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Joel on Software

Hierarchical Data: .NET, XML, & SQL Server

Given:
- MS is pushing XML into all their applications (.NET, Office, XDocs, etc.)
- XML is hierarchical in structure.
- MS SQL Server isn't optimized for hierarchical data (versus "legacy" DBMS's such as IMS or MUMPS).

Then:
- What are the best practices for persistently storing data that is XML based?
- Is their a good rule of thumb for how many levels of parent-child nesting there can be before the number of joins will significantly bog down the system?

Nick Hebb
Thursday, October 10, 2002

As far as I know, MSSQL don't have special clause in SELECT statement for retriving "parent-child" connected rows (like Oracle CONNECT BY), so you have to manually join tables for it. (ISN'T IT?)

Keeping this in mind, I think you are limited by the maximum number of tables you can use in SELECT statement

Mikhail Andronov
Friday, October 11, 2002

I'm just kinda passing through so to speak, so I hope you don't mind if I add a penny to this conversation?  I doesn't directly answer the question, but voices an opinion that I have about SQL Server and XML:

<as an aside>
I haven't bothered to learn about the XML functionality of SQL Server because my "gut" tells me that it's all going to change quite remarkably when the next version comes out.

Support for the .NET framework and the addition of the SQL.XML namespace leads me to thinking that any time you invest learning about the FOR XML [raw|auto|explicit] could be better spent dreaming about unicorns or inventing time-machines.

--- Thanks for listening ;)

Digory Q
Friday, October 11, 2002

Sounds like you might enjoy visiting:

http://www.dbdebunk.com/

alekzander
Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Hi, just passing through again ;-)

Thanks for that link, it was an eye-opener - for a NEWBIE such as me - to say the least!

I'd like clarify something that I mentioned in my original post.

When I talk about waiting for the 'next big thing' in the SQL Server product, I'm obviously not talking about the current state of the logical data model in the industry today - mostly because I'm not qualified to do so.

Basically, I'm just looking at what SQL currently offers, and, in my own basic thinking, it appears to be very *interim*.  For that reason I decided to step out of the current "next best thing" loop this time around.

Again, thanks for the link, it's a gem.

Digory Q
Monday, October 21, 2002

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