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The XML Helper simplifies the output of XML documents.


serialize($data, $options = array())

  • mixed $data - The content to be converted to XML

  • mixed $options - The data formatting options. For a list of valid options, see Xml::__construct()

    • string $options[‘root’] - The name of the root element, defaults to ‘#document’

    • string $options[‘version’] - The XML version, defaults to ‘1.0’

    • string $options[‘encoding’] - Document encoding, defaults to ‘UTF-8’

    • array $options[‘namespaces’] - An array of namespaces (as strings) used in this document

    • string $options[‘format’] - Specifies the format this document converts to when parsed or rendered out as text, either ‘attributes’ or ‘tags’, defaults to ‘attributes’

    • array $options[‘tags’] - An array specifying any tag-specific formatting options, indexed by tag name. See XmlNode::normalize()

    • boolean $options[‘slug’] - A boolean to indicate whether or not you want the string version of the XML document to have its tags run through Inflector::slug() (Which makes ‘TAGNAME’ became ‘t_a_g_n_a_m_e’). Defaults to true.

The serialize method takes an array and creates an XML string of the data. This is commonly used for serializing model data.

echo $this->Xml->serialize($data);
 // format will be similar to:
 // <model_name id="1" field_name="content" />

The serialize method acts as a shortcut to instantiating the XML built-in class and using the toString method of that. If you need more control over serialization, you may wish to invoke the XML class directly.

You can modify how a data is serialized by using the format attribute. By default the data will be serialized as attributes. If you set the format as “tags” the data will be serialized as tags.

    [Baker] => Array
            [0] => Array
                    [name] => The Baker
                    [weight] => heavy
            [1] => Array
                    [name] => The Cook
                    [weight] => light-weight
     <baker name="The Baker" weight="heavy" />
     <baker name="The Cook" weight="light-weight" />
pr($this->Xml->serialize($data, array('format' => 'tags')));
        <name><![CDATA[The Baker]]></name>
        <name><![CDATA[The Cook]]></name>


The elem method allows you to build an XML node string with attributes and internal content, as well.

string elem (string $name, $attrib = array(), mixed $content = null, $endTag = true)

echo $this->Xml->elem('count', array('namespace' => 'myNameSpace'), 'content');
// generates: <myNameSpace:count>content</count>

If you want to wrap your text node with CDATA, the third argument should be an array containing two keys: ‘cdata’ and ‘value’

echo $this->Xml->elem('count', null, array('cdata'=>true,'value'=>'content'));
// generates: <count><![CDATA[content]]></count>