Querying the DOM using XPath

Francis Norton francis at redrice.com
Wed Jan 26 15:13:09 GMT 2000

"Barnowsky, Greg T." wrote:
>    If I am currently parsing through a well-formed and validated XML
> document based on prior knowledge of it's schema using
>    the Microsoft MSXML Component Model API and my favorite prog. language,
> what does the support of XPath provide me?

Xpath support gives you a very much more productive way of navigating
and querying the XML document compared to "pure" DOM, eg the DOM
getAttribute() and getElementsByTagName() methods and the childNodes
property for element / attribute operations; and the DOM normalize()
method and Text interface for text values.

MSXML already had workrounds for these areas, but these were
experimental and used now-outdated proto-standards. The advantage to
using XPath is that you will be using the same powerful and
well-reviewed standard as other useful XML tools such as XSLT or the

>    I am currently processing the XML Document with no intentions to display
> the information.  That is, this processing is
>    oriented to backoffice B2B operations, e.g. mappings, translations,
> auditing, etc. not presentation on a Web Page.
> Maybe I just have missed something in the spec, or am not familiar with the
> quirks of XML to see if XPath for me provides any
> benefit.
XPath is also included in XSLT, but you don't need to be doing XSLT
document transformations to exploit the power of XPath. (In fact I have
found XSLT very useful for B2B work, you may well want to look at it for
your translations.)

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