A comprehensive solution to the XML-to-relational mapping problem

Sihem Amer-Yahia, Fang Du, Juliana Freire

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The use of relational database management systems (RDBMSs) to store and query XML data has attracted considerable interest with a view to leveraging their powerful and reliable data management services. Due to the mismatch between the relational and XML data models, it is necessary to first shred and load the XML data into relational tables, and then translate XML queries over the original data into equivalent SQL queries over the mapped tables. Although there is a rich literature on XML-relational storage, none of the existing solutions addresses all the storage problems in a single framework. Works on mapping strategies often have little or no details about query translation, and proposals for query translation often target a specific mapping strategy. XML-storage solutions provided by RDBMS also have limitations. Notably, they are tied to a specific backend and use proprietary mapping languages, which not only may require a steep learning curve, but often are unable to express certain desirable mappings. In order to address these limitations, we developed ShreX, a XML-to-relational mapping framework and system that provides the first comprehensive and end-to-end solution to the relational storage of XML data. Mappings in ShreX are defined through annotations to an XML Schema. The use of XML Schema simplifies the mapping process, since it does not require users to master a new specialized mapping language. The use of annotations allows mapping choices to be combined in many different ways. As a result, ShreX not only supports all the mapping strategies proposed in the literature, but also new useful strategies that had not been considered previously. ShreX provides generic (and automatic) document shredding and query translation capabilities; and it is portable - its mapping specifications are independent of the database backend.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWIDM 2004: Proceedings of the Sixth ACM International Workshop on Web Information and Data Management
EditorsA.H.F. Laender, D. Lee, M. Ronthaler
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2004
EventWIDM 2004: Proceedings of the Sixth ACM International Workshop on Web Information and Data Management - Washington, DC, United States
Duration: Nov 12 2004Nov 13 2004


OtherWIDM 2004: Proceedings of the Sixth ACM International Workshop on Web Information and Data Management
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWashington, DC


  • Mapping techniques
  • Relational Databases
  • XML Shredding
  • XML Storage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems


Dive into the research topics of 'A comprehensive solution to the XML-to-relational mapping problem'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this