Installation: .NET platform

This section explains in more detail how to install Saxon on the .NET platform. For a basic "quick start" guide, see Getting started with Saxon on the .NET platform.

For more information about Saxon on the .NET platform, see Saxon on .NET.

Prerequisites: .NET platform

The following software must be installed separately, it is not included with the Saxon download.

Because Saxon is run from the command line, you might find it useful (under Microsoft Windows) to have a text editor with better command-line support than the standard DOS console. For instance, UltraEdit.

Installing the software

The software is issued in the form of a .exe file containing an installation wizard: all you need to do is to run it, answering simple prompts such as the directory in which you want it installed.

The main components are as follows:



saxon9he.dll, saxon9pe.dll or saxon9ee.dll

The Saxon library for Home Edition, Professional Edition, or Enterprise Edition.

saxon9he-api.dll, saxon9pe-api.dll, saxon9ee-api.dll

The classes implementing Saxon's .NET API. The three DLLs are identical except that they contain references to the appropriate version of the main Saxon DLL.


Command line entry-point for XSLT transformation.


Command line entry-point for XQuery evaluation.


Command line entry-point for XML Schema validation. Included only in the Saxon-EE distribution.


Run-time library for the IKVM cross-compiler.


A number of DLL files containing parts of the Java OpenJDK class library cross-compiled to .NET.

These files will typically be found in a folder with a name such as c:\Program Files\Saxonica\SaxonHE9.9N\bin

You may find it useful to add this directory to the PATH environment variable. This enables you to use the commands Transform, Query, and Validate without identifying their location explicitly.

Sample applications

Saxon on .NET is distributed with a number of sample applications. These are issued (together with this documentation and other resources) in a separate download file, available from both the SourceForge and Saxonica websites. Once this is unzipped, the sample applications can be found in the directory /samples. They are described in Samples.

Many of the samples are equally applicable to the Java and .NET platforms. However, there are several programs in the /samples/cs directory that are specifically designed to illustrate ways of using the Saxon.Api interface. This interface is exclusive to the .NET product, and is described in more detail in Saxon API for .NET. These sample applications are described in Example applications for .NET.