Just downloaded the new version of XML Spy, XML Spy 2005. I’ve been a big fan of XML Spy over the years and have used it since version 3.0. While I’m appalled by the drastic increase in price (used to be around $200 for the Professional version), they’ve really made some great developments in this version.

First, the XSLT debugger is improved over the last version. How did I ever get along without this thing? Plus, there’s support for XQuery and XSLT 2.0.

My favorite new feature, though, is the Eclipse plugin. I’ve been using Eclipse for Java development and XML Spy for XML development, it’s so nice to be able to use the powerful XML Spy interface from within Eclipse so I don’t need to switch applications. While the plugin isn’t as full-featured as I had hoped (no support for XML Spy projects, for example), it’s a great step forward. I’m hoping the next version is even better.

Disclaimer: Any viewpoints and opinions expressed in this article are those of Nicholas C. Zakas and do not, in any way, reflect those of my employer, my colleagues, Wrox Publishing, O'Reilly Publishing, or anyone else. I speak only for myself, not for them.