1. Recommended Reading

If you are new to eXist, we recommend to at least scan through the following documents to get an overview of the most important features:

Also, there are some articles, tutorials and blog posts which may provide valuable information.

2. Available Documentation

We recommend to have a look at the Quick Start first, then maybe continue to read about XQuery support, in particular eXist-specific extensions and features.

You can search the documentation as well as the XQuery function module library.

2.1. General

getting started with eXist.
upgrading from previous versions.
links to external articles, tutorials and blog posts.
how to configure indexes (must read)
eXist supports different alternatives for server deployment.
describes the various interfaces: XML:DB API, XML-RPC, REST, SOAP.
creating/changing users, passwords and resource permissions.
configuration options for the server.
provides a few rules to consider when tuning the db and the XQueries

2.2. Documentation for Specific Features

how to automate tasks with Ant.
how to configure and interact over the Atom Publishing Protocol to treat your collections as Atom feeds.
explains how to backup/restore your database contents.
how to configure cluster environment.
how to configure triggers.
support for Java Management Extensions (JMX)
describes command-line usage of the Java client
an XQuery module to easily produce a Keywords in Context (KWIC) output of search results
configuring eXist to use LDAP for users and groups.
Apache Lucene integrated into eXist's XQuery engine
optional module for scheduling jobs.
a simple, yet powerful module for URL rewriting and redirection with some support for MVC (model-view-controller) and servlet-based pipelines
validate xml documents.
versioning extensions
how to setup your favourite webDAV enabled application.
XQuery access control.
XInclude support in eXist.
XForms support in eXist (using betterFORM or xsltforms).
XProc support in eXist using xprocxq.
current status, supported features and extensions.
eXist provides a number of extensions to update document fragments from within an XQuery.
XQuery Debugger Since version 1.4, eXist provides a debugging interface to debug XQuery code on the server. The feature basically works, though it is currently still incomplete, in particular with respect to the client side. We used emacs and vi as our main clients during development.

2.3. eXist Development

compiling and building eXist distributions, using the Subversion repository.
describes, through a use case, how modularized indexes work.
a few notes on how to setup eclipse to run eXist in a debugging mode ...
a few notes on how use Log4J within eXist code ...
a few notes on reviewing code during development ...

2.4. Production use

Points of Good Practice for using eXist in a production environment.
Details of how to proxy eXist behind various web servers.

3. Documentation on the Wiki

Further documentation can be found in the Wiki. Among other things, have a look at:

September 2009
Wolfgang M. Meier
wolfgang at