XML Query Language

What Does XML Query Language Mean?

XML Query Language (XQuery) is a query and programming language for processing XML documents and data. XML data and other databases that store data in a format analogous to HTML can be processed with XQuery. The main objective of XQuery is to provide query mechanisms for data extraction from real and virtual Web based documents. It aims to link Web and database technologies with the help of XML.


The World Wide Web Consortium is responsible for framing XQuery 1.0.

Techopedia Explains XML Query Language

XQuery acts like an expression language since it specifies the exact flow of data and operations to achieve a desired result. It does not mention how the data is associated with a particular programming platform in terms of syntax. For example, an expression specifies the result value of an addition but does not deal with the declaration of variables, the data types used and commands or function calls.

XML documents can be created with the help of the syntax provided with XQuery. The XML documents are processed to extract structural information, which is classified as document nodes, elements, attributes, text nodes, comments, processing instructions and namespaces.

All data items or values are treated as sequences by default. Either atomic values or nodes are the type of data items present in an XML document. The atomic values like Boolean, integer and string are as per XML schema specification. Features such as full text based search and document updates are currently under development.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…