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Email Template using XSLT and XSLTArgumentList

, 16 Feb 2005
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Usage of custom .NET objects in XSLT transformation.

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This article uses an XSLT file as a template file to store email templates. It specifically targets on usage of Custom Objects Properties to be used in the XSLT file.


Basic knowledge of XML, XPath and XSLT is needed apart from C# and ASP.NET.

Using the code

The Email.cs class in EmailProject can be segregated into various other components to make it as generic as possible. Also, the User.cs and Account.cs class files can be placed in a separate project containing the business objects for the application.

The following are the extracts from the email.cs file:

public static void SetUserDetails()
  User myuser = new User();
  myuser.UserName = "ABC";
  myuser.EmailAddress =;
  Account myaccount = new Account();
  myaccount.AccountName = "ABC Account";
  Hashtable objHash = new Hashtable();
  objHash["ext:User"] = myuser;
  objHash["ext:Account"] = myaccount;
  SendEmail("", "emailtemplate.xslt", objHash);

The SetUserDetails() function sets the values of User and Account objects. These are objects sent to be used as arguments to the XSLT file. Hence they are added to a HashTable object with the key name as the same as their respective xmlns namespace identifiers in the XSLT file, as shown below.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
  <xsl:stylesheet version="1.0" xmlns:xsl=""
XslTransform objxslt = new XslTransform();
objxslt.Load(templatepath + xslttemplatename);
XmlDocument xmldoc = new XmlDocument();
XPathNavigator xpathnav = xmldoc.CreateNavigator();
XsltArgumentList xslarg = new XsltArgumentList();
if (objDictionary != null)
  foreach (DictionaryEntry entry in objDictionary )
    xslarg.AddExtensionObject(entry.Key.ToString(), entry.Value);
  StringBuilder emailbuilder = new StringBuilder();
  XmlTextWriter xmlwriter = new 
    XmlTextWriter(new System.IO.StringWriter(emailbuilder));
  objxslt.Transform(xpathnav, xslarg, xmlwriter, null);

The above is the code snippet from SendMail method. The arguments to the XslTransform object are added by using the AddExtensionObject method of XsltArgumentlist object.

string subjecttext, bodytext;

XmlDocument xemaildoc = new XmlDocument();
XmlNode titlenode = xemaildoc.SelectSingleNode("//title");

subjecttext = titlenode.InnerText;

XmlNode bodynode = xemaildoc.SelectSingleNode("//body");

bodytext = bodynode.InnerXml;
if (bodytext.Length > 0)
    bodytext = bodytext.Replace("&amp","&");

SendEmail(emailto, subjecttext, bodytext);

The above code shows the title text of the XHTML doc to be used as the e-mail's subject and the body text to use used as the body section of the email. This is done by simple XPath.


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Comments and Discussions

GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmemberrcat11-Apr-11 6:15 
Generalsource Pinmemberkaradas22-Mar-11 0:19 
QuestionHow can I generate multiple table? Pinmemberspace257-Nov-06 9:29 
GeneralProblem with the href in link PinmemberAleBrozzo26-Sep-06 19:43 
GeneralRe: Problem with the href in link PinmemberMahendra N20-Oct-06 5:09 
QuestionHow can I check for null attributes of an associated object? PinmemberSG023-Sep-06 6:59 
AnswerRe: How can I check for null attributes of an associated object? PinmemberSG025-Sep-06 10:30 
QuestionHow can I access this key and value in the xslt format? Pinmemberspacejang1-Aug-06 8:14 
AnswerRe: How can I access this key and value in the xslt format? PinmemberMahendra N20-Oct-06 5:07 
GeneralAccess properties of Associated Objects Pinmemberjnapier175-May-06 8:09 
Hi, I have used this successfully in multiple sites but I have never figured out how to access child properties of an associated object.
Take your sample code for example. What of UserName was an object instead of a string? How would I access the FirstName property of UserName.
I have tried this, but it does not work.

Any ideas?
Generaltaking one more step Pinmembery6y6y27-Mar-06 16:20 
GeneralRe: taking one more step PinmemberMahendra N29-Mar-06 19:11 
GeneralRe: taking one more step [modified] PinmemberCvetomir Todorov16-Aug-07 22:00 
GeneralRe: taking one more step Pinmembercbreier11-Jul-06 6:14 
GeneralRe: taking one more step Pinmemberthe__turtle11-Jul-06 22:52 

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