XML validation

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XML validation is the process of checking a document written in XML (eXtensible Markup Language) to confirm that it is both well-formed and also "valid" in that it follows a defined structure. A well-formed document follows the basic syntactic rules of XML, which are the same for all XML documents.[1] A valid document also respects the rules dictated by a particular DTD or XML schema, according to the application-specific choices for those particular .[2]

In addition, extended tools are available such as OASIS CAM standard specification that provide contextual validation of content and structure that is more flexible than basic schema validations.

xmllint is a command line XML tool that can perform XML validation. It can be found in UNIX / Linux environments. An example with the use of this program for validation of a file called example.xml is

xmllint --valid --noout example.xml

The xmllint --stream option will reduce its memory footprint when validating very large files.


  1. ^ "Well-Formed XML Documents". Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.1. W3C. 2004. 
  2. ^ "Constraints and Validation Rules". XML Schema Part 1: Structures Second Edition. W3C. 2004. 

See also[edit]

Schematron, a method for advanced XML validation

External links[edit]

XML toolkit
Articles discussing XML validation