XML data (SQL Server)

Applies to: yesSQL Server (all supported versions) YesAzure SQL Database

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.

  • Starting with SQL Server 2022 (16.x) Preview, 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).

Next steps

See also