Software Vendors Pile on with XQuery Plans

Despite database vendor disharmony over web services workflow (or choreography), they do agree on something: XQuery, the proposed W3C standard for querying XML data and documents. Last week, the W3C began reviewing a test suite for XQuery. Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, Informix and Software AG are among those with tools, roadmaps and demos on offer.

Tags: XQuery, Standard, XML, SQL, Test Suite, Vendor, Database,

Despite disharmony among database vendors over web services workflow (or choreography), they do agree on XQuery, the proposed standard for querying XML data and documents.

The W3C is coming to the end of its XQuery standards work, as the Last Call for its proposed XQuery draft standard closed in mid-February. W3C has also reviewed a test suite for XQuery submitted by IBM and Microsoft. Work is also underway to merge this test suite with a similar test developed by the government's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

XQuery is a proposed method for working with unstructured, non-relational data, and a likely follow-on to relational data that uses SQL The standard also will lay out core specifications for bridging the two data worlds.

The test suite aims to provide W3C with a mechanism to ensure that different vendors' XQuery implementations are sufficiently similar to allow developers to work with XQuery across multiple database platforms. Once the test suite is submitted, the W3C will put it through internal testing for compliance to the proposed XQuery specs, and then submit the test suite to public comment before incorporating it in the final proposed standards package.

Inside the Vendor Momentum for XQuery
Even though the initial XQuery test suite work was done in cooperation by Microsoft and IBM, other major SQL DB providers, including Oracle and Informix, as well as XML database provider Software AG, and data mining vendor Business Intelligence are all planning a tools and/or function release for this year.

Of note just this week,

  • >Oracle has committed to including XQuery in its next version of its Oracle 10g, grid-enabled database. Oracle 10g's first version will ship by June 2004, the date for the first upgrade with XQuery features was not released by the company.

  • IBM has released an XQuery-optimized tool, XQuery Normalizer and Static Analyzer,, a Java API and GUI for normalizing and computing the static type of XQuery expressions. Last year it shipped its XML for Tables tool, the first XQuery-focused tool from Big Blue.

  • Microsoft re-iterated its commitment to support XQuery in SQL Server when it becomes a "final standard," in an article in Application Development Trends. Meanwhile, SQL Server can store XML documents and run queries against them. The next version of SQL Server, due for release at the end of 2004, will offer "tighter integration" between SQL and XML worlds to enable users to do cross-domain queries and cross-domain insertions of both XML and SQL data.

  • A BEA partner, Actuate Corp., has released the e.Report Engine for WebLogic Workshop, which can connect directly to BEA's XQuery-enabled Liquid Data as a data source for reports. Access to BEA Liquid Data can provide end users with real-time information aggregated from disparate data sources.

    Integration Developer Newswants to hear from readers working on projects designed to "bridge" structured SQL and non-structured XML data assets. Do you have the tools, the standards, the vendor support you need? We'd like to hear your views. Ping us at