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£.02 coming your way, with some wild assumptions about the semantics of
it doesn't fill your criteria of a single element _but_ ->
it holds more information about what is actually what (the estimate is
final, not the budget, amount, or year), it can easily be reused (as the
tools that will operate on it) when you need to handle eg non-final
amounts, and it's extensible.
i'd always insist that you don't let the db decide what the XML should
look like, and don't let the XML decide what the db should look like.
use the two different data formats to the best of their respective
capabilities, and invest the extra time and effort in getting the data
for XML<->RDBMS roundtripping these days there are plenty of tools
available, so there's no excuse for dumbing one or the other schema down
just in order to reach a lowest common denominator.
http://www.o-xml.org - the object-oriented XML programming language