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Derek Read

Reply to: XMetaL Customization – Deployment

It sounds like this is an application-level customization. In that case you can ignore the XAC file. Both are built just because that is how XMetaL Developer was designed but the XAC file isn't really useful. You can consider your application-level customization to consist of the MCR file itself (unless it calls other code like an XFT form or a DLL that you need to deploy as well).

XAC files are ZIP files containing a copy of whatever was “built” when you select build in Visual Studio, together with a manifest that lets XMetaL Author know what to do with the file(s). A XAC is (arguably) slightly more useful for a document-level customization where your customization consists of DTD/XSD/RLX/RLD, CSS, CTM, MCR, XFT and possibly other files. All of those files are zipped into a single XAC file. When that file is read by XMetaL Author (or XMAX) it is first unzipped to a temp folder then all the files are read in as they would be if opened directly. The single benefit (if you can call it that) is that you can then deploy a single file. However, this can add to the complexity of debugging issues, and it makes it much more difficult to tweak a customization after deployment.

I did a webinar a few years ago on customization deployment. The accompanying document that describes the subject in detail now lives here: https://www.slideshare.net/XMetaL/deploying-schemas-and-xmetal-customization-files