The Need for an XML Query Language

Early in its history, the XML Query Working Group confronted the question of whether XML is sufficiently different from other data formats to require a query language of its own. The SQL language [SQL99] is a very well established standard for retrieving information from relational databases and has recently been enhanced with new facilities called “structured types” that support nested structures similar to the nesting of elements in XML. If SQL could be further extended to meet XML query requirements, developers could leverage their considerable investment in SQL implementations, and users could apply the features of these robust and mature systems to their XML databases without learning a completely new language. ...

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