PHP Code-Snippet: Replacing CDATA content of a SimpleXMLElement object

This little challenge took me too much time to not letting people know the solution I came up with. So when I am forced to work with PHP and want to process XML files, I prefer using PHP’s SimpleXML interface, because I found out that I need the least number of LOC for querying particular nodes within a document. It also provides methods for manipulating the DOM tree, but it appears that the possibilities are highly limited and in particular there is no method for creating CDATA sections. Here is the result of my and try&error session.

We have a SimpleXMLElement object which is representing a node containing a CDATA sestion as node content.

Replace content of the CDATA section and provide content of the manipulated document.

Possible solution:
Get a DOM node from the SimpleXMLElement objet, delete its CDATA child and create a new CDATA section with new content.


// get DOM node
$node = dom_import_simplexml($mySimpleXmlElement); 
// remove existing CDATA ($node->childNodes->item(1) does not seem to work)
foreach($node->childNodes as $child) {
  if ($child->nodeType == XML_CDATA_SECTION_NODE) {

// add new CDATA
$no = $node->ownerDocument; 

// print result
echo $xml->asXML();


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