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Introduction to XML

Introduction to XML


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This one-day course introduces the eXtensible Markup Language, or XML, including basic grammar and XML validation using DTDs or XML Schema. Students learn to read and to hand-write XML well-formed XML documents, and then proceed to modeling concepts, first learning the basic DTD language and then studying namespaces and XML Schema. The course closes with a chapter on important XML-related technology, including XPath, XSLT, SAX or DOM parsing, and SOAP-based Web services.

The module presents what might be called "Pure XML" -- by which we mean two things. Firstly, everything in the module is based strictly on W3C specifications, without any vendor-specific extensions. Secondly, no knowledge of any particular programming language or other external technology is required to participate fully in the module. Thus the hands-on exercises, and the knowledge that is developed, are portable and applicable to any XML authoring or development effort.

Learning Objectives
- Understand the broad influence of XML on emerging software architectures.
- Write well-formed XML documents to express simple or complex document content.
- Write DTDs to set rules for XML document validation.
- Write valid XML documents with internal and/or external document type definitions.
- Understand the limitations of DTDs in expressing document and object designs and in setting strict validation rules.
- Read and write XML using namespaces to import type information and to partition the XML namespace.
- Use XML Schema to validate XML documents.
- Understand the roles of XPath, XSLT, parsing, and Web services in the broader scope of XML technology in software applications.



A Brief History of XML
- Birth of XML
- Content vs. Presentation
- Self-Describing Data
- A Standard Document Format
- Uses for XML

XML Grammar
- Structure of an XML Document
- Handling Whitespace
- Character and Entity References
- Well-Formed XML
- Elements
- Attributes
- Processing Instructions
- Comments
- CDATA Sections

Valid XML
- Document Types
- DTD Structure
- Defining Elements
- Cardinality
- Attributes
- Required, Implied, Default, and Fixed Attributes
- Enumerations
- XML Namespaces
- Limitations of DTDs
- XML Schema
- Advantages of XML Schema
- Data Types

Using XML in Applications
- SAX and DOM Parsing
- XPath
- Web Services



None. Some familiarity with HTML will be beneficial.