XML and jBASE: Natural Partners
XML could be said to turn a Web page into a view of a database,
in one of its most obvious and fundamental applications. That,
of course, is where jBASE comes in. A typical XML-based Web service
is going to need a serious database management system behind it
to do the heavy lifting, and jBASE is ready not only to interface
with XML, but to be a highly advantageous way to store it.
Although it's great at shuffling structured data around the
Internet, XML lacks many of the things found in real databases:
efficient storage, indexes, security, transactions and data integrity,
multi-user access, triggers, queries across multiple documents,
and so on.
Thus, it may be possible to use an XML document or documents
as a database in environments with small amounts of data, few
users, and modest performance requirements. However, this obviously
would not cut it for most production environments, which have,
- many users,
- strict data integrity requirements,
- the need for good performance.
But of course, XML wasn't designed to be the database. Its real
strength is in being an ideal intermediary in the flow of highly
structured information, between your database and its access through
the Web, or wherever a networked application would benefit from
Advantages of Storing XML Data in jBASE
"jBASE is highly suited as a data repository for XML documents
for a number of different reasons," says Martin Bailey, Product
Manager for jBASE. XML documents are hierarchical and variable
length in nature, and relational database vendors are discovering
to their disadvantage that their data model is a poor fit for
XML data. The jBASE data model allows not only relational data,
but also hierarchical and variable length data, so entire XML
documents can be easily stored in jBASE on a field or record basis.
At the heart of jBASE is the jBASE External Device Interface
(jEDI), middleware that allows jBASE to be entirely independent
of the data storage mechanism. By plugging in different jEDIs,
jBASE can store and retrieve data from anywhere, including native
XML files. Many jEDIs are available and the jEDI is an open, published
interface, giving customers the capability to engineer their own
Processing XML data is highly reliant on the efficient handling
of text or "strings," because an XML document is essentially one
long string of text. jBASE's built-in, stored procedure language,
jBC, was expressly designed for this purpose and contains a whole
host of functions engineered for efficient text processing.
Many vendors have built transformation engines for taking XML
documents and transforming them into different formats. jBASE
can inter-operate fully with these engines, which allows the easy
inclusion of XML transformations in existing customized solutions.
Using the jBASE Data Provider (jDP), data can be pulled straight
out of jBASE in XML format using a query in XML format. This can
even be done over the Web using the built-in ISAPI and NSAPI tools.