Blog
DB2utor

Categories

August 27, 2007

PureXML: Why Is This Feature So Important to Your Business?

In order to understand why PureXML is so important to your business, you need to first understand what XML is and where the industry is going with it. If you’re a Java developer on UNIX or Windows, then you probably already know all about XML.  However, XML use is relatively new on the z/OS mainframe so please bear with me for a few minutes while I bring you up to speed on XML.

The Extensible Markup Language (XML) was developed 10 years ago as an open standard for creating markup languages that describe the structure of data. It has now become the industry standard for data interchange between information systems.

Different industries within the business world have started consortiums to define standards to share data between business partners. For example the financial industry specifically the over-the-counter derivatives has defined a standard called FpML (Financial product Markup Language). If you want to do business with companies in this market then you have to provide data in the FpML XML format. The healthcare industry has a standard for electronic interchange of clinical, financial and administrative information called HL7 (Health Level 7). You may think you can avoid some of this but if you are a corporation with assets of $10 million or more and file at least 250 returns annually then you are required by the IRS to electronically file your Form1120 and 1120S. If you don't file using the TaxForm1120 XML standard, then you will incur penalties. 

Most large corporations store their data in DB2 for z/OS. However, in the past 10 years I've seen a slow migration of data has been moving off DB2 for z/OS to distributed applications running Oracle, DB2 and SQL Server on Linux, UNIX and Windows, because this is where the technology is available to build these XML applications. IBM came out with a hybrid implementation of XML in DB2 UDB V8 for LUW, but it was slow and required a lot of mapping work to map the XML document to a shredded set of relational tables. This same technology came to z/OS with DB2 UDB V8. Some development is being done but the adoption rate has been slow due to hardware and technology changes.

All of this is going to change with DB2 V9 PureXML. Some companies on DB2 V7 said as soon as DB2 V9 was available they will be upgrading so that they can implement their XML applications on z/OS. That means these companies will be upgrading to V8 and then as quickly as possible upgrading to V9. What this means for mainframe developers is you're going to be getting a lot of work coming your way.

The service-oriented architecture (SOA) is taking off and PureXML is the middleware for the next generation of SOA applications. PureXML offers improved performance, simplification of XML indexing with improved search and discovery of XML content repositories.   

So why is PureXML important to your business? Your company will be able to respond to market changes and customer demands more quickly. PureXML enables business flexibility, information on demand, openness and SOA.

I would be interested in hearing what you think of XML. Alos, if you can share your experiences with PureXML, that would be great.