Translation between DTDs, schemas, UML, and the like
jarle.stabell at dokpro.uio.no
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".
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