Inserting and Deleting XML Elements

Technical Articles > Working with XML Files

The structure of an XML document is described through a document type description (DTD) either contained inline, in the XML file or in a separate DTD file. The following is an example of a DTD file belonging to the XML example above (addresses.dtd):

<!ELEMENT Addresses (DocumentHeadline, AddressTable)>
<!ELEMENT DocumentHeadline (#PCDATA)>
<!ELEMENT AddressTable (Address+)>
<!ELEMENT Address (Name, Street, City)>

A DTD allows text only for elements with the #PCDATA statement. Furthermore, this DTD defines that the document must have a single document headline and a single address table. The address table can have one or more addresses and each address must have three sub-elements: Name Street and City.

With all of these instructions, inserting or removing elements is allowed only for complete addresses. Should a program try to insert or remove one of the other elements, an invalid document and an XmlInvalid event occurs.

To insert an address, first create a new XmlElement object, initialize it with a name and a text and then use the Address collection's Add method as shown in the following piece of code:

XmlElement newAddress =
    new XmlElement("Address", "Paul Baskerville\nJackson Street\nLondon");
textControl1.GetXmlElements("Address").Add(newAddress, -1, 2);
[Visual Basic]
Dim NewAddress As New XmlElement("Address", _
        "Paul Baskerville" + Chr(10) + "Jackson Street" + Chr(10) + "London")
TextControl1.GetXmlElements("Address").Add(NewAddress, -1, 2)

This code inserts the new address after the second address in the document. Using the Add method's before parameter an element can also be inserted before a certain element.

The following line of code removes the address just inserted:

[Visual Basic]

Because the DTD enforces at least one address, trying to remove the last address also results in an invalid document and an XmlInvalid event occurs.