Data warehousing and XML

Michael Kay M.H.Kay at
Mon Dec 1 12:21:41 GMT 1997

-----Original Message-----
From: Sean Mc Grath <digitome at>
To: xml-dev at <xml-dev at>
Date: 01 December 1997 11:16
Subject: Data warehousing and XML

>I have read a number of articles about Data Warehousing...
>it looks like an interesting potential app. for XML.
>As I (mis)understand it, you shovel all your corporate data from a variety
>of sources (sales, purchasing,
>production, memos, R&D etc.) into one humongous repository of data ...

Firstly, I think XML has some work to do if it is to acquire acceptance in
the database community: in particular, someone needs to show how its
underlying data model relates to models like UML used in the database
world; one would also like to see how a DTD can be translated to/from an
ODL schema. The fact that XML uses terms like "entity" and "attribute" with
completely different meanings from UML or ODMG doesn't help.

Secondly, I think the "humongous repository" concept in data warehousing
(sometimes ridiculed as the "data whorehouse") is going out of fashion.
The modern approach is usually much more focused. In fact, the data
warehouse concept has never really embraced documentary information
like memos or research reports: it's all about old-fashioned "data".

I do agree that in principle XML provides a good representation of data that
is in transit between heterogeneous databases. One drawback is that it
far more features than are required for this purpose, so people may go for

Mike Kay, ICL
M.H.Kay at

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