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XML question

Posted on 2004-11-21
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-19
Could anyone teach me how to get value from an XML string ?

I have this long xml string :

  <Date "October 12, 2004" />
  <OrderNumber "12345" />

Basically I want to move those information into a MySQL database. The MySQL things are not a problem. But I dont know how to get the XML values. I searched in php.net, but seems there are so many functions and ways to do this. If you could give me one simple example that works, it would be enough.

I use PHP 4.3.3 on Linux btw.

Question by:muis2002

Expert Comment

ID: 12637840
There's plenty of tutorials out there that I think can help you out. Here's one : http://www.zend.com/zend/tut/tutbarlach.php
And here's one one expat, http://www.zend.com/zend/art/parsing.php, the PHP xml parser.
Hope this helps!

Author Comment

ID: 12639739
I got this code below working. But it has a problem, if there are same ELEMENT NAME in the same LEVEL, it will only print the last element.

For example :


It will only process the last <Item>

Anyone know how to fix this ?


// Display the print_r() output in a readable format
echo '<PRE>';

// Array to store current xml path
$ary_path = array();

// Array to store parsed data
$ary_parsed_file = array();

// Starting level - Set to 0 to display all levels. Set to 1 or higher
// to skip a level that is common to all the fields.
$int_starting_level = 1;

// what are we parsing?
$xml_file = 'label.xml';

// declare the character set - UTF-8 is the default
$type = 'UTF-8';

// create our parser
$xml_parser = xml_parser_create($type);

// set some parser options
xml_parser_set_option($xml_parser, XML_OPTION_CASE_FOLDING, true);
xml_parser_set_option($xml_parser, XML_OPTION_TARGET_ENCODING, 'UTF-8');

// this tells PHP what functions to call when it finds an element
// these funcitons also handle the element's attributes
xml_set_element_handler($xml_parser, 'startElement','endElement');

// this tells PHP what function to use on the character data
xml_set_character_data_handler($xml_parser, 'characterData');

if (!($fp = fopen($xml_file, 'r'))) {
   die("Could not open $xml_file for parsing!\n");

// loop through the file and parse baby!
while ($data = fread($fp, 4096)) {
   if (!($data = utf8_encode($data))) {
       echo 'ERROR'."\n";
   if (!xml_parse($xml_parser, $data, feof($fp))) {
       die(sprintf( "XML error: %s at line %d\n\n",


// Display the array

// This function is called for every opening XML tag. We
// need to keep track of our path in the XML file, so we
// will use this function to add the tag name to an array
function startElement($parser, $name, $attrs=''){

   // Make sure we can access the path array
   global $ary_path;
   // Push the tag into the array
   array_push($ary_path, $name);


// This function is called for every closing XML tag. We
// need to keep track of our path in the XML file, so we
// will use this function to remove the last item of the array.
function endElement($parser, $name, $attrs=''){

   // Make sure we can access the path array
   global $ary_path;
   // Push the tag into the array


// This function is called for every data portion found between
// opening and closing tags. We will use it to insert values
// into the array.
function characterData($parser, $data){
   // Make sure we can access the path and parsed file arrays
   // and the starting level value
   global $ary_parsed_file, $ary_path, $int_starting_level;

   // Remove extra white space from the data (so we can tell if it's empty)
   $str_trimmed_data = trim($data);
   // Since this function gets called whether there is text data or not,
   // we need to prevent it from being called when there is no text data
   // or it overwrites previous legitimate data.
   if (!empty($str_trimmed_data)) {

       // Build the array definition string
       $str_array_define = '$ary_parsed_file';
       // Add a [''] and data for each level. (Starting level can be defined.)
       for ($i = $int_starting_level; $i < count($ary_path); $i++) {
           $str_array_define .= '[\'' . $ary_path[$i] . '\']';
       // Add the value portion of the statement
       $str_array_define .= " = '" . $str_trimmed_data . "';";
       // Evaluate the statement we just created
       // DEBUG
       //echo "\n" . $str_array_define;
       } // if



Accepted Solution

compustarsg earned 400 total points
ID: 12641473
hi, the code you are try may work with little tweak. but here iam giving other sample using domxml, xpath which i think will work.


$xml_file = 'label.xml';

$fp = fopen($xml_file, "r");
$contents = fread($fp, filesize($xml_file));

if (!$dom =  domxml_open_mem($contents)) {
  echo "Error while parsing the document\n";

// using xpath
$ctx = xpath_new_context($dom);
$xo = xpath_eval($ctx,"/Order");

// parse xml and get nodes into array
foreach($xo->nodeset as $key=>$val)
   $arritems = array();
   $arrinfo = array();

   $arr1 = $val->child_nodes();

   foreach($arr1 as $key1=>$val1)
      if ($val1->node_name() == "Items") {
          $arr2 = $val1->child_nodes();

          foreach($arr2 as $key2=>$val2) {
             if ($val2->node_name() != "#text") {
               //echo $val2->node_name() . "-" . $val2->get_content()."<br>";    
               $arr3[$val2->node_name()] = $val2->get_content();
          array_push($arritems, $arr3);

      if ($val1->node_name() == "Info") {
          $arr2 = $val1->child_nodes();

          foreach($arr2 as $key2=>$val2) {    
             $arr3[$val2->node_name()] = $val2->get_content();
          array_push($arrinfo, $arr3);
      $arrorder[$key] = array("Items"=>$arritems,"Info"=>$arrinfo);

// output
foreach($arrorder as $key=>$val){
    echo "Order<br><br>";
    $items = $val["Items"];
    foreach($items as $key1=>$val1) {
        echo "ItemName"."-".$val1["ItemName"]."<br>";
        echo "Quantity"."-".$val1["Quantity"]."<br>";        

    $info = $val["Info"];
    foreach($info as $key1=>$val1) {
        echo "Name"."-".$val1["Name"]."<br>";
        echo "Address"."-".$val1["Address"]."<br>";        
    echo "<br>";

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
  <Date Value="October 12, 2004"/>
  <OrderNumber Value="12345" />

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