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Oracle9i Application Developer's Guide - XML
Release 1 (9.0.1)

Part Number A88894-01
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Application Program Interface. See application program, definition interface.

application program interface (API)

A set of public programmatic interfaces that consist of a language and message format to communicate with an operating system or other programmatic environment, such as databases, Web servers, JVMs, and so forth. These messages typically call functions and methods available for application development.

application server

A server designed to host applications and their environments, permitting server applications to run. A typical example is OAS, which is able to host Java, C, C++, and PL/SQL applications in cases where a remote client controls the interface. See also Oracle Application Server.


A property of an element that consists of a name and a value separated by an equals sign and contained within the start tags after the element name. In this example, <Price units='USD'>5</Price>, units is the attribute and USD is its value, which must be in single or double quotes. Attributes may reside in the document or DTD. Elements may have many attributes but their retrieval order is not defined.


Business Components for Java.

Business-to-Business (B2B)

A term describing the communication between businesses in the selling of goods and services to each other. The software infrastructure to enable this is referred to as an exchange.

Business-to-Consumer (B2C)

A term describing the communication between businesses and consumers in the selling of goods and services.


External binary files that exist outside the database tablespaces residing in the operating system. BFILES are referenced from the database semantics, and are also known as External LOBs.

Binary Large Object (BLOB)

A Large Object datatype whose content consists of binary data. Additionally, this data is considered raw as its structure is not recognized by the database.


See Binary Large Object.


A programmatic technique in which one process starts another and then continues. The second process then calls the first as a result of an action, value, or other event. This technique is used in most programs that have a user interface to allow continuous interaction.


A stored program in Java or PL/SQL that adds the necessary functionality for the database to understand and manipulate a new datatype. Cartridges interface through the Extensibility Framework within Oracle 8 or 8i. interMedia Text is just such a cartridge, adding support for reading, writing, and searching text documents stored within the database.


See character data.


Channel Definition Format. Provides a way to exchange information about channels on the internet.


See Common Gateway Interface.


Cascading Style Sheets.

character data (CDATA)

Text in a document that should not be parsed is put within a CDATA section. This allows for the inclusion of characters that would otherwise have special functions, such as &, <, >, etc. CDATA sections can be used in the content of an element or in attributes.

Common Gateway Interface (CGI)

The generic acronym for the programming interfaces enabling Web servers to execute other programs and pass their output to HTML pages, graphics, audio, and video sent to browsers.

child element

An element that is wholly contained within another, which is referred to as its parent element. For example <Parent><Child></Child></Parent> illustrates a child element nested within its parent element.

Class Generator

A utility that accepts an input file and creates a set of output classes that have corresponding functionality. In the case of the XML Class Generator, the input file is a DTD and the output is a series of classes that can be used to create XML documents conforming with the DTD.


The operating system environmental variable that the JVM uses to find the classes it needs to run applications.


The term used to describe the application architecture where the actual application runs on the client but accesses data or other external processes on a server across a network.

Character Large Object (CLOB)

The LOB datatype whose value is composed of character data corresponding to the database character set. A CLOB may be indexed and searched by the interMedia Text search engine.


See Character Large Object.

command line

The interface method in which the user enters in commands at the command interpreter's prompt.

Common Object Request Broker API (CORBA)

An Object Management Group standard for communicating between distributed objects across a network. These self-contained software modules can be used by applications running on different platforms or operating systems. CORBA objects and their data formats and functions are defined in the Interface Definition Language (IDL), which can be compiled in a variety of languages including Java, C, C++, Smalltalk and COBOL.

Common Oracle Runtime Environment (CORE)

The library of functions written in C that provides developers the ability to create code that can be easily ported to virtually any platform and operating system.


See Common Object Request Broker.

Database Access Descriptor (DAD)

A DAD is a named set of configuration values used for database access. A DAD specifies information such as the database name or the SQL*Net V2 service name, the ORACLE_HOME directory, and NLS configuration information such as language, sort type, and date language.


A text fragment, which may be in XML format, that is returned to the requester embedded in an HTML page from a SQL query processed by the XSQL Servlet.


The term used as the tag name designating the DTD or its reference within an XML document. For example, <!DOCTYPE person SYSTEM "person.dtd"> declares the root element name as person and an external DTD as person.dtd in the file system. Internal DTDs are declared within the DOCTYPE declaration.

Document Object Model (DOM)

An in-memory tree-based object representation of an XML document that enables programmatic access to its elements and attributes. The DOM object and its interface is a W3C recommendation. It specifies the Document Object Model of an XML Document including the APIs for programmatic access. DOM views the parsed document as a tree of objects.

Document Type Definition (DTD)

A set of rules that define the allowable structure of an XML document. DTDs are text files that derive their format from SGML and can either be included in an XML document by using the DOCTYPE element or by using an external file through a DOCTYPE reference.


See Document Object Model.


See Document Type Definition.


Electronic Data Interchange.

Enterprise Java Bean (EJB)

An independent program module that runs within a JVM on the server. CORBA provides the infrastructure for EJBs, and a container layer provides security, transaction support, and other common functions on any supported server.


The basic logical unit of an XML document that may serve as a container for other elements as children, data, attributes, and their values. Elements are identified by start-tags, <name> and end-tags</name> or in the case of empty elements, <name/>.

empty element

An element without text content or child elements. It may only contain attributes and their values. Empty elements are of the form <name/> or <name></name> where there is no space between the tags.


A string of characters that may represent either another string of characters or special characters that are not part of the document's character set. Entities and the text that is substituted for them by the parser are declared in the DTD.

eXtensible Markup Language (XML)

An open standard for describing data developed by the W3C using a subset of the SGML syntax and designed for Internet use. Version 1.0 is the current standard, having been published as a W3C Recommendation in February 1998.

eXtensible Stylesheet Language (XSL)

The language used within stylesheets to transform or render XML documents. There are two W3C recommendations covering XSL stylesheets--XSL Transformations (XSLT) and XSL Formatting Objects (XSLFO).


(W3C) eXtensible Stylesheet Language, XSL consists of two W3C recommendations - XSL Transformations for transforming one XML document into another and XSL Formatting Objects for specifying the presentation of an XML document. XSL is a language for expressing stylesheets. It consists of two parts:

An XSL stylesheet specifies the presentation of a class of XML documents by describing how an instance of the class is transformed into an XML document that uses the formatting vocabulary.

eXtensible Stylesheet Language Formatting Object (XSLFO)

The W3C standard specification that defines an XML vocabulary for specifying formatting semantics.

eXtensible Stylesheet Language Transformation (XSLT)

Also written as XSL-T. The XSL W3C standard specification that defines a transformation language to convert one XML document into another.


See Hypertext Markup Language.


See Hypertext Transport Protocol.


The method of creating and publishing text documents in which users can navigate between other documents or graphics by selecting words or phrases designated as hyperlinks.

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)

The markup language used to create the files sent to Web browsers and that serves as the basis of the World Wide Web. The next version of HTML will be called xHTML and will be an XML application.

Hypertext Transport Protocol (HTTP)

The protocol used for transporting HTML files across the Internet between Web servers and browsers.


See Integrated Development Environment.


See Internet File System.

Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

A set of programs designed to aide in the development of software run from a single user interface. JDeveloper is an IDE for Java development as it includes an editor, compiler, debugger, syntax checker, help system, and so on to permit Java software development through a single user interface.

Internet File System (iFS)

The Oracle file system and Java-based development environment that either runs inside the Oracle8i database or on a middle tier and provides a means of creating, storing, and managing multiple types of documents in a single database repository.

Internet Inter-ORB Protocol (IIOP)

The protocol used by CORBA to exchange messages on a TCP/IP network such as the Internet.


A term used in object-based languages such as Java and C++ to refer to the creation of an object of a specific class.


The term used to describe the collection of complex data types and their access within Oracle8i. These include text, video, time-series, and spatial data types.


A high-level programming language developed and maintained by Sun Microsystems where applications run in a virtual machine known as a JVM. The JVM is responsible for all interfaces to the operating system. This architecture permits developers to create Java applications and applets that can run on any operating system or platform that has a JVM.

Java Bean

An independent program module that runs within a JVM, typically for creating user interfaces on the client. The server equivalent is called an Enterprise Java Bean (EJB). See also Enterprise Java Bean.

Java Database Connectivity (JDBC)

The programming API that enables Java applications to access a database through the SQL language. JDBC drivers are written in Java for platform independence but are specific to each database.

Java Developer's Kit (JDK)

The collection of Java classes, runtime, compiler, debugger, and usually source code for a version of Java that makes up a Java development environment. JDKs are designated by versions, and Java 2 is used to designate versions from 1.2 onward.

Java Runtime Environment (JRE)

The collection of complied classes that make up the Java virtual machine on a platform. JREs are designated by versions, and Java 2 is used to designate versions from 1.2 onward.

Java Server Page (JSP)

An extension to the servlet functionality that enables a simple programmatic interface to Web pages. JSPs are HTML pages with special tags and embedded Java code that is executed on the Web or application server providing dynamic functionality to HTML pages. JSPs are actually compiled into servlets when first requested and run in the server's JVM.

Java virtual machine (JVM)

The Java interpreter that converts the compiled Java bytecode into the machine language of the platform and runs it. JVMs can run on a client, in a browser, in a middle tier, on a Web, on an application server such as OAS, or in a database server such as Oracle 8i.


See Java Database Connectivity.


Oracle's Java IDE that enables application, applet, and servlet development and includes an editor, compiler, debugger, syntax checker, help system, etc. In version 3.1,JDeveloper has been enhanced to support XML-based development by including the Oracle XDK for Java integrated for easy use along with XML support in its editor.


See Java Developer's Kit.


The Java Virtual Machine that runs within the memory space of the Oracle8i database. In Oracle 8i Release 1 the JVM was Java 1.1 compatible while Release 2 is Java 1.2 compatible.


See Java virtual machine.


See local area network.

local area network (LAN)

A computer communication network that serves users within a restricted geographical area. LANs consist of servers, workstations, communications hardware (routers, bridges, network cards, etc.) and a network operating system.


A separate application process that monitors the input process.

Large Object (LOB)

The class of SQL data type that is further divided into Internal LOBs and External LOBs. Internal LOBs include BLOBs, CLOBS, and NCLOBs while External LOBs include BFILES. See also BFILES, Binary Large Object, Character Large Object.


See Large Object.


The term to describe a set of related element names or attributes within an XML document. The namespace syntax and its usage is defined by a W3C Recommendation. For example, the <xsl:apply-templates/ > element is identified as part of the XSL namespace. Namespaces are declared in the XML document or DTD before they are used be using the following attribute syntax:- xmlns:xsl="".


See national character Large Object.


In XML, the term used to denote each addressable entity in the DOM tree.

national character Large Object

The LOB datatype whose value is composed of character data corresponding to the database national character set.


In XML, the definition of a content type that is not part of those understood by the parser. These types include audio, video, and other multimedia.


The designation for a computer communication network architecture that consists of one or more tiers made up of clients and servers. Typically two-tier systems are made up of one client level and one server level. A three-tier system utilizes two server tiers, typically a database server as one and a Web or application server along with a client tier.


Open Applications Group.


Oracle Applications Integrator. Runtime with Oracle iStudio development tool that provides a way for CRM applications to integrate with other ERP systems besides Oracle ERP. Specific APIs must be "message enabled." It uses standard extensibility hooks to generate or parse XML streams exchanged with other application systems. In development.


See Oracle Application Server.


See Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information.

Object View

A tailored presentation of the data contained in one or more object tables or other views. The output of an Object View query is treated as a table. Object Views can be used in most places where a table is used.


The term to describe a relational database system that can also store and manipulate higher-order data types, such as text documents, audio, video files, and user-defined objects.

Object Request Broker (ORB)

Software that manages message communication between requesting programs on clients and between objects on servers. ORBs pass the action request and its parameters to the object and return the results back. Common implementations are CORBA and EJBs. See also CORBA.


Oracle Exchange.

Oracle Application Server (OAS)

The Oracle server that integrates all the core services and features required for building, deploying, and managing high-performance, n-tier, transaction-oriented Web applications within an open standards framework.

Oracle Integration Server (OIS)

The Oracle server product that serves as the messaging hub for application integration. OIS contains an Oracle 8i database with AQ and Oracle Workflow and interfaces to applications using Oracle Message Broker to transport XML-formatted messages between them.


The operating system environmental variable that identifies the location of the Oracle database installation for use by applications.


See Oracle Integration Server.


See Object Request Broker.

Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information (OASIS)

An organization of members chartered with promoting public information standards through conferences, seminars, exhibits, and other educational events. XML is a standard that OASIS is actively promoting as it is doing with SGML.

parent element

An element that surrounds another element, which is referred to as its child element. For example, <Parent><Child></Child></Parent> illustrates a parent element wrapping its child element.


In XML, a software program that accepts as input an XML document and determines whether it is well-formed and, optionally, valid. The Oracle XML Parser supports both SAX and DOM interfaces.

Parsed Character Data (PCDATA)

The element content consisting of text that should be parsed but is not part of a tag or nonparsed data.


See Parsed Character Data.


Personal Digital Assistants, such as Palm Pilot.


Resource Definition Framework.


The Oracle procedural database language that extends SQL to create programs that can be run within the database.


The opening part of an XML document containing the XML declaration and any DTD or other declarations needed to process the document.


The term used to specify the location on the Internet of the reference that follows.


A software processor that outputs a document in a specified format.

result set

The output of a SQL query consisting of one or more rows of data.

root element

The element that encloses all the other elements in an XML document and is between the optional prolog and epilog. An XML document is only permitted to have one root element.


See Simple API for XML.

Simple API for XML (SAX)

An XML standard interface provided by XML parsers and used by event-based applications.


The definition of the structure and data types within a database. It can also be used to refer to an XML document that support the XML Schema W3C recommendation.


A Java application that runs in a server, typically a Web or application server, and performs processing on that server. Servlets are the Java equivalent to CGI scripts.


The active connection between two tiers.


See Structured Generalized Markup Language.

Structured Generalized Markup Language (SGML)

An ISO standard for defining the format of a text document implemented using markup and DTDs.

Structured Query Language (SQL)

The standard language used to access and process data in a relational database.

Server-side Include (SSI)

The HTML command used to place data or other content into a Web page before sending it to the requesting browser.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

The primary security protocol on the Internet, which utilizes a public key/private key form of encryption between browsers and servers.


See Structured Query Language.


See Server-side Include.


See Secure Sockets Layer.


In XML, the term used to describe an XML document that consists of XSL processing instructions used by an XSL processor to transform or format an input XML document into an output one.


The term used to specify the location on the host operating system of the reference that follows.


A single piece of XML markup that delimits the start or end of an element. Tags start with < and end with >. In XML, there are start-tags (<name>), end-tags (</name>), and empty tags (<name/>).


See Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol.


In programming, a single message or process execution path within an operating system that supports multiple operating systems, such as Windows, UNIX, and Java.

Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)

The communications network protocol that consists of the TCP which controls the transport functions and IP which provides the routing mechanism. It is the standard for Internet communications.


The Oracle term used to describe the Oracle XML Java Beans included in the XDK for Java. These beans include an XML Source View Bean, Tree View Bean, DOMParser Bean, Transformer Bean, and a TransViewer Bean.

user interface (UI)

The combination of menus, screens, keyboard commands, mouse clicks, and command language that defines how a user interacts with a software application.

Uniform Resource Identifier (URI)

The address syntax that is used to create URLs and XPaths.

Uniform Resource Locator (URL)

The address that defines the location and route to a file on the Internet. URLs are used by browsers to navigate the World Wide Web and consist of a protocol prefix, port number, domain name, directory and subdirectory names, and the file name. For example specifies the location and path a browser will travel to find OTN's XML site on the World Wide Web.


See Uniform Resource Identifier.


See Uniform Resource Locator.


The term used to refer to an XML document when its structure and element content is consistent with that declared in its referenced or included DTD.


See World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).


See wide area network.

Web Request Broker (WRB)

The cartridge within OAS that processes URLs and sends them to the appropriate cartridge.


The term used to refer to an XML document that conforms to the syntax of the XML version declared in its XML declaration. This includes having a single root element, properly nested tags, and so forth.

wide area network (WAN)

A computer communication network that serves users within a wide geographic area, such as a state or country. WANs consist of servers, workstations, communications hardware (routers, bridges, network cards, etc.), and a network operating system.

Working Group (WG)

The committee within the W3C that is made up of industry members that implement the recommendation process in specific Internet technology areas.

World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

An international industry consortium started in 1994 to develop standards for the World Wide Web. It is located at


The term describing a data structure or software that wraps around other data or software, typically to provide a generic or object interface.

XML Developer's Kit (XDK)

The set of libraries, components and utilities that provide software developers with the standards-based functionality to XML-enable their applications. In the case of the Oracle XDK for Java, the kit contains an XML Parser, XSL Processor, XML Class Generator, the Transviewer Java Beans and the XSQL Servlet.


The XML Linking language consisting of the rules governing the use of hyperlinks in XML documents. These rules are being developed by the XML Linking Group under the W3C recommendation process. This is one of the three languages XML supports to manage document presentation and hyperlinks (XLink, XPointer, and XPath).


See eXtensible Stylesheet Language.

XML query

The W3C's effort to create a standard for the language and syntax to query XML documents.

XML schema

The W3C's effort to create a standard to express simple data types and complex structures within an XML document. It addresses areas currently lacking in DTDs, including the definition and validation of data types. Oracle XML Schema Processor automatically ensures validity of XML documents and data used in e-business applications, including online exchanges. It adds simple and complex datatypes to XML documents and replaces DTD functionality with an XML Schema definition XML document.


The open standard syntax for addressing elements within a document used by XSL and XPointer. XPath is currently a W3C recommendation. It specifies the data model and grammar for navigating an XML document utilized by XSLT, XLink and XML Query.


The term and W3C recommendation to describe a reference to an XML document fragment. An XPointer can be used at the end of an XPath-formatted URI. It specifies the identification of individual entities or fragments within an XML document using XPath navigation.


See eXtensible Stylesheet Language.


See eXtensible Stylesheet Language Formatting Object.


See eXtensible Stylesheet Language Transformation.


The designation used by the Oracle Servlet providing the ability to produce dynamic XML documents from one or more SQL queries and optionally transform the document in the server using an XSL stylesheet.

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