Compare XML Files
You can use the Comparison Tool to compare a pair of XML text files. The tool processes the results into a report that you can use to explore the file differences. You can compare XML files with a text comparison or a hierarchical XML comparison.
You can access the XML Comparison Tool from the Current Folder browser, the Comparison
Tool, or programmatically using the
The XML comparison compares the files using the “Chawathe” algorithm, as described in this paper:
|Change Detection in Hierarchically Structured Information, Sudarshan Chawathe, Anand Rajaraman, and Jennifer Widom; SIGMOD Conference, Montreal, Canada, June 1996, pp. 493-504.
This conference paper is based on work published in 1995: see
XML comparison reports display in the Comparison Tool. For more information about the Comparison Tool, see Compare Files and Folders and Merge Files.
The XML comparison report shows a hierarchical view of the portions of the two XML files that differ. The report does not show sections of the files that are identical.
If the files are identical or differ only in line break, you see a message reporting there are no differences.
It might not be possible for the analysis to detect matches between previously corresponding sections of files that have diverged too much.
Change detection in the Chawathe analysis is based on a scoring algorithm. Items match if their Chawathe score is above a threshold. The implementation of Chawathe's algorithm uses a comparison pattern that defines the thresholds.
Choose XML Files to Compare
From the Current Folder Browser
To compare two files from the Current Folder browser:
For two files in the same folder, select the files, right-click and select Compare Selected Files/Folders.
To compare files in different folders:
Select a file, right-click, and select Compare Against
Select the second file to compare in the Select Files or Folders for Comparison dialog box.
Select the Comparison type
XML text comparison.
The XML Comparison Tool performs an analysis on the files and displays a report in the Comparison Tool. The file you right-click to open the XML Comparison Tool displays on the right side of the report.
For more information about comparisons of other file types with the Comparison Tool, such as text, MAT, or binary, see Compare Files and Folders and Merge Files.
Compare from the Comparison Tool
To compare files using the Comparison Tool, from the MATLAB® toolstrip, in the File section, select the Compare button. In the dialog box, select files to compare.
If the files you select to compare are XML files and you select an
XML text comparison, the XML Comparison Tool
performs a Chawathe analysis of the XML files, and generates a report.
Compare from the Command Line
To compare XML files from the command line, enter
visdiff(filename1, filename2, 'xml')
filename1 are XML
Change Comparison Type
If you specify two XML files to compare using either the Current Folder Browser or
visdiff function, then the Comparison Tool performs the
default comparison type for the selected files. You can compare XML files with a
text comparison or a hierarchical XML comparison.
To change comparison type, either create a new comparison from the Comparison
Tool, or use the Compare Against option from the Current
Folder browser. You can change comparison type in the Select Files or Folders for
Comparison dialog box. Select
XML text comparison before
Navigate the XML Comparison Report
The XML comparison report shows changes only. The report is a hierarchical view of the differences between two XML text files, and is not a hierarchical view of the original XML data.
To step through differences, use the Comparison tab on the toolstrip. To move to the next or previous group of differences, on the Comparison tab, in the Navigate section, click the arrow buttons to go to the previous or next difference.
You can also click to select items in the hierarchical trees.
Selected items appear highlighted in a box.
If the selected item is part of a matched pair, it is highlighted in a box in both left and right trees.
Report item highlighting indicates the nature of each difference as follows:
|Type of report item
Modified items are matched pairs that differ between
the two files. When you select a modified item it is
highlighted in a box in both trees.
When you select an unmatched item it is
highlighted in a box in one tree
Rows with no highlighting indicate a container item
that contains other modified or unmatched
Use the Comparison tab for the following functions:
Refresh — Run Chawathe analysis again to refresh the comparison report.
Swap Sides — Swap sides and rerun comparison. Runs the Chawathe analysis again.
Save As > HTML — Opens the Save dialog box, where you can choose to save a printable version of the XML comparison report. The report is a noninteractive HTML document of the differences detected by the Chawathe algorithm for printing or archiving a record of the comparison.
Save As > Workspace Variable — Export XML comparison results to workspace.
In the Navigate section, click the arrow buttons (or press Up or Down keys) to go to the previous difference or go to the next difference.
Compare Selected Parameter — Open a new report for the currently selected pair of parameters. Use this when the report cannot display all the details in the Parameters pane, e.g., long character vectors or a script.
Use the View tab controls on the toolstrip for the following functions:
Expand All — Expands every item in the tree.
Right-click to expand or collapse the hierarchy within the selected tree node.
Collapse All — Collapses all items in the tree to the most compact view possible.
It may not be possible for the analysis to detect matches between previously corresponding sections of files that have diverged too much.
Save Comparison Log Files in a Zip File
Temporary XML comparison files accumulate in
These temporary files are deleted when you close the related comparison
You can zip the temporary files (such as log files) created during XML comparisons, for sharing or archiving. While the comparison report is open, enter:
The destination folder must exist. The output reports the zip file name:
Created the zipfile "c:\work\myexportfolder\20080915T065514w.zip"
To view the log file for the last comparison in the MATLAB Editor, enter:
Export Results to the Workspace
To export the XML comparison results to the MATLAB base workspace,
On the Comparison tab, in the Comparison section, select Save As > Workspace variable.
The Input Variable Name dialog box appears.
Specify a name for the export object in the dialog box and click OK. This action exports the results of the XML comparison to an
xmlcomp.Editsobject in the workspace.
xmlcomp.Edits object contains information about the XML
comparison including file names, filters applied, and hierarchical nodes that differ
between the two XML files.
To create an
xmlcomp.Edits object at the command line without
opening the Comparison Tool,
Edits = xmlcomp.compare(a.xml,b.xml)
|Array of filter structure arrays. Each structure has two fields, Name and Value.
|File name of left file exported to XML.
xmlcomp.Node object that references the root
of the left tree.
|File name of right file exported to XML.
xmlcomp.Node object that references the root
of the right tree.
|Time when results exported to the workspace.
|MathWorks® release-specific version number of
xmlcomp.Node references to child
nodes, if any.
|Boolean — If
Edited = true then the
node is either inserted or part of a modified matched pair.
|Name of node.
|Array of parameter structure arrays. Each structure has two fields, Name and Value.
xmlcomp.Node reference to parent node, if
Partner is an
xmlcomp.Node reference to the matched partner
node in the other tree. Otherwise empty