Chris's coding blog

Dynamically compiling XSL in C#

June 07, 2009

If you use XSL extensively in any .NET applications then you will probably find yourself encountering performance issues with your XSL in an ASP.NET environment. This can either come from customscripts (which are recompiled into a new assembly each time the XSL is transformed) or simply because the XSLCompiledTransform class has to create its assembly from fresh each time your page or resource is accessed. It not so much of a problem for windows forms or other types of application that sit in memory and don’t die after a page request, but for ASP.NET it’s a big issue, and as I found out a memory hog.

The XslCompiledTransform class turns your XSL into a .NET assembly, turning the XSL into a tree using a XmlWriter under the hood and a few other techniques - if you look at a compiled output you can see what is going on. To avoid it doing this re-compilation everytime, you have the option to compile the XSL into an assembly, and simply load this assembly (which is loaded once) rather than recompiling each time.

There’s a tool for doing this already called XSLTC.exe. This is fine for applications that have static XSL however if you are retrieving your XSL from a database then running this over the command line at the start of your ASP.NET application is a pain, and also brings up security issues. This is where the XslCompiler class comes in. It does pretty much the same thing as XSLTC, except you can use it inside your code. You specify where the Assembly is outputted to, and it can compile multiple XSL files into one assembly. Portions of it are based on the dissasembled source of XSLTC (via reflector).

/// <summary>
/// Compiles single or multiple XSL files or strings into an assembly so they can be loaded into a XslCompiledTransform
/// without it needing to compile each time.
/// </summary>
public class XslCompiler
{
AssemblyBuilder _assemblyBuilder;
/// <summary>
/// The folder/directory path to save the assembly in.
/// </summary>
public string Path { get; set; }
/// <summary>
/// The filename of the assembly, including ".dll". Do not include the full path.
/// </summary>
public string Filename { get; set; }
/// <summary>
/// The assembly name that is used. If this is empty, the Filename is used by default.
/// </summary>
public string AssemblyName { get; set; }
/// <summary>
/// If compiling a single XSL file, this is the classname used.
/// </summary>
public string Classname { get; set; }
/// <summary>
/// The target processor that the assembly is compiled to. This is i386 by default.
/// </summary>
public ImageFileMachine TargetProcessor { get; set; }
/// <summary>
/// Any additional XSLT settings associated with the XSL file(s).
/// </summary>
public XsltSettings XsltSettings { get; set; }
/// <summary>
/// The <see cref="XmlResolver">XmlResolver</see> used for resolving <xsl:import...>> statements. This is a
/// <see cref="XmlUrlResolver">XmlUrlResolver</see> by default.
/// </summary>
public XmlResolver XmlResolver { get; set; }
/// <summary>
/// Whether to compile the XSL with the debug setting set to true. This enables debugging inside Visual Studio.
/// This is false by default.
/// </summary>
public bool Debug { get; set; }
/// <summary>
/// Whether symbols are emitted into the assembly when it's compiled. This is false by default.
/// </summary>
public bool EmitSymbols { get; set; }
/// <summary>
/// Contains any compiler errors that occured (that weren't warnings) during the compile.
/// </summary>
public CompilerErrorCollection Errors { get; private set; }
/// <summary>
/// Initializes a new instance of the <see cref="XslCompiler">XslCompiler</see> class.
/// </summary>
public XslCompiler(string path, string assemblyFilename)
{
Path = path;
Filename = assemblyFilename;
TargetProcessor = ImageFileMachine.I386;
XsltSettings = new XsltSettings();
XmlResolver = new XmlUrlResolver();
XmlResolver.Credentials = CredentialCache.DefaultCredentials;
}
/// <summary>
/// Compiles the provided XSL file into an assembly, using the given class name.
/// </summary>
/// <param name="xslFilename">The fullpath to the XSL file.</param>
/// <param name="className">The full qualified class name, e.g. MyNamespace.MyClass</param>
/// <returns>True if the compilation was successful, false otherwise. If the compilation fails the
/// compilation errors can be found in the <see cref="Errors">Errors</see> property.</returns>
public bool CompileFromFile(string xslFilename, string className)
{
try
{
string xsl = File.ReadAllText(xslFilename);
return Compile(xsl, className);
}
catch (IOException e)
{
throw new XslCompilerException(string.Format("An error occured reading from '{0}'", xslFilename), e);
}
}
/// <summary>
/// Compiles the provided XSL string into an assembly, using the given class name.
/// </summary>
/// <param name="xsl"></param>
/// <param name="className">The full qualified class name, e.g. MyNamespace.MyClass</param>
/// <returns>True if the compilation was successful, false otherwise. If the compilation fails the
/// compilation errors can be found in the <see cref="Errors">Errors</see> property.</returns>
public bool Compile(string xsl, string className)
{
if (CompileInternal(xsl, className, null))
{
this._assemblyBuilder.Save(Filename, PortableExecutableKinds.ILOnly, this.TargetProcessor);
return true;
}
else
{
return false;
}
}
/// <summary>
/// Compiles a set of XSL files from the provided list.
/// </summary>
/// <param name="fileList">A dictionary where the key is the classname, and the value is the filename (a fullpath).</param>
/// <returns>True if the compilation was successful, false otherwise. If the compilation fails the
/// compilation errors can be found in the <see cref="Errors">Errors</see> property.</returns>
public bool CompileFromFiles(Dictionary<string, string> fileList)
{
try
{
// Default the assembly name to the filename
if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(AssemblyName))
AssemblyName = Filename;
ModuleBuilder builder = this.CreateModuleBuilder(new AssemblyName(AssemblyName));
foreach (string key in fileList.Keys)
{
string xsl = File.ReadAllText(fileList[key]);
if (!CompileInternal(xsl, key, builder))
return false;
}
this._assemblyBuilder.Save(Filename, PortableExecutableKinds.ILOnly, this.TargetProcessor);
return true;
}
catch (IOException e)
{
throw new XslCompilerException("An error occured reading a file from CompileFromFiles()", e);
}
}
/// <summary>
/// Compiles a list of XSL strings using the classnames provided as keys.
/// </summary>
/// <param name="classList">A dictionary where the key is the classname, and the value is the XSL string.</param>
/// <returns>True if the compilation was successful, false otherwise. If the compilation fails the
/// compilation errors can be found in the <see cref="Errors">Errors</see> property.</returns>
public bool CompileMultiple(Dictionary<string, string> classList)
{
// Default the assembly name to the filename
if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(AssemblyName))
AssemblyName = Filename;
ModuleBuilder builder = this.CreateModuleBuilder(new AssemblyName(AssemblyName));
foreach (string key in classList.Keys)
{
if (!CompileInternal(classList[key], key, builder))
return false;
}
this._assemblyBuilder.Save(Filename, PortableExecutableKinds.ILOnly, this.TargetProcessor);
return true;
}
/// <summary>
/// Returns the compiler errors as a string in the format:
/// Line:1 Column: 1 (123) Error text.
/// </summary>
/// <returns>The Errors as a string.</returns>
public string ErrorsAsString()
{
StringBuilder builder = new StringBuilder();
foreach (CompilerError error in Errors)
{
if (!error.IsWarning)
builder.AppendLine(string.Format("Line:{0} Col:{1} ({2}) {3} ", error.Line, error.Column, error.ErrorNumber, error.ErrorText));
}
return builder.ToString();
}
/// <summary>
/// Compiles a single XSL file to the _assemblyBuilder, but doesn't save it.
/// </summary>
private bool CompileInternal(string xsl, string className, ModuleBuilder builder)
{
// Args checking
if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(xsl))
throw new ArgumentNullException("No XSL content specified.");
if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(className))
throw new ArgumentNullException("No class name specified.");
if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(Path))
throw new InvalidOperationException("Path is null or empty.");
if (builder == null)
{
// Default the assembly name to the filename
if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(AssemblyName))
AssemblyName = Filename;
builder = this.CreateModuleBuilder(new AssemblyName(AssemblyName));
}
bool errors = false;
Errors = new CompilerErrorCollection();
TypeBuilder typeBuilder = builder.DefineType(className, TypeAttributes.BeforeFieldInit | TypeAttributes.Sealed | TypeAttributes.Abstract | TypeAttributes.Public);
using (XmlReader xslReader = XmlReader.Create(new StringReader(xsl)))
{
Errors = XslCompiledTransform.CompileToType(xslReader, XsltSettings, XmlResolver, Debug, typeBuilder, GetFullPath(AssemblyName + ".script.dll"));
}
foreach (CompilerError error in Errors)
{
errors |= !error.IsWarning;
}
// errors contains a C-like false for no errors, so reverse this as we're returning whether the operation succeeded.
return !errors;
}
/// <summary>
/// Creates an assembly builder.
/// </summary>
private ModuleBuilder CreateModuleBuilder(AssemblyName asmName)
{
_assemblyBuilder = AppDomain.CurrentDomain.DefineDynamicAssembly(asmName, AssemblyBuilderAccess.Save, Path);
return _assemblyBuilder.DefineDynamicModule(Filename, Filename, EmitSymbols);
}
/// <summary>
/// Adds a seperator to a filepath if needed.
/// </summary>
private string GetFullPath(string filename)
{
string seperator = "";
if (!Path.EndsWith("/"))
seperator = System.IO.Path.DirectorySeparatorChar.ToString();
return string.Format("{0}{1}{2}", Path, seperator, filename);
}
}
/// <summary>
/// The exception that is thrown when an error occurs during XSL compilation.
/// </summary>
public class XslCompilerException : Exception
{
/// <summary>
/// Initializes a new instance of the <see cref="XslCompilerException">XslCompilerException</see> class,
/// with the provided error message.
/// </summary>
public XslCompilerException(string message) : base(message) { }
/// <summary>
/// Initializes a new instance of the <see cref="XslCompilerException">XslCompilerException</see> class,
/// with the provided error message and exception.
/// </summary>
public XslCompilerException(string message, Exception innerException) : base(message, innerException) { }
}
view raw gistfile1.cs hosted with ❤ by GitHub

csharpxml

Chris Small

I'm Chris Small, a software engineer living and working in London. This is my tech blog. Find out more via GithubStackoverflowResume