Java DOM4J Parser - Parse XML Document


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Steps to Using DOM4J

Following are the steps used while parsing a document using DOM4J Parser.

  • Import XML-related packages.

  • Create a SAXReader

  • Create a Document from a file or stream

  • Get the required nodes using XPath Expression by calling document.selectNodes()

  • Extract the root element

  • Iterate over the list of nodes.

  • Examine attributes

  • Examine sub-elements

Import XML-related packages

import java.io.*;
import java.util.*;
import org.dom4j.*;

Create a DocumentBuilder

SAXBuilder saxBuilder = new SAXBuilder();

Create a Document from a file or stream

File inputFile = new File("input.txt");
SAXBuilder saxBuilder = new SAXBuilder();
Document document = saxBuilder.build(inputFile);

Extract the root element

Element classElement = document.getRootElement();

Examine attributes

//returns specific attribute
valueOf("@attributeName"); 

Examine sub-elements

//returns first child node
selectSingleNode("subelementName"); 

Demo Example

Here is the input xml file we need to parse:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<class>
   <student rollno="393">
      <firstname>dinkar</firstname>
      <lastname>kad</lastname>
      <nickname>dinkar</nickname>
      <marks>85</marks>
   </student>
   <student rollno="493">
      <firstname>Vaneet</firstname>
      <lastname>Gupta</lastname>
      <nickname>vinni</nickname>
      <marks>95</marks>
   </student>
   <student rollno="593">
      <firstname>jasvir</firstname>
      <lastname>singn</lastname>
      <nickname>jazz</nickname>
      <marks>90</marks>
   </student>
</class>

Demo Example:

DOM4JParserDemo.java

package com.tutorialspoint.xml;

import java.io.File;
import java.util.List;

import org.dom4j.Document;
import org.dom4j.DocumentException;
import org.dom4j.Element;
import org.dom4j.Node;
import org.dom4j.io.SAXReader;

public class DOM4JParserDemo {
   public static void main(String[] args) {
      try {
         File inputFile = new File("input.txt");
         SAXReader reader = new SAXReader();
         Document document = reader.read( inputFile );

         System.out.println("Root element :" 
            + document.getRootElement().getName());

         Element classElement = document.getRootElement();

         List<Node> nodes = document.selectNodes("/class/student" );
         System.out.println("----------------------------");
         for (Node node : nodes) {
            System.out.println("\nCurrent Element :" 
               + node.getName());
            System.out.println("Student roll no : " 
               + node.valueOf("@rollno") );
            System.out.println("First Name : " + node.selectSingleNode("firstname").getText());
            System.out.println("Last Name : " + node.selectSingleNode("lastname").getText());
            System.out.println("First Name : " + node.selectSingleNode("nickname").getText());
            System.out.println("Marks : " + node.selectSingleNode("marks").getText());
         }
      } catch (DocumentException e) {
         e.printStackTrace();
      }
   }
}

This would produce the following result:

Root element :class
----------------------------

Current Element :student
Student roll no : 
First Name : dinkar
Last Name : kad
First Name : dinkar
Marks : 85

Current Element :student
Student roll no : 
First Name : Vaneet
Last Name : Gupta
First Name : vinni
Marks : 95

Current Element :student
Student roll no : 
First Name : jasvir
Last Name : singn
First Name : jazz
Marks : 90


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