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Re: [xml-dev] What is the best way to approach the structuring ofinventory data?

First you need what I would call a conceptual object model, but you can 
call it a taxonomy if you prefer. Defining exactly what is meant by 
concepts such as a "flight" is a key part of this, and is always much 
harder to pin down than it might appear at first sight. Another key part 
is defining the relationships between these entities.

If you're designing a database then the conceptual object model usually 
translates fairly directly into a database schema, modulo a bit of 
"physical database design" to make it efficient. For XML design, 
however, you are often designing messages rather than a persistent data 
store, and to design messages you need to take into account who is 
sending them to whom and why: so you need to understand the process 
model as well as the data model.

For what you call "inventory data" I think one of the challenges is to 
decide where the boundary lies between types and instances. For some 
parts of the system, Boeing 747 and Airbus 320 are instances of the type 
"plane", but for other parts of the system an individual aircraft is a 
unique instance of the type "Boeing 747", with its own maintenance 
history, its own configuration of components, and so on. In XML terms 
you have to decide how much information goes in the element name and how 
much in the content, and this may vary from one message to another.

Michael Kay

On 03/07/2012 13:43, Costello, Roger L. wrote:
> Hi Folks,
> I am starting work on defining an XML vocabulary for some inventory data.
> My inventory includes data such as the count of the number of aircraft at each airport, the count of the number aircraft ground refuelers at each airport, and so forth.
> What is the best way to proceed?
> My thinking is that the first step should be to create a taxonomy. Then define a structure which reflects that taxonomy.
> Is that the best way to proceed?
> Do you have experience with structuring inventory data? If so, how did you proceed?
> /Roger
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