The SimpleXML extension provides a very simple and easily usable toolset to convert XML to an object that can be processed with normal property selectors and array iterators.
The SimpleXML extension requires PHP 5.
The SimpleXML extension is enabled by default. To disable it, use the
--disable-simplexml configure option.
Many examples in this reference require an XML string. Instead of repeating this string in every example, we put it into a file which we include in each example. This included file is shown in the following example section. Alternatively, you could create an XML document and read it with simplexml_load_file().
Example 1. Include file example.php with XML string
The simplicity of SimpleXML appears most clearly when one extracts a string or number from a basic XML document.
Example 3. Accessing non-unique elements in SimpleXML
When multiple instances of an element exist as children of a single parent element, normal iteration techniques apply.
Example 4. Using attributes
So far, we have only covered the work of reading element names and their values. SimpleXML can also access element attributes. Access attributes of an element just as you would elements of an array.
Example 5. Comparing Elements and Attributes with Text
To compare an element or attribute with a string or pass it into a function that requires a string, you must cast it to a string using (string). Otherwise, PHP treats the element as an object.
Example 6. Using XPath
SimpleXML includes built-in XPath support. To find all <character> elements:
'//' serves as a wildcard. To specify absolute paths, omit one of the slashes.
Example 7. Setting values
Data in SimpleXML doesn't have to be constant. The object allows for manipulation of all of its elements.
The above code will output a new XML document, just like the original, except that the new XML will change Ms. Coder to Miss Coder.
Example 8. Adding elements and attributes
Since PHP 5.1.3, SimpleXML has had the ability to easily add children and attributes.
The above code will output an XML document based on the original but having a new character and rating.
Example 9. DOM Interoperability
PHP has a mechanism to convert XML nodes between SimpleXML and DOM formats. This example shows how one might change a DOM element to SimpleXML.