Transforming XML into a Relational Database Using XML Schema

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Dr. Jamal Alsabbagh, alsabbaj@gvsu.edu

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The Extensible Markup Language (XML) is routinely used to transfer data among applications and across networks, including the Internet. As the volume of XML data has increased rapidly, the need for its reliable storage and efficient retrieval has become a crucial issue. Consequently, there is significant interest in leveraging the well-tested capabilities of relational database systems to handle XML data. There are, however, many differences between the XML data model and the relational data model that need to be resolved through proper mapping. One major difference is that the XML model is a hierarchical tree structure while the relational model is tabular. An XML document can be described by a DTD (Document Type Definition) or an XSD (XML Schema Definition). This project uses XSD instead of DTD because the former is written in XML, extensible, and more importantly supports data typing. The main accomplishments of this project are: 1. Identify characteristics of a XML Schema that will be sufficient to create a relational database. 2. Design and implement a system that will take the XML Schema as input and then use it to create the SQL statements necessary to create the relational database without any user input other than the selection of the XML Schema file. The implementation was done using Adobe Flex in order to enhance my experience with it. Adobe Flex is a free open source framework for building rich Internet applications that are run in an Adobe Flash browser plug-in. Adobe Flex applications can also be deployed as a desktop application, which is referred to as an AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime) application. This structure is similar to Java, where a Java applet can run in a browser and a Java Swing application is a desktop application. I chose to deploy this application as an AIR application

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