Lists Home |
Date Index |
Michael Rys wrote:
> I know of at least one that was doing ok: B-Bop. They got bought out when they were not
> growing as fast as their VCs where hoping...
Some 6 years ago, I was working at B-Bop, when the founders decided
we must implement an xml database on top of COTS RDBMS, I told them
that it had been tried before with SGML, and the cost of self-joins
would be too high. Nevertheless, they insisted.
We devised a technique of encoding name and positional context in
"tumbler" strings that allowed us to get around the self join
performance hit, and leverage the RDBMS's indexes.
I'll try to give a simplified description, here:
Most of the interesting information was in two tables:
positionPath, namePath and reverseNamePath are the "tumbler"
strings. They represent a sequence of numbers as the concatenation
of fixed length strings. For instance, if I want to indicate
that a node is the third child of the fourth child of the document
element, I might represent that as the sequence 0, 4, 3, or
in the "tumbler" notation in positionPath as "_0._4._3".
Attributes are always assigned the sequence number "0".
Likewise, we can assign all XML names in the database to numbers,
and encode the names of ancestor elements.
Given an XML document:
<foo><bar> something <baz blort='yadda'> new </baz></bar></foo>
The tables would look like:
docID nodeID positionPath namePath reverseNamePath charValue
----- ----- ------------ ---------- --------------- ----------
1 1 _0._1._1 _1._2._0 _0._2._1 ' something '
1 2 _0._1._2._0 _1._2._3._4 _4._3._2._1 'yadda'
1 3 _0._1._2._1 _1._2._3._0 _0._3._2._1 ' new '
This lets us use the RDBMS's indexing facilities to quickly
retrieve branches of documents with a given ancestry.
select * from LeafNodes where namePath like '_1._2%'
order by positionPath
Finding all values of the attribute 'blort' in a 'baz' element would be:
select * from LeafNodes where reverseNamePath like '_4._3%'
The resulting rows from these queries contain enough information to
allow some procedural code to fire off a sequence of SAX start/end
element events or build further queries to bring back related portions
of the trees.
While many queries had O(log n) performance, space usage was high,
inserts were expensive and updates generally meant removing and
re-inserting the entire document.
Bill Lindsey http://www.blnz.com