Announcing CTP1 of the XML Schema Designer

XML Tools team has released the first CTP of the XML Schema Designer - a graphical tool for working with XML Schemas. The XML Schema Designer is integrated with Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 and the XML Editor to enable you to work with XML Schema definition language (XSD) schemas. If you have used the Visual Studio editor or notepad to edit your schemas, consider downloading this CTP and using it for editing your schema files. You can download it from Microsoft Downloads site. This CTP introduces the Schema Explorer - a tool that helps you navigate, search and work with schema sets. You can view a short video of the new functionality here

Here are some of the main features that are included in this CTP. 



An XML Schema can contain multiple XML Schema files. The new XML Schema Designer lets you work with a schema set. That is, when you open an XML Schema file, the XML Schema Designer opens it as a schema set, which includes any included or imported schemas.

Tree View

The Schema Explorer displays pre-compiled schema set information in a tree structure. The tree structure is organized as follows:

  • At the top level is the schema set node.
  • The second level contains the namespaces.
  • The third level contains the files.
  • The fourth level contains the global nodes. This can include elements, groups, complex types, simple types, attributes, and attribute groups.

The following is an example of the tree structure:

Schema Set

    Namespace 1

        File 1

            Global node 1

    Namespace 2

        File 2

            Global node 2

The Schema Explorer enables you to search the schema set in the following ways:

  • Keyword search
  • Schema-specific search (for example, "Show All Derived Types")

Filter and Sort Feature

The Schema Explorer includes filter and sort options available on the Schema Explorer toolbar. The following filter options are available from the toolbar. The Show Namespaces and Show Schema Files options are selected by default.

  • Show Namespaces
  • Show Schema Files
  • Show Compositors (sequence/choice/all)

The following sorting options are available from the toolbar. The default is Sort By Type.

  • Sort By Type
  • Sort by Name
  • Sort by Document Order