RE: [xsl] Create a web interface to query a XML database

Subject: RE: [xsl] Create a web interface to query a XML database
From: "Michael Kay" <mike@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 1 Oct 2009 22:51:23 +0100
If your data is in XML, then unless it is trivially small, I would recommend
using an XML database to store it, to save the effort of converting it to
tables and back again. You can then use XQuery to query it. I would also
recommend adding XSLT to the mix, to control the rendition of the results -
although XQuery can do this in principle, it is best to separate data access
from presentation in your application architecture.

You can write a web page that accepts parameters from an HTML form and
invokes the query using many different technologies, you have mentioned PHP
but Java would work equally well. If you want a higher-level approach, use
XForms, which will submit the data in XML.

A useful technology that ties all these together is Orbeon: it includes an
XForms engine and a pipeline processor capable of invoking XSLT and XQuery
tasks and feeding the results down the pipeline. This enables you to write
the whole application using high-level languages without dropping into
procedural coding.


Michael Kay  

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Manuel Souto Pico [mailto:m.soutopico@xxxxxxxxx] 
> Sent: 30 September 2009 18:08
> To: xsl-list@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [xsl] Create a web interface to query a XML database
> Dear all,
> I would like to explore whether XSLT or any other XML-based 
> language (XQuery, I guess) would provide an alternative way 
> to create an online dictionary where the user can send 
> queries to a database and receive an HTML page with the results.
> Using a LAMP environment I can create a webpage in PHP that 
> offers a search box and which, after the query is submitted 
> to the MySQL database, generates an HTML page with the 
> results. This[1] is a rudimentary example so you can see 
> straightaway what I mean (but I'm sure it's clear enough 
> without examples).
> Now I have the term data in one TBX file (which is 
> XML-based). I could convert that to a MySQL database and 
> create a PHP-based search interface as I have done in the 
> past, but I thought perhaps it's worth exploring other ways 
> of querying the XML document directly.
> Well, I just wanted to let you know what I intend to you, 
> perhaps you can advice me some way to go. Am I on the right 
> path? Is XSLT/XQuery easier or better than PHP-MySQL if my 
> data is already in XML format?
> Can you suggest some useful resource for this?
> My knowledge of XSLT is pretty basic, but with effort, 
> research and help I normally manage to do what I need.
> [1]
> My best regards to you.
> -
> Manuel Souto Pico
> Linguistic Services (en/fr/pt/ca > gl/es)

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