Document-centric.NET Article on recently ran an article entitled Document-Centric .NET, that highlights the various technologies for working with XML that exist in the .NET Framework. The article provides a good high level overview of the various options you have for processing XML in the .NET Framework. The article includes an all important caveat which I wish more people knew about and which I keep wanting to write an article about but never get around to doing. The author writes 

However, keep in mind that there are W3C XML Schema features that are not directly compatible with .NET's XML-to-database and XML-to-object mapping tools.

This is very true. Besides our schema validation technologies, most Microsoft technologies or products that utilize W3C XML Schema support a subset of the language due to impedance mismatches between the language and the underlying data model or type system of the target environment.

In fact the only complaint I have about the article is a nitpick about its title. In XML circles, document-centric implies a usage of XML that isn't borne out by his article. If you are interested in the difference between data-centric XML and document-centric XML you should read my article Can One Size Fit All? in XML Journal. In that article I talk about the differences between XML that is used to represent both rigidly structured tabular data (e.g., relational data or serialized objects) and semi-structured data (e.g., office documents). The former is data-centric XML while the latter is document-centric.


Comments (1)
  1. Eric Gropp says:

    I was not clear in my use of the term "Document-Centric." I think there is a collision in the definition of "Document-Centric".

    I meant "Document-Centric" in the context of the application architecture, not the style of XML. In the article’s context, my best guess at the term’s definition is "A design that uses a small number of rich messages between layers and components, as opposed to using a larger number of procedure calls."

    My usage is similar to how webservices are sometimes described as RPC-Style or Document-Centric. The article’s example is simple, so the XML is indeed data-centric, but the overall architecture is Document-Centric.

    Some similar usage examples are:

    I am starting to realize that the term has too many meanings, and I am on the lookout for a better name that sounds just as cool.


    Eric Gropp

    Portland, OR

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