated to the schema element selected in the Schema Explorer. Like in the Alignment View, you can use the context menu to edit or delete a mapping cell.

Replace a mapping cell Replacing a mapping cell up to now was a two-step task - deleting the old relation and then creating a new one. This can be tedious if you are working with a source data set and the transformation is run in between. Now for property relations you have the possibility to do it in one step. For replacement, every property function is offered, not restricted to those applicable to the properties involved in the relation you want to delete.

Select specific values in Compare mode in data views When using the Compare mode in a data view, you now can select a specific value for a property if there are multiple. So if a value is annotated with something like (1 of 7) you can hover over the corresponding table cell and select a different value (e.g. the second, third, etc.) from the combo box that appears.

Generate sequential identifiers A new function has been added that allows generating sequential identifiers. You can specify a prefix and suffix as desired or needed to create a valid value for the target property.

Specify missing SRS information If the spatial reference system can't be determined for a geometry when loading a Shapefile or GML file, HALE now asks you to specify the SRS to use, either through an EPSG code or a WKT string.

Under the Hood

Java bundled with HALE on Windows and Linux No need to install Java yourself - HALE includes its own version of Java it runs with. If you want to use your local version of Java, just delete the jre folder in the HALE directory.

GZiped XML HALE now supports directly reading, writing and validating gzip compressed XML or GML files.
Improved Shapefile data import When loading data from a Shapefile, the contained features are streamed instead of loaded completely into memory. This allows loading big Shapefiles or using them in the external data transformation.
Improved internal database storage The space the internal database uses has been drastically reduced. The internal database serves for temporarily storing source and transformed instances.
Load HALE 2.1 projects Projects created in HALE up to version 2.1.x can now be imported again, though with some limitations:
  • Previously defined filters are not applied
  • The NilReasonFunction is converted to an assignment
  • The BoundingBoxFunction is not supported
  • The ClipByRectangleFunction is not supported
  • Problems can arise if multiple properties with the same local name but different namespace exist in a type and were mapped.
Please take a look at the reports after importing such a project, to identify if and where there might be problems.