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Posted 2 Sep 2003

Using .xml files to replace small databases

, 2 Sep 2003
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Let an XML file become your local small database.

Sample Image


Many software and projects have many files to save data, like .ini, .cfg, .config... And they use any small database hourly, like .mdb. Now, using XML files can replace these files to save any data, under the .NET framework. There are 4 steps that let us complete this mission :p.

Step 1: Building an XML file.

The XML file's formatting must be familiar to you. Like this:


If you open this XML file in VS.NET, you can see button "Data" in the IDE's left bottom. Click the button, you can see some tables from this XML file. Like this:

Sample screenshot

Step 2: Using a DataSet to read XML file.

Create a WinForm project. Add an OpenFileDialog into the main form. We will use it to open the XML file. Like this:

  DataSet ds=new DataSet();; 

Step 3: Control the DataSet.

In a DataSet instance, we can do some operations like select, add, delete, and update... This is a sample method to search some data:

public DataRow[] searchForm(string tables,string expression) 
  //ds is a DataSet instance. 
  DataTable dt=ds.Tables[tables]; 
  DataRow[] drs=dt.Select(expression); 
  return drs; 

And you can add other methods easily. Like these methods:

//delete some rows from a table.
public bool deleteRows(string tables,string expression)
  bool result=false;
  DataTable dt=ds.Tables[tables];
  DataRow[] drs=dt.Select(expression);
    for(int i=0;i<drs.Length;i++) <DRS[].LENGTH;I++)<>drs[i].Delete();
  return result;

Step 4: Using DataSet to save data.

One statement can finish the work. Like this:

//fileName is a xml file's full name. 

Now see, the XML file can save data and we can use DataSet to operate on the data :).


This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

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About the Author

Web Developer
China China
Sorry,my english is very poor.My name is ShangYuan Wang,and I am working in China GuangXi nanning city,a technology company named biztig.So
my nickname is biztig,and I have an other nickname that is jam_snake. I learned pascal in GuangXi University first at 5 years ago,but my favorite language is C# now.
The image is a famous star in china,and I am her fans.

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Comments and Discussions

GeneralRe: Comment Pin
avodavtyan23-Oct-07 4:33
memberavodavtyan23-Oct-07 4:33 
GeneralRe: Comment Pin
eyoung7029-Aug-04 19:52
membereyoung7029-Aug-04 19:52 
GeneralThe other methods Pin
jam_snake10-Sep-03 16:32
memberjam_snake10-Sep-03 16:32 
GeneralRe: The other methods Pin
yantarian11-Nov-03 4:35
sussyantarian11-Nov-03 4:35 
GeneralRe: The other methods Pin
avodavtyan23-Oct-07 5:01
memberavodavtyan23-Oct-07 5:01 
GeneralSome more Pin
lee_connell10-Sep-03 15:40
memberlee_connell10-Sep-03 15:40 
Questionxml as database -max size? Pin
deodatus10-Sep-03 15:25
memberdeodatus10-Sep-03 15:25 
AnswerRe: xml as database -max size? Pin
saturn_one2-Dec-04 11:44
membersaturn_one2-Dec-04 11:44 
AnswerRe: xml as database -max size? Pin
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.25-Jun-07 12:34
memberThe Man from U.N.C.L.E.25-Jun-07 12:34 
GeneralNot enough Pin
dog_spawn4-Sep-03 14:08
memberdog_spawn4-Sep-03 14:08 
GeneralRe: Not enough Pin
lee_connell10-Sep-03 15:37
memberlee_connell10-Sep-03 15:37 

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