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Working with XML Data

XML and its related technologies play a large role in the way data is handled in Microsoft Visual Studio. Visual Studio includes tools and features that make it easier to work with XML, XSLT, and XML schemas.

XML Editor

The XML Editor is used to edit XML documents. It provides full XML 1.0 syntax checking, schema validation while you type, color-coding, and IntelliSense. If a schema or document type definition is provided, it is used by IntelliSense to list allowable elements and attributes.

Additional features include:

  • XML snippet support, including schema-generated snippets.

  • Document outlining so that elements can be expanded and collapsed.

  • The ability to execute XSLT transformations and to view the results as text, XML, or HTML.

  • The ability to generate XML schema definition language (XSD) schemas from the XML instance document.

  • Support for editing XSLT style sheets, including IntelliSense support.

  • XML Schema Explorer

XML Schema Explorer

The XML Schema Explorer is integrated with Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 and the XML Editor to enable you to work with XML Schema definition language (XSD) schemas.

XSLT Debugging

Visual Studio supports debugging XSLT style sheets. Using the debugger, you can set break points in an XSLT style sheet, step into an XSLT style sheet from code, and so on.


XSLT debugging is available in the Professional and Team Editions.

In This Section

XML Editor

Introduces the XML Editor.

XML Schema Explorer

Discusses the XML Schema Explorer and working with XML Schema definition language (XSD) schemas.

Security Considerations when Working with XML Data

Discusses security issues that you need to know about when working with the XML Editor or the XSLT debugger.

Related Sections

Debugging XSLT

Discusses how to debug style sheets using the Visual Studio debugger.

XML Standards Reference

Provides information about XML technologies, including XML, Document Type Definition (DTD), XML Schema definition language (XSD), and XSLT.

Dataset Designer

Provides an explanation of the design-time tools for creating datasets.

Web Services in Managed Code

Discusses how to create and deploy XML Web services and how to access XML Web services.

See Also