On Tue, Jan 04, 2005 at 02:05:45PM -0800, E. Llona wrote:
> Can you offer advice on going/not going fully with XML for the
> storage mechanism?

My feelings on this are no doubt a result of the sorts of data I have
dealt take them with a few large sized grains of salt :)

I tend to use XML as a transmission format: for serializing the contents of an
database for consumption by a third party. Internally I use a relational db as
a foundation for services I want to provide. So the rdbms serves as the
primary data source.

The advantage of using a relational db over using a programming language to
process the XML file are mainly performance, and not having to implement
complicated things like updates, deletes and transactions. There are
native XML dbs (berkeley), and hybrid models (like postgres, oracle)
but I haven't tended to use them. Mainly because I don't like being tied
to a particular database implementation.

Some hierarchically organized data can encourage a slight variation on this
model. Take for example EAD documents where the primary data source really is
the marked up finding aid. In that case I parse the XML to create
indexes to the finding aids which are stored in a rdbms.

I hope this advice is meaningful to your task at hand. As I said,
I haven't delved into OO and native XML databases, so perhaps I'm a bit
behind the times.