Jame Jame - 1 year ago 51
Java Question

How to read and write xml files?

I have to read and write to and from an XML file. What is the easiest way to read and write XML files using Java?

Answer Source

Here is a quick DOM example that shows how to read and write a simple xml file with its dtd:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="no"?>
<!DOCTYPE roles SYSTEM "roles.dtd">

and the dtd:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!ELEMENT roles (role1,role2,role3,role4)>
<!ELEMENT role1 (#PCDATA)>
<!ELEMENT role2 (#PCDATA)>
<!ELEMENT role3 (#PCDATA)>
<!ELEMENT role4 (#PCDATA)>

First import these:

import javax.xml.parsers.*;
import javax.xml.transform.*;
import javax.xml.transform.dom.*;
import javax.xml.transform.stream.*;
import org.xml.sax.*;
import org.w3c.dom.*;

Here are a few variables you will need:

private String role1 = null;
private String role2 = null;
private String role3 = null;
private String role4 = null;
private ArrayList<String> rolev;

Here is a reader (String xml is the name of your xml file):

public boolean readXML(String xml) {
        rolev = new ArrayList<String>();
        Document dom;
        // Make an  instance of the DocumentBuilderFactory
        DocumentBuilderFactory dbf = DocumentBuilderFactory.newInstance();
        try {
            // use the factory to take an instance of the document builder
            DocumentBuilder db = dbf.newDocumentBuilder();
            // parse using the builder to get the DOM mapping of the    
            // XML file
            dom = db.parse(xml);

            Element doc = dom.getDocumentElement();

            role1 = getTextValue(role1, doc, "role1");
            if (role1 != null) {
                if (!role1.isEmpty())
            role2 = getTextValue(role2, doc, "role2");
            if (role2 != null) {
                if (!role2.isEmpty())
            role3 = getTextValue(role3, doc, "role3");
            if (role3 != null) {
                if (!role3.isEmpty())
            role4 = getTextValue(role4, doc, "role4");
            if ( role4 != null) {
                if (!role4.isEmpty())
            return true;

        } catch (ParserConfigurationException pce) {
        } catch (SAXException se) {
        } catch (IOException ioe) {

        return false;

And here a writer:

public void saveToXML(String xml) {
    Document dom;
    Element e = null;

    // instance of a DocumentBuilderFactory
    DocumentBuilderFactory dbf = DocumentBuilderFactory.newInstance();
    try {
        // use factory to get an instance of document builder
        DocumentBuilder db = dbf.newDocumentBuilder();
        // create instance of DOM
        dom = db.newDocument();

        // create the root element
        Element rootEle = dom.createElement("roles");

        // create data elements and place them under root
        e = dom.createElement("role1");

        e = dom.createElement("role2");

        e = dom.createElement("role3");

        e = dom.createElement("role4");


        try {
            Transformer tr = TransformerFactory.newInstance().newTransformer();
            tr.setOutputProperty(OutputKeys.INDENT, "yes");
            tr.setOutputProperty(OutputKeys.METHOD, "xml");
            tr.setOutputProperty(OutputKeys.ENCODING, "UTF-8");
            tr.setOutputProperty(OutputKeys.DOCTYPE_SYSTEM, "roles.dtd");
            tr.setOutputProperty("{http://xml.apache.org/xslt}indent-amount", "4");

            // send DOM to file
            tr.transform(new DOMSource(dom), 
                                 new StreamResult(new FileOutputStream(xml)));

        } catch (TransformerException te) {
        } catch (IOException ioe) {
    } catch (ParserConfigurationException pce) {
        System.out.println("UsersXML: Error trying to instantiate DocumentBuilder " + pce);

getTextValue is here:

private String getTextValue(String def, Element doc, String tag) {
    String value = def;
    NodeList nl;
    nl = doc.getElementsByTagName(tag);
    if (nl.getLength() > 0 && nl.item(0).hasChildNodes()) {
        value = nl.item(0).getFirstChild().getNodeValue();
    return value;

Add a few accessors and mutators and you are done!

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