XML data (SQL Server)

Applies to: SQL Server Azure SQL Database Azure SQL Managed Instance

SQL Server provides a powerful platform for developing rich applications for semi-structured data management. Support for XML is integrated into all the components in SQL Server in the following ways:

  • The xml data type. XML values can be stored natively in an xml data type column that can be typed according to a collection of XML schemas, or left untyped. You can index the XML column.

  • The ability to specify an XQuery query against XML data stored in columns and variables of the xml type.

  • Enhancements to OPENROWSET to allow bulk loading of XML data.

  • The FOR XML clause, to retrieve relational data in XML format.

  • The OPENXML function, to retrieve XML data in relational format.

  • XML compression provides a method to compress off-row XML data for both XML columns and indexes, improving capacity requirements. For more information, see CREATE TABLE (Transact-SQL) and CREATE INDEX (Transact-SQL). XML compression is available in SQL Server 2022 (16.x) and later versions, Azure SQL Database, and Azure SQL Managed Instance.

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