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eXist-db (or eXist for short) is an open source software project for NoSQL databases built on XML technology. It is classified as both a NoSQL document-oriented database system and a native XML database (and it provides support for XML, JSON, HTML and Binary documents). Unlike most relational database management systems (RDBMS) and NoSQL databases, eXist-db provides XQuery and XSLT as its query and application programming languages.

EXist logo.png
Original author(s) Wolfgang Meier
Developer(s) Pierrick Brihayne, Leif-Jöran Olsson, Adam Retter,[1] Dmitriy Shabanov, and Dannes Wessels.
Initial release 2000 (2000)
Stable release
4.4.0 / September 21, 2018; 20 days ago (2018-09-21)
Preview release
5.0.0-RC4 / September 21, 2018; 20 days ago (2018-09-21)
Written in Java
Operating system Linux, Mac, Windows
Platform Java
Standard(s) XQuery XSLT XPath XUpdate XQJ DTD XML Schema RelaxNG XML
License GNU LGPL v2.1.

eXist-db is released under version 2.1 of the GNU LGPL.



eXist-db was created in 2000 by Wolfgang Meier. Major versions released were 1.0 in September 2006, 2.0 in February 2013, 3.0 in February 2017, 4.0 in February 2018, and 5.0.0-RC1 in June 2018.

eXist-db was awarded the best XML database of the year by InfoWorld in 2006.[2]

A company called eXist Solutions GmbH in Germany promotes the software.[3].

The British company Evolved Binary Ltd founded by Adam Retter, is working on a next-generation successor (codenamed "Granite") to eXist-db[4]. Retter first publicly announced Project "Granite" at the Markup UK conference in London on June 9th 2018[5][6].

There is an O'Reilly book for eXist-db which is co-authored by Adam Retter and Erik Siegel.[7]


eXist-db allows software developers to persist XML/JSON/Binary documents without writing extensive middleware. eXist-db follows and extends many W3C XML standards such as XQuery. eXist-db also supports REST interfaces for interfacing with AJAX-type web forms. Applications such as XForms may save their data by using just a few lines of code. The WebDAV interface to eXist-db allows users to "drag and drop" XML files directly into the eXist-db database. eXist-db automatically indexes documents using a keyword indexing system.[citation needed]

Supported standards and technologiesEdit

eXist-db has support for the following standards and technologies:

  • XPath - XML Path language
  • XQuery - XML Query language
  • XSLT - Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations
  • XSL-FO - XSL Formatting Objects
  • WebDAV - Web distributed authoring and versioning
  • REST - Representational state transfer (URL encoding)
  • RESTXQ - RESTful annotations for XQuery
  • XInclude - server-side include file processing (limited support)
  • XML-RPC - a remote procedure call protocol
  • XProc - a XML Pipeline processing language
  • XQuery API for Java[8]

See alsoEdit

  • NoSQL
  • XML database
  • XQuery - W3C XML query language
  • XPath - W3C XML data selection language
  • WebDAV - Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning
  • BaseX - another Open Source Native XML Database
  • CouchDB - a document-oriented database based on JSON


  1. ^ "Adam Retter - O'Reilly Media". Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  2. ^ "InfoWorld Best XML Database 2006"
  3. ^ "About eXist Solutions". Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  4. ^ "EvolvedBinary". Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  5. ^ "Tweet from Markup UK about new db beta". Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  6. ^ "Adam Retter also announces a new API compatible database". Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  7. ^ "eXist". Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  8. ^ eXist XQJ API

Further readingEdit

  • Siegel, Erik; Retter, Adam (2014). eXist : A NoSQL Document Database and Application Platform. O'Reilly Media. ISBN 978-1-4493-3710-0.

External linksEdit