Internal vs. External DTD

The difference between an external and internal DTD is in how it is declared with DOCTYPE.  For an internal DTD, the code is located between the DOCTYPE tags.  The following example shows of how this is done.

Example: <?xml version=”1.0″ standalone=”yes”?>

<!DOCTYPE courses [

<!ELEMENT courses (course)+>

<!ELEMENT course (date,url)>





<courses >


<name>XML Course</name>




<name>Java Course</name>



</courses >

External DTDs are located in a separate document so in order to be used, it must be linked to the XML document by providing a URL of the DTD file. The URL can point to either a local or remote file using relative and absolute references respectively. The following example shows how to setup for an external DTD.

Example: <?xml version=”1.0″ standalone=”no”?>

<!DOCTYPE courses SYSTEM “courses.dtd”>

<courses >


<name>XML Course</name>




<name>Java Course</name>



</courses >


So along with the above example, an example of a possible “courses.dtd” file is the following.

Example: <!ELEMENT courses (course)+>

<!ELEMENT course (date,url)>




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