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This page is part of the Getting Started Section.

In BaseX, a database is a pretty light-weight concept. It may contain one or more resources, which are addressed by a unique database path. There is no explicit layer for collections: Instead, collections are implicitly created and deleted, and collections result from the existence of documents in specific paths. Resources can either be XML documents or raw files (binaries). Some information on binary data can be found on an extra page.

Multiple databases can be addressed (queries, updated) with a single XQuery expression. As a single database is restricted to 2 billion nodes (see Statistics), resources can be distributed across multiple database instances.


[edit] Create Databases

Databases can be created via commands, via XQuery, in the GUI, or with any of our APIs. If an initial input is specified with create, some time can be saved, as the specified resources will be added to the database in a bulk operation:

The name of a database is restricted to a restricted set of characters (see Valid Names). Various parsers can be chosen to control the import process, or to convert different formats to XML.

Note: A main-memory database will be created if the MAINMEM option is enabled (see below for more).

[edit] Access Resources

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

[edit] 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.

You can access multiple databases in a single query:

for $i in 1 to 100
return db:open('books' || $i)//book/title

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:

[edit] Raw Files

The RETRIEVE command and the db:retrieve function can be used to return files in their native byte representation.

If the API you use does not support binary output (this is e.g. the case for various Client language bindings), you need to convert your binary data to its string representation before returning it to the client:

string(db:retrieve('multimedia', 'sample.avi'))

[edit] HTTP Services

[edit] 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).

If ADDCACHE is enabled, the input will be cached before it is added to the database. This is helpful when the input documents to be added are expected to consume 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 also 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.

[edit] Export Data

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

[edit] Main-Memory Database Instances

Note: If you address a URI with fn:doc or fn:collection for which no database exists, the resulting internal representation is identical to those of main-memory database instances (no matter which value is set for MAINMEM).

[edit] Changelog

Version 8.4
Version 7.2.1
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