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Creating an RSS 2.0 feed with .NET

, 27 Dec 2012
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A Programming with .NET article with code of how to create a compliant RSS 2.0 feed using .NET XmlDocument

Overview

Rather than post another article about setting up and using third party tools with .NET MVC, I thought I would take a slightly different approach this time and write a Programming with .NET article based on something I have had to do whilst creating Jambr.

I had the requirement to create an RSS feed for both the Articles and News sections of the site so you lovely readers could subscribe to either of them, I haven't actually had to create RSS feeds before so had to do some digging to find the best route to go down.  I read numerous programming articles on line and compiled a simple class which enables me to create an RSS2.0 compliant feed, as seen here.

Using the code

Rather than putting all 237 lines of code in here I have uploaded the class for you, you can download it from here.  Just pop it into your project and use it like this:
  1. Firstly you need to create an instance of the object (apologies if i'm teaching you to suck eggs!):
    Dim rssfeed As New RSSFeed()
  2. Next, you need to create the channel.  RSS2.0 feeds can only have one channel so you're only able to call this method once
    rssfeed.CreateChannel("Jambr - News"
    "Http://www.jambr.co.uk/News",
    "Jambr News",
    Now,
    "en-GB")
  3. And now, you add your items.  Obviously you need to loop through the objects you want in your feed and add them, but we'll add just one example here:
    rssfeed.WriteRSSItem("This is an item",
    "http://www.yoursite.com",
    "Karl",
    Now,
    "This is the description",
    Guid.NewGuid.ToString)
  4. Finally, after you've added your items you can return the string of the XML document.  I'm coding around .NET MVC 4 so as a result I return the XML document to the user like this:
    Return Content(rssfeed.ToString, "text/xml")
    
It is worth noting that I  have included additional parameters on both the CreateChannel and WriteRSSItem methods which enables you to add Categories (in the context of Jambr, I Tag all articles to enable them to be categorised) and Content (which will be added to the content:encoded tag). To add category tags, pass them as an array of KeyValuePair(of String, String) objects.  To add the content, pass it as a string. 
rssfeed.WriteRSSItem("This is an item",
"http://www.yoursite.com",
"Karl",
Now,
"This is the description",
Guid.NewGuid.ToString,
"This is the full body of the post",
{New KeyValuePair(Of String, String)("Tag1", "/Articles/?Tag=Tag1")})

A few issues I encountered

There were a few issues I encountered whilst trying to ensure the feed was RSS 2.0 compliant which are sorted in this code, for example:
  1. Date Times needed to be in the correct format (Sat, 07 Sep 2002 9:42:31 GMT), luckily .ToString("r") on a datetime object handles that.
  2. Adding custom namespaces to the root rss element of the document, and then actually enabling me to write tags which reference that namespace.  for example <dc:creator> tags
I hope that helps!  Any questions, please ask.

License

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

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About the Author

Karl Stoney
Software Developer (Senior) Hewlett Packard Enterprise Security Services
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Senior Developer for Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Security Service.
 
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Comments and Discussions

 
Questionsystem.servicemodel.syndication namespace PinmemberclintonG27-Dec-12 9:17 
AnswerRe: system.servicemodel.syndication namespace PinmemberKarl Stoney27-Dec-12 11:47 
GeneralRe: system.servicemodel.syndication namespace PinmemberclintonG27-Dec-12 13:55 

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