CQ Leads Government Technology Story

I wanted highlight this story in Government Technology that features Mark Logic customer Congressional Quarterly (CQ).

One of my new memes is that just as the relational database enabled two large secondary markets (i.e., business applications, business analytics) so will XML content servers (such as MarkLogic) drive the creation of two huge secondary markets (i.e., content applications, content analytics).

As it turns out, most of our publishing customers build content applications (e.g., Elsevier’s PathConsult) and most of our government customers do content analytics.

CQ lives at the intersection of our two largest markets — they are a publisher that covers government — and they have built a very interesting content analytic application called CQ Legislative Impact.

This story, entitled X Factor, is primarily about XQuery, the query language that MarkLogic Server natively speaks.

It leads off with an interview of CQ’s senior software architect, Hank Hoffman:

It’s one thing to compile hearing dates, vote counts and committee actions, but it’s quite something else to make those data points relate meaningfully to one another. A year ago, Hoffman found what he was looking for in the form of XQuery […]

“You can do some very powerful things with just a very few lines of code,” Hoffman said, explaining that XQuery makes interpreting and managing masses of XML data a much simpler proposition […]

Other snippets include:

“If all you have is relational data, and you want to create tables, SQL is a great language. The problem is that the game has changed,” said Jonathan Robie, XQuery technology lead and chief scientist at Massachusetts-based DataDirect Technologies […]

He’s referring to the recent rise of XML as the predominant language driving the Internet and data storage in general — an evolution that has pushed demand for tools to query and manage XML data. That’s where XQuery comes in. […] Several companies, including Microsoft, IBM, MarkLogic and Saxonica, have moved to commercialize XQuery with diverse tools aimed at easing its implementation.


Users say it’s relatively easy to acquire a fluency in XQuery basics. Harvey turned to the language to develop an interactive dictionary, and recalls boarding a train not knowing a thing about it. “By the time I took the train to New York, had a meeting and took the train back,” she said, “I had a working product that I could give to my client. If you are familiar with XML and XML technologies, it is not that hard to work with.”

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