Creating an XML File





Due to the high level of support of XML in the .NET Framework, there are various ways you can create an XML file. The most common technique consists of using a simple text editor. In Microsoft Windows, this would be Notepad. An XML file is first of all a normal text-based document that has a .xml extension. Therefore, however you create it, you must specify that extension.

Many other applications allow creating an XML file or generating one from an existing file. There are also commercial editors you can get or purchase to create the XML file.


Practical Learning Practical Learning: Introducing XML

  1. Start SharpDevelop
  2. To create a new project, on the main menu, click File -> New -> Combine...
  3. In the Categories section of the New Project dialog box, click C# if necessary.
    In the Templates list, click Windows Application
  4. Set the Name to CPAP1
  5. Specify the necessary path of the project in the Location text box
  6. Click Create

Creating an XML File With a Text Editor

Probably the most common way to create an XML file in Microsoft Windows consists of using Notepad or any other text editor. After opening the text editor, you can enter the necessary lines of code. After creating the file, you must save it. When saving it, you can include the name of the file in double-quotes. Here is an example:

Save As

You can also first set the Save As Type combo box to All Files and then enter the name of the file with the .xml extension


Creating an XML File With SharpDevelop

To create an XML file when working with SharpDevelop, first display the New File dialog box available from the File menu. In the New File dialog box, you can click the Empty XML File icon and click Create. After clicking Create, a new file named Xml1.xml would be created. You must then save it to make it part of your project.

To add a new XML file to a project you are working on in SharpDevelop, in the Projects list, you can right-click any node, position the mouse on Add, and click New File. This would prompt you to select the type of file you want to create. In this case you would select an XML file, give it a name, click Create.


Practical Learning Practical Learning: Adding a New XML File

  1. On the main menu of SharpDevelop, click View -> Projects.
    In the Projects list, right-click CPAP1, position the mouse on Add, and click New File
  2. In the Categories list of the New File dialog box, click Misc
  3. In the Templates list, click Empty XML File
  4. In the File Name box, replace the string with Parts.xml
  5. Click Create

The Document Object Model and the XmlDocument



To implement XML, the .NET Framework provides the System.Xml namespace. When you create an XML file, there are standard rules you should (must) follow in order to have a valid document. The standards for an XML file are defined by the W3C Document Object Model (DOM). To support these standards, the System.Xml namespace provides the XmlDocument class. This class allows you to create an XML document, its contents, and many other related operations you may want to perform on the contents of the file.

Creating XML Code Using XmlDocument

To create XML code using XmlDocument, this class has a method called LoadXml(). Its syntax is:

public virtual void LoadXml(string xml);

This method takes a string as argument. The XmlDocument.LoadXml() method doesn't create an XML file, it only allows you to provide or create XML code. The code can be created as argument. You can also first declare and initialize a string variable with the XML code, then pass it as argument to the XmlDocument.LoadXml() method.

The advantage of creating an XML file using SharpDevelop is that the file, its name, and an extension are created automatically. If you use the XmlDocument.LoadXml() method, only the XML code is created, not the file. To actually create the Windows file, you can call the XmlDocument.Save() method. This method is provided in four versions. One of them takes as argument a string value that would be the file name. The syntax of this method is:

public virtual void Save(string filename);

The argument must be a valid filename and must include the .xml extension. If you pass a string without backlashes, the file would be created in the same folder as the current project. If you want the file to be created somewhere else, pass the whole path. 

Practical Learning Practical Learning: Creating an XML Document

  1. To display the form, in the top section of the Code Editor, click the MainForm.cs tab and, in the lower section of the Code Editor, click the Design tab
  2. In the Tools section, click Windows Forms. Click the Button control and click the form
  3. In the Properties window, change its Text to Create Employees and its Name to btnCreateEmployees
  4. Double-click the newly added button to generate its Click event
  5. In the top section of the file, under the other using lines, type:
    using System.Xml;
  6. Implement the Click event of the btnCreate button as follows:
    void BtnCreateClick(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
    	XmlDocument docXML = new XmlDocument();
  7. Save all

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