An XML database a data persistence software system that allows data to be stored in XML format. These data can then be queried, exported and serialized into the desired format. XML databases are usually associated with document-oriented databases, and are a type of NoSQL database.

Relational databases and full-text search mechanisms that have been the backbone of many applications are not designed to manage XML content effectively. A new class of databases has emerged that is designed specifically to manage XML content. Typically called “XML Native Databases” or just “XML databases,” they incorporate functionality that greatly improves the management, searching, and manipulation of XML to produce the most effective XML data management solution.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the standards organization that developed XML, has also developed many standards that can be used to access, search, process, and store XML data. XML databases take advantage of these standards to provide efficient and precise access, query, storage, and processing capabilities not found in traditional database technology. The result is that applications using XML databases are more efficient and better suited for managing XML data.