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Yes, almost every data format/store can be abstracted as an XML
view. The question that is yet-to-be-answered is whether these
XML views will be as operationally efficient as SQL based views.
Historically, client-side/persistence-independent view solutions
are good enough when the data set is small enough and concurrency
requirements are minimal. Once performance becomes a major issue,
the 'view' becomes materialized or gets tied to the storage format,
once performance becomes a major issue.
It remains to be seen whether there will be an 'XML view'
technology which is efficient without tying itself to a certain
>From: Paul Prescod <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>To: Dare Obasanjo <email@example.com>, xml-dev <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: Re: [xml-dev] The Browser Wars are Dead! Long Live the Browser
>Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2002 16:45:51 -0700
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>Dare Obasanjo wrote:
>>This has little to do with the differences between relational and XML
>>querying. All you've pointed out is that XML queries are typically done
>>against a "view" while SQL queries are typically run against an actual
>>database schema. A query against XML can be similarly tightly coupled if
>>done against an XML repository (i.e. a native XML or XML-enabled DBMS)
>>as can a SQL query be loosely coupled if performed against a SQL view.
>XML tools are typically designed with a "view" mindset. The XML document is
>the interchange format of some data. There is almost always logic, whether
>declarative or procedural, mapping to the persistence layer and the
>toolkits are designed to help with that. I wouldn't really no how to go
>about creating a SQL-queryable "view" in C as an abstraction over a variety
>of SQL, OO and legacy data sources. Is there (for example) an open source
>project or .NET component that would help me with that? Would I have to
>become a deep magic expert at Postgres or SQL server versus spending a half
>day with Expat?
>My understanding is that Microsoft has tried various experiments about the
>"universal data view architecture" (ODBC, ADO, ec. etc.) and so-far, XML
>has "won". In my experience, it is quite uncommon to create SQL views
>outside of a SQL database, and very common (and easy) to create XML views
>of all sorts of information.
> Paul Prescod
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