News from the Database Front

Yankee Group: XML won't displace relational databases ... yet

Boston  August 1, 2001  eXtensible Markup Language (XML) is here to stay, but relational databases will continue to be the primary tool for storing data for use by computer applications, according to a new report from technology consulting firm Yankee Group.

In its report, "Native XML Databases Join Internet Application Infrastructure," Yankee says that new, native-XML databases leverage the flexible and extensible nature of XML to provide developers with a schema-less data management tool that supports the rapidly changing data and content streams inherent in today's Internet-based applications.

The XML database therefore provides an optimal solution for applications that are heavily content-based, use data with deep hierarchies or have rapidly evolving and unpredictable data schema.

But while applications will be developed entirely on XML databases, relational databases will continue to be the primary data store for applications. The scale of the relational database management systems (RDBMS) providers, the array of supporting tools and services, the wealth of knowledge and experience behind the products and their very real value in efficiently handling large record-oriented data will assure this, Yankee concludes.

Robert Perry, senior research analyst for the Yankee Group's Internet computing strategies research and consulting practice, said, "While still in an early stage of development, the energy behind native-XML databases and the growing support from industry heavyweights indicate that the uniqueness of XML warrants unique data storage solutions."

Perry continued, "The denial of this uniqueness by relational database providers such as Oracle  as they seek to position the RDBMS as the solution for all data-management needs, including XML  is predictable, and in some ways supports the position of the native XML database providers."

Watch for an in-depth article on XML in the October issue of iSource Business.