Saxonica: About the company

About Saxonica

Saxonica was founded in 2004 by Michael Kay, developer of the Saxon product, to bring what until then had been an open-source product to the commercial market. The company was created to ensure continued investment in moving the Saxon technology forwards, and remove the risk associated with using open-source software that has no support infrastructure. Over the years Saxonica has been operating, this strategy has proved successful in providing quality products and services to both the commercial and open source user communities.

For the early part of its history, the development of Saxon pioneered the ultimate in agile software development: the single-person team. Until recently the designer was the implementor, saving time traditional projects waste in meetings and coordination. The most important result is that there are no messy compromises in the design. It's a high-risk approach to software development, but when it works, the result is an unprecedented level of productivity, responsiveness to new requirements, and software quality. The success of Saxon is sufficient proof that the approach can indeed work. Recently the team has grown, but is deliberately being kept small and tight, so that the designer can maintain tight control of the product and its design.

Michael Kay, the developer of Saxon, has over thirty years' experience in the software industry, acting as lead designer on a succession of software projects, most of which involved large development teams. He held one of the most senior technical positions in ICL, a $4bn software and services company, now part of Fujitsu. His knowledge of XSLT and XQuery is second to none: he is the editor of the XSLT 2.0 and 3.0 specifications, a joint editor of XPath 2.0 and XPath 3.0, and an invited expert on the XQuery Working Group. He is also the author of the best-selling XSLT Programmer's Reference from Wrox Press, recently published in its fourth edition, covering both XSLT 2.0 and XPath 2.0.

Saxonica has been able to preserve the unique characteristics that made Saxon so successful, notably the speed of development, the direct relationship between developer and user, and the quality of the product. At the same time it has placed this on a commercial footing, enabling users of the technology to have confidence in its stability and its future.

Despite its small size, Saxonica today counts some of the world's largest companies among its customer base. Several of the world's biggest banks have enterprise licenses; publishers around the world use Saxon as a core part of their XML workflow; and many of the biggest names in the software industry package Saxon-EE as a component of the applications they distribute or the services they deploy on the cloud.

Company information

Saxonica is a Limited Company registered in England and Wales.

Company number:


VAT registration number:

GB 834 1810 45

Registered address:

c/o Assets Accounting, Chartered Accountants
Chiltern Chambers
37 St Peters Avenue
Reading RG4 7DH
Berkshire, UK


Michael H. Kay PhD FBCS and Penelope M. Kay BA