Querying Multiple Files in a Directory

DataDirect XQuery supports the use of fn:collection to query multiple XML and non-XML files in a specified directory.

XML Files

In the following example, suppose you have a number of XML files stored in the directory books. Each of the files contains information about one book, and you want to create a single XML document that contains a list of all your books.

for $book in collection("file:///c:/books?select=*.xml") 

The result would look something like this:

    <title>Pride and Prejudice</title>
  . . .

The function’s declaration for this feature is:



directory_uri is a URI referencing a directory. The URI must use the file:// scheme.

option is {(select="REGEX") | recurse={yes | no} | (sort=[a,t,r]+) | (xquery-regex=(yes|no))}


Non-XML Files

The collection function supports the use of the converter URI, which allows you to use DataDirect XML Converters to query non-XML files, such as EDI, binary, and tab- and comma-separated files. For example, this XQuery uses the EDI XML Converter to return a sequence in which each item is an EDI file contained in the directory C:/myfolder:


DataDirect XQuery also supports additional arguments in fn:collection to tune navigation of the specified directory:

fn:collection("converter:name:[property_name=value: | property_name=value: | 


name is the name of the XML Converter. There are converters for numerous non-XML file types such as EDI, CSV, dBase, and more.

property_name=value are used to specify the properties you want the conversion engine to use when converting a non-XML file to XML. Some properties are shared across converters; others are peculiar to a converter for a given file type.

directory_url and option are the same those described in XML Files.

The following examples show how fn:collection can be used to query a directory containing EDI files, using the converter URI to specify the EDI to be converted to XML and the properties to be used by the conversion engine.

In this example, X12 elements from all files in the directory C:\myfolder are retrieved.


In this example, X12 elements from all files the directory C:\myfolder are retrieved, including the ones in sub-folders.


In this example, X12 elements from all files with extension .x12 in directory C:\myfolder are retrieved, including the ones in sub-folders, and they are sorted in ascending order.


For More Information

To learn more DataDirect XML Converters, the converter URI, and conversion properties, see the DataDirect XML Converters User’s Guide and Reference manual. DataDirect XML Converters documentation is installed as part of the DataDirect Data Integration Suite, of which DataDirect XQuery is a part; you can also find DataDirect XML Converters product documentation on the DataDirect Web site.

See also Collection URI Resolvers.