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RE: [xml-dev] XML Database Decision Tree?

A quick, personal/un-official checklist:  I'll try to be neutral, but I'm
sure my biases will shine through!

If you have a heavy investment in an Object-Relational DBMS (Oracle, MS,
IBM) and have learned to live with them, their XML add-on support may well
be cost effective for you. If you are starting from scratch, the native XML
DBMSs are generally cheaper, lighter, and easier to manage than a "universal
server" DBMS.

If you have XML "data" that is easily normalized into RDBMS tables, an RDBMS
or XML-enabled RDBMS will probably do at least as good a job as a native XML
DBMS. If you have XML "documents" with mixed content, recursive content
models, a complex mix of elements and attributes, and you want to search on
the XML structure *and* content, a native XML DBMS will almost certainly be

If you expose data to both existing RDBMS applications and XML applications,
you're probably better off leaving it in an RDBMS; XML simply has no good
notion of "referential integrity" and that could bite you hard.  If you have
invested heavily in the XML "paradigm" and have based applications on XML
standards and tools, a native XML database will almost certainly be easier
to integrate.

If you have a small number of XML DTDs/schema to work with and can afford
the time to do detailed analyses of the storage strategies and build data
loading programs, the XML-enabled RDBMSs may be satisfactory. If you have
lots of different XML datatypes/schema or you have lots of well-formed XML
to deal with, the native XML DBMSs make it much easier to build
type-specific collections or efficiently store/retrieve well-formed XML.

Hmmm ... that's all that come quickly to mind, but I'll be interested in
hearing others' thoughts.  Of course, combining these into a decision tree
would be difficult, but also interesting!  

[Shameless self-promotion: I have an article touching on this topic in the
current issue of eAI Journal - www.eaijournal.com] 

-----Original Message-----
From: Magick, Brian [mailto:Brian.Magick@COMPAQ.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2001 11:02 AM
To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: [xml-dev] XML Database Decision Tree?

With a number of XML database tools on the market, and the frequenting of
this board by the likes of Software AG, eXcelon, and others, has anyone
attempted to determine a decision tree governing when to use a dedicated
native XML database versus using the native features of Oracle and SQL
versus not using XML as a solution at all?  I am struggling right now with
deciding which factors should go into this decision and how the ultimate
decision should be made.  Any insight would be great!
Brian Magick