Parse xml – Linq to Xml

How to parse xml?

It’s very simple. Linq offers us an extension specifically for this task – Linq to XML.

Let’s assume that we have to parse XML which is presented below.

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<catalog>
   <book id="bk101">
      <author>Gambardella, Matthew</author>
      <title>XML Developer's Guide</title>
      <genre>Computer</genre>
      <price>44.95</price>
      <publish_date>2000-10-01</publish_date>
      <description>An in-depth look at creating applications
      with XML.</description>
   </book>
   <book id="bk102">
      <author>Ralls, Kim</author>
      <title>Midnight Rain</title>
      <genre>Fantasy</genre>
      <price>5.95</price>
      <publish_date>2000-12-16</publish_date>
      <description>A former architect battles corporate zombies,
      an evil sorceress, and her own childhood to become queen
      of the world.</description>
   </book>
   <book id="bk103">
      <author>Corets, Eva</author>
      <title>Maeve Ascendant</title>
      <genre>Fantasy</genre>
      <price>5.95</price>
      <publish_date>2000-11-17</publish_date>
      <description>After the collapse of a nanotechnology
      society in England, the young survivors lay the
      foundation for a new society.</description>
   </book>
   <book id="bk104">
      <author>Corets, Eva</author>
      <title>Oberon's Legacy</title>
      <genre>Fantasy</genre>
      <price>5.95</price>
      <publish_date>2001-03-10</publish_date>
      <description>In post-apocalypse England, the mysterious
      agent known only as Oberon helps to create a new life
      for the inhabitants of London. Sequel to Maeve
      Ascendant.</description>
   </book>
   <book id="bk105">
      <author>Corets, Eva</author>
      <title>The Sundered Grail</title>
      <genre>Fantasy</genre>
      <price>5.95</price>
      <publish_date>2001-09-10</publish_date>
      <description>The two daughters of Maeve, half-sisters,
      battle one another for control of England. Sequel to
      Oberon's Legacy.</description>
   </book>
   <book id="bk106">
      <author>Randall, Cynthia</author>
      <title>Lover Birds</title>
      <genre>Romance</genre>
      <price>4.95</price>
      <publish_date>2000-09-02</publish_date>
      <description>When Carla meets Paul at an ornithology
      conference, tempers fly as feathers get ruffled.</description>
   </book>
   <book id="bk107">
      <author>Thurman, Paula</author>
      <title>Splish Splash</title>
      <genre>Romance</genre>
      <price>4.95</price>
      <publish_date>2000-11-02</publish_date>
      <description>A deep sea diver finds true love twenty
      thousand leagues beneath the sea.</description>
   </book>
   <book id="bk108">
      <author>Knorr, Stefan</author>
      <title>Creepy Crawlies</title>
      <genre>Horror</genre>
      <price>4.95</price>
      <publish_date>2000-12-06</publish_date>
      <description>An anthology of horror stories about roaches,
      centipedes, scorpions  and other insects.</description>
   </book>
   <book id="bk109">
      <author>Kress, Peter</author>
      <title>Paradox Lost</title>
      <genre>Science Fiction</genre>
      <price>6.95</price>
      <publish_date>2000-11-02</publish_date>
      <description>After an inadvertant trip through a Heisenberg
      Uncertainty Device, James Salway discovers the problems
      of being quantum.</description>
   </book>
   <book id="bk110">
      <author>O'Brien, Tim</author>
      <title>Microsoft .NET: The Programming Bible</title>
      <genre>Computer</genre>
      <price>36.95</price>
      <publish_date>2000-12-09</publish_date>
      <description>Microsoft's .NET initiative is explored in
      detail in this deep programmer's reference.</description>
   </book>
   <book id="bk111">
      <author>O'Brien, Tim</author>
      <title>MSXML3: A Comprehensive Guide</title>
      <genre>Computer</genre>
      <price>36.95</price>
      <publish_date>2000-12-01</publish_date>
      <description>The Microsoft MSXML3 parser is covered in
      detail, with attention to XML DOM interfaces, XSLT processing,
      SAX and more.</description>
   </book>
   <book id="bk112">
      <author>Galos, Mike</author>
      <title>Visual Studio 7: A Comprehensive Guide</title>
      <genre>Computer</genre>
      <price>49.95</price>
      <publish_date>2001-04-16</publish_date>
      <description>Microsoft Visual Studio 7 is explored in depth,
      looking at how Visual Basic, Visual C++, C#, and ASP+ are
      integrated into a comprehensive development
      environment.</description>
   </book>
</catalog>

We have to attach using System.Xml.Linq.

 LinqToXML
Let’s try get information about all authors in our xml.
class Program
{
    static void Main(string[] args)
    {
        var xmldoC = XDocument.Load(@".\example.xml");
        XNamespace nonamespace = XNamespace.None;
        var xmlProducts = xmldoC.Descendants("book");
        foreach (var item in xmlProducts)
        {
            Console.WriteLine(item.Element("author")?.Value);
        }
        Console.ReadKey();
    }
}

Explain for 7th line – “Take me all nodes which is called ‘book’.” and next we iterate on this collection(8th line).  At the end we display all authors of books.

item.Element("author")?.Value

Operator “?.Value” means the same like this – item.Element(“author”)==null?null:item.Element(“author”).Value. And that mean if item.Element(“author”) is null return null else return value from this.

But if this is linq we can use all the benefits offered that library.
Example:
class Program
{
    static void Main(string[] args)
    {
        var xmldoC = XDocument.Load(@".\example.xml");
        XNamespace nonamespace = XNamespace.None;
        var xmlProducts = xmldoC.Descendants("book").Where(x => (string)x.Element("author") == "Corets, Eva");
        foreach (var item in xmlProducts)
        {
            Console.WriteLine(item.Element("title")?.Value);
        }
        Console.ReadKey();
    }
}

linq to xml example

In this case we display all book’s title from filter collection where author is Corets, Eva.

Summary

On this example i showed you how linq is easy and powerfull library. Now let’s enjoy “easy” parsing XML. 😉

Link to project – here

One Comment on “Parse xml – Linq to Xml”

  1. Można byłoby opisać jak dostać się do pól i atrybutów XMLa w bardziej złożonych strukturach.

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