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Almost any application you build using will require some kind of transformation. One thing that I frequently hear come up on the user lists, when I'm talking at JUGs, etc, is how to easily map data between XML formats, Java Beans, and flat files. If you have used Mule at all, you'll know there are several solutions already for doing this, both as part of Mule and available through a number of great MuleForge projects.
However, one new offering has caught my eye recently – the Data Transformer for Mule ESB from Oakland Software.
What is different about the Data Transformer is the rich graphical environment it offers for designing and testing your maps.

Data Transformer for Mule ESBIt is very easy to get started with (comes as a plugin to Eclipse just like the Mule IDE). My favorite feature by far is the ability to do test driven development with your maps. You can easily create sample data and create tests that validate your maps are working.

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If you are interested in trying it out, the Designer is free and can be installed directly in Eclipse from an update site. Currently the runtime is in public beta, so it would be a good time to provide feedback and influence the development of this product.

On April 14, I'll be doing a webinar with the project lead, Francis Upton. He'll be providing a live demo on how to use the designer and the Mule runtime as well as providing on update on the project. You can register for the webinar here.