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Examples: Using PATH Mode

The following examples illustrate the use of PATH mode in generating XML from a SELECT query. Many of these queries are specified against the bicycle manufacturing instructions XML documents that are stored in the Instructions column of the ProductModel table.

This query specifies a FOR XML PATH mode.

USE AdventureWorks2012;
GO
SELECT 
       ProductModelID,
       Name
FROM Production.ProductModel
WHERE ProductModelID=122 OR ProductModelID=119
FOR XML PATH;
GO

The following result is element-centric XML where each column value in the resulting rowset is wrapped in an element. Because the SELECT clause does not specify any aliases for the column names, the child element names generated are the same as the corresponding column names in the SELECT clause. For each row in the rowset a <row> tag is added.

<row>

<ProductModelID>122</ProductModelID>

<Name>All-Purpose Bike Stand</Name>

</row>

<row>

<ProductModelID>119</ProductModelID>

<Name>Bike Wash</Name>

</row>

The following result is the same as the RAW mode query with the ELEMENTS option specified. It returns element-centric XML with a default <row> element for each row in the result set.

USE AdventureWorks2012;
GO
SELECT ProductModelID,
       Name
FROM Production.ProductModel
WHERE ProductModelID=122 OR ProductModelID=119
FOR XML RAW, ELEMENTS;

You can optionally specify the row element name to overwrite the default <row>. For example, the following query returns the <ProductModel> element for each row in the rowset.

USE AdventureWorks2012;
GO
SELECT ProductModelID,
       Name
FROM Production.ProductModel
WHERE ProductModelID=122 or ProductModelID=119
FOR XML PATH ('ProductModel');
GO

The resulting XML will have a specified row element name.

<ProductModel>

<ProductModelID>122</ProductModelID>

<Name>All-Purpose Bike Stand</Name>

</ProductModel>

<ProductModel>

<ProductModelID>119</ProductModelID>

<Name>Bike Wash</Name>

</ProductModel>

If you specify a zero-length string, the wrapping element is not produced.

USE AdventureWorks2012;
GO
SELECT ProductModelID,
       Name
FROM Production.ProductModel
WHERE ProductModelID=122 OR ProductModelID=119
FOR XML PATH ('');
GO

This is the result:

<ProductModelID>122</ProductModelID>

<Name>All-Purpose Bike Stand</Name>

<ProductModelID>119</ProductModelID>

<Name>Bike Wash</Name>

In the following query the ProductModelID column name specified starts with '@' and does not contain a slash mark ('/'). Therefore, an attribute of the <row> element that has the corresponding column value is created in the resulting XML.

USE AdventureWorks2012;
GO
SELECT ProductModelID AS "@id",
       Name
FROM Production.ProductModel
WHERE ProductModelID=122 OR ProductModelID=119
FOR XML PATH ('ProductModelData');
GO

This is the result:

< ProductModelData id="122">

<Name>All-Purpose Bike Stand</Name>

</ ProductModelData >

< ProductModelData id="119">

<Name>Bike Wash</Name>

</ ProductModelData >

You can add a single top-level element by specifying the root option in FOR XML.

SELECT ProductModelID AS "@id",
       Name
FROM Production.ProductModel
WHERE ProductModelID=122 or ProductModelID=119
FOR XML PATH ('ProductModelData'), root ('Root');
GO

To generate a hierarchy, you can include PATH-like syntax. For example, change the column name for the Name column to "SomeChild/ModelName" and you will obtain XML with hierarchy, as shown in this result:

<Root>

<ProductModelData id="122">

<SomeChild>

<ModelName>All-Purpose Bike Stand</ModelName>

</SomeChild>

</ProductModelData>

<ProductModelData id="119">

<SomeChild>

<ModelName>Bike Wash</ModelName>

</SomeChild>

</ProductModelData>

</Root>

Besides the product model ID and name, the following query retrieves the manufacturing instruction locations for the product model. Because the Instructions column is of xml type, the query() method of xml data type is specified to retrieve the location.

SELECT ProductModelID AS "@id",
       Name,
       Instructions.query('declare namespace MI="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2004/07/adventure-works/ProductModelManuInstructions";
                /MI:root/MI:Location 
              ') AS ManuInstr
FROM Production.ProductModel
WHERE ProductModelID = 7
FOR XML PATH ('ProductModelData'), root ('Root');
GO

This is the partial result. Because the query specifies ManuInstr as the column name, the XML returned by the query() method is wrapped in a <ManuInstr> tag as shown in the following:

<Root>

<ProductModelData id="7">

<Name>HL Touring Frame</Name>

<ManuInstr>

<MI:Location xmlns:MI="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2004/07/adventure-works/ProductModelManuInstructions"

<MI:step>...</MI:step>...

</MI:Location>

...

</ManuInstr>

</ProductModelData>

</Root>

In the previous FOR XML query, you may want to include namespaces for the <Root> and <ProductModelData> elements. You can do this by first defining the prefix to namespace binding by using WITH XMLNAMESPACES and using prefixes in the FOR XML query. For more information, see Add Namespaces to Queries with WITH XMLNAMESPACES.

USE AdventureWorks2012;
GO
WITH XMLNAMESPACES (
   'uri1' AS ns1,  
   'uri2' AS ns2,
   'http://schemas.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2004/07/adventure-works/ProductModelManuInstructions' as MI)
SELECT ProductModelID AS "ns1:ProductModelID",
       Name           AS "ns1:Name",
       Instructions.query('
                /MI:root/MI:Location 
              ') 
FROM Production.ProductModel
WHERE ProductModelID=7
FOR XML PATH ('ns2:ProductInfo'), root('ns1:root');
GO

Note that the MI prefix is also defined in the WITH XMLNAMESPACES. As a result, the query() method of the xml type specified does not define the prefix in the query prolog. This is the result:

<ns1:root xmlns:MI="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2004/07/adventure-works/ProductModelManuInstructions" xmlns="uri2" xmlns:ns2="uri2" xmlns:ns1="uri1">

<ns2:ProductInfo>

<ns1:ProductModelID>7</ns1:ProductModelID>

<ns1:Name>HL Touring Frame</ns1:Name>

<MI:Location xmlns:MI="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2004/07/adventure-works/ProductModelManuInstructions"

LaborHours="2.5" LotSize="100" MachineHours="3" SetupHours="0.5" LocationID="10" xmlns="">

<MI:step>

Insert <MI:material>aluminum sheet MS-2341</MI:material> into the <MI:tool>T-85A framing tool</MI:tool>.

</MI:step>

...

</MI:Location>

...

</ns2:ProductInfo>

</ns1:root>

For each product model, this query constructs a value list of product IDs. For each product ID, the query also constructs <ProductName> nested elements, as shown in this XML fragment:

<ProductModelData ProductModelID="7" ProductModelName="..."

ProductIDs="product id list in the product model" >

<ProductName>...</ProductName>

<ProductName>...</ProductName>

...

</ProductModelData>

This is the query that produces the XML you want:

USE AdventureWorks2012;
GO
SELECT ProductModelID     AS "@ProductModelID",
       Name               S "@ProductModelName",
      (SELECT ProductID AS "data()"
       FROM   Production.Product
       WHERE  Production.Product.ProductModelID = 
              Production.ProductModel.ProductModelID
       FOR XML PATH ('')) S "@ProductIDs",
       (SELECT Name AS "ProductName"
       FROM   Production.Product
       WHERE  Production.Product.ProductModelID = 
              Production.ProductModel.ProductModelID
        FOR XML PATH ('')) as "ProductNames"
FROM   Production.ProductModel
WHERE  ProductModelID= 7 or ProductModelID=9
FOR XML PATH('ProductModelData');

Note the following from the previous query:

  • The first nested SELECT returns a list of ProductIDs by using data() as the column name. Because the query specifies an empty string as the row element name in FOR XML PATH, no element is generated. Instead, the value list is assigned to the ProductID attribute.

  • The second nested SELECT retrieves product names for products in the product model. It generates <ProductName> elements that are returned wrapped in the <ProductNames> element, because the query specifies ProductNames as the column name.

This is the partial result:

<ProductModelData PId="7"

ProductModelName="HL Touring Frame"

ProductIDs="885 887 ...">

<ProductNames>

&lt;ProductName&gt;HL Touring Frame - Yellow, 60&lt;/ProductName&gt;

&lt;ProductName&gt;HL Touring Frame - Yellow, 46&lt;/ProductName&gt;</ProductNames>

...

</ProductModelData>

<ProductModelData PId="9"

ProductModelName="LL Road Frame"

ProductIDs="722 723 724 ...">

<ProductNames>

&lt;ProductName&gt;LL Road Frame - Black, 58&lt;/ProductName&gt;

&lt;ProductName&gt;LL Road Frame - Black, 60&lt;/ProductName&gt;

&lt;ProductName&gt;LL Road Frame - Black, 62&lt;/ProductName&gt;

...

</ProductNames>

</ProductModelData>

The subquery constructing the product names returns the result as a string that is entitized and then added to the XML. If you add the type directive, FOR XML PATH (''), type, the subquery returns the result as xml type and no entitization occurs.

USE AdventureWorks2012;
GO
SELECT ProductModelID AS "@ProductModelID",
      Name AS "@ProductModelName",
      (SELECT ProductID AS "data()"
       FROM   Production.Product
       WHERE  Production.Product.ProductModelID = 
              Production.ProductModel.ProductModelID
       FOR XML PATH ('')
       ) AS "@ProductIDs",
       (
       SELECT Name AS "ProductName"
       FROM   Production.Product
       WHERE  Production.Product.ProductModelID = 
              Production.ProductModel.ProductModelID
       FOR XML PATH (''), type
       ) AS "ProductNames"
       
FROM Production.ProductModel
WHERE ProductModelID= 7 OR ProductModelID=9
FOR XML PATH('ProductModelData');

As described in Adding Namespaces Using WITH XMLNAMESPACES, you can use WITH XMLNAMESPACES to include namespaces in the PATH mode queries. For example, names specified in the SELECT clause include namespace prefixes. The following PATH mode query constructs XML with namespaces.

SELECT 'en'    as "English/@xml:lang",
       'food'  as "English",
       'ger'   as "German/@xml:lang",
       'Essen' as "German"
FOR XML PATH ('Translation')
GO

The @xml:lang attribute added to the <English> element is defined in the predefined xml namespace.

This is the result:

<Translation>

<English xml:lang="en">food</English>

<German xml:lang="ger">Essen</German>

</Translation>

The following query is similar to example C, except that it uses WITH XMLNAMESPACES to include namespaces in the XML result. For more information, see Add Namespaces to Queries with WITH XMLNAMESPACES.

USE AdventureWorks2012;
GO
WITH XMLNAMESPACES ('uri1' AS ns1,  DEFAULT 'uri2')
SELECT ProductModelID AS "@ns1:ProductModelID",
      Name AS "@ns1:ProductModelName",
      (SELECT ProductID AS "data()"
       FROM   Production.Product
       WHERE  Production.Product.ProductModelID = 
              Production.ProductModel.ProductModelID
       FOR XML PATH ('')
       ) AS "@ns1:ProductIDs",
       (
       SELECT ProductID AS "@ns1:ProductID", 
              Name AS "@ns1:ProductName"
       FROM   Production.Product
       WHERE  Production.Product.ProductModelID = 
              Production.ProductModel.ProductModelID
       FOR XML PATH , type 
       ) AS "ns1:ProductNames"
FROM Production.ProductModel
WHERE ProductModelID= 7 OR ProductModelID=9
FOR XML PATH('ProductModelData'), root('root');

This is the result:

<root xmlns="uri2" xmlns:ns1="uri1">

<ProductModelData ns1:ProductModelID="7" ns1:ProductModelName="HL Touring Frame" ns1:ProductIDs="885 887 888 889 890 891 892 893">

<ns1:ProductNames>

<row xmlns="uri2" xmlns:ns1="uri1" ns1:ProductID="885" ns1:ProductName="HL Touring Frame - Yellow, 60" />

<row xmlns="uri2" xmlns:ns1="uri1" ns1:ProductID="887" ns1:ProductName="HL Touring Frame - Yellow, 46" />

...

</ns1:ProductNames>

</ProductModelData>

<ProductModelData ns1:ProductModelID="9" ns1:ProductModelName="LL Road Frame" ns1:ProductIDs="722 723 724 725 726 727 728 729 730 736 737 738">

<ns1:ProductNames>

<row xmlns="uri2" xmlns:ns1="uri1" ns1:ProductID="722" ns1:ProductName="LL Road Frame - Black, 58" />

...

</ns1:ProductNames>

</ProductModelData>

</root>

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