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Beyond Schemas: Planning Your XML Model by Jennifer Thompson

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Beyond Schemas: Planning Your XML Model

Jennifer Linton

March 2, 2007

Abstract

Have you ever wondered how to get started writing your own schema? As you prepare to create your schema, you must consider a number of factors. This guide explains each of those factors in detail and recommends an approach for documenting your schema development plan in an information model.

Your information model can not only be used as a planning mechanism to develop your schema but can also be used as a training resource and as a reference guide for those using the schema after it is developed. By putting a well-thought-out information model in place, you are bound to produce a schema that you can use indefinitely and build upon easily.

While many developers see using XML as a matter of creating a schema and applying it, this simple-sounding path has a number of pitfalls. Heading directly into schema writing without spending time analyzing what information and structure needs to be represented may work in the short term—butin the long term, it can turn your schema into a barrier to creating efficient processes rather using it as an aid.

Avoiding this fate calls for thinking ahead and modeling information rather than defining XML structure immediately. Developing an information model requires analyzing your information to define structures, standards, and policies to create ...

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