What's New In Oracle XML DB?

This section describes the new features and functionality, enhancements, APIs, and product integration support added to Oracle XML DB for Oracle Database 10g Release 2 (10.2). New features information from previous releases is also retained to help those users migrating to the current release.

The following sections describe the new features in Oracle XML DB:

Oracle Database 10g Release 2 (10.2) New Features in Oracle XML DB

Support for XQuery Language

XQuery, the new W3C XML query language, is supported. SQL functions XMLQuery and XMLTable have been added: XMLQuery lets you construct XML data and query XML and relational data using the XQuery language. XMLTable lets you create relational tables and columns from XQuery query results. SQL*Plus command xquery has also been added, to let you execute XQuery expressions directly. See Chapter 17, "Using XQuery with Oracle XML DB".

New SQL Functions for Updating XML (DML)

New SQL functions have been added to help you update XML data in the database: insertChildXML, appendChildXML, insertXMLbefore, and deleteXML. These new functions complement the functionality already provided by SQL function updateXML. Like updateXML, they are generally used in SQL DML statements. The new functions let you add and remove XML nodes in various ways. They can perform updates that are more localized than with updateXML, which can greatly improve performance and make source code clearer and more concise. All of the functions are optimized using XPath Rewrite. See "Updating XML Instances and XML Data in Tables".

SQL/XML Standard Compliance (SQL:2005 Standard Part 14)

Support for the developing SQL/XML standard has been extended. The following SQL functions have been added: XMLPI, XMLComment, XMLRoot, XMLSerialize, XMLCDATA, and XMLParse. Escaping of identifiers has also been updated, in accordance with a change to the SQL/XML standard. See "Generating XML Using SQL Functions".

XML Schema-Based Resource Metadata

You can now add and manipulate custom metadata for Oracle XML DB Repository resources that are XML Schema-based (in addition to non-schema-based). Resource metadata can be used to improve query performance and resource management. See Chapter 26, "User-Defined Repository Metadata".

XPath Rewrite Enhancements

XPath Rewrite can handle additional operations on more complex XML Schema constructs, including substitution groups, derived XML Schema types (inheritance), and SQL/XML collections. Performance has improved significantly for querying and updating XML Schema-based XMLType data and SQL/XML views. See Chapter 6, "XPath Rewrite".

Support for HTTPS

Oracle Database can now be used with HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol, HTTP 1.1 as defined in the RFC2616 specification). HTTPS is a secure-access protocol. It can be configured for the database using the Oracle XML DB configuration file, xdbconfig.xml. See "Configuring Secure HTTP (HTTPS)".

Deprecation of Oracle XDK PL/SQL Packages

The (Java-based) Oracle XDK PL/SQL packages XMLDOM, XMLPARSER, and XSL_PROCESSOR have been deprecated in favor of the (C-based) Oracle XML DB packages DBMS_XMLDOM, DBMS_XMLPARSER, and DBMX_XSLPROCESSOR. Synonyms have been provided to smooth the migration of legacy applications. See "APIs for XML".

ASM Virtual Folders

Automatic Storage Management (ASM) organizes database files into disk groups for simplified management and added benefits such as database mirroring and I/O balancing. DBAs can now access ASM resources in Oracle XML DB Repository using protocols and resource APIs (such as DBMS_XDB). ASM files are accessed in the virtual repository folder /sys/asm. See "Accessing ASM Files Using Protocols and Resource APIs – For DBAs".

Support for Transportable Tablespaces

The Transportable Tablespace feature works with XMLType tables in Oracle XML DB. In particular, XML schemas are treated like any other database objects with respect to import and export: they are moved along with their associated tablespaces. See "Using Transportable Tablespaces with Oracle XML DB".

Enterprise Manager Support for Oracle Database

Oracle Enterprise Manager can now be used to manage the following Oracle XML DB features:

Oracle Database 10g Release 1 (10.1) New Features in Oracle XML DB

This section summarizes the Oracle XML DB enhancements provided with Oracle Database 10g Release 2 (10.2).

See Also:

Exporting and Importing XML Data

The IMPORT/EXPORT utility has been enhanced to help you load XML data into Oracle XML DB. See Chapter 30, "Importing and Exporting XMLType Tables".

XML Schema Evolution Support

Oracle Database 10g supports XML schema evolution by providing PL/SQL procedure copyEvolve as part of package DBMS_XMLSCHEMA.

In prior releases there was no standard procedure for schema evolution. Once registered with Oracle XML DB at a particular URL, an XML schema could not be modified, in case there were XMLType tables dependent on the schema.

Hierarchical Queries with DBMS_XMLGEN

Package DBMS_XMLGEN now supports hierarchical queries. See Generating XML Using DBMS_XMLGEN.

Character Conversion and Multibyte Characters

In Oracle Database 10g Release 1 (10.1), XML data retrieved from the database is automatically converted to your client character set. In addition, using FTP or HTTP, you can use multibyte characters in a directory name, filename, or URL, and you can transfer or receive data encoded in a different character set from the database. For full support of all valid XML characters, use UTF-8 as your database character set.

C and C++ APIs for XML

The C API for XML is used for both Oracle XML Developer's Kit (XDK) and Oracle XML DB. This is a DOM API that can be used with XML inside or outside the database. See Chapter 14, "Using the C API for XML".

SQL*Loader Supports XMLType Tables and Columns Independent of Storage

In Oracle Database 10g Release 1 (10.1), SQL*Loader supports XMLType tables and columns. It can load XMLType data, regardless of whether the data is stored as LOBs or in an object-relational manner. See Chapter 29, "Loading XML Data Using SQL*Loader".

Disabling Pretty-Printing with DBMS_XMLGEN

Package DBMS_XMLGEN now has an option to turn off pretty-printing.

Oracle Text Enhancements

Oracle Database 10g Release 1 (10.1) offers the following Oracle Text enhancements:

Oracle Streams Advanced Queuing (AQ) Support

Oracle Streams Advanced Queuing (AQ) Internet Data Access Presentation (iDAP) has been enhanced: you can now use the AQ XML servlet to access Oracle Database AQ using HTTP and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP). IDAP facilitates using AQ over the Internet.

IDAP is now the SOAP implementation for AQ operations; it defines the XML message structure used in the body of the SOAP request.

You can now use XMLType as the AQ payload type, instead of embedding XMLType as an attribute in an Oracle Database object type.

Oracle XDK Support for XMLType