Friday, October 03, 2003

Niche Markets

The demise of the XML database "When is an XML database not an XML database? Answer: when it's an XML database. While you can still buy an XML database purely because it provides faster storage capability and greater functionality than a conventional database, all the erstwhile XML database vendors are increasingly turning to other sources of use for their products."

"For the XML database vendors this means that, like the object database suppliers before them, they need to look for alternative outlets, hence the drift into integration and content management. Even though they may provide faster retrieval capabilities the truth is that (like it or not) the market will make do with what the relational database products offer, if they can."

"The question then arises as to how long XML databases can exist within their new markets. It seems unlikely that they can long survive as content management products since the leading vendors in this market will increasingly avail themselves of the facilities provided by their underlying databases.

This leaves the use of these products for integration. But on-the-fly translation of XML documents would surely be better managed by an in-memory XML mapping tool rather than an XML database per se. Products such as eXcelon might evolve in this direction but in the long term it is surely the case that XML databases will be relegated to the same twilight (but profitable for those remaining standing) world that is inhabited by the object database vendors."
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