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Friday, December 28, 2007

XML Moves to mySQL

The unification of XML and SQL relational data has taken another
significant step forward recently with the introduction of significant
new XML functionality in mySQL, the world's most popular open source
database. In versions 5.1 and 6.0, mySQL adds the ability to retrieve
tables (and JOINS) as XML results, to retrieve SQL schemas as XML files,
to both select content via a subset of XPath and to update content using
similar functions, and the like. I think the ramifications for this are
actually quite huge. I've known for some time that much of the driving
technology behind Web 2.0? is the power of SQL databases, with the bulk
of those to date being mySQL databases. While enterprise level databases
such as Oracle 10i+, IBM db2, and Microsoft SQL Server have long had XML
capabilities, they also account collectively for a surprisingly small
amount of the outward facing databases on the web, especially compared
to mySQL. However, this has also has the unfortunate effect of promoting
a relational database model as the prime one for the web, diminishing
the utility of XML there and increasing the fragility of Web 2.0
applications. With native XML support moving into mySQL, it opens up a
chance for XML developers to start working within that community, and
and also raises some significant issues with regard to how unstructured
and semi-structured data is stored, retrieved and manipulated... The XML
support for mySQL is not yet at the level where it can support XQuery,
but I think that this will come in time given the degree of support they
have for the XPath specification. Keep an eye on this development.
Related reference: Jon Stephens, "Using XML in MySQL 5.1 and 6.0." More Information See also Jon Stephens' article: Click Here

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