Friday, April 24, 2009

XML arrives in the warehouse

More and more data is generated, sent, processed, (even!!!) stored as XML. Application developers, IT architects, and DBAs get used to XML as part of their life. Let's get ready for the next step, XML in the enterprise warehouse. Why? To bring the higher flexibility and faster time-to-availability (shorter development/deployment time) to the core information management systems, the base for critical business decisions, the enterprise warehouses. Greater flexibility and shorter reaction times are especially important during economic phases like the currently present one.

DB2 9.7 ("Cobra") adds support for XML in the warehouse. What is even better is that with XML compression and index compression cost savings can be realized. Right now not many of the analytic and business intelligence tools support XML data. Fortunately, both the SQL standard and DB2 feature a function named XMLTABLE that allows to map data from XML documents to a regular table format, thereby enabling BI tools to work with XML data.

My colleagues Cindy Saracco and Matthias Nicola have produced a nice summary and introduction of warehousing-related enhancements of pureXML in the upcoming DB2 9.7 release. The developerWorks article is titled "Enhance business insight and scalability of XML data with new DB2 V9.7 pureXML features". Among other things the paper explains how XML can now be used with range partitioning, hash (or database) partitioning, and multi-dimensional clustering. Enjoy!