I've been using XML in various database-related solutions for several years. Started with SQL 2005, really.
The main problem I've run into with it has been very, very poor documentation. The SQL Server XQuery documentation started out being worse than useless when I first needed to dig into it. Circular definitions, lack of examples, examples that didn't actually work, and a writing style that assumed you already knew everything there was to know about XML and just need the specifics to Microsoft's implementation of XQuery functions.
The W3C documentation on XML largely assumes you already know everything about XML and are looking to compare implementations to standards, not looking to figure out what the heck the standards mean in the first place.
I think a lot of the problem with XML is that its been documented by people who are very good at getting computers to communicate with each other, but who haven't the faintest clue of how to communicate with other people. Hate to say that, but it really feels like that.
Over the years since I first started dealing with it, I've noticed the documentation has improved steadily in quality, and in quantity. It's a lot easier to find what I need these days than when I started with it.
But it still very much depends on already knowing the subject pretty well before you can even search for answers. If you don't know the term "nodes function", you really can't Google/Bing/whatever "how do I separate rows of XML into rows of tabular data" and get anything that will help you out. Try both searches, see what you get.
It's moved from "you have to be an expert to even ask a question" to "you have to know some of the terminology before you can ask a question". That's a huge improvement, but it's still got a ways to go.
Where I'm at? I know XML in SQL Server well enough to solve some interesting problems in efficient ways, but it's not as easy as it should be.
- Gus "GSquared", RSVP, OODA, MAP, NMVP, FAQ, SAT, SQL, DNA, RNA, UOI, IOU, AM, PM, AD, BC, BCE, USA, UN, CF, ROFL, LOL, ETC
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