Exporting Query Results as XML

10.42.1 Problem

You want to export the result of a query as an XML document.

10.42.2 Solution

mysql can do that, or you can write your own exporter.

10.42.3 Discussion

To produce XML-format output from a query result, you can use mysql if you have MySQL 4.0 or later. See Recipe 1.25.

You can also write your own XML-export program. One way to do this is to issue the query and then write it out, adding all the XML markup yourself. But it's easier to install a few Perl modules and let them do the work:

  • XML::Generator::DBI issues a query over a DBI connection and passes the result to a suitable output writer.
  • XML::Handler::YAWriter provides one such writer.

The following script, mysql_to_xml.pl, is somewhat similar to mysql_to_text.pl (Recipe 10.18), but doesn't take options for such things as the quote or delimiter characters. The options that it does understand are:

--execute= query, -e query

Execute query and export its output.

--table= tbl_name, -t tbl_name

Export the contents of the named table. This is equivalent to using --execute to specify a query value of SELECT * FROM tbl_name.

If necessary, you can also specify standard connection parameter options like --user or --host. The final argument on the command line should be the database name, unless it's implicit in the query.

Suppose you want to export the contents of an experimental-data table expt that looks like this:

mysql> SELECT * FROM expt;
| subject | test | score |
| Jane | A | 47 |
| Jane | B | 50 |
| Jane | C | NULL |
| Jane | D | NULL |
| Marvin | A | 52 |
| Marvin | B | 45 |
| Marvin | C | 53 |
| Marvin | D | NULL |

To do that, you can invoke mysql_to_xml.pl using either of the following commands:

% mysql_to_xml.pl --execute="SELECT * FROM expt" cookbook > expt.xml
% mysql_to_xml.pl --table=cookbook.expt > expt.xml

The resulting XML document, expt.xml, looks like this:


Each row is written as a element. Within a row, column names and values are used as element names and values, one element per column. Note that NULL values are omitted from the output.

The script does this with very little code after it processes the command-line arguments and connects to the MySQL server (not shown). The XML-related parts of mysql_to_xml.pl are the use statements that pull in the necessary modules and that code that sets up and uses the XML objects. Given a database handle $dbh and a query string $query, there's not a lot to this process. The code instructs the writer object to send its results to the standard output, then connects that object to DBI and issues the query:

#! /usr/bin/perl -w
# mysql_to_xml.pl - given a database and table name,
# dump the table to the standard output in XML format.

use strict;
use DBI;
use XML::Generator::DBI;
use XML::Handler::YAWriter;

# ... process command-line options (not shown) ...

# ... connect to database (not shown) ...

# create output writer; "-" means "standard output"
my $out = XML::Handler::YAWriter->new (AsFile => "-");
# set up connection between DBI and output writer
my $gen = XML::Generator::DBI->new (
 dbh => $dbh, # database handle
 Handler => $out, # output writer
 RootElement => "rowset" # document root element
# issue query and write XML
$gen->execute ($query);

$dbh->disconnect ( );

exit (0);

Using the mysql Client Program

Writing MySQL-Based Programs

Record Selection Techniques

Working with Strings

Working with Dates and Times

Sorting Query Results

Generating Summaries

Modifying Tables with ALTER TABLE

Obtaining and Using Metadata

Importing and Exporting Data

Generating and Using Sequences

Using Multiple Tables

Statistical Techniques

Handling Duplicates

Performing Transactions

Introduction to MySQL on the Web

Incorporating Query Resultsinto Web Pages

Processing Web Input with MySQL

Using MySQL-Based Web Session Management

Appendix A. Obtaining MySQL Software

Appendix B. JSP and Tomcat Primer

Appendix C. References

MySQL Cookbook
MySQL Cookbook
ISBN: 059652708X
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 412
Authors: Paul DuBois

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