Saturday, June 23, 2012

StAX API in JAVA to Work With XML Info-Set

Streaming API for XML (StAX) is an API to process XML documents. As official documents of StAX

The StAX project was spearheaded by BEA with support from Sun Microsystems, and the JSR 173 specification passed the Java Community Process final approval ballot in March, 2004 ( The primary goal of the StAX API is to give "parsing control to the programmer by exposing a simple iterator based API. This allows the programmer to ask for the next event (pull the event) and allows state to be stored in procedural fashion." StAX was created to address limitations in the two most prevalent parsing APIs, SAX and DOM.

--StAX is a pull API
--StAX has bi directional support means it can do both XML reading and writing .

Streaming Vs DOM

There are two models of programming to work with XML infosets : document streaming and document object model (DOM)
In DOM based processing , in memory objects are created to represent entire document as a trree while processing the xml document. Obviously there are memory and processing issues involved with these . If XML document is smaller then we can ignore these issue but if document getting larger then we need to re think about DOM based solution. Though DOM based API gives developer programmatic flexibility but gives some memory and processing overhead.
On the other hand streaming refer to a programming model where xml document are processd serially and in application run time and often from dynamic sources whose contents are not precisely known beforehand. Moreover, stream-based parsers can start generating output immediately, and infoset elements can be discarded and garbage collected immediately after they are used. While providing a smaller memory footprint, reduced processor requirements, and higher performance in certain situations, the primary trade-off with stream processing is that you can only see the infoset state at one location at a time in the document. You are essentially limited to the "cardboard tube" view of a document, the implication being that you need to know what processing you want to do before reading the XML document.
Streaming models for XML processing are particularly useful when your application has strict memory limitations, as with a cellphone running J2ME, or when your application needs to simultaneously process several requests, as with an application server. In fact, it can be argued that the majority of XML business logic can benefit from stream processing, and does not require the in-memory maintenance of entire DOM trees.

Pull Vs Push Style API

In case of pull type programming model application need explicit call to read data from xml info-set means pulling from xml infoset .

But, in case of push parsing model parser API push the data to application when encounter any element in xml infoset.

Pull Parsing Has Some Advantages Over Push Model :

---client has control on application thread
--lees code writing
--can handle multiple documents at ones in a single thread
--StAX parser has filtering capabilities to ignore unwanted elements in xml infoset
--support xml views of non xml data


Sample StAX Code To Write XML Document

public void generateXML ()  {

  String generatedXMLAsString = "";

  try {
   XMLOutputFactory xmlOutputFactory = XMLOutputFactory.newInstance();
   ByteArrayOutputStream byteArrayOutputStream = new ByteArrayOutputStream();
   XMLStreamWriter xmlStreamWriter = xmlOutputFactory.createXMLStreamWriter(byteArrayOutputStream);


   xmlStreamWriter.writeNamespace("", "");




   generatedXMLAsString = new String(byteArrayOutputStream.toString());


  } catch (Exception e) {

Generated XML


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