Developers Using XML for Real Time Data Access

A recent study by a leading developer-focused research firm is finding that XML is gaining steam for certain mission-critical data access projects. See why Evans Data Corp. says almost half of all devs surveyed are working on some data integration-related project using XML.

Tags: Database, XML, Database Developers, Evans, Survey, Data Access, McKendrick,

The Database Development Survey conducted by Evans Data Corp. found that just under half (48%) of enterprise developers are working on some data integration-related project aimed at providing real-time data feeds to decision-makers. Evans also found that XML is becoming a preferred technique for developers building such real-time access.
"We defined real time in terms of information being made available within an hour," Evans' database analyst and study author Joe McKendrick told IDN.

In specific, McKendrick said, 48% of all surveyed were eyeing RT data analytics, and of all those eyeing such projects, 31% of companies said they already have such 1-hour data access capabilities in place somewhere in their enterprise, and are looking to bring it to more users. The survey shows that nearly a third of respondents update their analytic databases on an hourly basis, and most tools are applied to access business performance data, followed by financial analysis and CRM-related analysis.

A particularly notable finding, McKendrick said, was a marked use of XML. "[While] we have found a lot of movement toward XML in general, I was surprised to see the strength in the use of XML for these types of projects," McKendrick told IDN. He also said that the study added credence to a phrase growing in common wisdom among database developers: "SQL is for data at rest and XML is for data in motion."

Overall, McKendrick said this latest database developer study affirms the increasing importance of database integration that Evans has seen throughout the last year. "There is a real focus on bringing together company databases," he told IDN. "The typical company has 25 or more databases, and we believe that sets the stage for a lot of integration work to be done to bring databases together and that's certainly a big part of the interest in XML."

McKendrick added: "What's also interesting is that XML is being looked at for real-time data access projects even today. That has got to have traditional middleware and EAI vendors very concerned because technologies like .Net Framework and even J2EE are helping developers make this transition. We've done studies in the past year that show that an enormous number -- 98% -- of companies either have or plan to have web services projects in the next year or so, as soon as standards get better defined."

Among types of uses for such RT analytics, Evans found a "strong emphasis" in two sectors: a) financial reporting types of applications where COs want more visibility into their company's day-to-day performance; and b) marketing functions where sales and customer service managers are becoming interested in better real-time data to track their shipping and customer support (CRM) operations.

Other findings from the Evans' Database Developer Survey include:

  • More than half of survey respondents, 51% plan to deploy native XML databases within the next two years, compared to 15% at the present time.
  • Object databases are also expected to experience substantial increases, jumping from 27% today to 48% in the next two years.
  • Java and XML are still gaining users, with Java usage expected to exceed 54% over the next year and XML growing to nearly half of database developers using it for some development
  • C# -- all of .Net techs, VS.Net and ASP.Net and VB.Net and C#. At least 45% of the group spends some time with the MS toolset.

  • Get more on the Evans Database Survey here.