Building and Parsing XML Document using Python

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In this Blog Post, We will see how to create an XML document and parse XML Document using python.

Python supports to work with various forms of structured data markup. This includes modules to work with the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), Extensible Markup Language (XML).

In addition to parsing capabilities, xml.etree.ElementTree supports creating well-formed XML documents from Element objects constructed in an application. The Element class used when a document is parsed also knows how to generate a serialized form of its contents, which can then be written to a file.

Creating an XML Document:

To create an element instance, use the Element constructor or the SubElement() factory function.

import xml.etree.ElementTree as xml

filename = "/home/abc/Desktop/test_xml.xml"
root = xml.Element("Users")
userelement = xml.Element("user")
root.append(userelement)

When you run this you can see the output as below:

<Users>
    <user>
    </user>
</Users>

Let us add user children

uid = xml.SubElement(userelement, "uid")
uid.text = "1"
FirstName = xml.SubElement(userelement, "FirstName")
FirstName.text = "testuser"
LastName = xml.SubElement(userelement, "LastName")
LastName.text = "testuser"
Email = xml.SubElement(userelement, "Email")
Email.text = "testuser@test.com"
state = xml.SubElement(userelement, "state")
state.text = "xyz"
location = xml.SubElement(userelement, "location")
location.text = "abc"
tree = xml.ElementTree(root)
with open(filename, "w") as fh:
    tree.write(fh)


First we create the root element by using ElmeentTree’s Element function. Then we create an user element and append it to the root. Next we create SubElements by passing the user Element object (userelement) to SubElement along with a name, like "FirstName". Then for each SubElement, we set its text property to give it a value. At the end of the script, we create an ElementTree and use it to write the XML out to a file.
 
If you run this the reponse will be as following

<Users>
    <user>
        <uid>1</uid>
        <FirstName>testuser</FirstName>
        <LastName>testuser</LastName>
        <Email>testuser@test.com</Email>
        <state>xyz</state>
        <location>abc</location>
    </user>
</Users>

Parsing the XML Document:

import xml.etree.ElementTree as ET
tree = ET.parse('Your_XML_file_path')
root = tree.getroot()

here getroot() will return the root Element of the XML document.

<Users version="1.0" language="SPA">
    <user>
        <uid>1</uid>
        <FirstName>testuser</FirstName>
        <LastName>testuser</LastName>
        <Email>testuser@test.com</Email>
        <state>xyz</state>
        <location>abc</location>
    </user>
</Users>

Let us take above example for parsing.

here getroot() will return "Users" Element as "<Element 'Users' at 0x7f9095365d90>"

root.tag --> This returns only the Tag, Here in our Example "Users".
root.attrib --> This returns the attributes of the root element, In our Example "{'version': '1.0', 'language': 'SPA'}"
root.getchildren() --> This Returns the children elements of that root in an array.
In our Example: [<Element 'uid' at 0x7f0c307eee10>, <Element 'FirstName' at 0x7f0c307eeed0>, <Element 'LastName' at 0x7f0c307eef90>, <Element 'Email' at 0x7f0c307f0150>, <Element 'state' at 0x7f0c307f0190>, <Element 'location' at 0x7f0c307f01d0>].

From this you can read the text of the required Element and then insert in to your database.

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