How to: Qualify XML Element and XML Attribute Names

Code Example

XML namespaces contained by instances of the XmlSerializerNamespaces class must conform to the World Wide Web Consortium ( specification called "Namespaces in XML."

XML namespaces provide a method for qualifying the names of XML elements and XML attributes in XML documents. A qualified name consists of a prefix and a local name, separated by a colon. The prefix functions only as a placeholder; it is mapped to a URI that specifies a namespace. The combination of the universally managed URI namespace and the local name produces a name that is guaranteed to be universally unique.

By creating an instance of XmlSerializerNamespaces and adding the namespace pairs to the object, you can specify the prefixes used in an XML document.

To create qualified names in an XML document

  1. Create an instance of the XmlSerializerNamespaces class.

  2. Add all prefixes and namespace pairs to the XmlSerializerNamespaces.

  3. Apply the appropriate System.Xml.Serialization attribute to each member or class that the XmlSerializer is to serialize into an XML document.

    The available attributes are: XmlAnyElementAttribute, XmlArrayAttribute, XmlArrayItemAttribute, XmlAttributeAttribute, XmlElementAttribute, XmlRootAttribute, and XmlTypeAttribute.

  4. Set the Namespace property of each attribute to one of the namespace values from the XmlSerializerNamespaces.

  5. Pass the XmlSerializerNamespaces to the Serialize method of the XmlSerializer.


The following example creates an XmlSerializerNamespaces, and adds two prefix and namespace pairs to the object. The code creates an XmlSerializer that is used to serialize an instance of the Books class. The code calls the Serialize method with the XmlSerializerNamespaces, allowing the XML to contain prefixed namespaces.

Option Explicit   
public class Price  
    [XmlAttribute(Namespace = "")]  
    public string currency;  
    [XmlElement(Namespace = "")]  
    public decimal price;  

Option Strict  

Imports System  
Imports System.IO  
Imports System.Xml  
Imports System.Xml.Serialization  

Public Class Run  

    Public Shared Sub Main()  
        Dim test As New Run()  
    End Sub 'Main  

    Public Sub SerializeObject(filename As String)  
        Dim mySerializer As New XmlSerializer(GetType(Books))  
        ' Writing a file requires a TextWriter.  
        Dim myWriter As New StreamWriter(filename)  

        ' Creates an XmlSerializerNamespaces and adds two  
        ' prefix-namespace pairs.   
        Dim myNamespaces As New XmlSerializerNamespaces()  
        myNamespaces.Add("books", "")  
        myNamespaces.Add("money", "")  

        ' Creates a Book.  
        Dim myBook As New Book()  
        myBook.TITLE = "A Book Title"  
        Dim myPrice As New Price()  
        myPrice.price = CDec(9.95)  
        myPrice.currency = "US Dollar"  
        myBook.PRICE = myPrice  
        Dim myBooks As New Books()  
        myBooks.Book = myBook  
        mySerializer.Serialize(myWriter, myBooks, myNamespaces)  
    End Sub  
End Class  

Public Class Books  
    <XmlElement([Namespace] := "")> _  
    Public Book As Book  
End Class 'Books  

<XmlType([Namespace] := "")> _  
Public Class Book  

    <XmlElement([Namespace] := "")> _  
    Public TITLE As String  
    <XmlElement([Namespace] := "")> _  
    Public PRICE As Price  
End Class  

Public Class Price  
    <XmlAttribute([Namespace] := "")> _  
    Public currency As String  
    Public <XmlElement([Namespace] := "")> _  
        price As Decimal  
End Class  
using System;  
using System.IO;  
using System.Xml;  
using System.Xml.Serialization;  

public class Run  
    public static void Main()  
        Run test = new Run();  
    public void SerializeObject(string filename)  
        XmlSerializer mySerializer = new XmlSerializer(typeof(Books));  
        // Writing a file requires a TextWriter.  
        TextWriter myWriter = new StreamWriter(filename);  

        // Creates an XmlSerializerNamespaces and adds two  
        // prefix-namespace pairs.  
        XmlSerializerNamespaces myNamespaces =   
        new XmlSerializerNamespaces();  
        myNamespaces.Add("books", "");  
        myNamespaces.Add("money", "");  

        // Creates a Book.  
        Book myBook = new Book();  
        myBook.TITLE = "A Book Title";  
        Price myPrice = new Price();  
        myPrice.price = (decimal) 9.95;  
        myPrice.currency = "US Dollar";  
        myBook.PRICE = myPrice;  
        Books myBooks = new Books();  
        myBooks.Book = myBook;  

public class Books  
    [XmlElement(Namespace = "")]  
    public Book Book;  

[XmlType(Namespace ="")]  
public class Book  
    [XmlElement(Namespace = "")]  
    public string TITLE;  
    [XmlElement(Namespace ="")]  
    public Price PRICE;  

See Also

The XML Schema Definition Tool and XML Serialization
Introducing XML Serialization
XmlSerializer Class
Attributes That Control XML Serialization
How to: Specify an Alternate Element Name for an XML Stream
How to: Serialize an Object
How to: Deserialize an Object