XML - The Key to the Next Generation Data Warehouse
A good data warehousing professional is always scouting for new sources of data that can be applied to business intelligence. In that spirit, many are discovering documents described by extensible markup language (XML). XML documents are usually generated as part of a transaction, complex business process, or communication exchanged between partnering businesses, and they often contain information that can be valuable in the context of data warehousing (DW) and business intelligence (BI). However, applying the information to DW/BI is challenging, because of the hierarchies and complex data structures that are typical of XML schema. You could convert these to relational models that any data warehouse’s database can store and any reporting or analysis tool can access. But that process is labor-intensive and requires costly changes to the database model and dependent applications as XML schemas evolve over time. Plus, analysis can be richer and more open ended if you work with original XML documents, the same way you’d work with any detailed source data. Hence, for any organization wishing to leverage XML for DW/BI, native support for XML is key to the success of the next generation of its data warehouse.
What you will learn:
- The origins, content, and structure of XML documents, as well as their applicability to data warehousing and business intelligence
- Benefits of working with native XML in a data warehouse context, instead of converting it to commonplace relational data structures
- Required features of a database management system that can manage XML information natively
Philip Russom, Ph.D.