Translation between DTDs, schemas, UML, and the like

Jarle Stabell jarle.stabell at
Sun Jan 24 16:19:19 GMT 1999

A. G. McDowell  wrote:
> There seem to be a large number of languages devoted to listing (for
> instance) the fields that make up a customer order and describing their
> data types. To comprehend a (hypothetical) ecommerce system I might have
> to follow a relational schema for the underlying database, a UML model
> of the application classes and logic, and a schema or DTD for the XML
> used to exchange data with its customers.
> Is there any hope of a product that could be used to automatically
> generate some part of this?

I suspect such a product will eventually be available.
The major analysis work required to do a relational schema, object model 
and a schema/DTD for XML seems to be the same,  finding the 
entities/classes/elements/components/concepts (or whatever your favourite 
vocabulary/method calls them) and their relations (and some of the 
constraints of the relations, multiplicity typically being the most 

When doing object models, you have many more choices for 
optimalization/design of the implemented structure towards your specific 
needs/applications than with the relational model. With XML, you 
unfortunately(?) at some point need to choose whether you should implement 
a concept as an element or an attribute (most DB/OO design tools forces you 
to take this similar decision "too early"), and whether you should 
implement/codify a relation using the tree-structure of XML (child 
elements), or whether to use IDs and IDREFs type of mechanisms.

I believe the major work in designing DTDs/schemas for XML, relational 
schemas and analysis/high level OO class diagrams could use the same 
tool/formalism, but that you at some level need to add some extra 
information/decisions dependent upon the "output format".


Jarle Stabell
Digital Logikk AS

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