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This page is part of the Getting Started Section.

In BaseX, a database is a pretty light-weight concept and can be compared to a collection. It contains an arbitrary number of resources, addressed by their unique database path. Resources can either be XML documents or raw files (binaries). Some information on binary data can be found on an extra page.


Create Databases

New databases can be created via commands, in the GUI, or with any of our APIs. If some input is specified along with the create operation, it will be added to the database in a bulk operation:

Database must follow the valid names constraints. Various parsers can be chosen to influence the database creation, or to convert different formats to XML.

Note: A main-memory only database can be created using the the SET MAINMEM true command before calling CREATE DB (see below for more).

Access Resources

Stored resources and external documents can be accessed in different ways:

XML Documents

Various XQuery functions exist to access XML documents in databases:

Function Example Description
db:open db:open("db", "path/to/docs") Returns all documents that are found in the database db at the (optional) path path/to/docs.
fn:collection collection("db/path/to/docs") Returns all documents at the location path/to/docs in the database db.
If no path is specified after the database, all documents in the database will be returned.
If no argument is specified, all documents of the database will be returned that has been opened in the global context.
fn:doc doc("db/path/to/doc.xml") Returns the document at the location path/to/docs in the database db.
An error is raised if the specified yields zero or more than one document.

If the DEFAULTDB option is turned on, the path argument of the fn:doc or fn:collection function will first be resolved against the globally opened database.

Two more functions are available for retrieving information on database nodes:

Function Example Description
db:name db:name($node) Returns the name of the database in which the specified $node is stored.
db:path db:path($node) Returns the path of the database document in which the specified $node is stored.

The fn:document-uri and fn:base-uri functions return URIs that can also be reused as arguments for the fn:doc and fn:collection functions. As a result, the following example query always returns true:

every $c in collection('anyDB')
satisfies doc-available(document-uri($c))

If the argument of fn:doc or fn:collection does not start with a valid database name, or if the addressed database does not exist, the string is interpreted as URI reference, and the documents found at this location will be returned. Examples:

Raw Files

declare option output:method "raw";
db:retrieve('multimedia', 'sample.avi')

HTTP Services

Update Resources

Once you have created a database, additional commands exist to modify its contents:

The AUTOFLUSH option can be turned off before bulk operations (i.e. before a large number of new resources is added to the database).

The ADDCACHE option will first cache the input before adding it to the database. This is helpful when the input documents to be added are expected to eat up too much main memory.

The following commands create an empty database, add two resources, explicitly flush data structures to disk, and finally delete all inserted data:

CREATE DB example
ADD example.xml
ADD /path/to/xml/documents
STORE TO images/ 123.jpg

You may as well use the BaseX-specific XQuery Database Functions to create, add, replace, and delete XML documents:

let $root := "/path/to/xml/documents/"
for $file in file:list($root)
return db:add("database", $root || $file)

Last but not least, XML documents can also be added via the GUI and the Database menu.

Export Data

All resources stored in a database can be exported, i.e., written back to disk. This can be done in several ways:

In Memory Database

Note: main-memory database instances are also created by the invocation of doc(...) or collection(...), if the argument is not a database (no matter which value is set for MAINMEM). In other words: the same internal representation is used for main-memory databases and documents/collections generated via XQuery.


Version 7.2.1
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