IBM and Microsoft submitted testing software to the World Wide Web Consortium standards body intended to promote an XML-based method for querying databases, or XQuery.
Today database programmers pull information from databases using the Structured Query Language (SQL). XQuery is designed to make complex searches on XML documents simpler. IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and other database companies can already store XML in their respective databases, and they plan to eventually add support for XQuery. The standard, which is being developed at the W3C, is expected to be finalized by the end of this year or in 2004.