Why XML Over the Relational Model?

Paul Prescod paul at prescod.net
Tue Jan 5 06:49:10 GMT 1999

Paul Butkiewicz wrote:
> But using XML for persistence in this case presents its own perils.

XML is not optimized for update, retrieval, searching or anything else. It
is optimized for interchange, interchange and interchange. So the question
of the best persistence model for high-volume systems seems to me to boil
down to a) "what data structure is fastest" and b) "what is the most
convenient programatically." In other words, what data structures support
business processes and with what sort of performance.

I think that in the long run, flat text will lose out on both counts, but
for now it is a good compromise. (anyone have any good arguments

Object databases seem the obvious fit for convenience. Performance is
harder. You could store a DOM or grove directly in an object database and
retrieve it with no parsing overhead...but what about text searching?

 Paul Prescod  - ISOGEN Consulting Engineer speaking for only himself

"In spite of everything I still believe that people are basically 
good at heart." - Anne Frank

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