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XML Interview Questions

XML Interview Questions

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Published by dskishore
XML interview Questions
XML interview Questions

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Published by: dskishore on Sep 16, 2010
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XML Interview Questionshttp://marancollects.blogspot.com 1/6
Describe the differences between XML and HTML.
It's amazing how many developers claim to be proficient programming withXML, yet do not understand the basic differences between XML and HTML. Anyonewith a fundamental grasp of XML should be able describe some of the maindifferences outlined in the table below.
User definable tags Defined set of tags designed for webdisplayContent driven Format drivenEnd tags required for well formeddocumentsEnd tags not requiredQuotes required around attributes values Quotes not requiredSlash required in empty tags Slash not required
Describe the role that XSL can play when dynamically generating HTMLpages from a relational database.
Even if candidates have never participated in a project involving this type of architecture, they should recognize it as one of the common uses of XML. Querying adatabase and then formatting the result set so that it can be validated as an XMLdocument allows developers to translate the data into an HTML table using XSLTrules. Consequently, the format of the resulting HTML table can be modified withoutchanging the database query or application code since the document rendering logicis isolated to the XSLT rules.
Give a few examples of types of applications that can benefit from usingXML.
There are literally thousands of applications that can benefit from XMLtechnologies. The point of this question is not to have the candidate rattle off alaundry list of projects that they have worked on, but, rather, to allow the candidateto explain the rationale for choosing XML by citing a few real world examples. Forinstance, one appropriate answer is that XML allows content management systems tostore documents independently of their format, which thereby reduces dataredundancy. Another answer relates to B2B exchanges or supply chain managementsystems. In these instances, XML provides a mechanism for multiple companies to
XML Interview Questionshttp://marancollects.blogspot.com 2/6
exchange data according to an agreed upon set of rules. A third common responseinvolves wireless applications that require WML to render data on hand held devices.
What is DOM and how does it relate to XML?
The Document Object Model (DOM) is an interface specification maintained bythe W3C DOM Workgroup that defines an application independent mechanism toaccess, parse, or update XML data. In simple terms it is a hierarchical model thatallows developers to manipulate XML documents easily Any developer that hasworked extensively with XML should be able to discuss the concept and use of DOMobjects freely. Additionally, it is not unreasonable to expect advanced candidates tothoroughly understand its internal workings and be able to explain how DOM differsfrom an event-based interface like SAX.
What is SOAP and how does it relate to XML?
The Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) uses XML to define a protocol forthe exchange of information in distributed computing environments. SOAP consists of three components: an envelope, a set of encoding rules, and a convention forrepresenting remote procedure calls. Unless experience with SOAP is a directrequirement for the open position, knowing the specifics of the protocol, or how itcan be used in conjunction with HTTP, is not as important as identifying it as anatural application of XML.
Can you walk us through the steps necessary to parse XML documents?
Superficially, this is a fairly basic question. However, the point is not todetermine whether candidates understand the concept of a parser but rather havethem walk through the process of parsing XML documents step-by-step. Determiningwhether a non-validating or validating parser is needed, choosing the appropriateparser, and handling errors are all important aspects to this process that should beincluded in the candidate's response.
Give some examples of XML DTDs or schemas that you have worked with.
Although XML does not require data to be validated against a DTD, many of the benefits of using the technology are derived from being able to validate XMLdocuments against business or technical architecture rules. Polling for the list of DTDs that developers have worked with provides insight to their general exposure tothe technology. The ideal candidate will have knowledge of several of the commonlyused DTDs such as FpML, DocBook, HRML, and RDF, as well as experience designinga custom DTD for a particular project where no standard existed.
XML Interview Questionshttp://marancollects.blogspot.com 3/6
Using XSLT, how would you extract a specific attribute from an element inan XML document?
Successful candidates should recognize this as one of the most basicapplications of XSLT. If they are not able to construct a reply similar to the examplebelow, they should at least be able to identify the components necessary for thisoperation: xsl:template to match the appropriate XML element, xsl:value-of to selectthe attribute value, and the optional xsl:apply-templates to continue processing thedocument.Example 1:<xsl:template match="element-name">Attribute Value:<xsl:value-of select="@attribute"/><xsl:apply-templates/></xsl:template>
When constructing an XML DTD, how do you create an external entityreference in an attribute value?
Every interview session should have at least one trick question. Althoughpossible when using SGML, XML DTDs don't support defining external entityreferences in attribute values. It's more important for the candidate to respond tothis question in a logical way than than the candidate know the somewhat obscureanswer.
How would you build a search engine for large volumes of XML data?
The way candidates answer this question may provide insight into their viewof XML data. For those who view XML primarily as a way to denote structure for textfiles, a common answer is to build a full-text search and handle the data similarly tothe way Internet portals handle HTML pages. Others consider XML as a standard wayof transferring structured data between disparate systems. These candidates oftendescribe some scheme of importing XML into a relational or object database andrelying on the database's engine for searching. Lastly, candidates that have workedwith vendors specializing in this area often say that the best way the handle thissituation is to use a third party software package optimized for XML data.Obviously, some important areas of XML technologies were not included in this list --namespaces, XPointer, XLink, and so on -- and should be added to the interviewer'sset of questions if applicable to the particular position that the candidate is applyingfor. However, these questions in conjunction with others to assess soft skills

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