XML Repositories

Marcelo Cantos marcelo at mds.rmit.edu.au
Wed Aug 25 02:18:50 BST 1999

On Mon, Aug 23, 1999 at 10:32:14AM -0500, ROB S HINES wrote:
> Being a newbie to the group I have what I consider a burning
> question, but has probably already been hashed out. If someone would
> point me in the right direction I would be quite appreciative.
> Basically I need to make some decisions regarding my position on
> Repositories for XML data, specifically Computer Based Training
> developed in XML. There will be thousands of courses residing in the
> repository, served up world wide.
> My initial position was to go with an Object Database, in particular
> something built around a solution like POETS Content Management
> System.  However, there have been many individuals that dislike this
> idea, and balk at the idea of leaving the safety of the well know
> RDBMS community. I believe that it is "natural" to use an ODBMS as
> an XML repository, although it "can be done" in an RDBMS. However, I
> do not seem to carry enough weight to convince all involved.  So
> either I'm wrong or I'm right, and I would greatly appreciate being
> vindicated or proved wrong. Please provide me with your opinions,
> and point me to any technical documents that shed light on the
> issue. Thanks in advance.

A third, often overlooked, alternative is to use a native document
repository like SIM.  It would be inappropriate for me to say that a
document repository is always better than ODBMS, but for handling
things that naturally fall into the category of "document" rather than
"data" or "object", a native repository is almost alway better than an
ODBMS (which is, in turn, better than an RDBMS).

SIM stores documents in their native format.  There is no translation
layer forcing you to blow your document up into a million little
pieces for storage but you are still able to index your documents at
element and even sub-element level.

Native document repositories are not always the way to go, but when
looking for a document solution one should always evaluate them along
with RDBMS's and ODBMS's, especially given that in most cases they
will map to the solution domain far more naturally than the other two
categories of product.



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