Depending upon the data and reports needed, XML can be a very powerful tool. It can enable the quick creation of many different reports. This can be done through the use of the same stylesheets for multiple sets of data. XML also aids development by enabling the database to perform the initial data filtering, and then using stylesheets to add an additional layer of filtering. As demonstrated through the stylesheets of this chapter, the usefulness of generic stylesheets in terms of reporting systems becomes clear.
Combined with HTML forms, stored procedures, and JSPs, XML and XSL assist in the speedy creation of extremely robust reporting systems with many filter and sorting options. More of these capabilities will be demonstrated in the next chapter, where a "paging" report will be created to handle large sets of data, and other stylesheet techniques will be used.