The capabilities of XML and its interaction with legacy databases
Mc Kelvey, Nigel
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This thesis endeavours to establish which of the applications within the Extensible Markup Language (XML) available at present, meet the requirements of a modem business engaging in Electronic Commerce (E-Commerce) and/or the advancement of Web-based applications. The facilities provided by XML for improved network capabilities are also reviewed. There are numerous markup languages available at the time of writing. A review of six are provided in this document outlining the various advantages and disadvantages of each. Following this, XML applications have been identified that appear to provide superior networking and Web-advancement capabilities. XML capabilities examined in more detail, include: connections to database systems such as Microsoft Access and Oracle 8i using Java Database Connectivity - Open Database Connectivity (JDBC-ODBC). An examination into how XML interacts with legacy data was carried out in relation to E-Commerce applications. At the outset it was clear that implications (such as such as interoperability issues) existed with these new technologies when interacting with legacy database. Prototype systems were developed to highlight various issues regarding the capabilities of XML applications, for example file size reduction in Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) and portability/browser support issues in Synchronous Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL) as well as XML’s significant formatting requirements. Systems were also developed that demonstrate the ability of XML to interact with an Object Oriented Language such as Java. This interaction was investigated whilst connecting to a database incorporating the client/server architecture run locally on a Tomcat server revealing some JDBC-ODBC Middleware limitations for example. Issues such as interoperability and platform independence are discussed and documented. Finally, issues requiring further investigation are identified and recommendations outlined.
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