Tuesday, March 30, 2010

XQuery as a replacement for VBScript?

I was discussing with a colleague the leaning of folks to use JavaScript to process data on the server. I have seen a few products recently move to JavaScript as a programming model aimed towards folks that aren't skilled in languages such as Java. I always wondered why. JavaScript doesn't seem like the right language for a server environment and isn't the best language for data navigation. The colleague told me that his belief was that JavaScript was much closer to VBScript that "business users" are used to using in Excel. After looking at a presentation on XQuery I did, my colleague believes that XQuery could have filled the same need as JavaScript (high level language, script like, etc.).

In this presentation, I showed how I replaced a process we had internally using Excel and VBScript with an online application using XQuery running on the XML Feature Pack. I also showed how others have done non-query based applications using XQuery (like the XQuery Ray Tracer) proving that XQuery is a full language.

I wonder if others out there also believe that XQuery is a good language to replace VBScript and "programs" currently locked in Excel documents?


mbrantner said...

I totally agree. XQuery is definitely a good language for such scenarios. The FLWOR Foundation was even asked whether it would be possible to implement the Excel function library (with which people are familiar) in XQuery. A first step in this direction is already available in the Zorba XQuery processor (see http://www.zorba-xquery.com/doc/zorba-latest/zorba/xqdoc/xhtml/).
This function library is entirely written in XQuery and available under the Apache 2 License.

Anonymous said...


I have also seen XQuery modules to generate Excel files. Getting rid of a vendor dependency without loosing anything is great;).

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