Friday, April 17, 2009

WAS XML Feature Pack Open Beta Available (XPath 2.0, XSLT 2.0, XQuery 1.0)

I've been relatively quiet on the blog as of late. That tends to happen when you spend a lot of time working on something big.

My team and I have been working very hard to bring the W3C standards of XPath 2.0, XSLT 2.0, and XQuery 1.0 to life. I'm proud to announce, that today, you can download, install, and work with the WebSphere Application Server V7.0 Feature Pack for XML Beta containing these critically important standards.

We have delivered a beta XML runtime that supports these standards as well as offers a new API to interact with these standards. We believe these standards will simplify and increase the reliability of XML oriented WAS applications. The standards will also enable new scenarios never possible before in WAS - like querying large amounts of XML data located outside of databases in parallel with databases with XML support, or making navigation/transformations decisions based upon industry standard XML schema support.

You can download the beta from our open beta website.

You can discuss the beta on our forum.

In order to help you understand the feature pack, I put together a quick demo (in two parts). I hope to put more demos together soon, but let me know what you think of these first.

Demo 1 (Part 1)

Direct Link (ensure you click on watch in HD)

Demo 1 (Part 2)

Direct Link (ensure you click on watch in HD)


Chris Adkin said...

Hi Andrew,

I'm presuming that someone has done some performance testing on this new feature pack. Are the results likely to appear on the blog in the not too distant future ?.

Regards to you and the team,


Andrew Spyker said...


One thing that is interesting are there are functional parts of the X-* (XPath 2.0/XSLT 2.0/XQuery 1.0) specifications that should help performance as compared to the older ways of doing similar things in XPath 1.0/XSLT 1.0. Some examples are the extended function library (instead of calling to Java code for simple functions) and xsl:for-each-group.

IBM doesn't usually comments on the performance of beta code (nor do I personally). However, it is worth noting that the release notes do state "Performance improvements will be included in future drivers".

Right now, we're more interested in the functional feedback, but to help us, would you have any specific items of non-functional (performance, other) of interest?

Chris Adkin said...

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for the information, I have no specific requirements as such, it was just a general question. By the way I sent you a message a month or so regarding interpretation of the results submitted to Spec, I wasn't trying to be facetious in way, I was just seeking some clarification.

I haven't read the blog for several weeks, however its quite impressive the rate at which new feature packs are coming out and I would hazard a guess that there are plans for new ones which aren't in the public domain yet.

Regards to you and the team,

Chris said...

Hi Andrew,

Will the "WAS XML feature pack" ( XSLT 2.0 , XPATH 2.0, XQuery 1.0 ) be available with websphere community edition ?


Andrew Spyker said...,

At this point in time there are no plans to offer support of XML FEP for WebSphere CE. I would note that the current beta works against the trial version of WAS and that trial version is also downloadable from the feature pack beta website.

I'd be interested if you could share your use case.

rktumuluri said...

Hello Andrew,

I am so happy to see you respond. It's great to see you and IBM actually support small independent developers. I recently attended a great dev-workshop that IBM hosted here in Hyderabad, AP, India. You guys rock !!!.
Microsoft had their tech-ed and so did SUN with their sun-developer day event here in Hyd, India. So, this is great for us folks in the "developing world". The world is indeed looking flatter.

Now onto the "use case".

I am trying to develop a P2P application. It uses a lot of XML. Every peer has a "hybrid" DB on their individual machine. Needless to say, I am using IBM's DB2-express-c edition for their excellent support for XQuery 1.0 and the unbeatable price-point. (free). I use a beefy IBM DB2 server on the backend. I pay $$ to IBM for their DB2 server and the underlying hardware.

I have been looking for an XSLT 2.0 (schema aware) transformer to go with the XQuery 1.0 engine.

Surprisingly, I found very few choices. I am currently experimenting with Altova's engine. Unfortunately it is not a pure-java solution and consequently is not available on a wide variety of platforms. It's Windows only.

Saxon's XSLT 2.0 (Schema Aware) transformer works for me on the server side, but due to the cost, it does'nt make sense on the client side.

Hence your XSLT 2.0 offering seemed attractive.

I hope, this makes sense.

My $0.02 request on this ...

IBM should consider giving away the basic XSLT 2.0(Schema aware)/XPath 2.0 toolkit for free and sell support and/or higher "value" offerings. IBM has made this model commercially viable, just as in the case of IBM DB2-express-c. You are already one step ahead of Oracle & Microsoft on this count. Your odds of attracting "grass roots" level developers dramatically increase. In this day and age your next killer-app is more likely to come from this grassroots level. I will now get off the soapbox. :-)

Cheers ...

David Carver said...

Well, there is a open souce Schema Aware XPath 2.0 processor that comes as part of the wst.xsl component in the Eclipse WTP 3.1 release.

You can find some of my blog entries there.

PsychoPath XPath 2.0

I would hope that IBM would support some contributions and launch configuration extensions to the wst.xsl component to support their XSLT 2.0 implementation.

rktumuluri said...


Thanks for the lead. I will check it out. It begs a question though. Why would IBM support two implementations of an xslt 2.0 engine. It appears to be a non-trivial project.

What's your take ?.