Installing the software

The software is issued in the form of a ZIP file: all you need to do is to create a suitable directory (perhaps c:\saxon) and unzip the supplied file.

The executable software will then be installed in the folder c:\saxon\bin. The main components are as follows:




Basic XSLT 2.0 and XQuery 1.0 processor.


Schema-aware XSLT 2.0 and XQuery 1.0 processor, and XML Schema processor. Provided in the Saxon-SA product only. This assembly contains the additional components needed to make Saxon schema-aware; it relies on saxon8.dll for the basic functionality.


Provides classes implementing Saxon's .NET API


Command line entry-point for XSLT transformation


Command line entry-point for XQuery evaluation


Command line entry-point for XML Schema validation


Run-time library for the IKVM cross-compiler


GNU implementation of the Java class library

To develop your own applications, you will want to register the Saxon DLL assemblies in the Global Assembly Cache. To assist in this, a script is provided in the same directory, called install-gac.cmd.

It is useful to set the environment variable SAXON_HOME to the directory in which Saxon is installed (c:\saxon in our example). This is used (a) when locating the Saxon-SA license key (see Obtaining a license key) and (b) by some of the sample applications.

It is also useful to add the /bin subdirectory to the PATH environment variable. This enables you to use the commands Transform, Query, and Validate without identifying their location explicitly.

Unless you want to use different versions of Saxon in different applications, it is simplest to make these permament settings. Go to Control Panel / System / Advanced / Environment Variables. If Saxon is used by multiple users, add a system environment variable SAXON_HOME; if there is a single user, make it a user environment variable. At the same time, edit the value of the existing PATH variable. You may need to restart applications for the settings to take effect.

If you are new to the product, you will probably want to download the sample C# applications.