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   Re: [xml-dev] XML-enabled databases, XQuery APIs

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On 4/15/05, Ronald Bourret <rpbourret@rpbourret.com> wrote:
> Ken North wrote:
> > Developers wanted more, of course, such as being able to describe document
> > structure and shred documents (map document content to columns). That's also
> > been available for years with SQL platforms such as Microsoft SQL Server,
> > Oracle, Sybase and DB2 (XML Extender).
> Shredding is very useful for storing certain classes of data-centric
> documents, especially when non-XML documents need to access that data.
> In fact, I'd bet that shredding accounts for the vast majority of XML
> use with relational databases.
> However, shredding shouldn't be viewed as a substitute for native XML
> data storage as it doesn't preserve sibling order, comments, processing
> instructions, etc. and usually doesn't support mixed content. It also
> requires design-time mapping of the XML schema to the relational schema
> -- something that won't work with schemaless documents. So it shouldn't
> be viewed as a substitute for native XML storage but as a complementary
> technology.

I think you're over generalizing more than a bit. Over the years I've
done a couple shredding implementations.  In particular, I've
previously built a generalized approach on top of SQL server that
supported mixed content, sibling order and did not require a schema. 
Adding comments and PI's to that would have been pretty much trivial. 
There's nothing magic here; generalized hierarchical to relational
mapping algorithms have been around for a long time...


Peter Hunsberger


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