PHP SimpleXML Handles the most common XML tasks, leaving the rest to other extensions.

What is PHP SimpleXML?

SimpleXML is a new feature in PHP 5.

The SimpleXML extension provides a simple way to get the name and text of an XML element.

Compared to DOM or Expat parsers, SimpleXML can read text data from XML elements in just a few lines of code.

SimpleXML can convert an XML document (or XML string) into an object, for example:

· The element is converted into a single attribute of the SimpleXMLElement object. When there are multiple elements at the same level, they are placed in an array.

· Properties are accessed using an associative array, where the index corresponds to the property name.

· The text inside the element is converted to a string. If an element has multiple text nodes, they are arranged in the order in which they are found.

SimpleXML is very fast to use when performing basic tasks like:

· Reading/extracting data from XML files/strings

· Edit Text node or attribute

However, when dealing with advanced XML, such as namespaces, it is better to use the Expat parser or XML DOM.


Starting with PHP 5, SimpleXML functions are an integral part of PHP core. No installation is required to use these functions.

PHP SimpleXML Example

Suppose we have the following note.xml file

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
     <body>Don't forget me this weekend!</body>

Now We want to output different information from the above XML file:

Output the keys and elements of the $xml variable (which is a SimpleXMLElement object):


The above code will output:

SimpleXMLElement Object ( [to] => Tove [from] => Jani [heading] => Reminder [body] => Don't forget me this weekend! )


Output the data of each element in the xml file:

 echo $xml->to . "<br>";
 echo $xml->from . "<br>";
 echo $xml->heading . "<br>";
 echo $xml->body;

The above code will output:

Don't forget me this weekend!

Output the elements and data of each child node

 echo $xml->getName() . "<br>";
 foreach($xml->children() as $child)
     echo $child->getName() . ": " . $child . "<br>";

The above code will output:

to: Tove
from: Jani
heading: Reminder
body: Don't forget me this weekend!

##More PHP SimpleXML information

To learn more about PHP SimpleXML functions, visit our PHP SimpleXML Reference Manual.

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<?php $xml=simplexml_load_file("note.xml"); print_r($xml); ?>
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