How to get data from XML file in PHP

In this article, you will learn how to get data from an XML file using the PHP programming language.

XML(Extensible Markup Language) is the best choice to use in web services and data transport. It is widely used in web applications. We can easily render data stored in XML, as it stores data in a format that is easy to search for and understand. It makes it easier for an informative application to store, retrieve, and display data. It is widely used in business-to-business transactions, generating metadata, e-commerce applications, and so on.

PHP SimpleXML Parser

PHP provides a set of methods that help with XML creation and manipulation. By using the SimpleXML extension, we can easily get XML data. The XML data is returned from the web services, and with the help of SimpleXML, we can easily parse the data.

Simple XML Manipulation In PHP

Suppose the web service returns the following student data in an XML file, 'students.xml'.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="iso-8859-1"?>

PHP read XML data

PHP simplexml_load_file()

The simplexml_load_file() function of PHP interprets an XML file into an object. It returns an object with properties containing the data held within the XML document. We can access any element from the XML by using this object. In the given example, we have used the foreach method to iterate through the entire XML file and read elements from XML.

$studentdata = simplexml_load_file('students.xml');
    echo 'Fail to load XML file';
    foreach($studentdata as $student){
        echo 'Firstname: '.$student->firstname.'<br/>';
        echo 'Lastname: '.$student->lastname.'<br/>';
        echo 'Age: '.$student->age.'<br/>';
        echo 'Class: '.$student->class.'<br/><br/>';

When you run the above code in the browser, it returns the data in the given format.

Firstname: John 
Lastname: Player
Age: 12
Class: 5

Firstname: Smith
Lastname: Soy
Age: 11
Class: 4

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