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XML Interview Questions - Validating XML documents



What determines the validity of an XML document?
Document Type Definition(DTD) or an XML Schema determines the validity of an XML document.

What is a valid XML document?
XML documents are compared to rules that are specified in a DTD or schema. A well-formed XML document that meets all of the requirements of one or more specifications is called a valid XML Document.

What are the 2 types of XML parsers?
Nonvalidating Parsers - Parsers that don’t support validation
Validating Parsers - Parsers that support validation

Can you combine both Schema and DTD references in a single XML document?
Yes

Are DTD's well-formed XML documents?
No, DTDs are not well-formed XML documents. This is because they follow DTD syntax rules rather than XML document syntax.

Are XML schema's well-formed XML documents?
Yes.

What is the difference between an XML schema and a DTD?
The XML Schema is the officially sanctioned Schema definition. Unlike DTDs, the format of XML Schemas follows the rules of well-formed XML documents. The Schema also allows for much more granular control over the data that is being described. Because of the XML format and the detailed format controls, Schemas tend to be very complex and often much longer than the XML documents that they are describing. Schemas are often much more easy for developers to read and follow,due to the less cryptic nature of the references in Schemas versus DTDs.

How do you define references to schemas in an XML document?
References to schemas are defined by creating an instance of the XMLSchemainstance namespace. An example is shown below.
<rootelement xmlns:xsi=”http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchemainstance” xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation=”schemafile.xsd”>

The namespace declaration reference to http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchemainstance resolves to an actual document at that location, which is a brief description of the way that the W3C Schema should be referenced. The noNamespaceSchemaLocation value tells us that there is no predefined namespace for the Schema. This means that all of the elements in the XML document should be validated against the schema specified. The location of the Schema is schemafile.xsd. Because there is no path defined, the file containing the schema should be located in the same directory as the XML file to be validated by the Schema.

You can also define the schema location, and map it to a specific namespace by using the schemaLocation attribute declaration instead of noNamespace SchemaLocation. If you do so, you have to declare a namespace that matches the schemaLocation attribute value. The declaration must be made before you reference the schema in a schemaLocation attribute assignment.

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