Jump label

Service navigation

Main navigation

You are here:

Main content

The Relational XQuery Puzzle: A Look-Back at the Pieces Found So Far

Publication Details


The Relational XQuery Puzzle: A Look-Back at the Pieces Found So Far


Jens Teubner


Computer Science—Research and Development, vol. 24, no 1-2, Springer Verlag, September 2009.


paper (PDF)


Given the tremendous versatility of relational database implementations toward a wide range of database problems, it seems only natural to consider them as back-ends for XML data processing. Yet, the assumptions behind the language XQuery are considerably different to those in traditional RDBMSs. The underlying data model is a tree, data and results carry an intrinsic order, queries are described using explicit iteration and, after all, problems are everything else but regular.

Solving the relational XQuery puzzle, therefore, has challenged a number of research groups over the past years. The purpose of this article is to summarize and assess some of the results that have been obtained during this period to solve the puzzle. Our main focus is on the Pathfinder XQuery compiler, a full reference implementation of a purely relational XQuery processor. As we dissect its components, we relate them to other work in the field and also point to open problems and limitations in the context of relational XQuery processing.

Publication Log

January 2009


November 2008

submission to Computer Science—Research and Development (accepted)

Sub content


Prof. Dr. Jens Teubner
Tel.: 0231 755-6481