XML Fundamentals Training

Altova Education partner This XML Fundamentals training course is the first three days of the five-day XML training course, but it can be taken independently of the five-day package.

Whether you are a web developer, database administrator, programmer or even a technology manager, you should learn XML.

The XML language is the most widely adopted data format after plain ASCII text, and it is used in a wide range of industries and hardware/software environments. This introductory training course will provide you with an overview of several of the technologies that comprise the XML family, while giving you enough exposure to start defining, creating, and tweaking the display (in a browser) of XML documents. For hands-on exercises, we use the examples of an address book and a book collection.

About XML

XML is not really a language like Java or C but rather a family of web-based technologies designed to convey structured data in text format. This data is stored in files that are easy to generate and read (by a computer), that are unambiguous, and that avoid common pitfalls, such as lack of extensibility, lack of support for internationalization/localization, and platform-dependency. This training course will cover:

  • the history, objectives and evolution of XML
  • some of the many component technologies of XML
  • who defines XML and how to stay on top of the updates
  • markup languages
  • advantages and benefits of XML
  • some of the many applications available for editing, parsing and processing

XML Syntax & Well-Formedness

The extensibility of XML allows authors to define their own elements, attributes and relationships. In order for applications like parsers, processors, editors and browsers to handle such extensibility, good XML requires very strict adoption of some basic syntax rules. In class we employ a well-known text editor, XML Spy. Editing sample XML files, we review the XML syntax requisites and discuss:

  • structure necessities
  • defining elements
  • defining attributes
  • good naming conventions
  • comments
  • escaping sections
  • valid and well-formed XML documents

XML Document Type Definitions (DTD)

The well-formedness of a document provides the most rudimentary insurance that the markup is being done correctly by the people creating the XML files. Data validity and appropriate use of the markup can only be checked against a definition of your particular XML language. The DTD defines the elements, attributes, and content requirements for the XML. In this training course we review several examples and create our own DTDs. In this training course you will learn how to:

  • distinguish between internal and external DTDs
  • declare elements
  • specify "children" elements
  • define the number of times something may appear
  • restrict attribute values to certain options
  • specify and reference other datatypes

XML Schema

Using XML Schema, you can express a set of rules that XML pages have to conform to inorder to be considered valid. Our XML training explores:

  • the XML Schema components and its syntax
  • elements and namespaces
  • compositors
  • attributes and cardinality
  • simple types and schema structures
  • DTD-to-Schema conversion

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

CSS may seem like a simple syntax and technology merely suited to beautifying HTML pages, but its capabilities extend beyond text treatment and color styling. CSS can define boundaries, shapes, patterns of behavior and more for any element, even the ones created in XML. In this training course you will:

  • discuss CSS and XML
  • briefly cover the relationship between CSS and HTML
  • discuss different types of selectors, including contextual ones
  • discuss XML/CSS support on the various browsers

XML Namespaces

Before getting into XLink or XSLT we introduce you to the concept of namespaces. XML namespaces is a specification that describes how you can ensure the uniqueness of your XML document's tags ("elements"). We briefly discuss the parts of an XML namespace and common uses for them. In this training course you will learn:

  • how to define an XML namespace
  • how to use an Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) to uniquely identify the namespace
  • about the anatomy of a namespace
  • about scoping
  • about reserved namespaces

XLink - The Basics

XLink is not a new technology (first defined in 1999), but support for the standard is just now emerging on the scene. In this training course you will learn:

  • how to create links with XLink
  • about simple and extended links
  • about the use of XPointer
  • which browsers support XLink


To process XML data, an application must parse the XML file. The XML Application Programmers Interface (API), defines the way you can retrieve and manipulate an XML document through an application. In this training class you will learn about:

  • object-based and event-based interfaces
  • the Document Object Model (DOM)
  • the Simple API for XML (SAX)
  • advantages and disadvantages of SAX and DOM

Data Binding with XML

Data binding is the process of moving data from a remote system to a local system for manipulation. By manipulating data on a local system the remote system doesn't have to retransmit small variations of the same data, such as sorted or filtered data. In this part of the XML training, we cover:

  • data consumers elements
  • extended attributes
  • how to integrate an XML datasource
  • Data Source Objects (DSO)


  • Intermediate HTML or equivalent experience

XML training offered at four locations: