Why XML Over the Relational Model?

Matthew Sergeant (EML) Matthew.Sergeant at eml.ericsson.se
Mon Jan 4 09:02:14 GMT 1999

The reason I tend to give for this is as follows:

- Complex Data Structures. The data structure in your XML can more
accurately represent so called "real world" structures. This is the same
benefit you get from an OO DB over a relational database

- Cost. This can be important for certain types of applications, e.g. open
source/free applications. Although there are free relational databases
(Postgresql, GNU Sql, and to some extent MySql), it would generally be
overkill to distribute the whole postgresql package with your app. XML
parser implementations are all (?) currently free (for certain values of

- Future. It's currently not /really/ viable, but we hope that in the future
we can display fragments of our database (or the whole thing) using XSL,
either on the web or in print.

- Lightweight. Most XML parsers are quite lightweight, whereas most DBMS's
are not. Often this is outweighted by the indexing and searching speeds of
DBMS's, but that's not always a priority.

Anyway, as with all new tech, use the right tool for the job. Or use a
combined approach. For example, I'm working on a timesheet application now
that stores timesheets as XML, employee information in a relational
database, and runs batch processes to import data from the XML into the
database for reporting purposes. This gives us some advantages listed above,
and makes for an interesting project!

Perl on Win32, PerlScript, ASP, Database, XML
GCS(GAT) d+ s:+ a-- C++ UL++>UL+++$ P++++$ E- W+++ N++ w--@$ O- M-- !V 
!PS !PE Y+ PGP- t+ 5 R tv+ X++ b+ DI++ D G-- e++ h--->z+++ R+++

xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev at ic.ac.uk
Archived as: http://www.lists.ic.ac.uk/hypermail/xml-dev/
To (un)subscribe, mailto:majordomo at ic.ac.uk the following message;
(un)subscribe xml-dev
To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo at ic.ac.uk the following message;
subscribe xml-dev-digest
List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa at ic.ac.uk)

More information about the Xml-dev mailing list