How to cite this paper

Cagle, Kurt. “When XQuery and SparQL Collide.” Presented at Balisage: The Markup Conference 2011, Montréal, Canada, August 2 - 5, 2011. In Proceedings of Balisage: The Markup Conference 2011. Balisage Series on Markup Technologies, vol. 7 (2011).

Balisage: The Markup Conference 2011
August 2 - 5, 2011

Balisage Paper: When XQuery and SparQL Collide

Kurt Cagle

Avalon Consulting

Kurt Cagle is a writer, information architect and developer specializing in XML and Web Technologies. He has authored more than fifteen books and hundreds of articles on XML based technologies such as XSLT, SVG, XUL, XForms, computer ethics and more, and writes the blog He has most recently been working with the Firefox browser and Mozilla technologies, as well as XML based languages such as XBL, trying to push what he sees as the re-emergence of client-based programming. He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and daughters, where he can usually be found staring out the window at the falling rain while drinking coffee at local coffeehouses.


Far from being competing technologies, XQuery and SparQL are potential collaborators in data extraction and manipulation. Since an XML database can also function as a triple store, it’s possible to combine the languages so that each executes what it’s optimized for while avoiding process boundary serialization problems and also generate output like XHTML from queries across a variety of document types.