Re: What is the logic of storing XML in a Database?

From: Cimode <>
Date: 28 Mar 2007 06:55:21 -0700
Message-ID: <>

On Mar 28, 1:21 pm, Bernard Peek <> wrote:
> On 2007-03-28, Cimode <> wrote:

> > What advantage of XML as a transport format do you see over let's say
> > a CSV file with an integrated header?
> There's nothing that you can do with XML that can't be done in other ways.
> But of course there's very little that you can do with a computer that you
> can't eventually do with pencil and paper. Not all of the advantages of XML
> are immediately obvious.
> From my experience of replacing legacy formats with XML the main benefits
> are:
> Data can be validated before it's transmitted.
Does that mean that CSV data with a header can't be validated? How do you validate data?

> Validation against a schema
> will trap most major errors. It will trap most of the minor errors that
> would normally require action by an expensive and extremely bored human being.
In what a header does constitute a schema.

> Therefore it reduces processing costs and staff turnover.

> Errors are rejected by a machine. That usually makes it the sender's
> responsibility to check and correct the data. Making that unambiguous saves
In what does that differ from a CSV with a header?

> a lot of time and endless arguments between business partners.
> Code to handle XML is standardised and therefore doesn't need to be
> rewritten for each individual application. This makes it more reliable and
> cheaper to develop and maintain.
How is standardized? What is a standard for coding XML?

> It is difficult to extend CSV systems boyond the simple flat-file system
> with a single record type. Traditionally, at least in the systems I've
> worked with, the solution is to denormalise the data from more than one
> table. Therefore CSV is usually more verbose than XML and can take up much
So what you are saying is that an XML file takes less space (less verbose) than a flat CSV file? Besides could you explain what you mean by *denormalize data from more than one table*.
> more storage space. (The storage space argument isn't one I usually have a
> lot of time for - it's not usually worth bothering with.)
> XML data is not generally manually edited, this is a huge advantage. Fixing
> manually prepared data files soaks up vast amounts of time and effort. It's
> more likely that XML files will be generated and read by automated systems
> than by someone typing data. That makes XML data much more reliable than
> CSV.
> --
> In search of cognoscenti
Received on Wed Mar 28 2007 - 15:55:21 CEST

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