Declaring Complex Elements with Attributes, Sub Elements & Text Content

This section describes a tutorial example on how to declare an element that accepts attributes and sub (child) element mixed with text content using a user defined complexType datatype.

A complex element with text content, sub elements, and attributes can be declared with a "complexType" datatype with "complexContent mixed="true"" containing some "element"s and some "attribute"s.

A good example of complex elements with attributes only is the <form> element in HTML documents. It accepts attributes like "action", sub elements like <input>, and text contents.

Rule 1. The "mixed="true"" attribute inside "complexContent" allows text content to be mixed in the element.

This rule should be used with other rules described in previous tutorials to define a complex element with text content, sub elements, and attributes.

Here is a sample schema, complexType_everything.xsd, that defines <form> to accept sub elements attributes, and text content:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<xs:schema xmlns:xs="">
<!-- complexType_everything.xsd
 - Copyright (c) 2002-2013 All Rights Reserved.

 <xs:element name="form">
  <xs:complexContent mixed="true">
   <xs:restriction base="xs:anyType">
    <xs:element name="input" type="xs:anyType" maxOccurs="unbounded"/>
    <xs:attribute name="action" type="xs:string"/>


Let's try this schema on a sample XML document, complexType_no_text_content.xml, with some errors:

herong> type complexType_everything.xml

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<form action="" note="Tutorials">
 Your Name: <input type="text"/>
 <input type="submit"/>

herong> java XsdSchemaValidator complexType_everything.xsd
^^^ complexType_everything.xml

   Line number: 2
   Column number: 43
   Message: cvc-complex-type.3.2.2: Attribute 'note' is not
   allowed to appear in element 'form'.

Failed with errors: 1

Table of Contents

 About This Book

 Introduction to XML Schema

 XML Editor and Schema Processor - XMLPad

 Java API for XML Processing - JAXP

 JAXP - XML Schema (XSD) Validation

 Xerces2 Java Parser - Java API of XML Parsers

 Using Xerces2 Java APIs

 XML Schema Language - Basics

 Introduction of XSD Built-in Datatypes

 "string" and Its Derived Datatypes

 "decimal" and Its Derived Datatypes

 "dateTime" and Its Related Datatypes

 Miscellaneous Built-in Datatypes

 Facets, Constraining Facets and Restriction Datatypes

 "simpleType" - Defining Your Own Simple Datatypes

Complex Element Declaration

 Complex Element vs. Simple Element

 Declaring Empty Elements

 Declaring Simple Elements

 Declaring Complex Elements with Simple Content

 Declaring Complex Elements with Attributes Only

 Declaring Complex Elements with Sub Elements Only

 Declaring Complex Elements with Attributes and Sub Elements

Declaring Complex Elements with Attributes, Sub Elements & Text Content

 Using Shorthand for "complexContent" with "restriction"

 Identity-Constraints: unique, key and keyref

 Assertion as Custom Validation Rules

 XML Schema Location and Namespace in XML Documents

 Overriding Element Types in XML Documents

 Linking Multiple Schema Documents Together


 Archived Tutorials


 Full Version in PDF/EPUB