14.4. Virtuoso Server Pages for XML (VSPX)

VSPX is an XML vocabulary for server generated HTML and XHTML pages that may or may not be bound to native or third-party data sources. VSPX is a framework for building and deploying dynamic web content atop Virtuoso. VSPX offers a widget set and event model which is similar to that of GUI tool kits, providing the developer with much automation for common web development tasks. Many controls are tightly integrated with the Virtuoso database, providing seamless data binding to local or remote relational and XML data. Server side scripting in VSPX is performed in Virtuoso/PL. The VSPX source code consists of HTML or XML with interspersed VSPX specific XML elements which describe the UI control hierarchy of the page.

VSPX covers the following areas:

Rich set of controls, covering all basic HTML plus complex composite controls like data grids and tree browsers.
Session management - Transparent session and session state handling using cookies, URL poisoning or digest authentication.
Form entry validation server and client side.
Single and multi-row controls for viewing and directly updating SQL tables, including scrolling through long result sets.
Repeating and conditional instantiation of UI elements based on run time choices.
Event model for HTTP request handling, providing distinct phases for creating the controls, retrieving data, processing posted data, preserving state and rendering for a user agent.
Object oriented architecture, allowing easy definition of subclasses of existing controls for new functionality. It suffices to implement a new SQL class with a few predefined methods and to implement an XSLT rule for generating the code based on the external XML syntax for the new control.
Easy automatic generation of VSPX pages. The pages being XML, it is simple to automate generating pages based on other data, such as automatically making table maintenance pages based on a SQL table definition.

The VSPX development cycle consists of editing .vspx resources in the file system or Virtuoso DAV. The editing can take place using a regular text editor or a supporting HTML editor.