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Relational Databases for Querying XML Documents: Limitations and Opportunities.

Jayavel Shanmugasundaram, Kristin Tufte, Chun Zhang, Gang He, David J. DeWitt, Jeffrey F. Naughton: Relational Databases for Querying XML Documents: Limitations and Opportunities. VLDB 1999: 302-314
@inproceedings{DBLP:conf/vldb/ShanmugasundaramGTZDN99,
  author    = {Jayavel Shanmugasundaram and
               Kristin Tufte and
               Chun Zhang and
               Gang He and
               David J. DeWitt and
               Jeffrey F. Naughton},
  editor    = {Malcolm P. Atkinson and
               Maria E. Orlowska and
               Patrick Valduriez and
               Stanley B. Zdonik and
               Michael L. Brodie},
  title     = {Relational Databases for Querying XML Documents: Limitations
               and Opportunities},
  booktitle = {VLDB'99, Proceedings of 25th International Conference on Very
               Large Data Bases, September 7-10, 1999, Edinburgh, Scotland,
               UK},
  publisher = {Morgan Kaufmann},
  year      = {1999},
  isbn      = {1-55860-615-7},
  pages     = {302-314},
  ee        = {http://www.vldb.org/conf/1999/P31.pdf},
  crossref  = {DBLP:conf/vldb/99},
  bibsource = {DBLP, http://dblp.uni-trier.de}
}

Abstract

XML is fast emerging as the dominant standard for representing data in the World Wide Web. Sophisticated query engines that allow users to effectively tap the data stored in XML documents will be crucial to exploiting the full power of XML. While there has been a great deal of activity recently proposing new semistructured data models and query languages for this purpose, this paper explores the more conservative approach of using traditional relational database engines for processing XML documents conforming to Document Type Descriptors (DTDs). To this end, we have developed algorithms and implemented a prototype system that converts XML documents to relational tuples, translates semi-structured queries over XML documents to SQL queries over tables, and converts the results to XML. We have qualitatively evaluated this approach using several real DTDs drawn from diverse domains. It turns out that the relational approach can handle most (but not all) of the semantics of semi-structured queries over XML data, but is likely to be effective only in some cases. We identify the causes for these limitations and propose certain extensions to the relational model that would make it more appropriate for processing queries over XML documents.

Copyright © 1999 by the VLDB Endowment. Permission to copy without fee all or part of this material is granted provided that the copies are not made or distributed for direct commercial advantage, the VLDB copyright notice and the title of the publication and its date appear, and notice is given that copying is by the permission of the Very Large Data Base Endowment. To copy otherwise, or to republish, requires a fee and/or special permission from the Endowment.


Printed Edition

Malcolm P. Atkinson, Maria E. Orlowska, Patrick Valduriez, Stanley B. Zdonik, Michael L. Brodie (Eds.): VLDB'99, Proceedings of 25th International Conference on Very Large Data Bases, September 7-10, 1999, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. Morgan Kaufmann 1999, ISBN 1-55860-615-7
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