How to convert array to SimpleXML in PHP

Many times need to store the data as a XML format into the database or into the file for later use. To fulfill this requirement need to convert data to XML and save XML file.

The SimpleXML extension functions provides the tool set to convert XML to an object. Those objects deals with normal property selectors and array iterators.

Example 1:

// Code to convert php array to xml document
// Define a function that converts array to xml.
function arrayToXml($array, $rootElement = null, $xml = null) {
    $_xml = $xml;
    // If there is no Root Element then insert root
    if ($_xml === null) {
        $_xml = new SimpleXMLElement($rootElement !== null ? $rootElement : '<root/>');
    // Visit all key value pair
    foreach ($array as $k => $v) {
        // If there is nested array then
        if (is_array($v)) { 
            // Call function for nested array
            arrayToXml($v, $k, $_xml->addChild($k));
        else {
            // Simply add child element. 
            $_xml->addChild($k, $v);
    return $_xml->asXML();
// Creating an array for demo
$my_array = array (
'name' => 'GFG',
'subject' => 'CS',
    // Creating nested array.
    'contact_info' => array (
    'city' => 'Noida',
    'state' => 'UP',
    'email' => '[email protected]'
// Calling arrayToxml Function and printing the result
echo arrayToXml($my_array);


<?xml version="1.0"?>
    <name> GFG </name>
    <subject> CS </subject>
    <contact_info >
        <city > Noida < /city >
        <state > UP < /state >
        <email > [email protected] </email>

The above problem ca be solved using array_walk_recursive() function. This function converts array to xml document where keys of array are converted into values and values of array are converted into element of xml.

Example 2:

// Code to convert php array to xml document
// Creating an array
$my_array = array (
    'a' => 'x',
    'b' => 'y',
    // creating nested array
    'another_array' => array (
        'c' => 'z',
// This function create a xml object with element root.
$xml = new SimpleXMLElement('<root/>');
// This function resursively added element
// of array to xml document
array_walk_recursive($my_array, array ($xml, 'addChild'));
// This function prints xml document.
print $xml->asXML();


<?xml version="1.0"? >
<root >
       <x> a </x >
       <y> b </y >
       <z> c </z >
</root >

Note: If the system generate error of type :PHP Fatal error: Uncaught Error: Class ‘SimpleXMLElement’ not found in /home/6bc5567266b35ae3e76d84307e5bdc78.php:24 then simply install php-xml, php-simplexml packages.

This article is attributed to GeeksforGeeks.org

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