Microsoft posts XQuery demo tool

Looking to further boost the standards credentials of its Web services, Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday took the wraps off a Web site that helps developers become familiar with XQuery and said it plans to post to the site on Wednesday an early-version tool for the forthcoming standard.

XQuery is a functional language for querying data sources that support XML and is currently a working draft at the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium), a standards body in Cambridge, Mass.

"XQuery is going to be the data access model for XML," said Philip DesAutels, a product manager for XML Web services at Microsoft, in Redmond, Wash. "An XML Query set is one of the pieces missing from the XML puzzle, and having it will facilitate the use of Web services."

With XQuery, software can execute full queries from data sources and receive XML results. The data does not need to be XML data, but it does need to be in a source that supports XML, according to DesAutels.

"It starts to let you bridge different data sources together," he added.

The demo version of the tool and the informative Web site are designed to help programmers educate themselves about XQuery, which eventually will emerge in Microsoft products, beginning with the .NET Framework and SQL Server.

"Expect to see this reach right down into our products as standardization comes near," DesAutels said.

The new Web site is at

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