Object Role Modelling and XML-Schema

Linda Bird, Andrew Goodchild, Terry A. Halpin


XML is increasingly becoming the preferred method of encoding structured data for exchange over the Internet. XML-Schema, which is an emerging text-based schema definition language, promises to become the most popular method for describing these XML-documents. While text-based languages, such as XML-Schema, offer great advantages for data interchange on the Internet, graphical modelling languages are widely accepted as a more visually effective means of specifying and communicating data requirements for a human audience. With this in mind, this paper investigates the use of Object Role Modelling (ORM), a graphical, conceptual modelling technique, as a means for designing XML-Schemas. The primary benefit of using ORM is that it is much easier to get the model 'correct' by designing it in ORM first, rather than in XML. To facilitate this process we describe an algorithm that enables an XML-Schema file to be automatically generated from an ORM conceptual data model. Our approach aims to reduce data redundancy and increase the connectivity of the resulting XML instances.


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