How do I parse RSS feeds?
RSS is a form of syndication in use by almost all blogs and many other types of web sites. It is a simple way to list, via XML, the latest content that has been updated on a web site. While parsing XML isn't difficult in ColdFusion, to work with RSS you have to have a good understanding of both the multiple "flavors" or RSS in use today as well a deep understanding of how the content is encoded within the XML. Luckily ColdFusion makes this relatively easy with the <CFFEED> tag.
As a simple example, consider this code:
<cffeed source="http://www.coldfusionjedi.com/rss.cfm" query="content"> <cfdump var="#content#">
The source used in the <cfeed> tag simply points to the RSS file for the site. The query attribute tells ColdFusion to parse the RSS data into a query. You can also use the name attribute to create a structure of data.
In general, that's all you have to do. Sometimes though you do need to know a bit more about the RSS being used in order to properly use it. If you add the properties attribute than ColdFusion will return a structure of data about the RSS feed itself:
<cffeed source="http://www.coldfusionjedi.com/rss.cfm" query="content" properties="p">
This can help you determine the best way to use the parsed data.
This question was written by Raymond Camden
It was last updated on December 20, 2008.