Transforming XSQL Page Results with XSLT

Since the data page that results from executing the queries in your XSQL page template is an XML document, and since XSLT offers a robust, declarative mechanism for transforming XML documents into anything else, we can put the two together to achieve a highly effective one-two punch:

  1. The XSQL page assembles XML information relevant to the task at hand.

  2. The XSLT stylesheet transforms it into an appropriate format for delivery.

We’ll look at a few examples in this section that illustrate this approach.

Associating a Stylesheet with an XSQL Page

To associate an XSLT stylesheet with an XSQL page, we use the standard technique prescribed by the W3C (see, the <?xml-stylesheet?> processing instruction. It goes after the <?xml version="1.0"?> declaration and before the document element in your XSQL page. It must include as attributes two key pieces of information required to identify the stylesheet:

  • An href attribute that describes the absolute or relative location of the desired stylesheet

  • A type= "text/xsl" attribute that indicates the type of stylesheet in use

Including an <?xml-stylesheet?> instruction of type "text/xsl" in your XSQL page causes the XML document obtained by expanding the XSQL page’s <xsql:query> tags to be transformed by the indicated stylesheet in the server before returning the results to the requester. Only an <?xml-stylesheet?> instruction with an attribute of type="text/xsl" will be considered ...

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