XQuery, data sources and XML

XQuery, data sources and XML

by Minollo
October 06, 2008 0 Comments

Recently I started reading this Blog entry about LINQ and Entity Framework, and I noticed that the first sentence sounds very similar to what we usually say when we discuss DataDirect XQuery:
The problem with data is that it exists in many formats and until now has required that developers learn multiple competing technologies.

Very true; I would argue that there are many more problems related to data in today's IT organizations, but, still, it is true that data is available in many different formats, and that developers need to deal with a large variety of different data models and interfaces to manipulate data.
The author goes on saying:
If you want to query Active Directory, for example, you have to learn Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP). If you want to query a database, you need to learn SQL.

If you have read some of our posts on, you'll know that we are aware of that pain; and that we provided examples about how to create XQueries that handle LDAP, RDBMS, and combination of more data sources (Web services, EDI, proprietary formats, ...).
But then, I read:
If you want to manage XML data, you have to learn XPath (or XQuery)

Well... yes, but that's the *only* thing you need to learn! The main point around XQuery is being missed here; not only XQuery is a great way to manipulate, query, transform data or documents that are physically available as XML; XQuery is a great way to work against a variety of heterogeneous data sources, physically very different from each other (RDBMS, LDAP, EDI, CSV, proprietary text files), but that can all be abstracted using the XML Data Model. XQuery, and our DataDirect XQuery in particular, helps solving the problem described in the first few lines of the referenced Blog entry.
So, please, when you talk about XQuery don't just consider it yet another XML query or transformation language; XQuery can be much more than that, and can help simplifying a large variety of problems where you need to deal with heterogeneous data sources individually or joining them together! If you have a chance, just browse through the topics in this Blog, and I'm sure you'll see what I'm talking about.


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