Upgraded database makes the most of XML

Ipedo Inc. is beefing up its native XML database to let companies gain more management control over XML data for their Web-based applications.

The Ipedo XML Database 2.0 is designed to handle XML – a language to describe data – in its native format, thereby speeding access to data by eliminating the need to transform it into the rows and columns of a standard relational database.

Experts say XML databases will serve in a complementary role to traditional databases especially as XML becomes prevalent. Nearly 85 per cent of large corporations are expected move all their Web-based content to XML over the next three years, according to the Meta Group Inc.

Ipedo’s upgraded database features the ability to read large XML documents, search the tags and text contained in documents, transform XML stylesheets within the database, and search for images.

“XML documents can become megabytes long with strings of text and tagged with XML,” says Rob Perry, an analyst with The Yankee Group Inc. “The XML documents have a hierarchy, and you want to keep that hierarchy intact so you can dig down into it to search.”

For example, companies could store chapters of product catalogues as complete documents for quick search without having to carve the information into separate XML documents. “The handling of large documents is something other XML databases can’t do yet,” Perry says.

Ipedo’s software competes with XML databases from Software AG, Ixiasoft, Excelon, XYZFind and NeoCore.

Ipedo also is adding free-form search, which lets users ferret through the text that falls between XML tags, providing a much more comprehensive look into a document. The database also takes on the burden of transforming XML into formats needed for applications. For example, the same catalogue information can be transformed on-the-fly into HTML or wireless formats based on the client device.

“Data transformation can be a big drain on applications because it is so CPU-intensive,” says Tim Matthews, president of Ipedo. Matthews says the company also will build support into its query mechanism for Xquery, a standard XML-based query language that the World Wide Web Consortium should finalized by year-end.

In addition, the database supports searches for Scalable Vector Graphics, an XML-based graphics format, and can be used to create a virtual view of XML data stored across databases within a company.

The XML Database 2.0 is priced at US$29,000 per CPU. It runs on Windows 2000 and NT, Solaris and Red Hat Linux.

Ipedo can be reached at http://www.ipedo.com.