So far, we have discussed the basics of XML and some of its related technologies. The discussion emphasizes the fundamental advantages of XML, hence providing an insight into the reasons behind its growing popularity and adoption. As more and more organizations and systems employ XML within their information management and exchange strategies, classical data management issues pertaining to XML's efficient and effective storage, retrieval, querying, indexing, and manipulation arise. At the same time, previously uncharted information-modeling challenges appear.
Database vendors have responded to these new data and information management needs. Most commercial relational, object-relational, and object-oriented database systems offer extensions and plug-ins and other mechanisms to support the management of XML data. In addition to supporting XML within existing database management systems, native XML databases have been born. These are designed for seamless storage, retrieval, and manipulation of XML data and integration with related technologies.
With the numerous approaches and solutions available in the market, organizations and system developers with XML data management needs face a variety of challenges:
What are the various XML data management solutions available?
What are the features, services, and tools offered by these different XML data management systems?
How can an in-house, custom solution be developed instead of using a commercially available system?
Which XML data management system or approach is the best in terms of performance and efficiency for a particular application?
Are there any good practice and domain or application-specific guidelines for information modeling with XML?
Are there other examples and applications of XML data management within a particular domain?
This book is intended to be a support mechanism to address the above challenges. It provides a discussion of the various XML data management approaches employed in a range of products and applications. It also offers performance and benchmarking results and guidelines relating to information modeling with XML.