Ipedo this week is adding a standards-based query engine to its XML database that will give users a more intelligent, efficient and faster way to perform queries not only on documents but the data contained within those documents.
The company's XML Database 3.0 will include support for the World Wide Web Consortium's emerging standard called XML Query, a much-anticipated specification for querying XML documents stored in a database. Currently, the Ipedo database supports XPath, a rudimentary query mechanism. XML Query could become more important according to the Meta Group Inc., which estimates that by 2003 about 65 percent of corporate data will be stored in an XML format.
In addition, XML Query is similar to SQL, so enterprise application developers should have less of a learning curve when building applications on top of XML Database 3.0, according to experts.
"XML Query gives you more syntax for your query and overall is a more powerful way to query the database than XPath," says Jennie Ching, directory of software development for Sequoia Broadband, which uses the Ipedo database to store descriptions of the audio and video files it uses for its content distribution service. "In addition, XML Query allows us to join together the data that is returned in a query."
The Ipedo database also features a Schema Evolution Engine for keeping pace with evolving XML schema, which defines the structure of data. The engine lets customers automatically update schema changes, which previously was a manually intensive undertaking. Also new is XML versioning, a sort of document management engine. Ipedo also has added support for the Web Services Description Language and Universal Description, Discovery and Integration, which allows the database to serve as a foundation for Web services - nuggets of application code built using a variety of XML protocols that can be delivered as a service.
"Our mission is to make data more flexible and portable, and the secret sauce is XML," says Chas Cooper, senior product manager for Ipedo.
IDC estimates corporate spending for XML databases will grow by 130 percent annually, reaching US$700 million in 2004. XML is key to the evolving landscape of Web services and distributed computing, and traditional vendors such as Microsoft Corp., IBM Corp. and Oracle Corp. are rushing to offer native XML support in their databases.
Ipedo, along with Software AG, eXcelon Corp., NeoCore Inc., IXIA Inc. and ZYZFind already offer native XML databases, and a project known as Xindice is developing an open-source XML database.
The Ipedo XML Database 3.0 runs on Windows NT and 2000, Sun Solaris and Red Hat Linux. It is priced at $29,000 per CPU.