Press Room

Press Release: April 18, 2007

O'Reilly Releases XQuery: Search Across a Variety of XML Data

Sebastopol, CA--In recent years the use of XML has grown explosively; as a result, an enormous amount of information is now stored in XML, both in XML databases and in documents on a filesystem. This includes highly structured data, such as sales figures, semi-structured data such as product catalogs and yellow pages, and relatively unstructured data, such as letters and books. And even more information is passed between systems as transitory XML documents.

XQuery 1.0 is the tool that makes it easier to search, extract, and manipulate this information. The query language, designed by the W3C, allows you to select the XML data elements of interest, reorganize and possibly transform them, and return the results in a structure of your choosing. According to Priscilla Walmsley, author of XQuery (O'Reilly, US $49.99), "there are as many reasons to query XML as there are reasons to use XML."

A few examples of common uses for the XQuery language are:

  • Extracting information from a relational database for use in a web service
  • Generating reports on data stored in a database for presentation on the web as HTML
  • Searching textual documents in a native XML database and presenting the results
  • Pulling data from databases or packaged software and transforming it for application integration

XQuery was written for query writers who have some knowledge of XML basics but not necessarily advanced knowledge of XML-related technologies. It can be used as a tutorial, by reading it cover-to-cover, and as a reference, by using the comprehensive index and appendixes.

The book provides complete coverage of the XQuery 1.0 standard that was finalized in January 2007. In addition, it provides the background knowledge in namespaces, schemas, built-in types, and regular expressions relevant to writing XML queries. Contents include:

  • A high-level overview and quick tour of XQuery
  • Information to write sophisticated queries, without being bogged down by the details of types, namespaces, and schemas
  • Advanced concepts for users who want to take advantage of modularity, namespaces, typing, and schemas
  • Guidelines for working with specific types of data, such as numbers, strings, dates, URIs, and processing instructions
  • A complete alphabetical reference to the built-in functions and types

Whether you're coming from SQL, XSLT, or starting from scratch, this carefully paced tutorial takes you through the final 1.0 standards in detail.

Priscilla Walmsley serves as Managing Director of Datypic, a consultancy specializing in XML architecture and design, SOA and Web services implementation, and content management. She was a member of the W3C XML Schema Working Group from 1999 to 2004. Priscilla currently serves as Managing Director of Datypic ( where she specializes in XML- and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)-related consulting and training.

Additional Resources:

For more information about the book, including table of contents, index, author bio, and cover graphic

XQuery Priscilla Walmsley
ISBN: 0-596-00634-9, 491 pages, $49.99 US, $64.99 CA
1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

About O'Reilly

For almost 40 years, O’Reilly Media has provided technology and business training, knowledge, and insight to help companies succeed. Our unique network of experts and innovators share their knowledge and expertise through the company’s Safari training and learning platform and at O’Reilly conferences. As a SaaS learning platform, Safari delivers highly topical and comprehensive technology and business learning solutions to millions of users across enterprise, consumer, and university channels. For more information visit

Return to: O'Reilly Press Room

Press Contacts

Media Relations – Corporate & North America

Fama PR

Media Relations – Japan

Fumi Yamakawa
+81 3-3356-5227

Media Relations – United Kingdom

Helen Codling
+44 (0) 1252 721284