Chapter 5. Adding Elements and Attributes to Results

Most queries include some XML elements and attributes that structure the results. In the previous chapter, we saw how to use path expressions to copy elements and attributes from input documents. After a brief review of this technique, this chapter explains how you can create entirely new elements and attributes and include them in your results.

There are two ways to create new elements and attributes: direct constructors and computed constructors. Direct constructors, which use an XML-like syntax, are useful for creating elements and attributes whose names are fixed. Computed constructors, on the other hand, allow for names that are generated dynamically in the query.

Including Elements and Attributes from the Input Document

Some queries simply include elements and attributes from the input document in the results. Example 5-1 includes certain selected name elements in the results.

Example 5-1. Including elements from the input document


for $prod in doc("catalog.xml")/catalog/product[@dept = 'ACC']
return $prod/name


<name language="en">Floppy Sun Hat</name>
<name language="en">Deluxe Travel Bag</name>

Note that because the entire name element is returned, the results include the name elements, not just their atomic values. In fact, if the query returns elements that have attributes and descendants, they are all part of the results. This is exhibited in Example 5-2.

Example 5-2. Including complex elements from the input document ...

Get XQuery, 2nd Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.