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4225.  XML Programming Using Visual Basic and .NET

Rev. 4.0

 

This comprehensive and practical four-day course builds skills in .NET’s XML processing APIs—chiefly parsing using XmlReader and the Document Object Model (DOM), writing XML streams using XmlWriter, transformations using XPath and XSLT, and the new LINQ to XML, all using the .NET Framework XML classes and the Visual Basic language. It also covers XML serialization according to XML Schema and the tight coupling between XML and ADO.NET. The course is intended for students with a working knowledge of XML who want to build XML applications or components using .NET and the Visual Basic language. Everything in the course adheres to W3C and .NET standards for highly portable code. Visual Studio 2010 with .NET 4.0 is used as the development environment.

 

The course includes extensive programming examples, a progressively developed case study, and several tools for manipulating XML documents. All source code is in Visual Basic and is provided with the course. A separate Lab Manual provides detailed instructions for laboratory exercises with console and Windows Forms client programs. A parallel course, 4226, XML for Web Applications Using Visual Basic, has lab exercises with console and Web Forms client programs.

 

Upon completion of this course the student will be equipped to program XML applications in .NET and understand which XML and .NET technologies to apply for the problem domain.

 

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

 

·         Understand the purpose of the .NET Framework XML classes

·         Parse XML data streams using XmlReader classes

·         Validate XML data streams that are described by a DTD or an XML Schema

·         Use the XmlWriter class to create XML data streams

·         Modify, create and delete information in an XML document using the Document Object Model (DOM) .NET classes.

·         Use XML Serialization to persist XML data

·         Acquire a working knowledge of the use of ADO.NET with XML

·         Use XPath to query for content in an XML document

·         Use the XPathNavigator class to parse and edit XML documents

·         Use XSLT to transform XML documents into text, HTML or other XML

·         Use Language Integrated Query (LINQ) to manipulate XML documents

 

Course Duration:  4 days

 

Prerequisites:  Ability to read and to write well-formed XML. A working knowledge of programming the .NET Framework using Visual Basic. A working knowledge of ADO.NET is recommended for the portion of the course dealing with ADO.NET and XML.

 

1.      .NET Framework XML Overview

XML in the .NET Framework

.NET XML Namespaces and Classes

.NET XmlReader and XmlWriter

.NET DOM Parser

XML Serialization

XML and ADO.NET

XPath and XSLT

Language Integrated Query and XML

XML and the Web

 

2.      Reading XML Streams in .NET

XML Document Streams

The XmlReader Class

XmlReaderSettings

Accessing Node Properties with the .NET XML Classes

Accessing Attribute Values

Traversing the XML Document

Catching XmlExceptions

 

3.      Validating XML Streams

Specifying Valid Documents with XML Schema and DTD

Using Visual Studio 2010 to Create Schemas

Validating XML with XmlReader

.NET Schema Object Model

 

4.      Writing XML Streams in .NET

The XmlWriter Class

XmlWriterSettings

WriteXXX Methods

XmlWriter States

Writing Elements          

Writing Attributes

Writing Namespaces

 

5.      The Document Object Model in .NET

Origins of the DOM

DOM Levels

DOM2 Structure

The XmlDocument Class

DOM Tree Model

DOM Interfaces

XmlDocument, XmlNode and XmlNodeList Classes

XmlElement and XmlText Classes

Finding Elements by Name

Walking the Child List

The XmlAttribute Class

 

6.      Manipulating XML Information with the DOM

Creating and Modifying Documents

Modifying Elements

Error Handling

Managing Children

Cloning

Splitting Text and Normalizing

Modifying Attributes

 

7.      XML Serialization

XmlSerializer

What Is Not Serialized

Writing and Reading XML

Customizing XML Serialization

XML Schema and XSD

Creating Classes from Schemas

 

8.      XML and ADO.NET

Strong Coupling Between ADO.NET and XML

Rendering XML from a DataSet

Controlling XML Output

Reading XML into a DataSet

XML Schema and DataSets

Typed DataSets

Synchronizing DataSets and XML

 

9.      XPath

Addressing XML Content

XPath in XSLT

Tree Structure

XPath Expressions

Context

Axis, Node Test, and Predicate

Abbreviations

XPath Functions

XPath and .NET

XPathNavigator

Editing with XPathNavigator

10. Introduction to XSLT

XSL and XSLT

Rule-Based Transformations

Templates

Producing Text, HTML, and XML

XslCompiledTransform

 

11. LINQ to XML

Language Integrated Query

Manipulating XML Documents in Memory with LINQ

LINQ Queries

Filtering, Ordering and Aggregation

Inserts, Deletes and Updates

LINQ Transformations

 

Appendix A. Zenith Courseware Case Study

 

Appendix B. Learning Resources

 

 

System Requirements

 

Required software is Visual Studio 2010, Professional Edition or higher. The operating system should be Windows 7, Vista or XP. See the course Setup Notes for details.

 

A good minimal hardware profile for this course would have a 2 GHz or better CPU, 1 GB of RAM, and at least 4 GB of free disk space for tools installation and courseware.