Since we have our conference on Content Technologies for Government in Washington this week I probably will not get to Tech-Ed which is at our new convention center here in Boston, even though it is less than 2 blocks away. But if I had the time, I would be there scouting out the new WinFS beta and the intriguing Project Orange, (which may be relevant to the previous post on Viper). Mary Jo Foley has a list of the top 10 things to watch for there. She and others have pointed to this post for some clues on Project Orange.
As we reported yesterday, IBM announced the release of DB2 9, which is the official release name for Viper, their effort to incorporate XML content into a relational database. Microsoft and Oracle have their own strategies for doing this, and once all their work settles down and starts to get seriously deployed, building enterprise applications will never be the same. It has been 20 years since the early demand for databases that could handle marked-up content (SGML back then), and there have been many products developed to manage SGML/XML repositories since then – Astoria, Berkley DB XML, Ipedo, Ixiasoft, Mark Logic, Software AG, Vasont, X-Hive, and XyEnterprise are some currrent examples.
There has been lots of debate over the years about the best approach to managing marked-up content, and it is safe to say that there is not a single answer. This means that you need to understand what the differences are between them – and it won’t be easy for those of you new to the unstructured data world – this is much trickier than the relational data world. In spite of the huge benefits of the major DB players providing serious XML support, the wide variety of content application requirements will ensure a long-term need for quite a few specialty vendors, whether they are targeting vertical applications or horizontal components. The good news is that even with many different XML application schemas, it continues to get easier to integrate all kinds of XML data.
Bill points to an article in eWeek here. Also see Dave Kellog’s comments and links to other articles.