Creating XML files from Project data

XML (Extensible Markup Language) is a markup language for structured documents. When a document is structured, you can tell the purpose of its content based on where the content appears in the document. A structured document will contain elements such as body text, section headings, headers, footers, figures, figure captions, and footnotes. Almost all documents have some structure. A markup language provides a means to identify the structures in a document, and XML defines a standard way to mark up documents.

You use XML so that richly structured documents can be used on the Internet. XML differs from HTML because, in HTML, tag semantics and tag sets are fixed, while XML specifies neither tag semantics nor tag sets. XML enables you to define tags and the structural relationships between them using either the applications that process them or using style sheets.

In Project, you can use the XML Reporting Wizard to create an XML file from Project data. The XML Reporting Wizard uses an XSL template to create an XML file, and the sample templates that come with Project generate HTML documents. You can use the XML file created by the wizard to create custom reports in any format you want. You also can create your own XSL templates.

New Feature

The XML Wizard is new to Project 2003.

^Note

The reports you create cannot display Project views; they are limited to displaying Project data.

To create an XML file and an HTML report, follow these steps:

1. Display the Analysis toolbar by right-clicking any toolbar and choosing Analysis from the menu that appears.

2. Click the XML Reporting Wizard button. Project starts the wizard (see Figure 26-17).

Figure 26-17: The first box of the wizard explains the process you're about to follow.

3. Click Next. From the Specify XML File box (see Figure 26-18), you can choose to create a new XML file from the active project or use an existing file to create the report.

Figure 26-18: Choose to create a new XML file or use an existing one.

If you choose to create a new file, Project displays the Save Project as XML File box and asks you for a filename.

If you choose to use an existing file and click the Browse button, Project displays the Open XML File box, which you use to navigate to the XML file.

For this example, I chose to create a new file.

4. In the Select the Transform To Apply box (see Figure 26-19), click the Browse button. Project displays the Select XSL/T Template box, from which you can select an existing XSL template on which to base the report. This box works like an Open dialog box; select a template and click Open. When Project redisplays the Select the Transform To Apply box, click Next.

Figure 26-19: Locate an XSL template on which to base the report.

5. In the Complete the Report box (see Figure 26-20), you can preview your report in Internet Explorer and save your report to an HTML file.

6. After you preview and/or save your report, click Finish to close the wizard.

Figure 26-20: Preview and save your report.

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