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Title Getting started with eXist and XQuery
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Two recent LTER workshops were convened to plan and develop ProjectDB, a cross-site research project description language and database (Walsh and Downing, 2008). During the first workshop participants agreed to use eXist, an open source native XML database (, as the back-end system for storing and retrieving research project documents. This database was primarily chosen to leverage ongoing software development work at CAP LTER that uses eXist, but excellent query performance, built-in support for both REST and SOAP web service interfaces, and simplicity of configuration and administration were also influential factors.The combination of eXist and XQuery (the XML query language used by eXist) proved to be extremely effective for ProjectDB, exceeding all expectations. A working group of six Information Managers and a CAP software developer designed and implemented a complete system for storing, querying, summarizing and displaying research project documents in just a few days, including RESTful web services to support all the primary use cases identified during the planning workshop (Gries et al.). The rapid success of this development effort has sparked interest in eXist and XQuery across the LTER IM community, and this article presents an overview and brief guidelines on how to get started using this new XML technology.

Contributor Wade M. Sheldon

Sheldon, W.M. Jr. 2009. Getting started with eXist and XQuery. In: LTER Databits - Information Management Newsletter for the Long Term Ecological Research Network: Spring 2009. Long Term Ecological Research Network.

Key Words database, EML, eXist, LTER-IMC, projects, technology, XML, XQuery
File Date 2009
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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grants OCE-9982133, OCE-0620959, OCE-1237140 and OCE-1832178. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.