Most Microsoft-focused Web developers have usually concentrated on either Microsoft SQL Server or Microsoft Access for their data storage needs. Today, however, a large amount of data is stored in XML format, so considerable inroads have been made in improving Microsoft's core Web technology to work easily with this format.
ASP.NET contains a series of data source controls designed to bridge the gap between your data stores, such as XML, and the data-bound controls at your disposal. These data controls not only enable you to retrieve data from various data stores, they also enable you to easily manipulate the data (using paging, sorting, editing, and filtering) before the data is bound to an ASP.NET server control.
With XML being as important as it is, a specific data source control is available in ASP.NET just for retrieving and working with XML data: XmlDataSource. This control enables you to connect to your XML data and use this data with any of the ASP.NET data-bound controls. Just like the SqlDataSource and the ObjectDataSource controls, the XmlDataSource control enables you to not only retrieve data, but also insert, delete, and update data items. With increasing numbers of users turning to XML data formats, such as Web services, RSS feeds, and more, this control is a valuable resource for your Web applications.
To show the XmlDataSource control in action, first create a simple XML file and include this file in your application. ...