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XSLT - On the Server


To make XML data available to all kind of browsers, we can transform the XML document on the SERVER and send it  back to the browser as XHTML.


A Cross Browser Solution

In the previous chapter we explained how XSLT can be used to transform a document from XML to XHTML in the browser. We used a JavaScript and an XML parser for the transformation. However, this will not work in a browser that doesn't have an XML parser.

To make XML data available to all kind of browsers, we can transform the XML document on the server and send back to the browser as XHTML.

That's another beauty of XSLT. One of the design goals for XSLT was to make it possible to transform data from one format to another on a server, returning readable data to all kinds of browsers.


The XML File and the XSLT File

Look at the XML document that you have seen in the previous chapters:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<catalog>
  <cd>
    <title>Empire Burlesque</title>
    <artist>Bob Dylan</artist>
    <country>USA</country>
    <company>Columbia</company>
    <price>10.90</price>
    <year>1985</year>
  </cd>
.
.
</catalog>

View the XML file.

And the accompanying XSL style sheet:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<xsl:stylesheet version="1.0"
xmlns:xsl="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform">

<xsl:template match="/">
  <html>
  <body>
  <h2>My CD Collection</h2>
  <table border="1">
    <tr bgcolor="#9acd32">
      <th style="text-align:left">Title</th>
      <th style="text-align:left"="left">Artist</th>
    </tr>
    <xsl:for-each select="catalog/cd">
    <tr>
      <td><xsl:value-of select="title" /></td>
      <td><xsl:value-of select="artist" /></td>
    </tr>
    </xsl:for-each>
  </table>
  </body>
  </html>
</xsl:template>

</xsl:stylesheet>

View the XSL file.

Notice that the XML file does not have a reference to the XSL file.

IMPORTANT: The above sentence indicates that an XML file could be transformed using many different XSL style sheets.


PHP Code: Transform XML to XHTML on the Server

Here is the PHP source code needed to transform the XML file to XHTML on the server:

<?php
// Load XML file
$xml = new DOMDocument;
$xml->load('cdcatalog.xml');

// Load XSL file
$xsl = new DOMDocument;
$xsl->load('cdcatalog.xsl');

// Configure the transformer
$proc = new XSLTProcessor;

// Attach the xsl rules
$proc->importStyleSheet($xsl);

echo $proc->transformToXML($xml);
?>

Tip: If you don't know how to write PHP, please study our PHP tutorial.

See how it works with PHP.


ASP Code: Transform XML to XHTML on the Server

Here is the ASP source code needed to transform the XML file to XHTML on the server:

<%
'Load XML file
set xml = Server.CreateObject("Microsoft.XMLDOM")
xml.async = false
xml.load(Server.MapPath("cdcatalog.xml"))

'Load XSL file
set xsl = Server.CreateObject("Microsoft.XMLDOM")
xsl.async = false
xsl.load(Server.MapPath("cdcatalog.xsl"))

'Transform file
Response.Write(xml.transformNode(xsl))
%>

Tip: If you don't know how to write ASP, please study our ASP tutorial.

See how it works with ASP.



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