[xsl] Paradigm clash between XML as document and as database

Subject: [xsl] Paradigm clash between XML as document and as database
From: Benjamin Franz <snowhare@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 10:26:45 -0800 (PST)
In the last several weeks I have repeatedly ran into what seems to me to
be an immense disconnect between XML database vendors who appear to view
the job of an XML database as storing large sets of relatively small
unitary XML documents (possibly pre-parsed into persistent DOM objects)
that are then processed linearly and without indexing assistance after
retrieval and are updated pretty much as 'whole documents', and people
like myself who view XML as a tree structured database that can be
directly accessed via XPath queries, reported via XSLT and so on with full
DOM interfaces.

I get the feeling that this is a paradigm clash where the people with
expertise in SGML document storage and retrieval wrote the engines as
'databases of XML documents' while end users like myself were looking for
'XML structured databases' - which is a completely different animal.

This disconnect is causing me to turn to XML on top of SQL as the least
painful way of achieving scalability (which I am definitely less than
thrilled about). The alternative at this time seems to be for myself to
write a 'true' XML database where XPath or other similiar pluggable query
language is it's native query language and sufficient indexing is
automated to provide scalable performance when processing things like XSLT
renders against multi-hundred megabyte 'XML documents'. I don't have the
time/money resources right now to for that.

Has *ANYONE* found a XML database product that actually does a XPath
indexed and queriable database natively with DOM updating? Ideally with
XSLT processing? Or at least a good enough implementation of XPath that I
can tie it to XT or Xalan?

Essentially - is there a product that provides *fast*, *scalable*,
*native* persistent DOM/XPath XML databasing to be found without being
just a wrapper around existing SQL databases?

Benjamin Franz

... with proper design, the features come cheaply. This 
approach is arduous, but continues to succeed.

                                     ---Dennis Ritchie

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