Re: Any experiences with SGML-based document database

Subject: Re: Any experiences with SGML-based document database
From: Chet Ensign <Chet_Ensign%LDS -at- NOTES -dot- WORLDCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 19 Jul 1995 10:48:14 EDT

Carl Millholland asks if...

> Anyone developing or using software that constructs an SQL or other
> relational database using SGML-based record data

I can give you some data. Bob DuCharme of Research Institute of America
maintains a list of SGML databases and related products on his Web home page. I
don't have the address close at hand -- I believe that he maintains it at New
York University -- but you can reach it through Robin Cover's SGML bibliography

On that page, Bob lists SGML database packages from the following vendors:

Active Systems, Inc. -- product is ActiveServer SGML database
AIS Berger-Levrault -- product is SGML/Store
Collaborative Information Technology --- product is Structured Information
Manager (SIM) Electronic Book Technologies (EBT) -- product is DynaBase
Information Dimensions --- product is BASISplus
Open Text Corp. -- product is PAT
Texcel -- product is Repository Manager
Xsoft -- product is Astoria

There is also a new, PC based product called LivePage. It was reviewed recently
in "Databased Advisor" magazine.

BASISPlus and LivePage are both based on relational databases. DynaBase and
Astoria are both built on top of Object Store, an object-oriented database.
BASISPlus has been in production for a long time and it is a well-tested
product. DynaBase and Astoria are both in beta testing but have not been
officially released on the market. I don't know what the state of the other
products is.

From a philosophical perspective, object oriented databases fit SGML best. SGML
itself can be envisioned as an object-oriented data modeling language, and
documents can be well described using the oo metaphor. From the practical
perspective, the SGML databases built on top of relational structures have been
in use for awhile. I expect the oo SGML dbms systems to prevail in the long
run, but if you have projects that you have to launch right now, you'll want to
look at the relational models.

If you have any questions, please feel free to drop me a line.

Best regards,


Chet Ensign
Director of Electronic Documentation
Logical Design Solutions
571 Central Avenue
Murray Hill, NJ 07974 censign -at- lds -dot- com [email]
908-771-9221 [Phone] 908-771-0430 [FAX]

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