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   ANN: Oracle XQuery Prototype & Production SQLX+XMLType Support

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Two announcements of interest to folks working with XML and databases...

(1) In March 2002, Oracle posted an XQuery prototype at:


    with support focusing on the "R" (Relational Data) and the "XMP"
    (Experiences and Exemplars) XQuery use cases, and featuring an
    experimental JDBC-style Java API for XQuery as well as a sql()
    function for using XQuery over SQL query results.  Our goal is
    ultimately to provide both a SQL-flavored and an XQuery-based
    query *syntax* for XML content in Oracle leveraging the same
    underlying database engine via appropriate query rewriting. That
    common underlying engine is now production. See (#2).

(2) This week -- over two years in the making -- Oracle announced
    the release of Oracle9i Release 2, with major new native database
    support for XML, and made the software available for download for
    eight different platforms. Key new features include:
    -> Single database engine supporting all existing datatypes
       (relational, SQL99 objects, data warehousing, geospatial,
       time-series, multimedia, etc.) integrated with a *new* native
       XMLType...all sharing a common SQL query language (extended for
       XML), common maintenance, transactions, backup/recovery, etc.

    -> Support for forthcoming ISO SQLX standard extensions to SQL for
       constructing XML in SQL including the operators XMLElement(),
       XMLAttributes(), XMLForest(), XMLAgg(), and XMLConcat()

    -> Full W3C XML Schema 1.0, XPath 1.0, XSLT 1.0, and DOM Core
       support for native XMLType datatype implemented deep inside the
       engine and exposed to SQL, PL/SQL and Java API's. Users can
       augment built-in processing of XML documents with stored
       procedures, functions, and triggers as for any other types and

    -> Automatic Object/Relational Storage for XML documents based on
       XML Schema, with optional fine-tuning of the mapping via Schema
       Annotations (already supported in XML Spy 4.3 tool). Includes
       optional support for full DOM fidelity and mixed content

    -> SQL extensions for XPath-based extract(), extractValue(),
       existsNode(), and updateXML() operators for manipulating
       documents, including the ability to rewrite a subset of XPath
       expressions to use underlying object/relational indices and
       full-text indices for maximum performance.

    -> Plus a lot more.

A more complete overview of what's new for XML functionality is at:


Full documentation is online and searchable in HTML and PDF formats at:


Technical overviews and whitepapers are available at:


You can download a developer's licensed version for experimentation on
any/all of the following eight platforms:

   (*) WindowsNT/2000/XP
   (*) Sun SPARC Solaris (32-bit)
   (*) Sun SPARC Solaris (64-bit)
   (*) Linux
   (*) AIX (64-bit)
   (*) AIX5L
   (*) HP-UX
   (*) Compaq Tru64

At http://www.oracle.com/start/dbrev2/intro.htm

Any technical questions can be posted in our "XML Discussion Forum" at

It's been hard not being able to talk about all of this new
support for more than two years. The cat is finally out of the bag! :-)


Steve Muench - Developer, Product Mgr, Evangelist, Author
Simplify J2EE and EJB Development with BC4J
Building Oracle XML Apps, www.oreilly.com/catalog/orxmlapp


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