Working With Dataset And XML In ASP.NET 2.0

XML data definition format is heavily used in nowadays applications since it is very rich data definition method. Working with XML data is very customizable, easy and reliable. Important features of XML language are;

  • well defined schema
  • purely character based data definition method
  • customizable tags
  • easy validation of XML documents
In ASP.NET it provides lot of shortcut methods to work with XML data. Actually .NET Frameworks most of the components fully based on XML languages. Few examples are Data Grid, Data Set and Class Designer etc. Due to this reason you can easily convert data in dataset to XML document and read data from XML document to feed into dataset. Why it is important to convert dataset into XML documents is a good question to analyze. There are few reasons to explain here, first thing is dataset is a kind of a special data format and not exchangeable with different applications. Transfer through web protocols is not straight forward with dataset, but XML data is based on characters and easily pass through the network. Most importantly validation of data is very easier with XML data that data in dataset. There are buit in validation functions with XML documents in ASP.NET.

Generate XML file from dataset

// Connect to database
OleDbConnection con = new OleDbConnection('');

// Create new dataset
DataSet ds = new DataSet();
// Create new data adapter
OleDbDataAdapter da = new OleDbDataAdapter();

// Create SQL command
OleDbCommand cmd = new OleDbCommand("SELECT * FROM tblMyData", con);

// Set SQL command to data adapter
da.SelectCommand = cmd;
// Fill dataset
da.Fill(ds);

// Write data from dataset to XML file called "YourXMLFile.xml"
ds.WriteXml("c://YourXMLFile.xml");

Read data from XML file and fill dataset

"WriteXML()" method is used to write XML data from dataset into physical file, memory stream or character stream. In same way you can use "ReadXML()" method to read data from XML file and assigned to dataset.

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