Running Saxon XSLT Transformations from Ant

It is possible to run a Saxon transformation from Ant using the standard xslt task, by using the trax processor and with an appropriate classpath that forces Saxon to be selected. This can now be used to provide the ability to take advantage of the full range of capabilities offered by XSLT 2.0 in general and Saxon in particular (for example, schema aware processing and multiple output files).

The custom Ant task developed for earlier Saxon releases is not being further developed, although it remains available. It is no longer issued as an intrinsic part of the Saxon product, but can be downloaded as a separate package from SourceForge: see For information, see the documentation accompanying Saxon 9.2 or earlier releases.

Saxon-specific configuration options can be specified using the attribute child of the factory element. For example, the following switches on Saxon tracing (the equivalent of the -T option on the command line):

<factory name="net.sf.saxon.TransformerFactoryImpl"> <attribute name="" value="net.sf.saxon.trace.XSLTTraceListener"/> </factory>

For a full list of feature names, see the Javadoc documentation of class net.sf.saxon.FeatureKeys.

With Saxon-PE and Saxon-EE it is possible to get detailed control of the configuration by specifying the name of a Saxon configuration file using this mechanism, for example:

<factory name="com.saxonica.config.EnterpriseTransformerFactory"> <attribute name="" value="config-de.xml"/> </factory>

In this case this must be the first attribute.

The initial template and initial mode for the transformation can be specified using the attribute names and respectively. The value is a QName in Clark notation (that is {uri}local).

Note that names in Clark notation may also be used for the qualified names of stylesheet parameters and serialization options.

Note that an Ant transformation always has an input file. If necessary, a dummy file can be specified.

There is a history of bugs in successive releases of Ant that mean not all these features work in every Ant version. In particular, the classpath attribute of the xslt task element has been unreliable: the safest approach is to ensure that the Jar files needed to run Saxon are present on the externally-specified classpath (the classpath at the point where Ant is invoked), rather than relying on the task-specific classpath.