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XML Support in SQL Server 2000
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see why it is so important that SQL Server be XML-ready. The new XML features in SQL Server 2000, along with SQL Server s ease of use, make it a leader in this emerging market.
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Just as trading partners can use XML to exchange business documents, organizations and individuals can use XML to develop data-based applications that publish information. The only real difference between business document exchange and information publishing is that the information itself becomes the commodity. Using XML to publish information located in a SQL Server database combines the easy access of the Internet with the power and data integrity of a mature RDBMS. Browser-based applications allow users to retrieve data dynamically from diverse databases.
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Microsoft has developed XML support in SQL Server in the following major areas:
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Transact-SQL language extensions OpenXML the DOM alternative for accessing the content of an XML document SQL XML support in IIS a new ISAPI driver and new IIS extensions
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SQL Server can now return data stored in a database in the form of an XML document. The foundation of all new features related to publishing database information in XML format is the extended syntax of the Select statement.
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SQL Server 2000 Stored Procedure Programming
For XML Clause
The Select statement has a new For XML clause:
[ For { XML { Auto | Raw | Explicit } [ , XMLData ] [ , Elements ] [ , Binary base64 ] } ]
This clause allows a caller to request an XML document instead of a recordset that matches the query. The structure of the XML document depends on the XML mode that the caller has selected:
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Auto Raw Explicit
Auto Mode
Let s use Auto mode against the Inventory table in the Asset database:
Select * From Inventory For XML Auto
TIP: Before you issue such a query against the database yourself, go to Tools | Options in Query Analyzer and open the Results tab. Change the Maximum Characters per Column value to 8192 (the maximum allowed value). The default value is too short. If you do not change it, you will wonder why the resulting XML document is shortened.
Figure 12-2 shows how Query Analyzer displays results. To analyze the result, I either copy and paste it into some other editor or insert line breaks and tabs to emphasize the structure of the document:
12:
XML Support in SQL Server 2000
<Inventory Inventoryid="5" EquipmentId="1" LocationId="2" StatusId="1" LeaseId="1" LeaseScheduleId="1" OwnerId="1" Cost="1295.0000" AcquisitionTypeID="1"/> <Inventory Inventoryid="6" EquipmentId="6" LocationId="2" StatusId="2" LeaseId="1" ...
Figure 12-2.
An XML document as a result of a query
SQL Server 2000 Stored Procedure Programming
Each record in the Inventory table is represented by an element. The tag is named after the table, <Inventory>. All columns are represented as attributes of the tag. Since there is no other content aside from these attributes, each tag is coded as an empty tag: <Inventory/>.
NOTE: There is one problem with this XML document. Strictly speaking, it is not an XML document (it is not valid). There is no root element. The first element, <Inventory/>, does not qualify because it is not unique within the document (we have one instance for each record). We will show you later how to handle this problem.
Let s see what happens when we add another table to the query:
select * from Inventory inner join Equipment on Inventory.EquipmentId = Equipment.Equipmentid for XML Auto
I will execute this query and then add some line breaks so that you can more easily spot the characteristics of the XML document:
XML_F52E2B61-18A1-11d1-B105-00805F49916B --------------------------------------------------------------<Inventory Inventoryid="5" EquipmentId="1" LocationId="2" StatusId="1" LeaseId="1" LeaseScheduleId="1" OwnerId="1" Cost="1295.0000" AcquisitionTypeID="1"> <Equipment EquipmentId="1" Make="Toshiba" Model="Portege 7020CT" EqTypeId="1" ModelSDX="P632"/> </Inventory> <Inventory Inventoryid="6" EquipmentId="6" LocationId="2" StatusId="2" LeaseId="1" LeaseScheduleId="1" OwnerId="1" Rent="200.0000" Lease="0.0000" AcquisitionTypeID="3"> <Equipment EquipmentId="6" Make="NEC" Model="V90" EqTypeId="1" ModelSDX="V000"/> </Inventory> <Inventory Inventoryid="8" EquipmentId="5" LocationId="2" StatusId="1" OwnerId="1" Lease="87.7500" AcquisitionTypeID="2">
12:
XML Support in SQL Server 2000
<Equipment EquipmentId="5" Make="HP" Model="LaserJet 4" EqTypeId="7" ModelSDX="L262"/> </Inventory> <Inventory Inventoryid="12" EquipmentId="1" LocationId="2" StatusId="1" LeaseId="1" LeaseScheduleId="1" OwnerId="1" Lease="100.0000" AcquisitionTypeID="2"> <Equipment EquipmentId="1" Make="Toshiba" Model="Portege 7020CT" EqTypeId="1" ModelSDX="P632"/> </Inventory> ...
You can also see the result in Figure 12-3. This time, the result is a simple nested XML tree. The structure of the XML document is based on the content of the From clause. The leftmost table is mapped to the top element; the second leftmost table is mapped as a subelement of the top element; the third leftmost table (if it exists) is
Figure 12-3.
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