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Integrating XML and Relational Database Technologies:
A Position Paper

The XML markup language should be the lingua franca of data interchange, but its rate of acceptance has been limited by an underlying mismatch between XML and legacy relational databases. This, in turn, has created a need for mapping tools that can make it relatively easy to save XML documents on a legacy RDBMS. Such tools should help XML fulfill its potential and gain wide acceptance.

XML is an ideal tool for data interchange. XML documents can be saved on either XML native databases or legacy relational databases. XML data is not only exchanged, but also processed and stored. As a result, the issue of storing XML data effectively and efficiently becomes paramount.

In spite of the need for efficient XML storage, native XML databases still make up only a tiny percentage of all installed databases. Why? Mainly because existing relational databases are critical infrastructure in most organizations. However, storing XML data meaningfully into relational tables is anything but straightforward because the XML and the relational approaches are built on different principles. The intrinsic differences in the two approaches create a need for tools that can map XML to relational data.

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