- Paperback: 484 pages
- Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (September 1, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321180607
- ISBN-13: 978-0321180605
- Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 1.3 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,908,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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XQuery from the Experts: A Guide to the W3C XML Query Language 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
"The individual perspectives on the concepts behind the XQuery language offered by XQuery from the Experts will be of great value to those who are seeking to understand the implications, opportunities, and challenges of XQuery as they design future information systems based on XML."
—Michael Champion, Advisory Research and Development Specialist, Software AG
XQuery answers the growing need for a functional XML search and transformation standard. Backed by the full weight of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), XQuery is being extremely well received by the IT community worldwide. The first major XML language that takes advantage of the benefits of strong typing provided by XML Schema, XQuery has the versatility to manipulate both XML and non-XML data and provides a valuable connection between the world of XML and relational databases.
In XQuery from the Experts , select members of the W3C's XML Query working group come together to discuss every facet of XQuery. From Jonathan Robie's introductory "XQuery: A Guided Tour" to Mary Mary Fernández, Jérôme Siméon, and Philip Wadler's "Introduction to the Formal Semantics," XQuery is revealed in a way that both novice programmers and industry experts can appreciate.
Edited by long-time XML expert and programmer Howard Katz, coverage ranges from strictly technical chapters to comparative essays such as Michael Kay's "XQuery, XPath, and XSLT," which explores the common ancestry of all three languages, and Don Chamberlin's "Influences on the Design of XQuery," which details the process behind XQuery's design.
Key coverage includes:
For IT managers, professionals, programmers, or anyone involved with XML, XQuery from the Experts is an invaluable resource.
About the Author
Howard Katz is the owner of Fatdog Software, a company that specializes in software for searching XML documents, and is the author of XQEngine, a Java-based open-source XQuery implementation. He has more than 35 years of programming experience and is a long-time contributor of technical articles to the computer trade press, including columns on programming matters for both Microsoft and Apple.
Denise Draper is chief technology officer for Nimble Technology in Seattle and holds several patents for XML-based technology. She holds degrees from both CalTech and the University of Washington and is an editor of the Formal Semantics document.
Mary Fernández is a principal technical staff member in Large-Scale Programming Research at AT&T Labs—Research. She has been there since receiving a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Princeton in 1995. Mary is an editor of the Formal Semantics, XPath 2.0, and Data Model documents.
Michael Kay is the developer of Saxon, a highly-regarded XSLT processor, and is the author of the best-selling XSLT Programmer's Reference. He is an editor of the XSL Transformations, XQuery Serialization, and XPath 2.0 documents.
Jonathan Robie is the XML product architect at DataDirect Technologies, working on products that integrate XML and traditional data sources. He is a coauthor of Quilt, the immediate predecessor of XQuery, and is an editor of the main XQuery 1.0, XML Query Requirements, XQueryX, and XPath 2.0 documents.
Michael Rys sits on the Query Working Group on behalf of Microsoft, where he is the Product Manager for SQL Server XML Technologies. He is an editor of the Formal Semantics, XML Query Requirements, and XPath Full-Text Requirements documents.
Jérôme Siméon is a member of the technical staff at Bell Labs. He is one of the implementers of Galax, one of the first XQuery implementations. He is an editor of the XQuery 1.0, XPath 2.0, and Formal Semantics documents.
Jim Tivy has spent over ten years working on database technology. He represents XML Global Technologies on the Working Group. His own company, BlueStream Database Software Corporation, develops and markets XStreamDB, a native XML database product.
Philip Wadler is a researcher at Avaya Labs in New Jersey. He edits the Journal of Functional Programming for Cambridge University Press and is an editor of the Formal Semantics document.
Don Chamberlin, coauthor of the well-known SQL database language standard, is IBM's representative on the XML Query Working Group and is an editor of both the W3C's XML Query Use Cases and Data Model documents. In 2003, he was named an IBM Fellow, the company's highest technical honor. Don also coauthored Quilt, the immediate predecessor of XQuery.
Top customer reviews
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In spite of that, I can honestly say that I think this book is a very valuable guide to the emerging standard query language for XML. The insights provided by people who are actually doing the day-to-day design, and implementation in some cases, of this language are not available in any other XQuery book.
The various chapters of the book provide overviews, design precepts, detailed examples, and thorough explanations (even of subjects as arcane as the static typing rules of the language).
I enthusiastically encourage everybody interested in XQuery to add this book to their libraries.
But the rise of XML has driven demand for XQuery, to take advantage of this structure. The book also shows how XPath is used, as part of the XQuery implementation.
Another merit of the book is its good description of the difference between XQuery and XSLT. The latter also has been getting a lot of attention from programmers. But, as explained by the authors, XSLT is mainly used on document centric data, mostly to generate HTML. By contrast, XQuery has no such restriction.
A good number of authors and innovators contributed materials to this book:
- Don Chamberlin (an editor of the XML Query Use Cases, XQuery 1.0, XML Path Language 2.0 working drafts),
- Denise Draper (one of the editors of XQuery 1.0 Formal Semantics),
- Mary Fernandez (one of the editors of the working drafts of XQuery 1.0, XPath 2.0 Data Model, XML Path Language and XQuery 1.0 Formal Semantics),
- Howard Katz (editor of this book)
- Michael Kay (an editor of the XSLT, XSLT 2.0 and XQuery Serialization and XML Path Language 2.0 working drafts)
- Jonathan Robie (an editor of XQuery 1.0, XML Query Requirements, XML Syntax for XQuery 1.0 and XPath 2.0 working drafts)
- Michael Rys (an editor of the XQuery Formal Semantics, XML Syntax for XQuery, XML Query Requirements, XML Query and the XPath Full-Text Requirements working drafts)
- Jerome Simeon (an editor of XQuery 1.0, XPath 2.0 and the XQuery Formal Semantics working drafts)
- Jim Tivy (System architect of the ODMC 1.0 SQL Engine for Microsoft)
- Philip Walder (an editor of the XQuery, XPath Formal Semantics and the XML Schema working drafts)
Even though that some of the chapter in this book will benefit an expert programmer, with a solid background in XML, there are more than enough chapter that will benefit the beginner and one's who are no really familiar with XPath, XQuery and XSLT. The book starts by going over the basics of the XQuery language. The Guided Tour is simply a refresher, and introduces the reader to XQuery and its syntax/semantics. It talks about the differences between XPath and XQuery for example, and the benefits of XQuery over XPath. Small code sections are used to convey to the read the difference of one technology versus the other. XPath and XQuery get a lot of attention in this book as there are lots of similarities between the two as far as syntax is concerned and plenty of difference as far as its capabilities with XPath.
The author[s] dedicate the second chapter to the principles behind the design decisions of the XQuery language. Don Chamberlin, the author of this chapter, write the following mission statement for XQuery:
"The purpose of the new query language was to provide a flexability to extract information from real and virtual XML documents."
It is very refreshing to see the committee for creating XML actually went to the process of defining requirements, design definitions and the rest of the formal specification realization before they actually "wrote" the language. The message of formalism is very clear throughout the book. At each stage of design for this new language, proper documents have been generated (Use Case doc, Requirements doc, etc) that portray a good process. The section on formal semantics adds the following:
"After the Java programming language was released, several formal semantics of the language were written. Some of these semantics revealed errors in the type system, which in turn could lead to security holes in browsers that run Java programs. ..."
XQuery looks very similar to XPath, and this book spends a couple of chapters (a little of chapter 2, and most of chapter 3) to talk about the similarities, differences and influences of one language over the other. The new releases of XSTL, XPath and XQuery 1.0 look very similar since these groups collaborated with each other throughout the process of development. If you don't know anything about XPath or XSLT, and want to know how they differ and hoe they have evolved in the recent years, chapter 3, by Michael Kay, is what you need to read - or may even start with before you read the other chapters in this book. Chapter 3 starts off very easy, but it goes into more advanced topics such as optimization techniques used with XQuery - specially the one's that have been used before with XSLT and XPath for the same purpose.
One of the most interesting chapters in this book is chapter 5 on Formal Semantics. It is rare and rather refreshing to see a language being broken up like that and it's predicate logic and semantics be given in such detail. You can skip this chapter all together, but I suggest otherwise. Even if it is to realize how language processing and semantics of a language work. I would love to see such topic for C++ or JAVA... This chapter is good for anyone interested in optimization techniques and wishes to learn more about the details and correctness of the XQuery language.
Applications of XQuery at they apply to Databases and how it can be integrated into databases are covered in part 4.
XQuery had the capability to navigate, select, combine, transform, sort and aggregate XML data - thus making the integration of XQuery with the backend database very powerful and rather simple. XML data, and how it can be integrated into the database with the help of XQuery is covered in detail and two techniques are laid out: the LOB (large object) representation where the entire XML data is saved as a large object in the database, and the composed representation where each XML element is stored individually.
Even though XQuery is fairly a new language, the authors in this book go to great length depicting the formalism, the correctness, the stability and flexibility of the XQuery language. The chapters that cover Database integration with XML data clearly convey the power of this language, and thought process that went behind designing such stable and powerful language.
If you are a serious XQuery user, are interested in a case study in standards development, or are into relational theory this book is probably worth a look.