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W3C's XQuery Language Standard
The W3C's Xquery 1.0 moved to Proposed Recommendation status in November, bringing the prospect of a SQL-like approach to XML data querying one step closer to official sanction.
As happens with evolving standards, support for XQuery is making its way into mainstream products. IBM's DB2 version 9, for example, implements XQuery as part of its hybrid server. And Oracle gives database developers a choice of embedding XML inside SQL queries or employing the XQuery standard. Such developments represent an important change in the potential value of XML data.
XQuery essentially enables relational vendors to bring XML processing deeper into their database engines. The relational DBMS can then build XML indexes for optimizers to use, so the system can perform queries against XML data with the same efficiency as SQL. XQuery is also important for tiered architectures; database and middleware vendors can employ XQuery to access XML or SQL data from multiple, heterogeneous sources.
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