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Read/Write/Remove Create XML

, 25 Aug 2011
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XML Function to Read/Write/Remove/Create XML File

Introduction

This is a simple set of functions that will give the programmer the ability to read/write/remove and create element trees within an XML file.

  • Read XML Values and Attribute data
  • Write XML Values and Attribute data (If XML file does not exist, it will create and add passed data to file)
  • Remove XML Element and Element Tree from XML file
  • Create new XML Element or Element Tree within an XML file

Background

XML files can be a bit of a pain if you are not used to working with them. And they can require a bit of code to achieve a simple data entry.

I wanted to make a simple set of functions for easily passing data to and from an XML file, and not have to code it each time.

So I came up with the following code function. If you are using VB.NET, then just copy and paste the below code into a new Module.

Using the Code

Demo XML Data
(?xml version"1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?)
(Root)
 (Element1)
  (Value_Other Att="Something")(/Value_Other)
   (Element2)
    (Value_Name)Value(/Value_Name)
   (/Element2)
 (Element1)
(/Root)
Read_XML_Entry(filename,Path,Value_Name) as string
dim a as string
a = Read_XML_Entry ("C:\Some.xml","/Root/Element1/Element2","Value_Name")

Returns - Value

Read_XML_Attribute(Filename,Path,Value_name,Attribute_name) as string
dim a as string
a = Read_XML_Attribute("c:\some.xml","/Root/Element1","Value_Other","Att")

Returns - Something

Write_XML_Value(Filename,Path,Value_Name,Value) as string
dim a as string
a = Write_XML_Value("c:\some.xml","/Root/Element1","Value_Name","Value")

Returns - True if success (False or Error code if not success)
(N.B. Will Create XML File if it does not exist.)

Write_XML_Attribute(Filename,Path,Value_Name,attribute_name,attribute_value) as string
dim a as string
a = Write_XML_Value("c:\some.xml",
	"/Root/Element1/Element2","Value_Name","Att","Something")

Returns - True if success (False or Error code if not success)
(N.B. Will Create XML File if it does not exist.)

Remove_XML_Entry(Filename,Path,Value_Name) as string
dim a as string
a = Remove_XML_Entry("c:\some.xml","/Root/Element1","Value_Other")

Returns - True if success (False or Error code if not success)

Remove_From_Element(Filename,Path) as string
dim a as string
a = Remove_From_Element("c:\some.xml","/Root/Element2")

Returns - True if success (False or Error code if not success)

Create_XML_Tree(filename,start_Path,Path_to_Create) as string
dim a as string
a = Create_XML_Tree("c:\some.xml","/Root/Element1/Element2","/Element3/Element4")

Returns - True if success (False or Error code if not success)

VB.NET Code

Imports System
Imports System.IO
Imports System.Xml
Imports System.Xml.XPath

Module Module1
    ' Private Functions List..... This is were the magic happens =P
    Private Function check_xml_entry(ByVal xml_filename As String, _
    ByVal xml_path As String, ByVal value_name As String) As String
        Dim return_value As String
        Try
            Dim xd As New XmlDocument()
            xd.Load(xml_filename)
            ' Find the node where the Person's attribute ID is 1 using its XPath.
            Dim nod As XmlNode = xd.SelectSingleNode(xml_path)
            If nod IsNot Nothing Then
                return_value = "True"
            Else
                return_value = "False"
            End If
            xd.Save(xml_filename)
        Catch ex As Exception
            return_value = ex.Message
        End Try
        Return return_value
    End Function
    Private Function Check_Att(ByVal xml_filename As String, _
    ByVal xpath As String, ByVal value_name As String, ByVal att_name As String) As String
        Dim return_value As String
        Try
            Dim xd As New XmlDocument
            xd.Load(xml_filename)
            Dim nod As XmlNode = xd.SelectSingleNode(xpath & "/" _
            & value_name & "[@" & att_name & "]")
            If nod IsNot Nothing Then
                return_value = "True"
            Else
                return_value = "False"
            End If
        Catch ex As Exception
            return_value = ex.Message
        End Try
        Return return_value
    End Function
    Private Function Out_xml_from_xml_path(ByVal xml_path As String, _
    ByVal value_name As String, ByVal value As String, _
    ByVal att_name As String, ByVal att_value As String) As String
        Dim return_value As String
        Dim a, b, c, d As String
        Dim x, y, z As Integer
        Dim master As String
        Dim buffer As String
        If String.IsNullOrEmpty(att_name) = False Then
            master = "<" & value_name & " " & att_name & "=" & _
            Chr(34) & att_value & Chr(34) & ">" & value & "</" & value_name & ">"
        Else
            master = "<" & value_name & ">" & value & "</" & value_name & ">"
        End If
        a = xml_path.Trim("/")
        x = a.IndexOf("/")
        If x < 1 Then ' Is Root
            return_value = master
            GoTo 1
        End If
        b = a.Remove(0, x + 1)
        d = b
        Do
            x = d.LastIndexOf("/")
            If x < 1 Then ' Is Last Key
                master = "<" & d & ">" & master & "</" & d & ">"
                return_value = master
                Exit Do
            End If
            b = d.Remove(0, x + 1) ' that is without /
            c = d.Remove(0, x) ' that is with /
            master = "<" & b & ">" & master & "</" & b & ">"
            a = d.Replace(c, "")
            d = a
        Loop
1:
        Return master
    End Function
    Private Function Create_New_XML(ByVal xml_filename As String, _
    ByVal xml_path As String, ByVal value_name As String, _
    ByVal value As String, ByVal att_name As String, ByVal att_value As String) As String
        Dim return_value As String
        Try
            Dim settings As New XmlWriterSettings()
            settings.Indent = True
            settings.Encoding = System.Text.Encoding.UTF8
            Dim a, b, c, d As String
            Dim XmlWrt As XmlWriter = XmlWriter.Create(xml_filename, settings)
            With XmlWrt
                .WriteStartDocument()
                .WriteComment("XML Document Constructed on " & _
                DateTime.Now.Date & "/" & DateTime.Now.Month & "/" & DateTime.Now.Year)
                .WriteComment("Basic XML File. Create with Code from Dool Cookies")
                .WriteComment("From www.CodeProject.com")
                a = xml_path.Trim("/")
                b = a & "/" & value_name
                For Each t As String In b.Split("/")
                    .WriteStartElement(t)
                Next
                If String.IsNullOrEmpty(att_name) = False Then
                    .WriteAttributeString(att_name, att_value)
                End If
                .WriteString(value)
                .WriteFullEndElement()
                .WriteEndDocument()
                .Close()
                return_value = True
            End With
        Catch ex As Exception
            return_value = ex.Message
        End Try
        Return return_value
    End Function
    Private Function add_to_xml(ByVal xml_filename As String, _
    ByVal xml_path As String, ByVal value_name As String, _
    ByVal value As String) As String
        Dim return_value As String
        Try
            Dim cr As String = Environment.NewLine
            Dim dool As String
            dool = Out_xml_from_xml_path(xml_path, value_name, value, Nothing, Nothing)
            Dim xd As New XmlDocument()
            xd.Load(xml_filename)
            Dim docFrag As XmlDocumentFragment = xd.CreateDocumentFragment()
            docFrag.InnerXml = dool
            Dim root As XmlNode = xd.DocumentElement
            root.AppendChild(docFrag)
            xd.Save(xml_filename)
            return_value = "True"
        Catch ex As Exception
            return_value = ex.Message
        End Try
        Return return_value
    End Function
    Private Function Edit_XML_Entry(ByVal xml_filename As String, _
    ByVal xml_path As String, ByVal Value_Name As String, _
    ByVal Value As String) As String
        Dim return_value As String
        Dim xd As New XmlDocument()
        xd.Load(xml_filename)
        Dim nod As XmlNode = xd.SelectSingleNode(xml_path & "/" & Value_Name)
        If nod IsNot Nothing Then
            nod.InnerXml = Value
            return_value = "True"
        Else
            return_value = "Dool_Cookies"
        End If
        xd.Save(xml_filename)
        Return return_value
    End Function
    Private Function add_xml_att(ByVal xml_filename As String, _
    ByVal xml_path As String, ByVal value_name As String, _
    ByVal att_name As String, ByVal att_value As String) As String
        Dim return_value As String
        Try
            Dim document As New Xml.XmlDocument
            document.Load(xml_filename)
            Dim nav As Xml.XPath.XPathNavigator = document.CreateNavigator
            nav = nav.SelectSingleNode(xml_path & "/" & value_name)
            nav.CreateAttribute(Nothing, att_name, Nothing, att_value)
            document.Save(xml_filename)
            return_value = "True"
        Catch ex As Exception
            return_value = ex.Message
        End Try
        Return return_value
    End Function
    Private Function update_att(ByVal xml_filename As String, _
    ByVal xml_path As String, ByVal value_name As String, _
    ByVal att_name As String, ByVal att_value As String) As String
        Dim return_value As String
        Dim xd As New XmlDocument()
        xd.Load(xml_filename)
        Dim nod As XmlNode = xd.SelectSingleNode_
        (xml_path & "/" & value_name & "[@" & att_name & "]")
        If nod IsNot Nothing Then
            nod.Attributes.GetNamedItem(att_name).Value = att_value
            return_value = "True"
        Else
            MsgBox("Opps")
        End If
        xd.Save(xml_filename)
        Return return_value
    End Function
    Private Function Get_ATT(ByVal xml_Filename As String, _
    ByVal xml_path As String, ByVal value_name As String, _
    ByVal att_name As String) As String
        Dim return_value As String
        Try
            Dim a As String
            Dim xd As New XmlDocument
            xd.Load(xml_Filename)
            Dim nod As XmlNode = xd.SelectSingleNode_
            (xml_path & "/" & value_name & "[@" & att_name & "]")
            If nod IsNot Nothing Then
                a = nod.Attributes.GetNamedItem(att_name).Value
                return_value = a
            Else
                return_value = Nothing
            End If
            xd.Save(xml_Filename)
        Catch ex As Exception
            return_value = ex.Message
        End Try
        Return return_value
    End Function
    Private Function Get_Val(ByVal xml_filame As String, _
    ByVal xml_path As String, ByVal value_name As String) As String
        Dim return_value As String
        Try
            Dim a As String
            Dim xd As New XmlDocument
            xd.Load(xml_filame)
            Dim nod As XmlNode = xd.SelectSingleNode(xml_path & "/" & value_name)
            If nod IsNot Nothing Then
                a = nod.InnerXml
                return_value = a
            Else
                return_value = Nothing
            End If
            xd.Save(xml_filame)
        Catch ex As Exception
            return_value = ex.Message
        End Try
        Return return_value

    End Function
    Private Function delete_Element(ByVal xml_filename As String, _
    ByVal xml_path As String, ByVal value_name As String) As String
        Dim return_value As String
        Try
            Dim document As New Xml.XmlDocument
            document.Load(xml_filename)
            Dim nav As Xml.XPath.XPathNavigator = document.CreateNavigator
            nav = nav.SelectSingleNode(xml_path & "/" & value_name)
            nav.DeleteSelf()
            document.Save(xml_filename)
            return_value = "True"
        Catch ex As Exception
            return_value = ex.Message
        End Try
        Return return_value
    End Function
    Private Function delete_tree(ByVal xml_filename As String, _
    ByVal xml_path As String) As String
        Dim return_value As String
        Try
            Dim document As New Xml.XmlDocument
            document.Load(xml_filename)
            Dim nav As Xml.XPath.XPathNavigator = document.CreateNavigator
            nav = nav.SelectSingleNode(xml_path)
            nav.DeleteSelf()
            document.Save(xml_filename)
            return_value = "True"
        Catch ex As Exception
            return_value = ex.Message
        End Try
        Return return_value
    End Function
    Private Function create_tree(ByVal xml_filename As String, _
    ByVal start_at As String, ByVal add_these As String) As String
        Dim return_value As String
        Dim a, b, c, d As String
        Try
            Dim document As New Xml.XmlDocument
            document.Load(xml_filename)
            Dim nav As Xml.XPath.XPathNavigator = document.CreateNavigator
            nav = nav.SelectSingleNode(start_at)
            a = add_these.Trim("/")
            b = start_at
            For Each t As String In a.Split("/")
                b = b & "/" & t
                nav.AppendChildElement(Nothing, t, Nothing, "")
                nav = nav.SelectSingleNode(b)
            Next
            document.Save(xml_filename)
            return_value = "True"
        Catch ex As Exception
            return_value = ex.Message
        End Try
        Return return_value
    End Function
    Private Function dool_cookies(ByVal xml_filename As String, _
    ByVal xml_path As String, ByVal value_name As String, _
    ByVal value As String) As String
        Dim return_value As String
        Try
            Dim dool As New XmlDocument
            dool.Load(xml_filename)
            Dim nav As Xml.XPath.XPathNavigator = dool.CreateNavigator
            nav = nav.SelectSingleNode(xml_path)
            nav.AppendChildElement(Nothing, value_name, Nothing, value)
            dool.Save(xml_filename)
            return_value = "True"
        Catch ex As Exception
            return_value = ex.Message
        End Try
        Return return_value
    End Function
    ' Public Functions List........
    Public Function Write_XML_Value_
    (ByVal XML_Filename As String, ByVal XML_Path As String, _
    ByVal Value_Name As String, ByVal Value As String) As String
        Dim return_value As String
        Dim a, b, c, d As String
        If File.Exists(XML_Filename) = False Then
            a = Create_New_XML(XML_Filename, _
		XML_Path, Value_Name, Value, Nothing, Nothing)
            return_value = a
            GoTo 1
        End If
        a = check_xml_entry(XML_Filename, XML_Path, _
			Value_Name) ' Check to see if entry exists.

        If a.ToLower = "true" Then ' Yes we need to update the value
            b = Edit_XML_Entry(XML_Filename, XML_Path, Value_Name, Value)
            return_value = b
            If b.ToLower = "dool_cookies" Then
                c = dool_cookies(XML_Filename, XML_Path, Value_Name, Value)
                return_value = c
            End If

        Else ' No we need to make a new value
            b = add_to_xml(XML_Filename, XML_Path, Value_Name, Value)
            return_value = b
        End If
1:
        Return return_value
    End Function
    Public Function Write_XML_Attribute_
    (ByVal XML_FileName As String, ByVal XML_Path As String, _
    ByVal Value_Name As String, ByVal Attribute_Name As String, _
    ByVal Attribute_Value As String) As String
        Dim return_value As String
        Dim a, b, c As String
        If File.Exists(XML_FileName) = False Then
            a = Create_New_XML(XML_FileName, XML_Path, _
            Value_Name, Nothing, Attribute_Name, Attribute_Value)
            return_value = a
            GoTo 1
        End If
        a = Check_Att(XML_FileName, XML_Path, Value_Name, Attribute_Name)
        If a.ToLower = "true" Then ' Att does exists, update
            a = update_att(XML_FileName, XML_Path, _
            Value_Name, Attribute_Name, Attribute_Value)
            return_value = a
        Else ' create new one.
            a = add_xml_att(XML_FileName, XML_Path, _
            Value_Name, Attribute_Name, Attribute_Value)
            return_value = a
        End If
1:
        Return return_value
    End Function
    Public Function Read_XML_Value_
    (ByVal XML_Filename As String, ByVal XML_Path As String, _
    ByVal Value_Name As String) As String
        Dim return_value As String
        Dim a As String
        If File.Exists(XML_Filename) = False Then
            return_value = "File Does Not Exist"
            GoTo 1
        End If
        a = Get_Val(XML_Filename, XML_Path, Value_Name)
        return_value = a
1:
        Return return_value
    End Function
    Public Function Read_XML_Attribute_
    (ByVal XML_Filename As String, ByVal XML_Path As String, _
    ByVal Value_Name As String, ByVal Attribute_Name As String) As String
        Dim return_value As String
        Dim a As String
        If File.Exists(XML_Filename) = False Then
            return_value = "File Does Not Exist"
            GoTo 1
        End If
        a = Get_ATT(XML_Filename, XML_Path, Value_Name, Attribute_Name)
        return_value = a
1:
        Return return_value
    End Function
    Public Function Remove_XML_Entry_
    (ByVal XML_Filename As String, ByVal XML_Path As String, _
    ByVal Value_Name As String) As String
        Dim return_value As String
        Dim a As String
        If File.Exists(XML_Filename) = False Then
            return_value = "File Does Not Exist"
            GoTo 1
        End If
        a = delete_Element(XML_Filename, XML_Path, Value_Name)
        return_value = a
1:
        Return return_value
    End Function
    Public Function Remove_From_Element_
    (ByVal XML_Filename As String, ByVal XML_Path As String) As String
        Dim return_value As String
        Dim a As String
        If File.Exists(XML_Filename) = False Then
            return_value = "File Does Not Exist"
            GoTo 1
        End If
        a = delete_tree(XML_Filename, XML_Path)
        return_value = a
1:
        Return return_value
    End Function
    Public Function Create_XML_Tree(ByVal xml_filename As String, _
    ByVal Create_at_xml_path As String, ByVal Extra_Tree_Elements As String) As String
        Dim return_value As String
        Dim a As String
        If File.Exists(xml_filename) = False Then
            return_value = "File Does Not Exist"
            GoTo 1
        End If
        a = create_tree(xml_filename, Create_at_xml_path, Extra_Tree_Elements)
        return_value = a
1:
        Return return_value
    End Function

End Module

Points of Interest

I learnt that an XML Path is case sensitive. And while it was a fun thing to undertake writing this, I found that it has been really useful to whack into a DLL file.

History

This is the first release of my code. And it will not let you make duplicate entries in an XML file. I kinda put this in myself as I don't like duplicates.

If there are any updates needed to the code, please feel free to email them to me and I will update the code section.

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

About the Author

Dool_Cookies
Other Classified
Australia Australia
Programming for fun =)

Comments and Discussions

 
Questionuse LINQ and XML Pinmemberselap1-Sep-11 9:47 
AnswerRe: use LINQ and XML PinmemberDool_Cookies1-Sep-11 16:46 
Why not XLINQ?
 
I need a quick and easy set of functions that I could point straight to where I need to write/read/create/remove the information.
 
And well there are still plenty of people whom programming in .Net v1.x & v2.x And this too will be useful for them. And I also program in .Net v1 to v4 so this code is nicely interchangable.
AnswerRe: use LINQ and XML PinmvpSacha Barber5-Sep-11 21:31 
GeneralI like it PinmemberJayke Huempfner31-Aug-11 7:45 
GeneralRe: I like it PinmemberDool_Cookies1-Sep-11 16:47 
GeneralMy vote of 4 PinmemberAlberto Molero28-Aug-11 20:46 
GeneralRe: My vote of 4 PinmemberDool_Cookies1-Sep-11 16:41 
QuestionWhy not XLINQ? PinmvpSacha Barber25-Aug-11 2:30 
AnswerRe: Why not XLINQ? PinmemberDool_Cookies1-Sep-11 16:46 
GeneralRe: Why not XLINQ? PinmvpSacha Barber5-Sep-11 21:31 

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