In the last five years, a lot has changed and improved about Java as a whole and the XML. The developments made in both the Java and XML have changed a lot for the new developers. Due to the popularity of XML a great increase in the number of Java APIs that allowed the developers to work with XML has been seen. DOM and SAX are the ones that have received the greatest interest from the developers in the recent years. DOM stands for Document Object Model whereas SAX stands for Simple API for XML. JDOM has also received great popularity with these two APIs.
Getting a hang of these APIs might not be easy but you definitely benefit greatly from them. If you are able to understand them and use them in your development, you can call yourself an expert. But what if you could become an expert without spending all you time in knowing these two APIs? What if there was a better solution than learning these two? That’s where the JAXP toolkit comes in. JAXP stands for Java API for XML Processing. Now, even if you have just started working with XML within Java, things will be quite easy for you to understand.
If you talk about the strict rules, you could say that JAXP is just another API within Java programming language. Here’s an interesting page for you to see a good JAXP Example. If you are a beginner you might think that JAXP is more like an addition into the functionality of Java. That is not the case at all. JAXP does not even improve or make any changes to how SAX and DOM work. For now, you can just keep in mind that it is an abstraction layer – strictly speaking. When working with SAX and DOM, you might come across difficult tasks
The coming of JAXP is only to make those particular tasks easier for you. In short, it helps you parse XML. If you did not have DOM or SAX, you could not have done the parsing. If you go deep into the knowledge of these APIs and JAXP, you will realize that any comparisons made between these three are not valid in any way. You could, however, put JDOM, DOM and SAX in one category because their primary function is the parsing of XML. On the other hand, JAXP is not going to parse XML but only provide you a bridge that allows you to access the parsers.
You might think that such comparison or understanding these details is not necessary, but it is quite important if you want to make use of JAXP the proper way. Just so you know, if you understand these tiny details, you will see yourself performing much better in comparison to other XML developers in your circle. If you want to know how hard it is to learn the use of JAXP, load JAXP API docs on the browser on your computer. When you have only 6 classes to handle, you can’t say it is going to be very difficult for you to understand JAXP.