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System for dynamically building customized functions that shred XML documents

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000021769D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Feb-06
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Feb-06
Document File: 3 page(s) / 46K

Publishing Venue

IBM

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System for dynamically building customized functions that shred XML documents

Abstract: Disclosed is a method for dynamically building customized DB2 table functions that take as input an XML document and return designated content from the XML document in a relational table format, i.e. rows consisting of SQL columns. This method is based on a graphical user interface that assists users in the building of the customized function that performs the above mentioned task.

Overview: XML is fast becoming the most popular and flexible mechanism for exchanging data between applications or components of the same application. As an example, in multi-tier applications, business logic components send XML data to data layer components which then invoke stored procedures to manipulate the application database tables based on this XML data. The XML data may be records that must be inserted into tables, records that must be deleted, or records that must be updated. The XML data may affect records across multiple tables. There exist a need to extract data from XML documents in relational table format in an efficient and simple matter to allow database stored procedures to access this data and modify the application database accordingly. The XML documents may be given as input parameters to stored procedures, or may be documents already stored in the database tables. There also exists a need to apply an XML transformation on the original XML document to generate a more usable XML document where data may be more easily extracted. This XML transformation is achieved through the use of XSL transforms. IBM Video Online for e-business is one such application that sends XML documents to the IBM DB2 universal database server. This XML data may contain such things as video title records to be added, removed, or updated for any video online customer. It may also include customer account information that must be added or updated. IBM Video Online for e-business takes these XML documents as input to SQL stored procedures. The video online stored procedures then extracts the SQL tabular data from the input XML documents using the XML table user-defined function detailed in this article.

Detailed Description The purpose of this solution is to provide the means for a simple and efficient method of extracting data from XML documents in relational table format for database use. This solution is based on a system that is made up of the following components:

1. A graphical user interface that allows users to specify function customizations.
2. A means to display the sample result of the table function before it is actually built.
3. A set of helper functions that reside on the target database that extracts the designated data within the XML document.
4. A module which dynamically builds the table function based on the user customizations. When the user invokes the table function, it performs the functionality of extracting designated data from the XML document passed i...