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Reading an XML file using VB.Net

Posted on 2007-12-02
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Hi Experts,

I'm trying to read an XML file with using VB.Net code.

I've got the following little test XML file:

<RootNode>
  <PersonalDetails>
        <FirstName>Kosie </FirstName>            
        <LastName>Venter</LastName>
        <CellPhone>082-416-8703</CellPhone>
        <EMail>kosie@kosieInc.co.za</EMail>
  </PersonalDetails>
</RootNode>

I also have the following VB code:

    Dim XMLDoc As New Xml.XmlDocument
    Dim XNode As Xml.XmlNode = Nothing

    XMLDoc.Load(Me.txtXMLFile.Text)
    XNode= XMLDoc.ChildNodes(0).ChildNodes(0)  'This should be FirstName

My problem is that:
XNode now contains the node  <FirstName>Kosie </FirstName>

If I use XNode.Value, NOTHING is returned.  I expected to get "Kosie".

What is wrong?

Thanks
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Comment
Question by:PantoffelSlippers
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17 Comments
 
LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:SteveH_UK
Comment Utility
You should use .InnerText or .InnerXml instead.

See http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.xml.xmlnode.value(VS.71).aspx
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Author Comment

by:PantoffelSlippers
Comment Utility
SteveH_UK,

I did try innertext but it returns the values of the node and all of its child nodes!

I'm looking to get the value of the single node only.

Any idea?
0
 
LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:SteveH_UK
Comment Utility
Firstly, remember that nodes are not elements.  Rather, an XmlNode can be an element, an attribute, a CDATA section or a TEXT section, etc.

So when you use ChildNodes(0) it will be fine for now, but not if you later add attributes to the other elements.

Try using either of the following:
' First

  XMLDoc.Load(Me.txtXMLFile.Text)

  Dim FirstName As String

  FirstName = XMLDoc.ChildNodes(0).ChildNodes(0).InnerText
 

' Alternative

  XMLDoc.Load(Me.txtXMLFile.Text)

  Dim FirstName As String

  FirstName=XMLDoc.SelectSingleNode("/RootNode/PersonalDetails/FirstName").InnerText

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Author Comment

by:PantoffelSlippers
Comment Utility
Thanks SteveH_UK,

Both method return the values of the firstname node and child nodes:

Copied this from my immediate window:

?xmldoc.SelectSingleNode("/RootNode/PersonalDetails/FirstName").InnerText
"Kosie
            K"



?XMLDoc.ChildNodes(0).ChildNodes(0).InnerText
"Kosie
            KVenter082-416-8703kosie@kosieInc.co.za"


Any other ideas?

Thanks
0
 
LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:SteveH_UK
Comment Utility
This looks to me like the file is not loading correctly.  I'm surprised it's working at all!

Try doing a dump of XmlDoc.OuterXml.  If you are using Visual Studio (Express) then put a breakpoint at this line and use F5 to launch debug.  Then look at what is shown in the Locals window.  You can then inspect the content of XmlDoc directly to see what different results offer.  You can also use the Watch window to see what XmlDoc.ChildNodes(0) gives, for example.
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Author Comment

by:PantoffelSlippers
Comment Utility
OuterXML looks this:

?xmldoc.OuterXml
"<RootNode><PersonalDetails><FirstName>Kosie
            <Initials>K</Initials></FirstName><LastName>Venter</LastName><CellPhone>082-416-8703</CellPhone><EMail>kosie@kosieInc.co.za</EMail></PersonalDetails></RootNode>"



?RootNode.OuterXml
"<FirstName>Kosie
            <Initials>K</Initials></FirstName>"


Anything else?
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:SteveH_UK
Comment Utility
The XML above does not correspond with the XML you initially posted with this question.  Therefore, you are getting a different result.

Why have you embedded the "Initials" tag inside the "FirstName" tag.  Pull it out and this will solve the last query.

The e-mail issue is another question, but make sure your input XML is correct.
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Author Comment

by:PantoffelSlippers
Comment Utility
SteveH_UK,

I added the Initials node to illustrate that the InnerText method on FirstName node does not only return the contents of the FirstName node but also the childnode's (Initials) contents.

On my initial post, you replied:
>>>You should use .InnerText or .InnerXml instead.

Thanks

Then I replied:
>>>>I did try innertext but it returns the values of the node and all of its child nodes!

I added the Initials node to illustrate this.
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:SteveH_UK
Comment Utility
Ok.  But because you didn't indicate that there was any inner nodes, I was answering a different question.

In this case you should append text() to the XPath, see http://www.w3schools.com/xpath/xpath_examples.asp.


XMLDoc.Load(Me.txtXMLFile.Text)

  Dim FirstName As String

  FirstName=XMLDoc.SelectSingleNode("/RootNode/PersonalDetails/FirstName/text()").InnerText 

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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:SteveH_UK
Comment Utility
The text is actually a node, specifically a Text node, so you have to select the Text node within the containing Element node.  This is what the text() XPath construct does.  Note the similarity with attributes which are also XML nodes.
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Author Comment

by:PantoffelSlippers
Comment Utility
Sorry SteveH_UK,

I don't follow that last statement.  Could you please elaborate on that?

Thanks
0
 
LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:SteveH_UK
Comment Utility
Certainly.

Let's consider your XML.  I've repeated it below, so we have the same XML in mind.  I've also broken it down into the XmlNodes that represent it:
<RootNode>                                       XmlNode [Element]

  <PersonalDetails>                               XmlNode [Element]

        <FirstName>                                XmlNode [Element]

             Kosie                                  XmlNode [Text]

        </FirstName>                               ------- 

        <LastName>                                 XmlNode [Element]

             Venter                                 XmlNode [Text]

        </LastName>                                -------

        <CellPhone>                                XmlNode [CellPhone]

             082-416-8703                           XmlNode [Text]

        </CellPhone>                               -------

        <EMail>                                    XmlNode [Element]

             kosie@kosieInc.co.za                   XmlNode [Text]

        </EMail>                                   -------

  </PersonalDetails>                              -------

</RootNode>                                      -------

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Accepted Solution

by:
SteveH_UK earned 250 total points
Comment Utility
See http://www.w3schools.com/dom/dom_nodetype.asp for info on the various node types.
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:SteveH_UK
Comment Utility
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Author Comment

by:PantoffelSlippers
Comment Utility
Thanks,

I'll have a look right away
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Author Closing Comment

by:PantoffelSlippers
Comment Utility
Thanks SteveH_UK.   After reading through the content, I know more about nodes but I still don't know how to get the text out of a XML node with VB code...
Thanks for your effort - you guys have a tough job with newbies like me.
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