JavaTM API for XML Processing

Specification Version: 1.2
Reference Implementation (RI) Version: 1.2.3

This release includes XML data and example programs showing how to use JAXP to process XML. Additional examples can be found on the site.

The example programs include a cross-platform ant build file that can be used to build and run the example. Ant is a build tool similar to make on Unix and nmake on WindowsNT that is also an XML application. To use ant, download it from the website and read the install docs. Alternatively, you can also view the ant build.xml file to see what needs to be done to manually compile and run an example program on your platform.

The ant utility uses the value of the JAVA_HOME environment variable to determine which Java platform it uses to compile and run the sample scripts. Make sure that variable points to the version you intend to use. If using version 1.4, make sure that the JAXP jar files are installed, as described in the Release Notes.

Sample XML Files

A handful of sample XML files have been provided in the "samples" subdirectory. Note that the links may not work depending on your browser environment. Please look in ../samples/data if the links do not display in your browser.

Printing a DOM Tree

One of the first things many programmers want to know is how to read an XML file and generate a DOM Document object from it. Use the DOMEcho example to learn how to do this in three steps. The important lines are:

    // Step 1: create a DocumentBuilderFactory and setNamespaceAware
    DocumentBuilderFactory dbf = DocumentBuilderFactory.newInstance();

    // Step 2: create a DocumentBuilder
    DocumentBuilder db = dbf.newDocumentBuilder();

    // Step 3: parse the input file to get a Document object
    Document doc = db.parse(new File(filename));

The program also gives an example of using an error handler and of setting optional configuration options, such as validation. Finally, this program helps you understand how DOM works by showing you the structure and contents of a DOM tree.

SAX Program to Count Tags

The SAXLocalNameCount program counts the number of unique element local names in an XML document, ignoring the namespace name for simplicity. This example also shows one way to turn on DTD or XSD validation and how to use a SAX ErrorHandler.

There are several ways to parse a document using SAX and JAXP. We show one approach here. The first step is to bootstrap a parser. There are two ways: one is to use only the SAX API, the other is to use the JAXP utility classes in the javax.xml.parsers package. We use the second approach here because at the time of this writing it probably is the most portable solution for a JAXP compatible parser. After bootstrapping a parser/XMLReader, there are several ways to begin a parse. In this example, we use the SAX API.

Schema Examples

Both of the sample programs include an option (-xsd) that lets you validate the incoming document using XML Schema, instead of the document's DTD. In addition, they include an -xsdss option that lets you specify the "schema source" (the file that defines the schema for the document).

Both programs define the following constants:

    static final String JAXP_SCHEMA_LANGUAGE =
    static final String W3C_XML_SCHEMA =
    static final String JAXP_SCHEMA_SOURCE =

The schema language property defines the language the schema is written in. The W3C XML Schema language is specified in these examples. The schema source property directs the parser to a schema to use, regardless of any schema pointer that the XML instance document may contain.

This code is abstracted from the SAX example:

    SAXParserFactory spf = SAXParserFactory.newInstance();

    // Set namespaceAware to true to get a parser that corresponds to
    // the default SAX2 namespace feature setting.  This is necessary
    // because the default value from JAXP 1.0 was defined to be false.

    SAXParser saxParser = spf.newSAXParser();

    // Set the schema language if necessary
    try {
        saxParser.setProperty(JAXP_SCHEMA_LANGUAGE, W3C_XML_SCHEMA);
    } catch (SAXNotRecognizedException x) {
        // This can happen if the parser does not support JAXP 1.2
    saxParser.setProperty(JAXP_SCHEMA_SOURCE, new File(schemaSource));

And here is the code abstracted from the DOM example:

    DocumentBuilderFactory dbf = DocumentBuilderFactory.newInstance();

    // Set namespaceAware to true to get a DOM Level 2 tree with nodes
    // containing namesapce information.  This is necessary because the
    // default value from JAXP 1.0 was defined to be false.

    try {
        dbf.setAttribute(JAXP_SCHEMA_LANGUAGE, W3C_XML_SCHEMA);
    } catch (IllegalArgumentException x) {
        // This can happen if the parser does not support JAXP 1.2
    // Specify other factory configuration settings
    dbf.setAttribute(JAXP_SCHEMA_SOURCE, new File(schemaSource));
    DocumentBuilder db = dbf.newDocumentBuilder();

Note that the values are used to modify the SAX parser, using setProperty(), but they are used to modify the DOM parser factory, using setAttribute().