eXistdb: more than a database

Day 1: Crash course in eXistdb basics for TEI data

Day 2: X‐wiZZardry: application building with eXistdb

On Tuesday evening (27 Sept, 7 pm), an informal get-together with the eXistdb developers will take place at WerkzeugH. More infos


A significant portion of humanities research data is marked up and stored as XML documents. In order to provide standard interactive features for digital research resources, such as fulltext search possibilities, it is obvious to use a database which is optimized for the handling of XML documents. eXistdb is one of the leading native XML databases currently available. This open source solution is becoming a technology of choice in Digital Humanities, especially when it comes to storing, querying and publishing large corpora of XML marked up texts. eXistdb though is much more than just a database: it is also an application platform, web server and even a document creation platform. eXistdb is also currently the only out‐of‐the‐box implementation of the TEI processing model. Thus it is extremely well suited to be a database, rapid application development and publishing solution of choice for large, established collaborative projects and individual researchers alike.

This tutorial aims for a mix of talks and hands‐on practical sessions. It will be divided in two parts, lasting a day each, which can be taken independently. Part one will provide basic introduction to eXistdb and follow on to querying data collections with XPath, to conclude with publishing TEI documents with the TEI Processing Model.

Part two will move beyond out‐of‐the‐box solutions and will discuss XQuery, a language which is used to query, extract, and manipulate XML documents as well as build applications for eXistdb. We will also introduce the principles of eXistdb indexing and profiling features. As a source of inspiration and a panorama of applications that could benefit from relying on eXistdb as its core technology we will also showcase a few research projects using eXistdb.

As eXistdb is fully based upon Open Standards and Open Source it is a future‐proof and sustainable choice for research projects. Since its inception in 2001, eXistdb development has always been driven by the needs of a large user community. We believe that the TEI conference is a good opportunity for scholars to meet eXistdb contributors and practitioners, and to exchange ideas how the DH community could both engage and benefit further from eXistdb development.

The introduction to the features of eXistdb during the workshop will give participants a starting point for their own eXistdb‐based project as well as help them narrow their choices when it comes to selecting database technology suitable for their research.

Preliminary outline

Day 1:

● eXistdb at a glance
● schema‐less database organization
● uploading data and installing application packages
● eXide editor
● querying data with XPath
● main concepts of the TEI Processing Model
● TEI Processing Model Toolbox http://showcases.exist‐db.org/exist/apps/tei‐simple/index.html

Day 2:

● introduction to XQuery
● eXistdb templating framework
● indexing
● debugging and profiling



Magdalena Turska (magdalena@existsolutions.com)
developer, one of the authors of the TEI Simple and TEI Processing Model, TEI Technical Council and TAPAS advisory board member

Lars Windauer (lars@existsolutions.com)
open source developer, member of eXistdb XML native database and betterform project.

Wolfgang Meier (wolfgang@existsolutions.com)

Ingo Börner

Tiziana Mancinelli

Richard Hadden


This workshop will take place on 26-27 September 2016, 9 am to 5 pm. If you would like to participate in this workshop, please register in ConfTool. If you are already registered for the conference, you can add workshops under "Edit Your Participant Registration Details".