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   Native xml db for small enterprise with evolving schema

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Hello all,

I am interested in your opinion on how much success I am likely to find
trying to use an open source native xml database to support a typical
small growing enterprise. My intention is to drop the distinction
between data and document. A document would be either structured,
unstructured, but most often somewhere in between. I am thinking of
maintaining one xml schema which is in continual flux as the company
grows. This schema would probably always be used for validating new
documents, but only sometimes used for validating retrieved documents
(when exchanging the document with a business partner for example).
Documents would become more structured as the enterprise develops its
business model and understands the benefits of more structure. More
document types would be discovered and included in the schema as
business processes develop. Html interfaces would auto-generated with
xslt stylesheets for displaying retrieved documents. The schema would be
transformed to create html forms for creating new documents. Editing
outdated documents would involve either validating it against the new
schema or simply throwing back into the store.

I expect my problems are going to center around maintaining links
between documents. I've been thinking of using Mozilla's support for
simple type XLinks for this. Generating an html form for creating a new
"Project" would involve transforming the Project element of the schema,
and when an aggregated element is found, "Person" for example, the
database would be queried to construct a list of xlink hrefs to people.
When the document is retrieved the link could be used to drill down to
the aggregated document. Xindice has an experimental feature called
autolink which seems to address this.

Thanks in advance for your consideration of these issues and many

Duncan Swain


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