Trademark Logo Xalan-C/C++ Version 1.11
Xalan-C++ Version 1.11
Apache Foundation Xalan Project Xerces Project Web Consortium Oasis Open

Xalan-C++ Version 1.11

The old Xalan-C/C++ 1.10 release can be found at


What Is Xalan?

Xalan is an XSLT processor for transforming XML documents into HTML, text, or other XML document types. It uses for input an XML document and an XSLT stylesheet. The engine also supports the entry of top-level stylesheet parameters. Documentation exists on how to extend the library with your own custom XPath functions.

Xalan-C++ version 1.11 is a robust implementation of the W3C Recommendations for XSL Transformations (XSLT) and the XML Path Language (XPath). It works with the Xerces-C++ version 3.1.1 release of XML parsers. The focus for this Xalan release is on bug fixes and compatibility with newer development platforms.

The Xalan-C/C++ project creates and distributes a standard XSLT library and a simple Xalan command-line utility for transforming XML documents.

This project is written in a reduced set of the C++ programming language. This makes the library directly usable on numerous platforms. A set of 'C' language APIs is also available so that XSLT and XPath functionality is easily deployed to 'C' language applications.

Sample programs are available for you to test and experiment with as you learn the Xalan library.

Some of the EXSLT extension functions for XPath are available. We need to write and validate more of the EXSLT functions. Apache also provides some of their own XPath extensions for use. Documentation and examples are available for you to write your own custom XPath extensions.

There is a library of XPath extensions that are provided by the Apache Xalan community.



The Xalan-C/C++ software conforms to The Apache Software Foundation License, Version 2.0.


Getting Involved

You are invited to participate in The Apache Software Foundation. You will need to subscribe if you wish to receive mail from the lists. Some lists require a subscription in order to post messages.

The xalan-dev mailing list is used to communicate product development issues with the software development team. The xalan-dev messages are archived here and on

The xalan-c-users mailing list is used to discuss issues regarding the use of the Xalan-C/C++ software and libraries. The xalan-c-users messages are archived here and on

The subversion repository changes are logged on the xalan-commits mailing list and are archived here and on

You can review the project sources and change history in the subversion repository at

You can get a private copy of the subversion snapshot of the development sources at using your favorite SVN program.

The JIRA system is used for issue tracking. You must create an account before you can post messages and files to the JIRA tracking system. You can view the issues at


XSLT Standards Implemented

Xalan-C/C++ implements the following specifications from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

The next major release of Xalan-C/C++ will hopefully be compatible with following standards. This added support will require a major version change from 1 to 2.


XML Parser Library

Xalan-C/C++ uses the The Apache Software Foundation Xerces-C project that implements parsers for XML 1.0 and XML 1.1. The following standards as specified by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) are implemented by the Xerces-C XML parser library.

The Xerces-C/C++ also supports the SAX 1.0 and SAX 2.0 projects. SAX is primarily Java based. The Xerces-C/C++ project has implemented a SAX C++ API that looks much like the SAX Java API.

Web Services and Web Security recommendations have been developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and OASIS-OPEN Advancing open standards for the information society. The Xerces-C/C++ has support for custom entity resolvers which are inherited and supported by the Xalan-C/C++ library.


Security Issues

The Xalan-C/C++ library has hooks so that custom entity resolvers can be deployed. The entity resolvers are actually interfaces into the Xerces-C/C++ XML Parser Library. Use of trusted entity resolvers greatly increases the security of XML based applications.

The Web Services Architecture uses specifications and recommendations that are documented by the following organizations.

There are some architecture security issues that should be addressed by any XML parser or XSLT transformation application. Other than validating and cleaning the content of XML elements, the access to untrusted external entities is a big problem for security management.

The "Xalan" comman-line transformation program does not deploy an OASIS catalog or perform other security measures. URLs are resolved using the system directory of the local machine and DNS to resolve host locations. The "Xalan" program should be used only with trusted XSLT stylesheets and XML documents on a trusted computer.

A future release of the "Xalan" command-line transformation program may include support for an OASIS entity resolver catalog.

Information on creating Secure Web Service Applications is useful for review. This security overview document goes beyond the scope of XSLT transformations and asks many pertinent security based questions.


Getting Started

The source code and documentation are delivered in separate packages. Binary packages comprise the compiled libraries, the Xalan command line utility, and the C/C++ header files. The documentation package contains the pre-built documentation. The source package contains the sources to build everything.

The current Xalan-C/C++ Version 1.11 is compatible with the stable releases of Xerces-C/C++ Version 3.0 and newer. The current stable release for Xerces-C/C++ is 3.1.1.

The previous Xalan-C/C++ Version 1.10 works with Xerces-C/C++ Versions 2.7.0 and 2.8.0.

If you are having problems using the product, send your comments to the xalan-c-users mail list.

If you think a change needs to be made or have suggestions for future releases, send your comments to the xalan-dev mail list.

Binary releases are not yet available. We would like to distribute Xalan-C/C++ Version 1.11 binary releases using the same platforms specified for the compatible Xerces-C binary packages.


Getting What You Need

What you need depends whether you plan to build from the sources or download prebuilt packages.

The development platform used to build the Xalan-C/C++ (XSLT) library should be the same as the platform used to build the Xerces-C/C++ (XML) parser library.

Xalan-C/C++ (XSLT) library requires a working Xerces-C/C++ (XML) parser library. The supported versions of Xerces-C/C++ version 3.0 or newer. Version 3.1.1 is recommended.

If you are ambitious and willing to experiment, you can download the bleeding edge development from the Apache Software Foundation subversion repositories. Use your favorite subversion 'svn' utility for download.

Xalan-C Repository
Xerces-C Repository

The current stable Xerces-C/C++ (XML) packages are available for download.

note The sources from the Xalan-C repository are current for Version 1.11 until released packages are available. You can help us prepare for a Version 1.11 release by providing packages for your platforms and let us know of your building issues.

The previous version packages can still be downloaded until officially replaced.

Xalan-C Version 1.10 Xalan Package Downloads
Xerces-C Version 2.7 Xerces Package Downloads