Re: newby (very) question on XML DB theory

From: Dawn M. Wolthuis <>
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 2004 11:47:43 -0500
Message-ID: <c5eh7v$iij$>

"Eric Kaun" <> wrote in message news:Z7zec.53525$
> "ccc31807" <> wrote in message
> > Basically, we have a lot of data in documents with a highly irregular
> > structure that we need to make available over networks. Historically,
> > this evolved from printed text documents, to a spreadsheet, to a flat
> > file database, to a real database. The question is: can we do this
> > without the overhead of the RDBMS. My job was not to answer yes or no,
> > but point the decision makers in the direction of the information.
> >
> > We're fairly well versed in DB stuff but totally ignorant as to XML
> > database possibilities.
> I'd recommend looking at the basics: will give you a very
> critical view of XML, and will point you to the writings of Chris Date and
> Fabian Pascal. Using an XML database assumes you'll only ever want to spit
> out XML in the same way you stored it; you sacrifice the meaning of the
> to the god of presentation.

That is true of some databases that persist the documents as documents without the ability to query the values stored within. But you can have both -- easy presentation of data the way that it will most likely benefit the user and the ability to query the data stored in those documents "simply" by storing the data in nested (graph/tree) structures. A query tool that has been available under many different names for almost (but not quite) 40 years (!!!) is the query language associated with PICK (such as UniQuery, English, Retieve, Access, AQL, jQL, and many more).

> Stick with a relational DBMS, and try some
> different ones. Is raw speed your main requirement? Do clients always want
> the data only in one format?

I'm still thinking that is not your best bang for the buck. I'm hoping the XML databases get to the point where their query language is as easy as PICK and have hope for them yet (in spite of those tags they drag along with every value, ugh!)

> I'm sure others can point you to XML database information, but rest
> it's got a very feeble foundation.

Xindice (I think that is, Berkely DB-XML at and if you check the site it will point you to others, I'm pretty sure. Good luck! --dawn Received on Mon Apr 12 2004 - 18:47:43 CEST

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