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How Do I...Save DataSet mappings to an XSD schema file?

This sample illustrates how to save the internal DataSet mappings to an XML Schema Definition language (XSD) schema file. This sample builds the mappings by using the relational methods on the DataSet to create tables and columns. The sample then writes an XSD schema representation of these mappings out to a file.

VB SaveDataSetMapXSDSchema.aspx
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The DataSet and XmlDataDocument classes both represent an in-memory data cache. The DataSet provides relationally orientated navigational and editing methods, while the XmlDataDocument provides XML navigational and editing methods.

This sample gets the DataSet property from the XmlDataDocument, uses it to build a set of tables and columns, and then populate those tables and columns. The sample then writes out the internally generated schema.

The following sample code builds two tables, one of people and the other of pets. The sample uses an ID as a primary key into each of the tables, and builds a relationship table between the people and their pets. To do this, the sample first creates an instance of an XmlDataDocument and then passes the DataSet associated with the XmlDataDocument to the LoadDataSet method.

XmlDataDocument datadoc = new XmlDataDocument();

The LoadDataSet method loads the dataset with relational data.

// Load a DataSet with relational data
private void LoadDataSet(DataSet dataset)
        Console.WriteLine("Loading the DataSet ...");

        // Set DataSet name
        dataset.DataSetName = "PersonPet";

        // Create tables for people and pets
        DataTable people = new DataTable("Person");
        DataTable pets = new DataTable("Pet");

        // Set up the columns in the Tables
        DataColumn personname = new DataColumn ("Name", typeof(String));
        DataColumn personAge = new DataColumn ("Age", typeof(Int32));

        DataColumn petname = new DataColumn ("Name", typeof(String));
        DataColumn pettype = new DataColumn ("Type", typeof(String));

        // Add columns to person table
        DataColumn id = people.Columns.Add("ID", typeof(Int32));
        id.AutoIncrement = true;
        people.PrimaryKey = new DataColumn[] {id};
        people.Columns.Add (personname);
        people.Columns.Add (personAge);

        // Add columns to pet table
        id = pets.Columns.Add("ID", typeof(Int32));
        id.AutoIncrement = true;
        pets.PrimaryKey = new DataColumn[] {id};
        id.AutoIncrement = true;
        DataColumn ownerid = pets.Columns.Add("OwnerID", typeof(Int32));
        DataColumn[] foreignkey = new DataColumn[] {ownerid};
        pets.Columns.Add (petname);
        pets.Columns.Add (pettype);

        // Add tables to the DataSet
        dataset.Tables.Add (people);
        dataset.Tables.Add (pets);

        // Add people
        DataRow mark = people.NewRow();
        mark[personname] = "Mark";
        mark[personAge] = 18;

        DataRow william = people.NewRow();
        william[personname] = "William";
        william[personAge] = 12;

        DataRow james = people.NewRow();
        james[personname] = "James";
        james[personAge] = 7;

        DataRow levi = people.NewRow();
        levi[personname] = "Levi";
        levi[personAge] = 4;

        // Add relationships
        Console.WriteLine("Creating relationships between people and pets ...");
        DataRelation personpetrel = new DataRelation ("PersonPet",people.PrimaryKey, foreignkey);
        dataset.Relations.Add (personpetrel);

        // Add pets
        DataRow row = pets.NewRow();
        row["OwnerID"] = mark["ID"];
        row[petname] = "Frank";
        row[pettype] = "cat";

        row = pets.NewRow();
        row["OwnerID"] = william["ID"];
        row[petname] = "Rex";
        row[pettype] = "dog";

        row = pets.NewRow();
        row["OwnerID"] = james["ID"];
        row[petname] = "Cottontail";
        row[pettype] = "rabbit";

        row = pets.NewRow();
        row["OwnerID"] = levi["ID"];
        row[petname] = "Sid";
        row[pettype] = "snake";

        row = pets.NewRow();
        row["OwnerID"] = levi["ID"];
        row[petname] = "Tickles";
        row[pettype] = "spider";

        row = pets.NewRow();
        row["OwnerID"] = william["ID"];
        row[petname] = "Tweetie";
        row[pettype] = "canary";

        // commit changes

    catch (Exception e)
        Console.WriteLine("Exception: {0}", e.ToString());

The AcceptChanges method of the DataSet commits all the changes that have been made to this DataSet since it was loaded or the last time AcceptChanges was called. All new and modified rows become unchanged, and deleted rows get removed. For more detail on the other DataSet relational methods, see How do I...Get an Overview of ADO.NET?

To save the schema to a file, the sample calls the WriteXmlSchema method of the DataSet, passing a StreamWriter class that represents the destination file.

StreamWriter writer = null;
String mySaveSchema = Environment.GetEnvironmentVariable("TEMP") +         

    Console.WriteLine("Writing the schema to {0} ...", mySaveSchema);
    writer = new StreamWriter(mySaveSchema);
catch (Exception e)
    Console.WriteLine("Exception: {0}", e.ToString());
    if (writer != null)

The following output shows the tables built in the DataSet by the DisplayTables method. For more information about the DisplayTables method, see How do I...Infer DataSet Mappings from XML?. The sample writes the inferred schema to the PersonPet.xsd file.

Loading the DataSet ...
Creating relationships between people and pets ...

PersonPet contains ...
No of Tables: 2  Table content ...

TableName = Person
Columns ...

ID                    Name                  Age

Number of rows = 4
Rows ...
0                     Mark                  18
1                     William               12
2                     James                 19
3                     Levi                  4

TableName = Pet
Columns ...

ID                    OwnerID               Name                  Type

Number of rows = 6
Rows ...
0                     0                     Frank                 cat
1                     1                     Rex                   dog
2                     2                     Cottontail            rabbit
3                     3                     Sid                   snake
4                     3                     Tickles               spider
5                     1                     Tweetie               canary


Name = Mark owns
	Pet = Frank the cat

Name = William owns
	Pet = Rex the dog
	Pet = Tweetie the canary

Name = James owns
	Pet = Cottontail the rabbit

Name = Levi owns
	Pet = Sid the snake
	Pet = Tickles the spider

Writing the schema to ...\LOCALS~1\Temp\PersonPet.xsd ...


  1. The WriteXmlSchema method saves the mappings for the internal structure of the relation data in the DataSet as an XSD Schema.
  2. The XmlDataDocument has a DataSet property that enables you to view and manage structured data relationally within an XML document.

Microsoft .NET Framework SDK QuickStart Tutorials Version 2.0
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