Python Architecture for XML Binding

xml, binding, mapping, serialization, deserialization, json, marshalling, python, unmarshalling
pip install paxb==0.2.1



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Python Architecture for XML Binding

paxb is a library that provides an API for mapping between XML documents and Python objects.

paxb library implements the following functionality:

  • Deserialize XML documents to Python objects
  • Validate deserialized data
  • Access and update Python object fields
  • Serialize Python objects to XML documents

paxb provides an efficient way of mapping between an XML document and a Python object. Using paxb developers can write less boilerplate code emphasizing on application business logic.

Since paxb based on attrs library paxb and attrs API can be mixed together.


You can install paxb with pip:

$ pip install paxb



Documentation is available at Read the Docs.

Quick start

Suppose you have an xml document user.xml:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<doc:envelope xmlns=""
    <doc:user name="Alex" surname="Ivanov" age="26">

        <doc:birthdate year="1992" month="06" day="14"/>


            <doc:passport series="3127" number="836815"/>

        <data:occupations xmlns:data="">
            <data:occupation title="yandex">
            <data:occupation title="skbkontur">


To deserialize the document you could use XML Processing Modules python standard libraryr api to parse the document and then set the corresponding class fields. Such an imperative code has a lot of boilerplate manipulations. Instead you can use paxb api to write declarative style code. All you need to describe field mappings and types, paxb will serialize and deserialize data for you:

import json
import re
from datetime import date

import attr
import paxb as pb

@pb.model(name='occupation', ns='data', ns_map={'data': ''})
class Occupation:
    title = pb.attr()
    address = pb.field()
    employees = pb.field(converter=int)

@pb.model(name='user', ns='doc', ns_map={'doc': ''})
class User:
    name = pb.attr()
    surname = pb.attr()
    age = pb.attr(converter=int)

    birth_year = pb.wrap('birthdate', pb.attr('year', converter=int))
    birth_month = pb.wrap('birthdate', pb.attr('month', converter=int))
    birth_day = pb.wrap('birthdate', pb.attr('day', converter=int))

    def birthdate(self):
        return date(year=self.birth_year, month=self.birth_month, day=self.birth_day)

    def birthdate(self, value):
        self.birth_year = value.year
        self.birth_month = value.month
        self.birth_day =

    phone = pb.wrap('contacts', pb.field())
    emails = pb.wrap('contacts', pb.as_list(pb.field(name='email')))

    passport_series = pb.wrap('documents/passport', pb.attr('series'))
    passport_number = pb.wrap('documents/passport', pb.attr('number'))

    occupations = pb.wrap(
        'occupations', pb.lst(pb.nested(Occupation)), ns='data', ns_map={'data': ''}

    citizenship = pb.field(default='RU')

    def check(self, attribute, value):
        if not re.match(r'\+\d{11,13}', value):
            raise ValueError("phone number is incorrect")

with open('user.xml') as file:
    xml =

Then the deserialized object can be modified and serialized back to xml document or converted to json format:

    user = pb.from_xml(User, xml, envelope='doc:envelope', ns_map={'doc': ''})
    user.birthdate = user.birthdate.replace(year=1993)

    with open('user.json') as file:
        json.dump(attr.asdict(user), file)

except (pb.exc.DeserializationError, ValueError) as e:
    print(f"deserialization error: {e}")


    "age": 26,
    "birth_day": 14,
    "birth_month": 6,
    "birth_year": 1993,
    "citizenship": "RU",
    "emails": ["", ""],
    "name": "Alexey",
    "occupations": [
            "address": "Moscow",
            "employees": 8854,
            "title": "yandex"
            "address": "Yekaterinburg",
            "employees": 7742,
            "title": "skbkontur"
    "passport_number": "836815",
    "passport_series": "3127",
    "phone": "+79204563539",
    "surname": "Ivanov"