MayoMan MayoMan - 2 months ago 6x
Java Question

Parsing XML into Java object

I am trying to determine the best way to parse the XML response I get from a webservice call into a Java object.
Using JAXB seems to be the easiest way but every example I get for this requires that you have a template Java class which will be the Java type the XML is converted into.
My xml is as below

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<entry_list version="1.0">
<entry id="main[1]"> <hw highlight="yes" hindex="1">main</hw> <sound><wav>main0001.wav</wav></sound> <pr>ˈmeɪn</pr> <fl>adjective</fl> <lb>always used before a noun</lb> <def><dt>:most important :<sx>chief</sx> <sx>principal</sx> <vi>the <it>main</it> idea/point</vi> <vi>the <it>main</it> goal/purpose</vi> <vi>Speed is the <it>main</it> advantage of this approach.</vi> <vi>The company's <it>main</it> office is located in New York.</vi> <vi>the novel's <it>main</it> character</vi> <vi>driving down the <it>main</it> road/highway</vi> <vi>the <it>main</it> gate/entrance</vi> <vi>This dish can be served as a <phrase>main course</phrase> or appetizer.</vi> <vi>And now for the <phrase>main event</phrase> of the evening!</vi></dt></def> <uro><ure>main*ly</ure> <fl>adverb</fl> <utxt><vi>The reviews have been <it>mainly</it> [=<it>mostly</it>] positive.</vi> <vi>a plant found <it>mainly</it> [=<it>chiefly</it>] in coastal regions</vi> <vi>I don't like the plan, <it>mainly</it> because I think it's too expensive.</vi> <vi>The problems have been <it>mainly</it> minor ones. [=most of the problems have been minor ones]</vi> <vi>They depend <it>mainly</it> on/upon fish for food.</vi></utxt></uro></entry>
<entry id="main[2]"> <hw hindex="2">main</hw> <altpr>ˈmeɪn</altpr> <fl>noun</fl> <in><il>plural</il> <if>mains</if></in> <def><sn>1</sn> <sgram>count</sgram> <dt>:the largest pipe in a system of connected pipes <vi>a gas <it>main</it></vi> <vi>a water <it>main</it></vi></dt> <sn>2</sn> <bnote>the mains</bnote> <ssl>Brit</ssl> <sn>a</sn> <dt>:the system of pipes or wires for electricity, gas, or water <vi>My radio runs either off batteries or off <it>the mains</it>.</vi> <un>often used as <it>mains</it> before another noun <vi>We haven't had any <it>mains</it> water/electricity since the storm.</vi></un></dt> <sn>b</sn> <dt>:the place where electricity, gas, or water enters a building or room <vi>Turn off the water at <it>the mains</it>.</vi></dt></def> <dro><dre>in the main</dre> <def><dt>:in general <un>used to say that a statement is true in most cases or at most times <vi>The workers are <it>in the main</it> very capable. [=most of the workers are very capable]</vi> <vi>The weather has <it>in the main</it> been quite good. [=has been quite good most of the time]</vi></un></dt></def></dro></entry>
<entry id="main clause"> <hw>main clause</hw> <fl>noun</fl> <in><il>plural</il> <if>⁓ clauses</if></in> <def><gram>count</gram> <sl>grammar</sl> <dt>:a clause that could be used by itself as a simple sentence but that is part of a larger sentence <ca>called also <cat>independent clause</cat></ca> <dx>compare <dxt>coordinate clause</dxt> <dxt>subordinate clause</dxt></dx></dt></def></entry>
<entry id="main drag"> <hw>main drag</hw> <fl>noun</fl> <in><il>plural</il> <if>⁓ drags</if></in> <def><gram>count</gram> <sl>US</sl> <sl>informal</sl> <dt>:the main street in a town or city <vi>A carload of teenagers were cruising down the <it>main drag</it>.</vi></dt></def></entry>
<entry id="main line"> <hw>main line</hw> <fl>noun</fl> <in><il>plural</il> <if>⁓ lines</if></in> <def><gram>count</gram> <dt>:an important highway or railroad line</dt></def></entry>
<entry id="main man"> <hw>main man</hw> <fl>noun</fl> <in><il>plural</il> <if>⁓ men</if></in> <def><gram>count</gram> <sl>US</sl> <sl>informal</sl> <sn>1</sn> <dt>:someone's best male friend <vi>He's still her <it>main man</it>.</vi></dt> <sn>2</sn> <dt>:the most important or admired man in a group <vi>The team has many good players, but he is clearly the <it>main man</it>.</vi></dt></def></entry>
<entry id="main squeeze"> <hw>main squeeze</hw> <fl>noun</fl> <in><il>plural</il> <if>⁓ squeezes</if></in> <def><gram>count</gram> <sl>chiefly US slang</sl> <dt>:someone's main girlfriend, boyfriend, or lover <vi>She's my <it>main squeeze</it>.</vi></dt></def></entry>
<entry id="main street"> <hw>main street</hw> <fl>noun</fl> <in><il>plural</il> <if>⁓ streets</if></in> <def><sn>1</sn> <sgram>count</sgram> <dt>:the most important street of a U.S. town where there are many stores, banks, etc. <un>often used as a name <vi>The restaurant is at 257 <it>Main Street</it>.</vi></un></dt> <sn>2</sn> <bnote>Main Street</bnote> <sgram>noncount</sgram> <ssl>US</ssl> <dt><un>used to refer to middle-class people in the U.S. who have traditional beliefs and values <vi>What does <it>Main Street</it> think of this policy?</vi></un></dt></def></entry>
<entry id="water main"> <hw>water main</hw> <fl>noun</fl> <in><il>plural</il> <if>⁓ mains</if></in> <def><gram>count</gram> <dt>:a large underground pipe that carries water <vi>The <it>water main</it> burst/broke and flooded the street.</vi></dt></def></entry>

My question is , do I have to define the Java object that this will be converted into? What I am afraid of if this is the case is what happens if data is added or removed from the XML response as it exists at the moment.
I have also tried loading the XML into a DOM and walking thropugh it that way but againi I am wondered what will happen if an element is added or removed?

I only want certain child nodes if their parent node is a certain value so any pointers as to the easiest way to do it would be welcome.


The simplest way to work with a XML is to serialize it to an object.
You can do it with JAXB, here is an tutorial: mykong
Just define how objects should look like.
Here is an example:

@XmlRootElement(name = "entry_list")
public class EntryList {

    @XmlElement(name = "entry")
    private List<Entry> entities;

    public List<Entry> getEntities() {
        return entities;
    public void setLastName(List<Entry> entities) {
        this.entities = entities;

public class Entry {

    private String id;

    private Sound sound


    public String getId() {
        return id;
    public void setId(String id) { = id;

    public Sound getSound() {
        return sound;
    public void setSound(Sound sound) {
        this.sound = sound;

Every element that got a child element have to be a class and if it repeats multiple times like entry or vi it should be a list.