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   Re: XML interface to Oracle

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  • From: Tyler Baker <tyler@infinet.com>
  • To: Michael Kay <M.H.Kay@eng.icl.co.uk>
  • Date: Sat, 13 Sep 1997 00:13:01 -0400

Michael Kay wrote:

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Martin Bryan <mtbryan@sgml.u-net.com>
> To: xml-dev@ic.ac.uk <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
> Date: 15 December 1997 16:14
> Subject: XML interface to Oracle
> >I have just been asked by the European Commission Statistics Office if
> >anyone has yet hooked an XML parser directly to an Oracle database. (They
> >need to transfer large amounts of data between heterogeneous databases ...
> Then why specify Oracle in the question?
> There are at least two obvious ways of representing a table in XML, the main
> decision
> is whether to represent data values as attributes or as content. No doubt,
> given the
> richness of XML, the experts could come up with many less obvious
> representations
> as well. Using any of the parsers I have looked at, any of these formats
> could be trivially
> translated into the kind of input formats (e.g. CSV files) that existing
> RDBMSs will accept.
> Or perhaps by "directly" you want to avoid the intermediate CSV file: well
> that's not difficult
> either but it's more work and I don't see much benefit in it.

For relational databases, this could be easily done (I would surmise) by simply
using the DTD to first generate the table structure of the database in which you
would map each child's foreign key to its parent container (which is represented
as a table).  This would eliminate needing to map each DTD's structure manually.

Then you would just insert content into each table based upon its type as well as
the appropriate foreign key value.  Java Blend maps Java Object's to a relational
database, so why not just map XML objects to a relational database.  Mapping XML
DTD's I feel is far simpler, but the implementations are pretty much the same.

> But it all begs the question, what are you (or they) trying to achieve? Is
> there really a practical
> problem with transferring data between relational databases that XML can
> solve? People do
> it all the time with various flavours of CSV, so why bother?

I would not be surprised if Oracle and just about any other database vendor will
be supporting XML in the near future as doing so would require little
implementation time, while the benefits could be enormous.


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