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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.
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.