XML and Databases

Ronald Bourret

Consulting, writing, and research in XML and databases

XML Guild


Papers about XML

XML and databases (general):

The following papers are designed for people who want to use XML with databases.

  • XML and Databases
    A discussion of the relationship between XML and databases -- why you might want to use databases with XML, the underlying technical concepts (including the difference between XML-enabled and native XML databases), and how to choose the software you need.

    Russian translation (October, 2000)
    French translation (November, 2003). French translation also available from Patrick Peccatte
    Chinese translation (September, 2005)

  • XML Database Products
    A reasonably up-to-date list of more than 150 products for using XML and databases: middleware, IDEs, XML-enabled databases, native XML databases, XML servers, wrappers, and content management systems. Includes brief descriptions of each product and links to product pages.

  • Going Native: Use Cases for Native XML Databases
    An article describing use cases for native XML databases. The main use cases are storing and querying document-centric XML, integrating data, and storing and querying semi-structured data. This article is based on interviews with roughly half the native XML database vendors, as well as a handful of customers. Originally published on XML.com.

  • Mapping DTDs to Databases
    Describes two common models for mapping DTDs to databases: a table model and an object-relational model. Discusses how these handle non-database concepts, such as mixed content and element order, as well as how to generate DTDs from database schema and vice versa. Originally published on XML.com.

  • Mapping W3C Schemas to Object Schemas to Relational Schemas
    Describes a complete mapping from the data model in the W3C's XML Schemas to object schemas and the mapping from object schemas to relational schemas. The paper is rather terse and assumes you understand the above presentation on mapping DTDs to databases.

  • Ron Bourret on XML and Databases
    A brief summary of the state of the art of XML and databases in June, 2004. As an update, I would note that the current or next releases of Oracle, Sybase, SQL Server, and DB2 all approximate the "holy grail of XML support in relational databases" discussed in the article, and that, while native XML database companies are still short on marketing, their products are gaining traction as viable, real-world products.

  • Interview with database expert Ronald Bourret
    A brief interview describing the state of the art of XML and databases in July, 2005, especially as it relates to the publishing industry.

  • XML for DB2 Information Integration (IBM Redbook, coauthor)
    A discussion of how to use XML with DB2, including a complete sample application. The book covers the XML Extender, Net Search (Text) Extender, SQL/XML, the XML Wrapper, MQ Series, and WebSphere Studio. Of interest to non-DB2 readers are Chapter 1 (XML and databases), chapter 3 (Designing XML and database schemas), and chapter 7 (Bulk processing of XML documents). Available free online as HTML or PDF (7.2 MB).

  • XML / Database Links
    A list of resources about XML and databases, including links to articles, books, specifications, academic papers, benchmarks, links pages, and mailing lists.

  • XML Data Binding Resources
    A list of resources (products and papers) for XML data binding, including brief descriptions of each. Not really about databases, but the technology is closely related.

XML and databases (implementation):

The following papers are designed for people who want to implement products that transfer data between XML and databases (primarily relational databases).

  • Data Transfer Strategies
    Looks at the differences between using SAX and DOM when transferring data between XML documents and relational databases, as well as strategies for traversing database hierarchies.

  • Defining XML Views over Relational Data
    A simple proposal for two related mapping languages for defining virtual XML documents (XML views) over relational data. The paper does not specify the syntax of these languages, just their architecture.

XML namespaces:

  • XML Namespaces FAQ
    Everything you ever wanted to know about XML namespaces, and then some.

  • Namespace Myths Exploded
    Eleven things you thought you knew about XML namespaces -- they have structure, the define global attributes, they are related to schemas, and so on -- that just aren't true. Originally published on XML.com.

Miscellaneous papers:

Programming classes

Not really XML, but useful nonetheless.

If you've enjoyed reading these papers, you might want to drop a note of thanks (or your favorite dessert recipe :) to my wife, Karin Gallagher (kgallagher at rpbourret dot com), who pays the bills that allow me to provide this content for free.

Copyright (c) 2015, Ronald Bourret