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I was going to respond before... really... : )
I am working in what is probably considered a much smaller shop-- we are
handling upwards of 100,000 page hits a month-- which may be small or large
depending on your viewpoint. Nevertheless it may be helpful.
We have written our system as a hybrid of data-binding/serialization and
XSLT templates. For the interchange aspect any data we get (in XML) is
transformed to our serialization format and then loaded into our structure.
I was working in an environment where everyone didn't have quite the same
level of gung-ho-ness for XML. This was a good mix. So most of the back-end
is native object structres (including business rules). But whenever we need
to interchange or output to the web, we serialize the objects and transform
to HTML (or fill in the blank...).
It is a little bit... hmmm... overkill?... but it has actually helped a
great deal. Being a smaller shop with a smaller customer base we have lots
of revisions and customizations-- the XSLT step really gives us everything
we need. We can rewrite the the whole application, create custom views, even
handle versioning without getting into really nasty code. In that way it is
used as a View in an MVC paradigm. So we lose a little bit of performance
(which could be improved by adding more memory or another server) but gain a
lot of simplicity.
It also enforces the guys who are good at code and the back end to stick
with it and stay away from the output... our data size probably will not
compare to yours... our files are 60K-120K on average. In terms of real
validation (a la XSD or DTD) we only do it, if necessary in the initial
stages of an interface. After that we turn it off as most/all submissions
are machine generated.
I am not sure if this is what you were looking for-- I can add more if you
need/want it. The system is not Java based... and the serialization was
originally a custom peice that was based on SAX. We have been interested in
pipelining (one of the reasons for using SAX) and probably will once we have
a SAX based XSLT engine... but haven't had time (or demand) yet.
All the best
XML Development and Developer Web Hosting