This article describes and demonstrates techniques only applicable to Internet Explorer. Your browser (Unknown) may not display some parts of this article as Internet Explorer does.
XML Data Binding
XML became an integral part of Microsoft's strategy around the time of
Internet Explorer 4. IE4 was an XML-aware browser. As well as displaying
HTML documents, it could also display XML documents through an inbuilt XML
parser. Another part of IE4 was something known as the XML DSO
(Data Source Object). The XML DSO allows you to manipulate primitive XML
'data islands' by binding (or attaching) the XML data to HTML presentation elements. The
XML elements within Internet Explorer continue to be improved and added to
with every new IE release.
The following tables are created by the browser, on the fly, from an XML
data source. In these particular example, the XML data is embedded within
the HTML, but it is also possible to nominate an external XML file. With
an external XML data file, you are effectively providing a 'live' link
from your HTML document to a data source; as the XML data is updated, your
Web page content will update.
Inline XML is simply placed into the HTML code, and an ID assigned to
the XML markup. (ie, <xml id="AODCXML"><conferences>....<conferences></xml>). External XML is
similarly given an ID, and an SRC attribute assigned with the URL of the
XML file (eg, <xml ID="AODCXML" src="sample.xml">
There are two tag attributes that are used to bind the data to
HTML elements: the datasrc and datafld
attributes. The datasrc attribute is used to
nominate the source of the XML data. For example, datasrc="#AODCXML"
would nominate an inline XML code block with an ID of "AODCXML".
The datafld attribute nominates the node
within the XML that is to be inserted in the HTML element. For example, datafld="year"
would nominate the contents of the <year> tag within the source XML.
Below are two examples of tables that use bound XML data. The first table uses <input> and <div> tags to hold
particular data elements, while the second table displays entire rows in
<div> tags. To understand more about how this simple technique
can be used, simply view the source for this page.
1st Annual AODC
2nd Annual AODC
3rd Annual AODC
4th Annual AODC
5th Annual AODC
6th Annual AODC
A datafld attribute can also be applied to the
<img> tag, where it substitutes for the src attribute. The corresponding
XML data would store the URL of an image.