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Extensible Markup Language (XML) has grown rapidly over the last decade to become the de facto standard for heterogeneous data exchange. Its popularity is due in large part to the ease with which diverse kinds of information can be represented as a result of the self-describing nature and extensibility of XML itself. The ease and speed with which information can be represented does not extend, however, to exchanging such information between autonomous sources. In the absence of controlling standards, such sources will typically choose differing XML representations for the same concept, and the actual exchange of information between them requires that the representation produced by one source be transformed into a representation understood by the other. Creating this information exchange “glue” is a tedious and error-prone process, whether expressed as Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformation (XSLT), XQuery, Java™, Structured Query Language (SQL), or some other format. In this paper, we present an extensible XML mapping architecture that elevates XML mapping technology to a fundamental integration component that promotes code generation, mapping reuse, and mapping as metadata.
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