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MLUC 2011 XQuery Enigma

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MLUC 2011 XQuery Enigma

  1. 1. XQuery’s Enigmatic Information Architecture Role <br />MarkLogic User Conference 2011<br />Peter O’Kelly<br />peter@okellyassociates.com<br />
  2. 2. Agenda<br />Background<br />Why XQuery is awesome<br />The XQuery enigma: why it’s not yet mainstream<br />Projections and recommendations<br />Q&A<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />2<br />
  3. 3. Background<br />Where I’m coming from<br />Industry analyst/consultant working in information management and collaboration domains for ~30 years<br />Background<br />Application developer and data architect<br />Product management and strategy roles at Lotus, IBM, Groove Networks, Macromedia, and Microsoft<br />Industry analyst/consultant with the Patricia Seybold Group and Burton Group<br />pbokelly.blogspot.com<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />3<br />
  4. 4. Background<br />My high-level XQuery perspective<br />XQuery truly is awesome…<br />A very well-designed language and standards initiative, optimized for un- or semi-structured information<br />But XQuery appears to be somewhat stalled, in terms of overall market momentum<br />It’s important to understand and address the reasons for the stall<br />Because a vibrant XQuery standard, along with related techniques and tools, are important for the evolution of information management<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />4<br />
  5. 5. Agenda<br />Background<br />Why XQuery is awesome<br />The XQuery enigma: why it’s not yet mainstream<br />Projections and recommendations<br />Q&A<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />5<br />
  6. 6. Why XQuery is Awesome<br />A purpose-built XML content manipulation language<br />Gracefully applying the joy of sets to XML content<br />Offering a sustainably complementary fit with SQL<br />Designed by experts including SQL co-author Don Chamberlin<br />Evolving to go far beyond queries<br />With search, conditional expressions, function libraries, and more<br />Can replace a kitchen sink of earlier technologies<br />Fewer moving parts means more simplicity and less maintenance<br />A W3C Recommendation, building on XML Schema, XPath, and other standards<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />6<br />
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  8. 8. Agenda<br />Background<br />Why XQuery is awesome<br />The XQuery enigma: why it’s not yet mainstream<br />Projections and recommendations<br />Q&A<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />8<br />
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  14. 14. Other Evidence of Non-Mainstreaming<br />Vendor uncertainty or other hesitation<br />E.g., at Gilbane Boston 2010, few of the exhibitors I spoke with had even heard of XQuery<br />Not a statistically significant survey, but still surprising<br />Few of the current market-leading collaboration/ content platforms are based on XQuery<br />Tangent: this suggests there is a compelling market opportunity for new collaboration/content entrants that are XQuery-based<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />14<br />
  15. 15. Exploring the XQuery Enigma<br />Some issues that have probably limited XQuery market momentum<br />Lack of a big-picture framework<br />Installed base inertia<br />Standards and politics<br />The Internet ethos<br />Limited techniques and tools<br />[Don’t panic! We’ll return to the future-optimistic themes in a few minutes...]<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />15<br />
  16. 16. A Big-picture Framework<br />A digital information item dichotomy <br />Resources<br />Digital artifacts optimized for human comprehension<br />Organized in terms of narrative, hierarchy, and sequence<br />Examples: books, magazines, documents (e.g., PDF, Word), Web pages, XBRL documents… <br />Relations<br />Application-independent descriptions of real-world things and relationships<br />Examples: business domain databases, e.g., customer, sales, HR…<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />16<br />
  17. 17. The Resource/Relation Continuum<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />17<br />PDF docs<br />XBRL docs<br />Word docs<br />DITA docs<br />Desktop db<br />Streaming db<br />Operational db<br />
  18. 18. A Big-picture Framework<br />Complementary levels of modeling abstraction<br />Conceptual<br />Technology-neutral<br />Used to establish contextual consensus <br />Also very useful, when done well, for creating logical models<br />Logical<br />Captures conceptual models in a technology rendering<br />Examples: (beyond-the-basics) hypertext and relational<br />Information workers and app developers ideally work at this level of abstraction<br />Physical<br />Includes implementation-level details<br />Ideally, activity at this level is limited to system architects and administrators<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />18<br />
  19. 19. Conceptual Model Examples<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />19<br />
  20. 20. A Big-picture Framework<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />20<br />
  21. 21. The Lack of a Big-picture Framework<br />Without a framework, there’s likely to be<br />Uncertainty about what to use when<br />Conflict based more on miscommunication and/or misunderstanding than real issues<br />Insufficient focus on <br />Application/data independence<br />Conceptual/logical/physical model independence<br />Low probability of appreciation for the sustainable and complementary fit between XQuery and SQL <br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />21<br />
  22. 22. Installed Base Inertia<br />Incumbent vendors<br />DBMS vendors<br />Application vendors<br />Large organizations usually have distinct “content” and “data” management groups, often with little collaboration between them<br />Content-focused people are often more instance-oriented and care a lot about schema flexibility<br />Database-focused people are generally more type-oriented and care a lot about schema precision<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />22<br />
  23. 23. A Content-centric View<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />23<br />
  24. 24. A Database-centric View<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />24<br />
  25. 25. Installed Base Inertia<br />Programmer preferences can be pernicious<br />Object-oriented frameworks have a lot in common with resources (e.g., hierarchy, sequence, and positional navigation)<br />The object/relational “impedance mismatch” is still irksome, in some tools/frameworks<br />But that does not mean it’s reasonable to default to resource-oriented approaches for all domains, even if the application is XML-centric, because not all XML content is resource-centric<br />Doing so can dumb-down DBMS usage patterns, with significant consequences<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />25<br />
  26. 26. Standards and Politics<br />“The nice thing about standards is that you have so many to choose from” <br />Andrew Tanenbaum<br />As in the development of SQL, there are complex challenges at the intersection of standards groups, vendor agendas, and academic priorities<br />The Open XML/ODF debate is another recent, relevant, and revealing case study<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />26<br />
  27. 27. Standards and Politics<br />NoSQL<br />“A rhetorically clever and manipulative name … Saying ‘NoSQL’ says what you’re against, not what you’re for” (Joe Maguire)<br />As with the largely failed “object database” wave 20+ years ago, NoSQL extremists appear to underestimate the expressive power and utility of what they propose to displace<br />While there is ample room for database-related innovation, polarizing the debate is unhelpful<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />27<br />
  28. 28. The Internet Ethos<br />Lots to like<br />Open, community-driven, vendor-independent…<br />But also some risks; e.g., the Internet<br />Doesn’t complain if your system is inefficient or ineffective <br />Is culturally conducive to cyber-polarization<br />E.g., there are probably still lively Internet forum debates about the relative merits of DTD, Schematron, RNG, and XML Schema <br />And xBASE versus SQL, and RPG versus COBOL…<br />This creates a key challenge: it’s difficult to get vitality readings on standards and technology alternatives<br />Including major initiatives such as XQuery and XHTML 2.0<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />28<br />
  29. 29. Limited Techniques and Tools<br />Some SQL reality checks <br />Relatively few people work directly with SQL<br />The vast majority of information workers and developers who benefit from using SQL do so indirectly, through tools ranging from IDEs to query/reporting applications<br />The development of ODBC was pivotal for software vendors and application developers working with RDBMSs<br />Making it possible for them to use a single interface model for multiple products<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />29<br />
  30. 30. Limited Techniques and Tools<br />XQuery's market uptake has been constrained by the small number of XQuery-based tools and applications <br />Which is in turn limited in part by the lack of a successful ODBC equivalent for XQuery<br />Which, in turn, is partly a function of Microsoft’s apparent XQuery ambivalence <br />Many XML-focused developers believe they get most of what they need from XPath<br />Without tools to promote effective use of XQuery, it’s a difficult value proposition to make<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />30<br />
  31. 31. Limited Techniques and Tools<br />Modeling techniques and tools are also pivotal<br />There are some good options today for physical database modeling<br />But few choices for logical modeling<br />And almost a complete lack of conceptual modeling tools<br />For XML information modeling, there are even fewer modeling technique/tool options today<br />It’s also a cultural and incentive system challenge<br />If developers are paid to primarily focus on physical models, that’s what most of them will do<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />31<br />
  32. 32. Limited Techniques and Tools<br />Many XML-focused developers appear to believe they don’t need to invest time and attention in modeling<br />In part because XML-focused application development often starts with existing XML schemas and/or documents rather than “green field” modeling<br />But modeling is equally applicable to resource and relation domains, for<br />Establishing contextual consensus<br />Helping to promote<br />Application/information independence<br />Conceptual/logical/physical model independence<br />Fostering the effective application of set theory and maximizing the use of declarative expressions<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />32<br />
  33. 33. Agenda<br />Background<br />Why XQuery is awesome<br />The XQuery enigma: why it’s not yet mainstream<br />Projections and recommendations<br />Q&A<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />33<br />
  34. 34. Projections and Recommendations<br />XQuery is going to be a mainstream success<br />RDBMSs aren’t going away anytime soon<br />The standards scene is evolving in subtly significant ways<br />More and better modeling<br />MarkLogic is very well positioned<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />34<br />
  35. 35. XQuery Will be a Mainstream Success<br />And already is a success, for many progressive IT organizations and software vendors<br />The next wave of XQuery momentum will likely come more from content management than traditional database management <br />Providing significant opportunities to have fewer information architecture moving parts<br />E.g., to spend less on specialized enterprise content management, records management, and Web content management servers and tools<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />35<br />
  36. 36. XQuery Will be a Mainstream Success<br />Recommendations<br />Learn and fully leverage XQuery<br />Go beyond the basics to master the full XQuery language<br />“Querying XML,” by Jim Melton and Stephen Buxton, is a useful resource in this context<br /> Seek to simplify and consolidate, e.g., <br />To do less scripting/programming and more declarative development using XQuery<br />To migrate content and apps from legacy ECM systems<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />36<br />
  37. 37. RDBMSs Aren’t Going Away<br />Resources and relations are complementary<br />And XQuery and SQL offer very strong synergy<br />Systems such as Google’s Megastore are important leading indicators, as hybrid models<br />“NoSQL” will rapidly evolve <br />Initially implied “Just say ‘no’ to SQL”<br />Later quietly redefined as “Not Only SQL”<br />What may be next: “New Opportunities for SQL”<br />I.e., some developers may reconsider the value of SQL and RDBMSs, after hitting NoSQL limitations<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />37<br />
  38. 38. RDBMSs Aren’t Going Away<br />Recommendations<br />Develop expertise in both (beyond-the-basics) hypertext and relational models<br />And explore the information flows between them<br />Provide clear customer requirements and feedback to your RDBMS, application, and tool vendors<br />Encourage them to fully exploit resource/relation synergy<br />Establish clear developer criteria on what to use when, e.g., for NoSQL alternatives<br />Consider applying the framework presented earlier<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />38<br />
  39. 39. Subtly Significant Standards Evolution<br />The industry is a very different place compared to when SQL was standardized in the mid-1980s<br />The Internet ethos is pervasive, and key vendors have learned to productively play the standards game together<br />There have been some major standards changes recently, e.g., the discontinuation of XHTML 2.0<br />But there is also clear market momentum consolidation around standards including XML Schema, XPath 2.0, XSLT, and HTML5<br />And, although not always obviously, XQuery <br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />39<br />
  40. 40. Subtly Significant Standards Evolution<br />Recommendations<br />Place well-informed standards bets, regularly check assumptions, and be willing to make course corrections<br />Get involved <br />Make your standards-related requirements clear to your strategic vendors<br />Actively participate in standards activities<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />40<br />
  41. 41. More and Better Modeling<br />Conceptual, logical, and physical modeling are critical success factors for both resources and relations<br />Organizations that under-invest in modeling are essentially reverting to the obsolete programs-have-files approach, limiting<br />Application/data (and content) independence<br />Conceptual/logical/physical model independence<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />41<br />
  42. 42. More and Better Modeling<br />Recommendations<br />Develop modeling expertise <br />Explore resources such as “Mastering Data Modeling” (Carlis/Maguire)<br />Apply the big-picture framework for consensus on (resources + relations) * (conceptual/logical/physical)<br />Build and consistently use model repositories <br />Also ensure modeling and reuse are supported by developer incentive systems<br />Provide clear modeling-related requirements to your tool and server vendors<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />42<br />
  43. 43. MarkLogic is Very Well Positioned<br />MarkLogic <br />Placed an early bet on XQuery, and continued to focus on XQuery while many other vendors balked <br />Has insights from XML information management market leadership in key domains including media, government, and finance<br />Is led by a deeply experienced and strong team<br />Recommendations<br />Share your experiences this week and consider proposing a customer case study for MLUC 2012<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />43<br />
  44. 44. Agenda<br />Background<br />Why XQuery is awesome<br />The XQuery enigma: why it’s not yet mainstream<br />Projections and recommendations<br />Q&A<br />4/28/2011<br />© 2011 O’Kelly Associates<br />44<br />

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