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Shredding XML

This list has been unusually quiet of late so I thought it might be an
opportune moment to ask for opinions on the subject of decomposing XML
into relational databases, often referred to as 'shredding'.

My particular interest is related to some work I'm currently engaged
in. The basics are we receive XML messages from an external trading
partner and process those messages, enriching and routing to a number
of internal subscriber applications. One of these applications is MI
and the deal here is that they want the data to been put into a
relational database so that they can create a number of interfaces
'files' which are sent to still more applications.

Whilst I would like to consider a pure XML database or even use some
of the XML features that are increasingly prevalent in mainstream DB
vendor products, clearly putting data into a 'staging' database is one
thing, but the capabilities and competances of the applications and
application programmers who want to retrieve it is a key factor. So,
for the immediate term I might be stuck (if thats fair - probably not)
with relational.

So to better inform myself and maybe help the debate along internally,
I am interested in anyone else experience good and bad, of shredding
XML data, pitfalls, things to be aware of, good approaches, when to
really not do it. All thoughts are welcome.

I find it intersting the some of the 'big boys' are at least giving
the appearance of providing first-class support for XML both in terms
of storage options and manipulation capability. IBM for example has
pureXML. I haven't used these enough to know if they're just a thin
veneer of whether they have real substance and depth, so again your
experiences are welcome.



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