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XML-formatted data can be incrementally enriched with more and moreinfor

  • From: "Costello, Roger L." <costello@mitre.org>
  • To: "xml-dev@lists.xml.org" <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
  • Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2017 12:18:08 +0000

XML-formatted data can be incrementally enriched with more and moreinfor

Hi Folks,


Assertion: The XML data format is the only data format that lends itself to incremental enrichment.


Assertion: If data is to traverse through a workflow and you want the data to be incrementally enriched along the way, then you must format the data as XML.


Do you agree with those assertions?


Below is a scenario that shows what I mean by incrementally enriching data.


Scenario: Node 1 receives this XML document about an aircraft flight:


<flight>United Airlines 545</flight>


Node 1 enriches the document with data about the departure airport:


<flight>United Airlines 545</flight>
<departure-airport>Boston, Logan</departure-airport>


Node 1 receives a second XML document about a second aircraft flight. Again, Node 1 adds data about the departure airport. Node 1 then bundles the two XML documents, and sends the bundle to the next downstream node.


<flight>United Airlines 545</flight>
<departure-airport>Boston Logan</departure-airport>
<flight>Southwest Airlines A37</flight>
<departure-airport>Washington Dulles</departure-airport>


What this scenario shows is that, if the data is formatted as XML, it is quite reasonable to incrementally add more and more information to the data.


Suppose the data is not formatted as XML. Can the data be incrementally enriched with more and more information?


Suppose the data is formatted as Comma Separated Values (CSV). Does the CSV format lend itself to incremental enrichment? How would you bundle together multiple CSV files and provide data about the bundle?


Suppose the data is binary. For example, suppose the data is a JPEG file. How would you incrementally enrich JPEG files? How would you bundle together multiple JPEG files and provide data about the bundle?


Lesson Learned: XML is the only data format that supports incremental enrichment.




P.S. I reckon JSON-formatted data can also be incrementally enriched.



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