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Re: XML into SQL and out again


vcard sql
<Quote>
whether to use attribute or element based tagging here..
</Quote>

IMHO, this should not be an "or" type of choice - elements should be
used to represent data, attributes to qualify (modify) metadata. In
terms of english, one may think (in a very basic sense) of attributes as
adjectives, and elements as nouns.

Kind Regards,
Joe Chiusano
Booz | Allen | Hamilton

Neile Bermudes wrote:
> 
> Hi Jonathan,
> 
> Firstly, thank you very much for your informative reply- very much
> appreciated. I think the SQL/XML path looks like the most suited.
> 
> The database I'll be using is MS SQL Server 2000. The database will exchange
> information with a Quark document, very infrequently though. Firstly I will
> need to export all info in the original quark file to XML, and put this in a
> SQL database. I will only need to do the reverse once a year (i.e. generate
> XML from the SQL data and out it back into Quark). So it isn't a regular
> thing. The xml/sql code example you gave in your e-mail looks just right.
> 
> I guess my main concern at the moment is whether to use attribute or element
> based tagging here...i still don't know what the exact implications of my
> choice will be...what I need is a bunch of scenarios/examples to look at so
> I can get a good idea of different ways I can do this...
> 
> Thanks a lot
> 
> Neile
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jonathan Robie [mailto:jonathan.robie@d...]
> Sent: Friday, March 28, 2003 3:01 PM
> To: Neile Bermudes; xml-dev@l...
> Subject: Re:  XML into SQL and out again
> 
> Hi Neale,
> 
> At 03:17 PM 3/27/2003 +0000, Neile Bermudes wrote:
> 
> >What I would like to do: first, export all the information in Quark into a
> >SQL database, having exactly the same information in both. Then, as
> >details change, just update the database. Once a year, when we print out
> >the Staff Directory booklet, I would like to then like to get the updated
> >information into Quark so it can be printed.
> 
> First, if you ping me in about three or four weeks, I may be able to give
> you an early draft of a paper that compares doing this by hand using the
> DOM and SQL queries, proprietary vendor extensions from major database
> vendors, using SQL/XML to generate XML from relational data, and XQuery on
> relational views.
> 
> Does your solution need to work for multiple database vendors, or is there
> one particular brand of database that you care about? This makes a big
> difference. How do you feel about tedious programming that may not run all
> that efficiently - is this a process that just has to run once a year,
> where the data is not all that complex? Doing it by hand may not be too bad.
> 
> If your data isn't too complex, you can do this by hand. This does get
> complex fast.
> 
> Every major database vendor has their own proprietary approaches that solve
> this problem. Some of these solutions are better than others, most are a
> bit ad hoc.
> 
> If you want a solution that works for more than one database vendor, there
> are two standards to consider: XQuery and SQL/XML.
> 
> SQL/XML is a set of proposed extensions to the SQL standard that has been
> implemented by Oracle and IBM, and is expected to be adopted in 2003. My
> company has a cross-database implementation based on an early version of
> SQL/XML, and will soon have a new release that conforms to the latest
> drafts. SQL/XML allows you to write SQL queries that return XML as their
> results. Suppose you have a table like this:
> 
> EmpId       LastName     FirstName
> -----       ----------   -------------------------
> 1           Marshall     Marc
> 2           Ayers        Brian
> 3           Simpson      Joanna
> 4           O'Donnel     Gavin
> 
> You can create XML from this data using a query like this:
> 
> select
>      xmlelement ( name "employee",
>          xmlattributes (e.EmpId as "id"),
>          xmlelement ( name "names",
>              xmlelement ( name "first", e.FirstName),
>              xmlelement ( name "last", e.LastName)
>          )
>      )
> from  Employees   e
> 
> The result of the above query would be:
> 
> <employee id='1'>
>    <names>
>      <first>Marc</first>
>      <last>Marshall</last>
>    </names>
> </employee>
> <employee id='2'>
>    <names>
>      <first>Brian</first>
>      <last>Ayers</last>
>    </names>
> </employee>
> <employee id='3'>
>    <names>
>      <first>Joanna</first>
>      <last>Simpson</last>
>    </names>
> </employee>
> <employee id='4'>
>    <names>
>      <first>Gavin</first>
>      <last>O&apos;Donnel</last>
>    </names>
> </employee>
> 
> This is pretty easy for SQL programmers to learn. It may not be obvious
> from this simple query, but when queries more complex, involving grouping,
> multiple joins, and mapping the tabular representation of SQL into various
> hierarchies, SQL/XML can be a significant timesaver - and more efficient at
> run-time than programming it yourself.
> 
> My company, DataDirect Technologies, has extended SQL/XML with updates that
> use XPath to identify the data to be used for updating a relational
> database. You could use this to insert the data from your XML files with a
> simple Update statement. Our current syntax is not quite conformant with
> the standard, but in the second quarter of this year, we will be releasing
> a version that is.
> 
> The other standard you should care about is XQuery, which takes XML as
> input and output. Many vendors are supplying an XML view of a relational
> database. I think this will be a really good way to go fairly soon, as
> XQuery implementations on relational databases become more mature. Most
> relational database vendors will be offering this, as well as third
> parties, including my own company.
> 
> I'm out of time for this right now, but here are some resources you may be
> interested in:
> 
> Ron Bourret's XML and Databases page:
> http://www.rpbourret.com/xml/XMLAndDatabases.htm
> 
> XQuery:
> http://www.w3.org/xml/query.html
> 
> SQL/XML: Two readable articles:
> http://www.acm.org/sigmod/record/issues/0109/standards.pdf
> http://www.acm.org/sigmod/record/issues/0206/standard.pdf
> 
> SQL/XML: The current drafts of the proposed standard:
> ftp://sqlstandards.org/SC32/WG3/Progression_Documents/Informal_working_draft
> s/
> 
> Hope that helps!
> 
> Jonathan
> 
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