Understanding XML

1 Day Course

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Scheduled Online Onsite


This course provides a technical introduction to XML. Delegates will learn how to create XML documents and gain an appreciation of the various technologies that exist for manipulating these documents. The course introduces the structure and syntax of XML documents, as well as the origins of XML documents. Several typical usage scenarios are covered. The concept of XML grammars and how these may be expressed as XML Schemas is discussed, including the related issue of XML document validation. Delegates will learn how to transform XML using XSLT stylesheets which is the technology of choice for translating one grammar to another. Delegates will also be show how XML can be transformed into HTML and displayed in a browser. The course finishes off by looking at XML in action and explores its widespread use in applications we all use and for exchanging data between systems via web services. The course comprises lectures, demonstrations, and mini hands-on exercises. The demonstrations and exercises illustrate the capabilities and scope of XML, rather than drilling down into the technical details. All code samples are available for delegates to take away and study after the course.

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Introduction to XML (1 topic)

  • What is XML? Example of an XML document; XML ancestry - SGML and HTML; Elements, attributes, and namespaces; Creating XML documents from databases and programs; XML vs. relational data; Using XML in Web systems, messaging systems and other scenarios; Using XML for decoupling, flexibility, portability and simplicity

Defining a grammar with an XML schema (1 topic)

  • Defining a new grammar; Validating using a schema; Why perform validation? When is validation required? The structure of a schema. Defining elements, attributes and multiplicity. Reusing definitions.

Using XSLT and XPath (1 topic)

  • Defining a simple XPath query. Applying node tests. Defining rules (predicates). Introducing XSLT stylesheets. Defining a stylesheet. Introducing templates. Defining templates. Applying templates. Template pattern matching

XML in Action (1 topic)

  • How XML is used by many different applications. Introducing Web Services. Using Web Services for information interchange. How XML is used as part of the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP).


Delegates must have some experience in application development or design. Familiarity with HTML is beneficial but not essential. An appreciation of Web-based or multi-tier systems would be advantageous.

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