One of the great things about a software company, particularly Secure Passage, is all the great, creative and smart people you work with on a daily basis. Along the way of doing their job every day, they often create very neat software unrelated to the product they are building.

One of the cool applications built by Jason, one of our lead UI engineers, was an application to better read XML files. Because of the nature of FireMon, we often deal with very large XML files. And if you have ever had the displeasure of opening a large XML file on a machine where the browser was the default reader, you can appreciate the painful, slow issues related to reading XML files. But it is more than just size. XML offers great features like XPATH navigation.  But applications like notepad and browsers don’t support XPATH.  And big XML editors can be painful to open and load large XML files, making using and navigating XML a chore.

But being a great software engineer, Jason saw this as an opportunity. When searching the web found no great alternatives, Jason set out to create one. The fist big step was recognizing that not all tools need to be all things to all people. In this case, he just wanted a great READER. So, by swapping out the .Net XML DOM for a much more efficient and light-weight XML reader (no write capabilities), the problem was well on its way to being solved. Add a few really cool features like XPATH navigation, namespace support, XPATH “bookmarks”, node copy / paste, and more and it went from a problem to a very cool piece of software.

Check it out at: http://www.codeplex.com/xmlexplorer

I promise you, if you have to work with XML very often, this will be an applicaiton you will enjoy.

Great work Jason!