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Read XML file and run commands in it for C#

Storing of SQL commands

When coding we use an offline database (or sandbox) that allows us to change whatever we like duirng development. As we make changes to the database we store the SQL commands that are used to make these changes.

Getting tired of copying and pasting the commands back into the SQL manager once we took the changes live I decided to write a some code to read from an XML file and implement the changes. 

Structure of the XML file

The strurcture we decided on was something that was general enough to allow for room to grow, so we came up with this:

XML structure:

  <command type="sqlcommandtype">


  • sqlcommandtype: is the type of commnad: select, insert, update, alter, etc or disabled
  • SQLCommandText: is the actual command

Example of XML file

Here is an example of the a file:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
  <command type="disable">
    CREATE TABLE TempOrdersHeaderTbl (
    [CustomerID] INT ,
    [OrderDate] DateTime,
    [RoastDate]  DateTime,
    [RequiredByDate]  DateTime ,
    [ToBeDeliveredByID] INT ,
    [Confirmed] YESNO,
    [Done] YESNO,
    [Notes] MEMO,
  <command type="create">
      CREATE TABLE TempOrdersLinesTbl (
      [TOHeaderID]  INT ,
      [ItemID]  INT ,
      [ServiceTypeID] INT,
      [Qty] SINGLE ,
      [PackagingID] INT,
      [OriginalOrderID] INT,
  <command type="alter">
      ALTER ABLE CustomersTbl ADD SendDeliveryConfirmation YESNO
  <command type="select">
    SELECT        TOP 10 CompanyName, SendDeliveryConfirmation
    FROM            CustomersTbl


The c# code to read and run

For the C3 I first did an html file:
<head runat="server">
    <title>XML TO SQL Read and run </title>
    <form id="frmXMLToSQL" runat="server">
      <h1>Read XML and do the SQL</h1>
      File name:&nbsp;
      <asp:TextBox ID="FileNameTextBox" runat="server"
        Width="750px" />
      <asp:Button ID="GoButton" Text="Go" runat="server" onclick="GoButton_Click" />
      <br />
      <br />
      <asp:GridView ID="gvSQLResults" runat="server">
      <br />
      <asp:Panel ID="pnlSQLResults" runat="server">
      <br />


Logic of HTML

The logic it to take a file and read it run the commands store the commands and results in an class, then display the results in the Gridview on the form. For SELECT statements each statement would add a new gridview to the asp panel pnlSQLResults to display the results.

I am sure this can be made neater but is it really a back room task so the basics are in place.

Logic of C# code behind

the code behind essentially reads the data from the XML file, and places the result in a List of resutls. It looks for the XML node type that is an element, then when that element's name is "command", it then reads the value of the field that follows in since this is the SQL command.

In the code also It calls a general DB class that I wrote, that simply pulls the projects connection string for the database opens the connection and then depending on the instruction performs a nonQuerySQL or returns a DataSet with the data for Query based SQL. If you need this then comment and I will paste that.

So here is the code behind:
 using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Web.UI.WebControls;
using System.Xml;
using TrackerDotNet.classes;

namespace MyApp.GeneralClasses
  public partial class XMLtoSQL : System.Web.UI.Page

    class SQLCommand
      string _type;
      string _sql;
      bool _result;

      public SQLCommand()
        _type = "";
        _sql = "";
        _result = false;
      public string type { get { return _type; } set { _type = value; } }
      public string sql { get { return _sql; } set { _sql = value; } }
      public bool result { get { return _result; } set { _result = value; } }

    protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)

    protected void GoButton_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
      List<SQLCommand> _SQLCommands = new List<SQLCommand>();
      string _FileName = FileNameTextBox.Text;
      _FileName = _FileName.Replace(@"\",@"\\");

      XmlReader _XmlReader = XmlReader.Create(_FileName);

      while (_XmlReader.Read())
        if ((_XmlReader.NodeType == XmlNodeType.Element) && (_XmlReader.Name == "command"))
          SQLCommand _SQLCommand = new SQLCommand();
          _SQLCommand.type = _XmlReader.GetAttribute("type");
          _XmlReader.Read();      // next should be value
          _SQLCommand.sql= _XmlReader.Value;


      for (int i = 0; i < _SQLCommands.Count; i++)
        if (_SQLCommands[i].type == "select")
          GridView _gvSelectResult = new GridView();
          System.Data.DataSet _ds = RunSelect(_SQLCommands[i].sql);
          _SQLCommands[i].result = (_ds != null);

          _gvSelectResult.DataSource = _ds;

        else if (_SQLCommands[i].type != "disalbled")
          _SQLCommands[i].result = RunCommand(_SQLCommands[i].sql);

      // assign resutls to result panel
      gvSQLResults.DataSource = _SQLCommands;

    private System.Data.DataSet RunSelect(string pSQL)
      GeneralDb _
GeneralDb = new GeneralDb();

      System.Data.DataSet _DataSet = _

      return _DataSet;
    private bool RunCommand(string pSQL)
GeneralDb _GeneralDb = new GeneralDb();
      bool _Success = false;

      _Success = _
      return _Success;


The result is awesome, as I code I change the XML file I can copy and paste the SQL commands from the development environment, and they are run in anyway. I also found that with the live site I can use this to run queries to check things in the live environment, obviously I needed to add some logic


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