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Subject: The many to many problem in XML,was the BSR - the Basic Semantic Register
Philip Goatly shares with us two scenarios which he would like to contemplate involving the standard carton (the same SKUs packed within a shipping container) and pick-pack (different SKUs packed within the shipping container) packing configurations. See http://lists.ebxml.org/archives/ebxml-core/200101/msg00149.html. Bob Miller "would [accommodate] that by designing hierarchical message constructs to the extent that they model real world hierarchical relationships." Presumably, Bob would favor mapping Goatly's examples just as shown, without any attempt to "flatten" the structure for benefit of relational databases. Then Bob "would augment that design with relational message constructs to handle the relationships (key/key relations) that are not directly addressed by the hierarchical model." I would add to Bob's comments that there's probably never any need to come up with artificial keys, as in the real world each of Phil's <Product> items can be identified with the SKU or a UPC/EAN number, and the <Container> objects almost always likewise have a standard marking, whether a bar-coded UCC/EAN-128 Serial Shipping Container Code or a shipping label number or suchlike. I'm having a hard time discerning the problem Phil is alerting us to: if you wanted to flatten out the structure, you could simply take each level's key from the hierarchy and add it to the relational DB record. In any case, I'd rather have the real world hierarchical relationship shown in the XML data, taking advantage of what comes natural to XML (i.e., Element Content and nesting), rather than some artificial flat structure mimicking DBase comma-separated files. William J. Kammerer FORESIGHT Corp. 4950 Blazer Memorial Pkwy. Dublin, OH USA 43017-3305 +1 614 791-1600 Visit FORESIGHT Corp. at http://www.foresightcorp.com/ "Commerce for a New World"
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