Pure XML - Technical Information

Technical Information

DB2 includes two distinct storage mechanisms: one for efficiently managing traditional SQL data types, and another for managing XML data. The underlying storage mechanism is transparent to users and applications; they simply use SQL (including SQL with XML extensions or SQL/XML) or XQuery to work with the data.

XML data is stored in columns of DB2 tables that have the XML data type. XML data is stored in a parsed format that reflects the hierarchical nature of the original XML data. As such, pureXML uses trees and nodes as its model for storing and processing XML data. If you instruct DB2 to validate XML data against an XML schema prior to storage, DB2 annotates all nodes in the XML hierarchy with information about the schema types; otherwise, it will annotate the nodes with default type information. Upon storage, DB2 preserves the internal structure of XML data, converting its tag names and other information into integer values. Doing so helps conserve disk space and also improves the performance of queries that use navigational expressions. However, users aren't aware of this internal representation. Finally, DB2 automatically splits XML nodes across multiple database pages, as needed.

XML schemas specify which XML elements are valid, in what order these elements should appear in XML data, which XML data types are associated with each element, and so on. pureXML allows you to validate the cells in a column of XML data against no schema, one schema, or multiple schemas. pureXML also provides tools to support evolving XML schemas.

IBM has enhanced its programming language interfaces to support access to its XML data. These enhancements span Java (JDBC), C (embedded SQL and call-level interface), COBOL (embedded SQL), PHP, and Microsoft's .NET Framework (through the DB2.NET provider).

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