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Connect to an XML Data Source



This article will cover how to connect to an XML data source.




What you will need to establish this connection


  • An XML Data Source (file or URL)
  • A good network connection to your file or URL. (Please note, if you are inside a corporate network and you cannot access the cloud-hosted demo data source, your firewall may be blocking you from access. Please consult with your systems or network administrator for assistance.)


High level outline of the process

  1. Open MS-Word/Excel/PowerPoint (For this example, we will be using MS-Word)
  2. Go to the AutoTag Manager tab on the ribbon
  3. Click on Data Sources icon (opens the Data Sources list window)
  4. Click Add (opens the Datasource Connector)
  5. Fill in the appropriate information in the Datasource Connector dialog box and click OK
  6. Your Data Source is now connected to your template





Connecting Your Template to an XML Data Source


Important notes: 

You do not need to install any connector to access XML files, this code is all included in AutoTag.

Step 1

From MS Word, Excel or PowerPoint, navigate to the AutoTag Manager tab in the ribbon. 



Step 2

Once in the AutoTag Manager tab, click on the Data Source button. This will open the DataSources dialog box. Click Add to bring up the Datasource Connector.






Step 3

Select XML (file or URL) from the vendor drop down menu as shown below:




Step 4

Fill in the details for your XML connection. See table for terms.




It is best practice to always assign a nickname to your datasource in the Name field. This will make your life much easier down the road when working with templates or tracking down any issues.

File/URL Enter the file (including directory) or URL to retrieve the XML file.

You can set this to one of three protocols used to read the XML file:


  • Standard - Will use the common method to retrieve the file. If you are not sure which protocol to use, this is it.
  • REST - This will pass credentials using the BASIC credentials on the first request and set the ContentType to XML. Many REST sources will work with Standard but some require this special setting. (This is needed when a REST source returns HTML instead of an error for missing credentials and returns HTML instead of XML if the ContentType is not set.)
  • SharePoint - This is needed for FBA (Forms Based Authentication) access to a SharePoint site. You do not need this protocol for a SharePoint site that uses other methods of authentication.

​A schema provides the structure of your XML file. This provides significant additional information of use to AutoTag: All possible nodes (the XML file just gives us the nodes used), the data type of each node, and a description for each node (which we then display as a tooltip in the data source schema tree). You can set this to:


  • No schema - You have no schema file.
  • Use xsi:schemaLocation - The XML file lists the schema using an xsi node. Sometimes (not always) the schema file is on the web at that location. With this setting it will read the file from that location. Again, many times there is no file at the specified location and the URL is just a name.
  • File / URL - Provide a local copy of the schema file.

This is used for files (to access the server\share), http, & ftp if needed. Set to Use Windows Identity if no credentials are needed or your Windows login user has access to the file.

Root Directory  This is used to specify a base directory that is used for imported files that have a relative path.  This must be set in AutoTag and also in the code when creating the data source provider before applying it in the engine.




Once all of your information is properly filled in you can click OK and your connection will be established.

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