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What is XPath?

The XML Path (XPath) language is a query language for XML documents, developed by the W3 consortium.

XPath provides users with a non-XML-based syntax that allows them to point to elements in an XML document.

  • It defines a language for finding information in an XML file.
  • It is used to traverse elements and attributes of an XML document.
  • XPath uses "path like" syntax to identify and navigate nodes in an XML document.
  • XPath provides various types of expressions that can be used to request relevant information from the XML document.
  • XPath contains over 200 built-in functions.
  • XPath is a major element in the XSLT standard

Important features of XPath

  • XPath defines the structure: XPath is used to define the parts of an XML document, i.e. element, attributes, text, namespace, processing statement, comment, and document nodes.
  • XPath provides path expressions: XPath provides powerful path expressions, selects nodes or lists of nodes in XML documents.
  • XPath is a core component of XSLT: XPath is an important element in the XSLT standard and must be followed to work with XSLT documents.
  • XPath is a standard function: XPath provides a rich library of standard functions for manipulating string values, numeric values, date/time comparison, node and QName manipulation, sequence manipulation, boolean values, etc.
  • XPath is a W3C recommendation