Query XML Data in ColdFusion

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Rapidly create and deploy powerful Java applications that integrate with XML data stores.

Write standard ColdFusion data access code to connect to XML data.

The CData JDBC Driver for XML seamlessly integrates connectivity to XML data with the rapid development tools in ColdFusion. This article shows how to connect to XML data in ColdFusion and query XML tables.

Create a JDBC Data Source for XML in ColdFusion

The JDBC data source enables you to execute SQL from standard ColdFusion tags like cfquery and CFScript like executeQuery.

  1. Copy the driver JAR and .lic file from the installation directory onto the ColdFusion classpath. For example, copy the files into C:\MyColdFusionDirectory\cfusion\wwwroot\WEB-INF\lib. Or, open the Java and JVM page in the ColdFusion Administrator and enter the path to the files in the ColdFusion Class Path box.

    The JAR and license for the driver are located in the lib subfolder of the installation directory.

    Restart the server after this step.

  2. Add the driver as a data source:

    From the ColdFusion administrator interface, expand the Data & Services node and click Data Sources. In the Add New Data Source section, enter a name for the data source and select Other in the Driver menu.

  3. Populate the driver properties:

    • JDBC URL: Enter connection properties in the JDBC URL. The JDBC URL begins with jdbc:xml: and is followed by the connection properties in a semicolon-separated list of name=value pairs.

      See the Getting Started chapter in the data provider documentation to authenticate to your data source: The data provider models XML APIs as bidirectional database tables and XML files as read-only views (local files, files stored on popular cloud services, and FTP servers). The major authentication schemes are supported, including HTTP Basic, Digest, NTLM, OAuth, and FTP. See the Getting Started chapter in the data provider documentation for authentication guides.

      After setting the URI and providing any authentication values, set DataModel to more closely match the data representation to the structure of your data.

      The DataModel property is the controlling property over how your data is represented into tables and toggles the following basic configurations.

      • Document (default): Model a top-level, document view of your XML data. The data provider returns nested elements as aggregates of data.
      • FlattenedDocuments: Implicitly join nested documents and their parents into a single table.
      • Relational: Return individual, related tables from hierarchical data. The tables contain a primary key and a foreign key that links to the parent document.

      See the Modeling XML Data chapter for more information on configuring the relational representation. You will also find the sample data used in the following examples. The data includes entries for people, the cars they own, and various maintenance services performed on those cars.

      Built-in Connection String Designer

      For assistance in constructing the JDBC URL, use the connection string designer built into the XML JDBC Driver. Either double-click the JAR file or execute the jar file from the command-line.

      java -jar cdata.jdbc.xml.jar

      Fill in the connection properties and copy the connection string to the clipboard.

      A typical JDBC URL is below:

    • Driver Class: Enter the driver class. The driver class is cdata.jdbc.xml.XMLDriver.
    • Driver Name: Enter a user-defined name for the driver.
    • Username: Enter the username used to authenticate.
    • Password: Enter the password used to authenticate.

You can now test the connection by enabling the CData XML data source in the Actions column. After reporting a status of OK, the XML data source is ready for use.

Execute Queries

The cfquery tag can pass SQL statements to XML, including INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE.. Use the cfqueryparam tag to create parameterized queries and prevent SQL injection through the query string.

<cfquery name="XMLQuery" dataSource="CDataXML"> SELECT * FROM people WHERE [ personal.name.last ] = <cfqueryparam value="#[ personal.name.last ]#" cfsqltype="cf_sql_varchar"> </cfquery> <cfdump var="#XMLQuery#">

Below is the equivalent in CFScript:

result = queryExecute(
  "SELECT * FROM people WHERE [ personal.name.last ] = ?", 
    { value="Roberts", cfsqltype="cf_sql_varchar" }
  { datasource="CDataXML" }

writeDump( var= result );

You can then make requests to your .cfm like the following:

http://MyServer:8500/query.cfm?[ personal.name.last ]=Roberts