Yukon do it with XML!

I attended the Building Database Applications with SQL Server
“Yukon”: XQuery, XML Datatype
session this morning by Arpan
Desai and Istvan Cseri. This covered the variety of new features in
the next SQL Server release to do with processing XML.

It’s funny because just 3 weeks ago, I was searching through
Google looking for XML databases. Nothing that I found then
provided anything like the simplicity found in

, where XML becomes a first class column type, and I can’t
wait for this to reach production release.

One of the worries with querying XML data stored in a column is
performance. Clearly you can’t immediately benefit from the query
optimiser built into SQL, but Microsoft have added the ability to
create an XML index on your data that pulls out the various
elements and attributes and which in many cases allows queries on
your XML to be performed without needing to hit the individual
field value. This is cool stuff.

XML columns in your tables can be associated with an appropriate
XSD schema. This means that you can only add valid data to that
field and that strong types can be derived about your data from the

With built in support for
XQuery, you can search
across your XML data and then transform the results into a new XML
document with whatever structure you like. XQuery can look quite
complex but help is at hand with a drag-and-drop XQuery editor
built into the Yukon SQL Server Workbench that actually works
really well.