XMLEXISTS operator

XMLEXISTS is an SQL/XML operator that you can use to query XML values in SQL.

The XMLEXISTS operator has two arguments, an XML query expression and a SQLFire XML value.

Syntax

XMLEXISTS ( xquery-string-literal
    PASSING BY REF xml-value-expression [ BY REF ] )
xquery-string-literal
Must be specified as a string literal. If this argument is specified as a parameter, an expression that is not a literal, or a literal that is not a string (for example an integer), SQLFire throws an error. The xquery-string-literal argument must also be an XPath expression that is supported by Apache Xalan. SQLFire uses Apache Xalan to evaluate all XML query expressions. Because Xalan does not support full XQuery, neither does SQLFire. If Xalan is unable to compile or execute the query argument, SQLFire catches the error that is thrown by Xalan and throws the error as a SQLException. For more on XPath and XQuery expressions, see these Web sites: http://www.w3.org/TR/xpath and http://www.w3.org/TR/xquery/.
xml-value-expression
Must be an XML data value and must constitute a well-formed SQL/XML document. The xml-value-expression argument cannot be a parameter. SQLFire does not perform implicit parsing nor casting of XML values, so use of strings or any other data type results in an error. If the argument is a sequence that is returned by the SQLFire XMLQUERY operator, the argument is accepted if it is a sequence of exactly one node that is a document node. Otherwise SQLFire throws an error.
BY REF
Optional keywords that describe the only value passing mechanism supported by SQLFire. Since BY REF is also the default passing mechanism, the XMLEXISTS operator behaves the same whether the keywords are present or not. For more information on passing mechanisms, see the SQL/XML specification.

Operator results and combining with other operators

The result of the XMLEXISTS operator is a SQL boolean value that is based on the results from evaluating the xquery-string-literal against the xml-value-expression. The XMLEXISTS operator returns:
UNKNOWN
When the xml-value-expression is null.
TRUE
When the evaluation of the specified query expression against the specified xml-value returns a non-empty sequence of nodes or values.
FALSE
When evaluation of the specified query expression against the specified xml-value returns an empty sequence.

The XMLEXISTS operator does not return the actual results from the evaluation of the query. You must use the XMLQUERY operator to retrieve the actual results.

Since the result of the XMLEXISTS operator is an SQL boolean data type, you can use the XMLEXISTS operator wherever a boolean function is allowed. For example, you can use the XMLEXISTS operator as a check constraint in a table declaration or as a predicate in a WHERE clause.

Examples

In the x_table table, to determine if the xcol XML column for each row has an element called student with an age attribute equal to 20, use this statement:
SELECT id, XMLEXISTS('//student[@age=20]' PASSING BY REF xcol) 
    FROM x_table
In the x_table table, to return the ID for every row whose xcol XML column is non-null and contains the element /roster/student, use this statement:
SELECT id FROM x_table WHERE XMLEXISTS('/roster/student' PASSING BY REF xcol)
You can create the x_table table with a check constraint that limits which XML values can be inserted into the xcol XML column. In this example, the constraint is that the column has at least one student element with an age attribute with a value that is less than 25. To create the table, use this statement:
CREATE TABLE x_table ( id INT, xcol XML CHECK (XMLEXISTS ('//student[@age < 25]' PASSING BY REF xcol)) )

Usage note

SQLFire requires that a JAXP parser (such as Apache Xerces) and Apache Xalan are listed in the Java classpath for the XML functions to work. If either the JAXP parser or Xalan is missing from the classpath, attempts to use the XMLEXISTS operator will result in an error. In some situations, you may need to take steps to place the parser and Xalan in your classpath. See "XML data types and operators" in the SQLFire for details.