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4GuysFromRolla.com : ASP FAQS : XML


How can I create an XML document from an ASP.NET Web page?

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Answer: As XML's popularity and use in Web-enabled applications continues to rise, it is becoming more and more important to have a good understanding of how to create, consume, and alter XML documents through .NET. In simplest terms, an XML file is really nothing more than a bulky text file, and prior to .NET, many ASP developers, when needing to generate an XML file on the fly, simply Response.Writed out the content of the XML document.

While Response.Write-ing an XML file works, it is far from ideal for a number of reasons. First, since it composes an XML document with strings, one has to worry about escaping those characters that are illegal in XML. There are a number of illegal characters that cannot appear in the text portion of an XML document. These are <, >, &, ", and '. When generating an XML document as a string, you have to manually search for these illegal characters and escape them. Second, with complex XML documents with many namespaces, attributes, and elements, the code necessary to Response.Write out the document can become cryptic.

Fortunately, the .NET Framework provides a class designed specifically to create XML documents, the System.Xml.XmlTextWriter class. By using this class to create XML documents you don't need to worry about illegal XML characters in the text portion of the XML document, and the end code is much cleaner.

An article on 4Guys, Creating XML Documents with the XmlTextWriter Class, discusses using this class in detail. In addition to this article, there is a live demo of the XmlTextWriter class: View the Live Demo!

Happy Programming!

FAQ posted by Scott Mitchell at 9/21/2003 8:04:57 PM to the XML category. This FAQ has been viewed 39,878 times.

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