About Saxon

Release 8.9 is the latest milestone in Saxonica's implementation of the XPath 2.0, XSLT 2.0, and XQuery 1.0 specifications. Ths is the first release to be made since the specifications became official W3C Recommendations. It is fully conformant with the final version of the specs, providing all the mandatory features of those specifications and nearly all the optional features. For further details on conformance, see the conformance page.

The main new feature in this release is the ability to compile XQuery queries into Java code. Because of the complexity of this feature, it should be treated as a beta release: all feedback is welcome. It is hoped to extend the code generation capability to XSLT at some stage in the future.

This version is shipped simultaneously for the Java and .NET platforms.

Saxon is available in two versions (each of which is delivered on both Java and .NET platforms). Saxon-B is a non-schema-aware processor, and is available as an open-source product, free of charge, from SourceForge. It is designed to conform to the basic conformance level of XSLT 2.0, and the equivalent level of functionality in XQuery 1.0. Saxon-SA is the schema-aware version of the package, and is available as a commercially supported product from Saxonica Limited. Licensing options are available to provide XSLT only, XQuery only, or schema validation only, as well as a full license that gives access to all functionality.

This documentation covers all versions of the product, with differences noted where applicable. For a summary of the differences, see Product Packages.

This documentation (including full API documentation for both the Java and .NET platforms) is provided on the Saxonica web site and is also available for download either from SourceForge or from Saxonica. The download file is named, and is separate from the software download. It includes documentation for both Saxon-B and Saxon-SA, on both platforms. The file also includes sample applications and Saxon-B source code.

JavaDoc API specifications and .NET API specifications are also available.

A full change log is provided.

Saxon 8.x has been used for production applications by many users. The code is proving stable and reliable. Now that the specifications have reached Candidate Recommendation status, the only further changes are likely to be minor corrections and clarifications issued as errata. Saxon will implement any such changes so long as this can be done without impact on backwards compatibility. Changes in each release are always described in the change log.

If you are looking for an XSLT 1.0 or XPath 1.0 processor, Saxon 6.5.5 remains available. However, Saxon 8.x is capable of executing XSLT 1.0 stylesheets with identical results in the vast majority of cases, so you may prefer to use the latest release.