Implementing JSONiq: Add JSON to your XQuery processor in no time
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  Chris Hillery   Chris Hillery
Principal Member Technical Staff
Oracle Corporation


Thursday, August 23, 2012
11:45 AM - 12:15 PM

Level:  Technical - Advanced

JSONiq is a query language for JSON, developed to address the obvious need for querying JSON data and the lack of anything like a standard query language. We started with a simple idea: XQuery has over a decade of design and development. It is robust and flexible, and there are many existing implementations. Can we leverage that history and - more importantly - those implementations to produce a high-quality JSON query language quickly?

We succeeded. After the language design process, a very small team was able to extend the open source Zorba XQuery engine to support JSON in two months. This work is ready to use today. The same could be done for any other XQuery engine.


  • was developed by some of the same people who developed XQuery
  • adds fewer than 10 productions to the XQuery grammar (compared to over 200 already there), so implementation is very easy
  • adds very little else!
  • supports everything a fully-feature query language should, including composability (better than SQL!) and joins

Chris has 20 years of experience in software development, ranging from enterprise Java application servers to end-user applications. For the past decade he has worked on XQuery engines for BEA Systems and Oracle. Chris is a primary contributor to the open source Zorba XQuery engine.

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