Difference Between SAX and DOM (With Table)

Those involved in the world of software are most certainly acquainted with the XML parser. For those with limited insight into this aspect, it is a software package that is entrusted with the job of providing the client applications with interfaces when the document they are working with happens to be an XML document. The two types of parsers are SAX and DOM.

SAX vs DOM

The difference between SAX and DOM is that while both are XM parsers, the former is an acronym for “Simple API for XML.” On the other hand, the latter is an acronym for “Document Object Model.” Another distinguishing factor between the two is that while the former has a remarkable efficiency of memory, while the latter falls behind in this aspect. Furthermore, while the former also has a noteworthy speed, the latter is relatively slower.

SAX is a term that most in the world of software are acquainted with. This happens to be the software for XML parsing. Certain factors that distinguish it from its contender is the fact that its usage is lucid and simple. It also prides itself on an efficient memory. Furthermore, it gels well with stream applications.

DOM, to say the least, poses a significant competition to the above-mentioned XML parser. What makes it fascinating is that the internal structure that it can create resembles a tree. This is the feature that distinguishes it by leaps from SAX because the tree-like structure provides the client with ample information, something that the other parser fails at.

Comparison Table Between SAX and DOM

Parameters of ComparisonSAXDOM
Full-formsSimple API for XMLDocument Object Model
Nature of ParserThis is an event-based oneThis is a tree-structured one
SpeedIts speed is quite slow in comparisonIts speed is one of its remarkable features
Creating XML FilesIt can be used to prepare XML files predominantly in JavaIt requires a high memory to prepare XML files
Internal StructureIt cannot create an internal structureIt can create an internal structure that resembles a tree.

What is SAX?

As has been mentioned before, SAX is a term that most in the world of software are acquainted with. This happens to be the software for XML parsing. Certain factors that distinguish it from its contender is the fact that its usage is lucid and simple. It also prides itself on an efficient memory. Furthermore, it gels well with stream applications.

This comes in real handy for files that are small and prepares them in Java. Unlike its contender, this one here is “read-only.” It might come off as a disappointment that it does not allow backward navigation. Furthermore, only a small portion of the file is present in the memory and not the entire thing.

In addition, this is an event-based API. It is tasked with providing interfaces on a total of four handlers. It cannot create an internal structure but what it does is that it incorporates all the happenings of the components of a document that is inputted in it as an event, then it translates and notifies its client about the information that is contained in the concerned document.

Also, please note that it is best suited for large files because one will not have to load the XML file onto it entirely.

What is DOM?

It is called Document Object Model. DOM, to say the least, poses a significant competition to the above-mentioned XML parser. What makes it fascinating is that the internal structure that it can create resembles a tree. This is the feature that distinguishes it by leaps from SAX because the tree-like structure provides the client with ample information, something that the other parser fails at. In other words, it can create an internal structure that resembles a tree.

It is widely in use because it is considerably simple to use. And due to its internal structure, which is tree-like, all the elements of the document are represented in it. Furthermore, it also makes an In-memory tree presentation depicting details of the file fed to it and thereafter parses it. This is the reason why it requires a high memory to prepare XML files.

By now, you must have already guessed its main feature- of course, its ability to structure information in a tree-like form that gives its client all the information that there is in the original XML file.

It is also advantageous to use because its reading and writing operations are smooth and easy to use. A required document can be accessed by it randomly. However, it also has a few loopholes. They are its lack of memory efficiency and the fact that it is considerably slow.

Main Differences Between SAX and DOM

  1. While SAX can be best described as an event-based parser, DOM has a structure that resembles a tree. This is the feature that distinguishes it by leaps from SAX because the tree-like structure provides the client with ample information, something that the other parser fails at. In other words, it can create an internal structure that resembles a tree.
  2. SAX is disadvantageous in the aspect that it is unable to create an internal structure. On the other hand, what gives DOM an upper hand is its ability to create internal structure. 
  3. While SAX happens to be “read-only,” DOM comes in handy as it can both insert as well as delete nodes. 
  4. SAX disallows “backward navigation.” In contrast, DOM comes off as a clear winner here as both backward and forward navigations can be conducted with it. 
  5. SAX loads a substantially limited amount of the file in its memory. In contrast, DOM becomes much more useful as it can load the document in its entirety onto its memory.

Conclusion

We can settle on the fact that our lives have been made much easier by the appreciable speed of advancement. As things are becoming easier, the need to learn them is becoming paramount, and with the vastness of technological productions, not all of us can keep up with the pace, hence, the confusion. Even the minutest aspect becomes necessary to be known at times, such as the difference between SAX and DOM. While both are XM parsers, the former is an acronym for “Simple API for XML.” On the other hand, the latter is an acronym for “Document Object Model.”

Another distinguishing factor between the two is that while the former has a remarkable efficiency of memory, while the latter falls behind in this aspect. Furthermore, while the former also has a noteworthy speed, the latter is relatively slower. Also, SAX loads a substantially limited amount of the file in its memory. In contrast, DOM becomes much more useful as it can load the document in its entirety onto its memory.

References

  1. https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.126.269&rep=rep1&type=pdf
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/5458970
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