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Use the IXMLSerializable interface to populate a class from a XML file

Abstract

Did you know that the PLCnext Common Classes have built in support for XML serialization? This article shows how to use the IXmlSerializable interface to populate the data in a c++ class.

You can find the Interface description in the API documentation of the PLCnext Common Classes.

Requirements

This article was written with the following setup:

PLCnext Firmware: 2020.6 LTS PLCnext C++ SDK for Linux 64 Bit 2020.6 LTS

The data

We want to populate our class with the following configuration file.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<MyConfigDocument schemaVersion="1.0">
    <Server dnsName="server.domain.tld" />
    <FileList>
        <File path="$ARP_DATA_DIR$/Services/MyComponent/file1.txt" />
        <File path="$ARP_DATA_DIR$/Services/MyComponent/file2.txt" />
    </FileList>
</MyConfigDocument>

The $ARP_DATA_DIR$ notation is a placeholder for environment variable, in this case ARP_DATA_DIR. You can find the defined Arp environment variables in your device settings file on the target /etc/plcnext/Device.acf.settings.

To be able to read the data from a XML file we have to implement the IXMLSerializable interface for our class. To keep it simple our class has only two data elements, a DNS name and a vector of filepaths.

#pragma once
#include "Arp/System/Core/Arp.h"
#include "Arp/System/Commons/Xml/IXmlSerializable.hpp"
#include "vector"

namespace MyComponent
{

class MyConfiguration : public Arp::System::Commons::Xml::IXmlSerializable
{
public:
    MyConfiguration() = default;
    ~MyConfiguration() = default;

// IXMLSerializable interface
public:
    void ReadXml(Arp::System::Commons::Xml::XmlReader& reader, Arp::System::Commons::Xml::XmlSerializationContext& context) override;
    void WriteXml(Arp::System::Commons::Xml::XmlWriter& writer, Arp::System::Commons::Xml::XmlSerializationContext& context) override;

// The data
public:
    Arp::String DnsName{""};
    std::vector<Arp::String> FileList;

// Some supporting methods
private:
    void readFileList(Arp::System::Commons::Xml::XmlReader& reader, Arp::System::Commons::Xml::XmlSerializationContext& context);
    void readFile(Arp::System::Commons::Xml::XmlReader& reader, Arp::System::Commons::Xml::XmlSerializationContext& context);
};

} // namespace MyComponent

Implementation

We must implement the ReadXml and WriteXml Methods.

The WriteXml Method is straight forward, we do not want to write we only want to read the data from the XML file. The ReadXml Method is called if we want to read the data from the XML file.

#include "MyConfiguration.hpp"

namespace MyComponent
{ 

void MyConfiguration::WriteXml(Arp::System::Commons::Xml::XmlWriter& writer, Arp::System::Commons::Xml::XmlSerializationContext& context)
{
    // no operation.
    return;
}

void MyConfiguration::ReadXml(Arp::System::Commons::Xml::XmlReader& reader, Arp::System::Commons::Xml::XmlSerializationContext& context)
{
    Arp::String elementName;
    while (reader.TryReadStartElement(elementName))
    {
        if (elementName == Arp::System::Commons::Xml::XmlSerializationContext::IncludesXmlName)
        {
            context.ReadIncludesElement(reader);
        }
        else if (elementName == "Server")
        {
            this->DnsName = reader.GetAttributeValue<Arp::String>("dnsName");
            reader.ReadEndElement();
        }
        else if (elementName == "FileList")
        {
            this->readFileList(reader, context);
        }
        else
        {
            context.InvalidXmlElementOccurs(reader, elementName);
            reader.ReadEndElement();
        }
    }
}

void MyConfiguration::readFileList(Arp::System::Commons::Xml::XmlReader& reader, Arp::System::Commons::Xml::XmlSerializationContext& context)
{
    if (reader.IsEmptyElement()){
        return;
    }
    if (reader.ReadToDescendant("File"))
    {
        this->readFile(reader, context);
        while (reader.ReadToNextSibling("File"))
        {
            this->readFile(reader, context);
        }
    }
    else
    {
        reader.ReadEndElement();
    }
}

void MyConfiguration::readFile(Arp::System::Commons::Xml::XmlReader& reader, Arp::System::Commons::Xml::XmlSerializationContext& context)
{
    // Use 'context.ResolvePath' to replace placeholders in the path.
    auto file = Arp::String(context.ResolvePath(reader.GetAttributeValue<Arp::String>("path")));
    this->FileList.push_back(file);
    reader.ReadEndElement();
}

} // namespace MyComponent

Read the data

We now can use our class with the XMLConfigDocument class in the LoadConfig Method to load the data in our class.

void MyComponent::LoadConfig()
{
    // load project config here

    using namespace Arp::System::Commons;

    this->log.Info("LoadConfig");

    // Fist argument has to match the XML root element name.
    // Our MyConfiguration instance this->config will be populated.
    Xml::XmlConfigDocument configDoc("MyConfigDocument", this->config);
    if (!Io::File::Exists(this->settingsPath))
    {
        this->log.Error("Configuration file '{}' does not exist.", this->settingsPath);
        return;
    }

    try
    {
        configDoc.Load(this->settingsPath);
    }
    catch (const Arp::Exception& e)
    {
        this->log.Error(e.GetMessage());
        throw InvalidConfigException(e.GetMessage());
    }
}