XQuery in SQL Server, some examples


I got an XQuery in SQL Server related question from a colleague the other day. I thought I had the answer, but it showed that I forgot most of it.

And of course I hadn’t written down my examples or tests from previous encounters regarding this topic.


So this is not intended to be an explanation of XQuery in SQL Server, just a quick reference that can be used in the future, and it will be expanded when there is a need.


The examples should be pretty self-explanatory.


declare @xml xml

set @xml =


               <Album id=”1″ category=”Rock”>

                             <Artist>Rockers Utd.</Artist>

                             <Title>Rock Until You Drop</Title>




               <Album id=”2″ category=”Oldies”>

                             <Artist>Oldies Inc.</Artist>

                             <Title>Rock Like There Was A Tomorrow</Title>




               <Album id=”3″ category=”Rock”>






               <Album id=”4″ category=”Dance”>

                             <Artist>Swing Its</Artist>

                             <Title>Shake and Bake</Title>






— Using @ signifies that we query on attribute, no @ means value of node


— Get all album titles in Category = “Rock”

select @xml.query(‘/RecordStore/Album[@category=”Rock”]/Title’)

— Get all artists that released albums in 2005

select @xml.query(‘/RecordStore/Album[ReleaseYear=2005]/Artist’)

— Get the price for the Album called ‘ShockRock’

select @xml.query(‘/RecordStore/Album[Title=”ShockRock”]/Price’)

— Get all albums titles with a price higher than 10

select @xml.query(‘/RecordStore/Album[Price>10]/Title’)

— Get the titles for the two first albums in list

select @xml.query(‘/RecordStore/Album[position()<=2]/Title’)


— Note that the above examples returns the nodes as XML, if you wish to get

— hold of a singular value, then use value() method instead, this returns a scalar so it needs a datatype as the second argument.


— Get the price for the Album called ShockRock

select @xml.value(‘(/RecordStore/Album[Title=”ShockRock”]/ReleaseYear)[1]’, ‘int’)

— Get the title for the album with id 4

select @xml.value(‘(/RecordStore/Album[@id=”4″]/Title)[1]’, ‘varchar(100)’)


Running this should produce the following results




<Title>Rock Until You Drop</Title><Title>ShockRock</Title>


(1 row(s) affected)




<Artist>Rockers Utd.</Artist><Artist>Swing Its</Artist>


(1 row(s) affected)






(1 row(s) affected)




<Title>ShockRock</Title><Title>Shake and Bake</Title>


(1 row(s) affected)




<Title>Rock Until You Drop</Title><Title>Rock Like There Was A Tomorrow</Title>


(1 row(s) affected)






(1 row(s) affected)




Shake and Bake


(1 row(s) affected)

Comments (4)

  1. Sudip says:

    Good to learn. Nice concise document.

  2. no_spacing says:

    ffs remove the double spacing from a codebox…

  3. Good one,Could have added more & different examples explaining different scenarios 🙂

  4. jlgervais says:

    Straight to the point, no b*llsh**, thanks !

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