What’s in This Chapter
XmlReader, and the DOM
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Relational database engines such as SQL Server, Access, and MySQL let you store data that includes records grouped into tables. They use indexes to let you select records based on criteria, join records from multiple tables, and order the results.
Sometimes you might not need the features a relational database provides. If you just want to store some data and you don’t need to search, join, or sort it, then a relational database is overkill.
eXtensible Markup Language (XML) is a data storage language that uses a hierarchical collection of elements to represent data. You can write data into an XML file. Later you can read the file to recover the data. Because this is an industry-standard language, other programs possibly running on different operating systems can read, write, and share XML files.
Like all the topics in this part of the book, XML is a big topic. In fact, entire books have been written about it. (I even coauthored one: Visual Basic .NET and XML: Harness the Power of XML in VB.NET by Rod Stephens and Brian Hochgurtel, Wrox, 2002.)
There isn’t room in this chapter to cover every detail of XML, so I won’t try. This chapter explains ...