Third-party Object Models: Axiom, DOM, JDOM, JDOM2, XOM, and DOM4J

This section is relevant to the Java platform only.

In the case of DOM, all Saxon editions support DOM access "out of the box", and no special configuration action is necessary. See also The Domino Tree Model.

Support for Axiom, JDOM, JDOM2, XOM, and DOM4J is not available "out of the box" with Saxon-HE, but the source code is open source (in sub-packages of net.sf.saxon.option) and can be compiled for use with Saxon-HE if required.

The support code for Axiom, DOM4J, JDOM, JDOM2, and XOM is integrated into the main JAR files for Saxon-PE and Saxon-EE, but (unlike the case of DOM) it is not activated unless the object model is registered with the Configuration. This is done automatically if the relevant classes are found on the classpath. If object models other than these are to be supported, the implementation must either be included it in the relevant section of the configuration file, or it must be nominated to the configuration using the method registerExternalObjectModel().

Each supported object model is represented in Saxon by a TreeModel object, which in the case of external object models will also be an instance of ExternalObjectModel. The TreeModel can be used to get a Builder, which can then be used to construct an instance of the model from SAX input. The Builder can also be inserted into a pipeline to capture the output of a transformation or query.

For DOM input, the source can be supplied by wrapping a DOMSource around the DOM Document node. For Axiom, JDOM, JDOM2, XOM, and DOM4J the approach is similar, except that the wrapper classes are supplied by Saxon itself: they are net.sf.saxon.option.axiom.AxiomDocument, net.sf.saxon.option.jdom.JDOMDocumentWrapper, net.sf.saxon.option.jdom2.JDOM2DocumentWrapper, net.sf.saxon.option.xom.XOMDocumentWrapper, and net.sf.saxon.option.dom4j.DOM4JDocumentWrapper respectively. These wrapper classes implement the Saxon NodeInfo interface (which means that they also implement Source).

Saxon supports these models by wrapping each external node in a wrapper that implements the Saxon NodeInfo interface. When nodes are returned by the XQuery or XPath API, these wrappers are removed and the original node is returned. Similarly, the wrappers are generally removed when extension functions expecting a node are called.

Saxon does not support wrapping of an external tree that contains entity reference nodes. Most parsers provide an option to avoid constructing a tree that contains such nodes. For example, with the JDK Xerces DOM parser, use DOMParser dp = new DOMParser(); dp.setFeature("", expandEntities);. If there is a need to process a tree that does contain entity references, it should be copied to a Saxon tree. (Note, this only affects entities explicitly declared in a DTD. It does not affect character references or built-in entity references such as <, which never appear as entity reference nodes in the tree.)

In the case of DOM only, Saxon also supports a wrapping the other way around: an object implementing the DOM interface may be wrapped around a Saxon NodeInfo. This is done when Java methods expecting a DOM Node are called as extension functions, if the NodeInfo is not itself a wrapper for a DOM Node.

You can also send output to a DOM by using a DOMResult, or to a JDOM tree by using a JDOMResult, or to a XOM document by using a XOMWriter. In such cases it is a good idea to set saxon:require-well-formed="yes" on xsl:output to ensure that the transformation or query result is a well-formed document (for example, that it does not contain several elements at the top level).

External object models do not in all cases fully support the XDM (XPath data model). In particular, many of them have restrictions concerning the recognition of ID and IDREF attributes. None of the external object models support typed (schema-validated) data, and none support in-situ update using XQuery updates.