Why XML Over the Relational Model?

Dan Holle dan at holle.demon.co.uk
Sun Jan 3 19:28:31 GMT 1999

>>The primary answer I give this question is flexibility, though there is a
>>significant cost in efficiency.  XML documents can easily hold structures
>>that make relational databases choke. . . .
>I would love to see an example of this.

Me too, Paul.

Let's not think of XML as a representation for a complex multi-table
multi-user shared database.  DOM, as a database, is like a RAM-resident
single user IMS/DB.  (If you must barf, don't barf on your keyboard.)  There
is a reason why we fled from hierarchical linked databases to relational.

Yes, there are databases you can do in XML that you can't do in relational.
Just as  there are things you can do in assembler language you can't do in
Java.  But if you are trying to do something useful with large, complex
data, stick with relational.

XML seems a good match for small but flexible structures on web-connected
clients.  David's comments, saying XML is for information exchange and
relational is for storage/query, rings true...

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