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Cooking with Access
Pages: 1, 2, 3, 4

Recipe 18.5: Exporting Selected Columns to an HTML Table

Problem

You'd like to export data from a table as XML and display it in an HTML table. However, you only want to display selected columns from the table, not the entire table.

Solution

If you wish to export data using only selected columns, you can do so with a query, but you can also accomplish this by using an XSLT transform. Using a transform has the added benefit of allowing you to format the data as HTML. Follow these steps to export only the Make and Model data from the Car table and to format the data as an HTML table:



  1. Select the Car table in the database window, right-click and select Export, and choose XML in the Save as type drop-down list at the bottom of the dialog box.

  2. Type a name for the XML file ending with an htm suffix and click the Export button. This example assumes that the output file is named Cars.htm.

Figure 18-15
Figure 18-15. Selecting the output location and filename

  1. Click the Transforms button. If the transform doesn't show up in the list, click the Add button to browse to it. This example uses a transform named 18-05.xsl. Click OK and OK again. Access will create a Car.htm and a Car.xsd file in the destination directory.

Discussion

The 18-05.xsl file used to transform the data contains two templates. The dataroot template contains code for creating an HTML document with an HTML table. The Car template creates the rows in the HTML table and cells containing only the Make and Model data. This transform works against a hidden XML document that is created from all the data in the table:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<xsl:stylesheet 
 xmlns:xsl="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform" version="1.0" >

<xsl:output method="html" version="4.0" indent="yes" />

<xsl:template match="dataroot">
   <html>
      <body>
        <table>
            <xsl:apply-templates select="Car" />

        </table>
      </body>
   </html>
</xsl:template>

<xsl:template match="Car">
   <tr>

      <td><xsl:value-of select="Make" /></td>
       <td><xsl:value-of select="Model" /></td>
   </tr>

</xsl:template>

</xsl:stylesheet>

When you view Car.htm in a browser, you can see that the data is displayed in an HTML table, as shown in Figure 18-16.

Figure 18-16
Figure 18-16. The output generated by the XSL transform when viewed in a browser

Choose View > Source from the menu and you'll see the following HTML:

<html>

    <body>
        <table>
            <tr>
                <td>Mini Cooper</td>
                <td>S</td>

            </tr>
            <tr>
                <td>Lexus</td>
                <td>LS430</td>
            </tr>

            <tr>
                <td>Porsche</td>
                <td>Boxter</td>
            </tr>
            <tr>

                <td>Ford</td>
                <td>Mustang</td>
            </tr>
            <tr>
                <td>Toyota</td>

                <td>Camry</td>
            </tr>
        </table>
    </body>
</html>

This example is very simple and creates just a bare-bones table. You can modify the HTML sections of the XSLT to specify colors, borders, fonts, and so on to create whatever custom formatting you need.

See Also

The following W3C page contains links to many resources on XSLT:
http://www.w3.org/Style/XSL/


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