[xquery-talk] xquery technology now ready?

David Lee dlee at calldei.com
Wed Dec 11 06:55:21 PST 2013

Xquery is quite mature and robust and there are many solutions available both as Open Source and Commercial in all price ranges from 
free to very expensive.  Much like the RDBMS world where you can get sqlite through Oracle ... and nearly everything in between
It is  important to realize that 100% "pure XQuery" is not sufficient to build a web application, you also need a web server or application server.
Either one which comes with a pre integrated XQuery product or one which you add XQuery to.

Now the question of "cost effective" is subjective.   Clearly the software has to run on something ... and that something is never free.
If you are asking specifically about hosting services where they provide all the infrastructure including the web server then you may be hard pressed to find one
that is XQuery capable.  However if you host your own server (such as on Amazon where for at least the first year, there is a "Free Tier" which is sufficient for  
small web servers) the out of pocket expense can be literally zero.  And after the first year a reasonable web server can be run for a low price.
For example I run my personal web site along with about a dozen others including xmlsh.org on a "m1.small" instance on amazon and total cost including storage runs me about
$30 / month.  This includes 100G of storage I use for my personal photo site.   A t1.micro site will cost you about $15/month on demand pricing or about $8/month if you prepay.
Google Compute just made it to public so it's another choice but  I have not done cost analysis on it yet.   Only you can tell if this is in your budget, 
but it seems reasonably low cost to me.  (compare to the typical "cup of coffee" metric ... 2 - 5 cups of Starbucks / month will get you a fully functioning virtual host)

As you work up the scale of both size of web site, necessary hardware, and especially dont neglect support or more advanced services then you will have to pay something for it.
Sometimes that is paying in your time or paying someone else's time.

Also depending on what application and data you are working on, XQuery may or may not be the easiest or "best" fit for the whole enchilada.
For myself, for example, I am a very strong and vocal XQuery advocate and work for a company that produces an XQuery product,
but when I build my own web apps I frequently use XQuery at the data base layer for a multi-tier solution, much like I would use MySQL for the database.
You can, and I have personally, produced quite good web applications 100% in XQuery ... but it isn't the only reasonable route to take.
Another reasonable route is to use an app server like Tomcat or JBoss and then use XQuery "on the back end" to handle the database and heavy transformation,
but leave the presentation layer to the application server.  

The choice is yours.  The solutions are plentiful ... it's a rainbow of solutions not black & white.   What approach works "best" or even "reasonably good" for you may vary dramatically from
others or even yourself.  

But I can assert with reasonable authority that there is a wide variety of quality XQuery implementations to choose from in the price range from Budget to Gourmet.
And *unlike* XForms ... XQuery does not have to solve the GUI problem. It can, but It can also be used in conjunction with other front end tools, or can be used all by itself (in a XQuery implementation which supports application servers).

David A. Lee
dlee at calldei.com

-----Original Message-----
From: talk-bounces at x-query.com [mailto:talk-bounces at x-query.com] On Behalf Of e-letter
Sent: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 9:28 AM
To: Christian Grün
Cc: Liam Quin; talk at x-query.com
Subject: Re: [xquery-talk] xquery technology now ready?

On 10/12/2013, Christian Grün <christian.gruen at gmail.com> wrote:
>> From all the recommendations, is it correct to assume that a dedicated
>> web server will need to be used, where permissions are provided to
>> install these various software products?
> If you simply want to learn the language, there is no need to look out
> for professional hosting solutions. Some XQuery implementations come
> with their own web server code, and they are often pretty light-weight
> (and can also be run locally). As Adam indicated, if you are looking
> for open source solutions, you could have a look at BaseX (disclaimer:
> I’m contributing to this project), or eXist-db, which are both easy to
> install, and check out the included examples.

The problem with the general lack of widespread deployment of xquery
is a risk of disappointment similar to xforms. I would like to learn
xquery with the knowledge that practical deployment is possible and
cost effective; otherwise the technology doesn't seem ready yet and so
sql database + sever script language remains the option.

talk at x-query.com

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