Natively Connect to XML Data in PHP

Ready to get started?

Download for a free trial:

Download Now

Learn more:

XML ODBC Driver

The XML ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live XML data stores, directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

Access XML data like you would any standard database - read, write, and update etc. through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



The CData ODBC driver for XML enables you to create PHP applications with connectivity to XML data. Leverage the native support for ODBC in PHP.

Drop the CData ODBC Driver for XML into your LAMP or WAMP stack to build XML-connected Web applications. This article shows how to use PHP's ODBC built-in functions to connect to XML data, execute queries, and output the results.

Configure a DSN

If you have not already, first specify connection properties in an ODBC DSN (data source name). This is the last step of the driver installation. You can use the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure ODBC DSNs.

See the Getting Started chapter in the data provider documentation to authenticate to your data source: The data provider models XML APIs as bidirectional database tables and XML files as read-only views (local files, files stored on popular cloud services, and FTP servers). The major authentication schemes are supported, including HTTP Basic, Digest, NTLM, OAuth, and FTP. See the Getting Started chapter in the data provider documentation for authentication guides.

After setting the URI and providing any authentication values, set DataModel to more closely match the data representation to the structure of your data.

The DataModel property is the controlling property over how your data is represented into tables and toggles the following basic configurations.

  • Document (default): Model a top-level, document view of your XML data. The data provider returns nested elements as aggregates of data.
  • FlattenedDocuments: Implicitly join nested documents and their parents into a single table.
  • Relational: Return individual, related tables from hierarchical data. The tables contain a primary key and a foreign key that links to the parent document.

See the Modeling XML Data chapter for more information on configuring the relational representation. You will also find the sample data used in the following examples. The data includes entries for people, the cars they own, and various maintenance services performed on those cars.

Establish a Connection

Open the connection to XML by calling the odbc_connect or odbc_pconnect methods. To close connections, use odbc_close or odbc_close_all.

$conn = odbc_connect("CData ODBC XML Source","user","password");

Connections opened with odbc_connect are closed when the script ends. Connections opened with the odbc_pconnect method are still open after the script ends. This enables other scripts to share that connection when they connect with the same credentials. By sharing connections among your scripts, you can save system resources, and queries execute faster.

$conn = odbc_pconnect("CData ODBC XML Source","user","password"); ... odbc_close($conn); //persistent connection must be closed explicitly

Create Prepared Statements

Create prepared statements and parameterized queries with the odbc_prepare function.

$query = odbc_prepare($conn, "SELECT * FROM people WHERE [ personal.name.last ] = ?");

Execute Queries

Execute prepared statements with odbc_execute.

$conn = odbc_connect("CData ODBC XML Source","user","password"); $query = odbc_prepare($conn, "SELECT * FROM people WHERE [ personal.name.last ] = ?"); $success = odbc_execute($query, array('Roberts'));

Execute nonparameterized queries with odbc_exec.

$conn = odbc_connect("CData ODBC XML Source","user","password"); $query = odbc_exec($conn, "SELECT [people].[personal.age] AS age, [people].[personal.gender] AS gender, [people].[personal.name.first] AS first_name, [people].[personal.name.last] AS last_name, [vehicles].[model], FROM [people] JOIN [vehicles] ON [people].[_id] = [vehicles].[people_id]");

Process Results

Access a row in the result set as an array with the odbc_fetch_array function.

$conn = odbc_connect("CData ODBC XML data Source","user","password"); $query = odbc_exec($conn, "SELECT [people].[personal.age] AS age, [people].[personal.gender] AS gender, [people].[personal.name.first] AS first_name, [people].[personal.name.last] AS last_name, [vehicles].[model], FROM [people] JOIN [vehicles] ON [people].[_id] = [vehicles].[people_id]"); while($row = odbc_fetch_array($query)){ echo $row["[ personal.name.first ]"] . "\n"; }

Display the result set in an HTML table with the odbc_result_all function.

$conn = odbc_connect("CData ODBC XML data Source","user","password"); $query = odbc_prepare($conn, "SELECT * FROM people WHERE [ personal.name.last ] = ?"); $success = odbc_execute($query, array('Roberts')); if($success) odbc_result_all($query);

More Example Queries

You will find complete information on the driver's supported SQL in the help documentation. The code examples above are XML-specific adaptations of the PHP community documentation for all ODBC functions.