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IBM, Oracle start work on Java API for XQuery

Seeking to advance the W3C XQuery standard to the point where its XML data calls can be invoked from Java applications, IBM and Oracle began the formal process this month for the development of a Java API.

The two companies -- which expect to be joined by other players, including Sun Microsystems and BEA -- are leading the formation of an expert group within the Java Community Process to work on XQuery API for Java (XQJ).

This effort will be similar to the development of standards that supported the adoption of SQL for relational databases, according to Nelson Mattos, IBM distinguished engineer and director, information integration.

Beyond the XQuery standard, developers will need several complementary standards to make it work in applications, he explained. IBM and Microsoft are leading an effort -- which began earlier this year in the W3C -- to develop a test suite for validating the XQuery standard, so developers can be sure it will run across platforms.

The work on XQJ is the third leg of the XQuery stool.

"Besides the standard and validation test suite," Mattos explained, "a query language has to be invocable from different application development environments. With SQL, we developed things like ODBC and JDBC. That is the way SQL manifests itself in Visual Basic, Java, and other programming languages like Cobol, C and C++. So the same thing has to be done for XQuery."

Work on the XQuery specification and the validation test suite are expected to be completed in 2004, Mattos said. It is too early in the XQJ process to estimate a completion date for it, he added.

About the Author

Rich Seeley is Web Editor for Campus Technology.

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