Managing data the XML way

The XPath and XSLT techniques I mentioned last week will become as fundamental to this generation of developers as SQL was to the last. Likewise XQuery, the query language for XML data that's finally emerging from years of gestation. Likewise a yet-unspecified XQuery extension (or companion) for the declarative updating of XML. But just as SQL's table-oriented approach to data management took a long time to sink in, so too will these document-oriented disciplines. We're long overdue for standard ways to manage data that sits in documents, in addition to data that sits in relational stores. Even after SQL won its long struggle for acceptance, it had failed to capture a lot of the pre-relational data that legacy systems -- to this day -- continue to manage. But all of our operational data put together are just a drop in the bucket. Documents are the lifeblood of the information economy. Recognizing this reality, the Web services stack is migrating away from a remote procedure-call model and toward a document-exchange model. [Full story at]

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