XML Relational Database Ramblings…

This is a bummer and then again it is not. I am thinking lately a lot about how to bring the conceptual XML(DB) world into the Oracle Relational world, or in other words “what is needed to make XML fast – given an Oracle database 11g atmosphere”. One my ramblings was: OK given the XML free format, how do I a create an environment that’s very high selective based on indexing and or breaking up XML fragments in physical segments (therefore hopefully being more selective) that can be handled more easily by the Oracle Optimizer (even given items like, creation solutions for, XML deficiencies like data redundancy etc).


Searching the internet I came up with this excellent (it helped me one step further in my exploring brain matter path) link regarding indexing called:

  • Shweta Agrawal: Indexing XML in Oracle (IT620 course project) – April 8, 2003

What’s more, and this brings me back awfully close to home (Holland / Amsterdam), I looked up the used references by Shweta Agrawal. One of them was called:

A.R. Schmidt and F. Waas and M. L. Kersten and D. Florescu and I. Manolescu and M. J. Carey and R. Busse, The XML Benchmark project, INS-R0103, CWI Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica, April 2001

Especially the part of “The XML Benchmark Project” was unresistable, so I followed the link and ended up on:

This is probably (still have to investigate and do some try and error stuff with it) a very useful site anyway, it is home of a benchmarking framework. The framework is free and can be downloaded from the site given. It has all the basics (as far as I am concerned) I need to setup a better testing environment (doc’s, xml schemas, etc). Looking a little further (diving into one of the pdf files) I read the following (and this comes very close in what I had in mind until now)

Efficient Relational Storage and Retrieval of XML Documents:


In this paper, we present a data and an execution model that allow for efficient storage and retrieval of XML documents in a relational database. The data model is strictly based on the notion of binary associations: by decomposing XML documents into small, flexible and semantically homogeneous units we are able to exploit the performance potential of vertical fragmentation. Moreover, our approach provides clear and intuitive semantics, which facilitates the definition of a declarative query algebra. Our experimental results with large collections of XML documents demonstrate the effectiveness of the techniques proposed.

I should have learned more when I was young. This is more or less what I had in mind (not that I can described it as they did it in this paper, despite the math I had in school). I guess it is time to bring out some of those books back in the daylight and see were this brings me regarding my personal quest.

PS: Forgive me the title – I know it sounds like blaspheme. I call my personal quest “The XML Relational Thinking Method” or “To Divide and Conquer Quest” – I sometimes like to torture myself. I should keep this to myself, shouldn’t I…


Marco Gralike Written by: