Technical

XML Parsing – Server-Side vs. Client-Side


Server-side XML gives us even more power then Client-side XML processing. For example, since the processing is done on the server, only the results are sent to the client, so we don’t have to worry about making our code cross-browser compatible. It is true that processing XML on the server-side transfers some of the load to the server, but since web servers are usually extremely powerful creatures with the ability to cache data, that is probably nothing to be worried about.

Pros of Server-side XML Processing:

  • No need to write code cross-browser compatible.
  • Server-side approach also greatly reduces the amount of data that flows across the network connection.
  • By using server-side parsing, we can display different results for different browsers, by detecting the browser-type on the server side and using the correct style sheet for the transformation.
  • Systems can provide better performance and maintainability for data-driven web sites by generating and caching frequently accessed pages ahead of time on the server.
  • We can filter-out sensitive data on server side sending the data on client side.
  • Maintaining code becomes easier, since we don’t have to modify it when new browser types or versions become available.
  • By doing transformations on the server side we can simplify what is sent to the client, avoiding the problem of designing functionality that works for all possible browser combinations (even mobile devices).
  • XML-support in browsers is still limited.

Cons of Server-side XML Processing:

  • Parsing XML on server-side transfer some load on server.
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