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Thread: Can XML do this?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2002

    Question Can XML do this?

    I have been running a flat HTML site that mimics a database. It does this by having about 30 HTML pages with flat data, eg telephone numbers and addresses. And the user can define which data they see by using several pages drop down menu by drop down menu.

    When I set this up it was approx 1000 html pages (a bit of a headache to build and even worse to update)

    The reason for doing this was that the company I work for do not own the servers that the corporate intranet is hosted on and charges are made by file and; any scripting/server side projects are supposed to be built by their consultants at a large cost.

    The raw data for this project comes in Excel format.

    I would like to find a way of automating the processing of the Excel files to speed up updates. Whilst still not employing any technologies on the server like mySQL.

    Speaking to a colleague they mentioned that XML may offer a way of doing this. I must confess I am a newbie to XML but would like to know if anyone knows a way of doing this or can point me in the direction of anywhere to get advice on this.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Calgary, Canada
    Here is usefull reading about XML+Client side abilities


    XML is not limited to the uses mentioned in the article,however,from your question it seems like you do not want to resort to any webserver functionality,that will limit the XML useablilty a great deal.

    I'd say try looking into free technologies that will not cost you a penny ..such as.

    MySQL Database,
    apache HTTP web server
    and PHP
    Tomcat Servlet engine
    and Java(serlets or jsp)

    Any of the combinations above will not require any new hardware on your part,

    Thoug when it comes to XML Java is the most suited language out there.


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Well at in theory, XML can be used as a database. Heres a small example of this....something that took me just a few hours to make....

    Its a log database for some helpdesk.....and i have 2 html pages one to edit and other to view..and 3 XSL, while the data is stored in an XML file....to make it work..save all the files in the same directory and start with helpdesk_log.html.....i dont claim that this is the best possible solution..at lot of things like archiving and search have not been taken care of.....but at the same time it serves the prupose (to act as a database..which i think ur also aiming at...)

    feel free to use any of the code....(and let me know if u find bugs ) )


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Just because you can use XML as a "database" doesn't mean it is the best candidate for the job.

    Sure, you can use xpath as a "query engine" and find information that you are looking for and xslt to pretty up the output; but to truly take advantage of the data, you would need a database sytem.

    Having said that, XML works best for tranferring information between two systems. That's its strong suit. Sure, you can use Excel to write a letter to your boss, but are you using the best tool for the job?

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