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Comment: Migrated to Confluence 5.3

The DOM processing model has the obvious:

  • Advantage of being easier to work with on a code level, allowing node traversal etc. It also makes it a lot easier to take advantage of Scripting and Templating engines that have built in support for utilizing DOM structures (e.g. FreeMarker and Groovy).
  • Disadvantage of being constrained by memory i.e. if you have huge messages, then you typically cannot use a DOM processing model.


Smooks v1.1 adds support for mixing these 2 models through the DomModelCreator class. When used with SAX filtering, this visitor will construct a DOM Fragment of the visited element. This allows DOM utilities to be used in a Streaming environment.

When 1+ models are nested inside each other, outer models will never contain data from the inner models i.e. the same fragments will never coexist inside two models.

Take the following message as an example:

No Format
<order id='332'>
    <header>
        <customer number="123">Joe</customer>
    </header>
    <order-items>
        <order-item id='1'>
            <product>1</product>
            <quantity>2</quantity>
            <price>8.80</price>
        </order-item>
        <order-item id='2'>
            <product>2</product>
            <quantity>2</quantity>
            <price>8.80</price>
        </order-item>
        <order-item id='3'>
            <product>3</product>
            <quantity>2</quantity>
            <price>8.80</price>
        </order-item>
   </order-items>
</order>

The DomModelCreator can be configured in Smooks to create models for the "order" and "order-item" message fragments:

No Format
<resource-config selector="order,order-item">
    <resource>org.milyn.delivery.DomModelCreator</resource>
</resource-config>

In this case, the "order" model will never contain "order-item" model data (order-item elements are nested inside the order element). The in memory model for the "order" will simply be:

No Format
<order id='332'>
    <header>
        <customer number="123">Joe</customer>
    </header>
    <order-items />
</order>

Added to this is the fact that there will only ever be 0 or 1 "order-item" models in memory at any given time, with each new "order-item" model overwriting the previous "order-item" model. All this ensures that the memory footprint is kept to a minimum.

Because the Smooks processing model is event driven via the message content (i.e. you can hook in Visitor logic to be applied at different points while Smooks filters/streams the message), you can take advantage of this mixed DOM and SAX processing model.

See the following examples that utilize this mixed DOM + SAX approach: