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XML-L  September 2000

XML-L September 2000

Subject:

Irregular/Complex XML in SQL

From:

Imran Zaidi <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

General discussion of Extensible Markup Language <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 25 Sep 2000 12:47:08 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (50 lines)

(Folks, I'm resending this email since it was bounced back to me before.
Outlook problem I think....)

OK, so it's easy enough to store flat XML structures in an SQL database:

<record1>
        <firstname/>
        <lastname/>
        <date/>
</record1>

The above is a simple example of the standard data record structure that
easily spills out into a table format or whatever.

My problem arises when you have complex, irregular XML. Example:

<Concept>
  <Name>The Deposits Window</Name>
  <Para>When you enter payment information into one of the payment receipt
         windows, such as the <Bold>Receive Payments window</Bold>), you can
either
         immediately <InTextField>Deposit to Account</InTextField> or
<InTextField>Group
         Undeposited Funds</InTextField>. If you decide to
<InTextField>Deposit to
         Account</InTextField>, the system automatically deposits the funds
into the
         bank account you select. However, if you decide to
<InTextField>Group
         Undeposited Funds</InTextField>, the system builds a list of
undeposited funds
         for you to review and deposit into an account.
  </Para>
</Concept>

You notice in the above example that there are bunches of random tags that
may or may not appear within another tag. Some of these subtags are used
simply for XSL visual styling purposes, and some are used to tag information
for searching. It doesn't fit into the standard Table/columns/rows type of
format.

If I have a DTD that I use to create this type of content, how can I store
this information in an SQL database? Do I just need to work with 'chunks' of
XML?

I work in a Microsoft shop with current Microsoft tools... so any help to
that end would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Imran Zaidi

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