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This page is part of the Developer Section. It describes how to use the RESTXQ API of BaseX.

RESTXQ, introduced by Adam Retter, is a new API that facilitates the use of XQuery as a Server Side processing language for the Web. RESTXQ has been inspired by Java’s JAX-RS API: it defines a pre-defined set of XQuery 3.0 annotations for mapping HTTP requests to XQuery functions, which in turn generate and return HTTP responses.

As of Version 7.2, RESTXQ is supported by BaseX. Note that various details of the specification may be subject to change due to the early state of the API.

Getting started

First of all, launch the BaseX HTTP Server, which will itself start an instance of the Jetty WebServer, which listens to the port 8984 by default (check out the additional command-line options).

By default, the RESTXQ service is available via http://localhost:8984/restxq/. If the server is started as Servlet, the .basex configuration file will be stored in the root of the web directory (usually src/main/webapp/). The .basex file contains all Main Options, such as the path to the database, the HTTP directory and the Package Repository. The initial configuration options can be adjusted in the src/main/webapp/WEB-INF/web.xml file.

Module Declarations

A RESTXQ module needs to contain a declaration to the namespace A Resource Function is an XQuery function that has been marked up with RESTXQ annotations (annotations will be introduced with the upcoming XQuery 3.0 standard). When an HTTP request comes in, a resource function will be invoked that matches the constraints indicated by its annotations.

All files with extension *.xqm, placed inside the directory specified by HTTPPATH (refer to HTTP Server Configuration) will be treated as RESTXQ modules. These will be parsed for RESTXQ annotations and cached. If a module is modified, it will be parsed again at runtime.

A simple RESTXQ module is shown below, it is part of a clean installation and available at http://localhost:8984/restxq/ .

(:~ simplified module as in http/restxq.xqm :)
module namespace page = '';
declare namespace rest = '';

declare %rest:path("hello/{$world}")
        %rest:header-param("User-Agent", "{$agent}")
        function page:hello($world as xs:string, $agent as xs:string*) {
    <title>Hello { $world }!</title>
    <info>You requested this page with { $agent }.</info>

If the URI http://localhost:8984/restxq/hello/world is accessed, the result will be kind of

	<title>Hello world!</title>
	<info>You requested this page with Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US) AppleWebKit/525.13 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/ Safari/525.13.</info>

We added another method within that module:

declare %rest:path("form/")
        %rest:form-param("content","{$message}", "'no message delivered'")
        function page:hello-postman($message as xs:string) {
    <info>It seems you posted a message: { $message }</info>

If you posted something (e.g. using curl or the embedded formular at http://localhost:8984/restxq/ )

curl -i -X POST --data "content='Here comes the post'" http://admin:admin@localhost:8984/restxq/form

You would recieve

  <info>It seems you posted a message: 'Here comes the post'</info>


This section lists all annotations provided by RESTXQ. rest is used as namespace prefix.


Constraints restrict the HTTP requests that a resource function may process.


A resource function must have a single Path Annotation. It will be called if a URL matches the path segments and templates specified as argument. Path templates contain variables in curly brackets, and map the values of the actual request path to the function arguments.

The following example contains a path annotation with three segments and two templates. One of the function arguments is further specified with a data type, which means that the value for $variable will be cast to an xs:integer before being bound:

declare %rest:path("/a/path/{$with}/some/{$variable}")
  function($with, $variable as xs:integer) { ... };

HTTP Methods

The HTTP method annotations relate to some of the HTTP request methods (GET, HEAD, DELETE, POST, PUT). Depending on the request method of the request, a function is invoked.

Simple Method Annotations

All available simple method annotations:


Content Method Annotations

The variable declaration, for processing the content in a XQuery function, is optional. All available content method annotations:


Content Types

  • HTTP Content Types: One or more media-types may be specified as strings, e.g.:
%rest:consumes("application/xml", "text/xml")
  • HTTP Accept: One or more media-types may be specified as strings, e.g.:

These default to */* if no media-type annotations are given.


Parameters are optional annotations that can be used to bind additional values to function arguments:

Query Strings

The value of the first parameter, if found in the Query String, will be assigned to the variable specified as second parameter. Optionally, a third parameter may be specified as default:

%rest:query-param("parameter", "{$value}", "default")
%rest:query-param("answer", "{$answer}", 42, 43, 44)
%rest:query-param("search", "{$search-param}")

HTML Form Fields

Form parameters are specified the same way as query strings. Their values are extracted from GET or POST requests.

%rest:form-param("parameter", "{$value}", "default")

HTTP Headers

Header parameters are specified the same way as query strings:

%rest:header-param("Referer","{$referer}", "none")


Cookie parameters are specified the same way as query strings:

%rest:cookie-param("authentication","{$auth}", "no_auth")


RESTXQ has been proposed by Adam Retter. More information on all specifics can be found in the following two documents: