Stylus Scoop - May. '05 — O XQuery, XQuery, Wherefore Art Thou XQuery?

Dear Stylus Studio Friends,

XQuery! So familiar, yet so coy! While we wait for the formal W3C XQuery Recommendation, developers like you keep banging down our door for new XQuery tools and components. And so we're especially excited to dedicate this special edition of the 'Scoop to announcing DataDirect XQuery (DDXQ)! With DDXQ, you can execute XQuery directly against any relational database including Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB2 and Sybase - and process the results from within your Java applications! And the icing on the cake? You can build these applications with Stylus Studio today! (Yes, today!) Read on and learn more about how you can put XQuery to work accessing relational data. And watch your inbox for next month's regularly scheduled edition of the Scoop.

Sincerely,

Ivan Pedruzzi, Senior Product Architect, and the Stylus Studio Team

Table of Contents - May 2005

Simplify Relational-XML Data Integration with XQuery

XQuery is more than just a neat way to query XML - now you can use it to query relational databases, join XML and relational data, and simplify XML- Relational data integration. A beta release of DataDirect XQuery (DDXQ), a Java XQuery component that implements both XQuery and the XQuery API for Java (XQJ), is now available for free download. That's right: XQuery has arrived on the Java platform! Register and learn more about the DDXQ beta program today!

Here are some questions we anticipate you might have about DDXQ (in a word, though: yes, it really is all that). If you have one we don't answer, visit the DDXQ FAQ for the full Monty.

Q: What relational databases can I invoke my XQueries against using DataDirect XQuery?
A: Using DataDirect XQuery, you can execute XQuery expressions against Oracle 9i (R1 and R2) and 10g, Microsoft SQL Server 2000, and IBM DB2 Universal Database (UDB) 8.1 on Windows NT/2000/2003/XP, UNIX, and Linux (with more databases coming soon). You can use DDXQ to query XML, too, including XML files located on file systems accessed using "http:", "ftp:", and "file:" URI schemes, and XML contained in a Java application, such as DOM or SAX.

Q: Why would I use XQuery to query relational data?
A: So you can get all the benefits of using XML (standards-based interoperability and transformability, for starters) and still benefit from the high performance that relational databases have to offer. Unless you are looking forward to migrating volumes of relational data to XML, that is.

Q: What types of applications use XML and relational data?
A: Many middleware applications -- complex report generation, Web services applications, Web publishing, and others -- need to process relational data and XML. These applications, common to enterprises large and small, can all be simplified using XQuery. For example, XQuery can be used to access the content of messages or to construct new messages to be passed to a Web service. In addition, you often need data to process Web Services results. XQuery can process SOAP messages and create the XML needed for result messages. These are just a few examples of where XQuery can simplify XML and relational data integration.

Q: Where can I learn more about these new XQuery technologies?
A: Get started on the path to solving the relational-XML integration puzzle using the DataDirect XQuery! Register for the beta today!

XQJ: The XQuery API for Java

Think of XQJ as the JDBC for XQuery - it provides a standards-based interface for accessing databases or XML repositories using XQuery. XQJ lets you write portable XQuery data access code using far fewer lines of code, and it is the best solution for Java XML-relational data integration. In a nutshell, the XQuery API for Java (XQJ) enables a Java application to submit XQuery statements to a data source and programmatically iterate through the results.

A new tutorial (and XQJ example) demonstrates how to use XQJ to invoke an XQuery expression and how to obtain results from within a Java application. It shows how XQJ can be used to perform joins between XML and relational sources, query DOM trees, issue prepared XQueries (similar to JDBC's prepared statements), and more. The example includes complete, working XQJ programs with source code and explanations. This XQJ tutorial is available in HTML and in a printable PDF format. Check it out today!

XQuery 101: Everything you ever needed to know about XQuery

We're pleased to be able to provide you with an XQuery tutorial that includes a technical introduction to XQuery. And this is no puffy marketing piece (like the one you're knee-deep in now!) - this tutorial was written by Mr. Jonathan Robie, one of the designers of XQuery, and the Program Manager for DataDirect XQuery. The tutorial covers advanced XQuery topics like the XQuery Data Model, literals, locating and finding nodes, built-in and user-defined functions, XQuery types, and more. It's everything you ever needed to know about XQuery (but were afraid to ask). The XQuery tutorial is also available free, in either HTML or a printable PDF format. XQuery has arrived on the Java platform! Isn't it time you learned XQuery? Read the tutorial today!

Why I XQuery: How one developer is using XQuery in healthcare

Bing Wu is a Lead Software Engineer working in the healthcare sector. In this role, Bing is responsible for developing server-side Java Web service applications. You can read about how Bing uses XQuery to simplify his work.

(If you'd like to showcase your own XQuery application in The Stylus Scoop, drop us a line.)

True Stylus Studio Stories: Why I switched to Stylus Studio

Here's what Dr. Michael Kay, editor of the XSLT specification, founder of Saxonica, and a world-leading XML guru with just way too many qualifications to list in this newsletter, said on XML-DEV, a popular forum for XML developers: "I find that the easiest way to do ad-hoc validation (i.e., not integrated into an application) is to use a tool such as Stylus Studio. One of the nice things is that Stylus allows you to validate using a range of different processors - if your document is invalid, it can be helpful to get the error messages from more than one processor. By contrast, competitors use their own schema processor, which is not always 100% conformant with the spec."

Read more about what people are switching to Stylus Studio, or tell us why you chose Stylus Studio, or anything else - we'll respond!.

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