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Dealing with BIG Data. The XML Way.

Written by dcarver on September 3, 2009 – 5:20 pm

One of the constant themes I hear about users in STAR is the size of the XML files. That there is a problem parsing them, processing them, and in general trying to cram them into legacy data stores and using legacy technologies. One of the unfortunate side affects of data binding of XML is that everybody tries to use it for everything. The first and typically last tool a programmer will go for now a-days is a data binding framework. Unfortunately, this is not necessarily the best choice. In many cases, if you dig around in the xml tool bag you can find other choices.

Kurt Cagle has written an excellent rebuttal on the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) that XML is not right for BIG Data. When we are talking BIG we are talking 50MB or larger. In fact, he rightly says:

Frankly, if you ARE storing your XMLdata in a relational database repository, then you’re throwing valuable money away, because you’re adding a hideous performance penalty on every transaction.

Kurt Cagle, XMLToday.com

He goes on to talk about the role of XML Databases and how in many ways they are out performing their relational database counterparts. STAR has several very large BODs that may need to be processed and queried. PartsMaster, LaborOperations, PartsPriceList, and RepairOrder are a few that come to mind. Processing these with data binding is definitely not the way to go. Supplementing an existing Relational Database with an XML Database can be very beneficial. It also allows you to work with XML natively without necessarily having to do a data transformation to get at the relevent information. Investigate your existing Relational Database as many have XML Data Storage abilities. XML can be a good fit for Big Data, it just takes using the right tool for the right job, and not trying to use the same tool for every job.


Posted in STAR, XML, bods, efficency, efficiency, standards | No Comments »

STAR 2009 Release: Bridging the Gaps

Written by dcarver on May 18, 2009 – 5:38 pm

MCLEAN, Va., May 18 — Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail (STAR), a global information technology standards body for retail automotive and related industries, has released its final set of schema repositories for its 2008-2009 publication cycle.

With this release STAR continues to prove that while it may be “Automotive” in name, STAR is more than capable of supporting related industries such as the medium and heavy-duty truck sector. In fact, a significant portion of the enhancements in this release can be attributed to requests made by STAR’s Truck segment. These requirements focused heavily in the area of Parts Management with updates to the Parts Inventory, Parts Prices List, and Parts Shipment specifications among others. This level of cross-industry harmonization is made possible through STAR’s use of a semantically flexible vocabulary creating functional equivalents that meet the needs of multiple industries.

In addition to proving itself as a cross-industry standard, STAR continued to strengthen its position as a globally-recognized standards solution in a project with European auto manufacturers, Renault SAS and PSA Peugeot Citroen. The manufacturers worked together with STAR to identify and incorporate needed enhancements into the STAR Sales Lead standard to meet international requirements. These enhancements have since been found to meet the needs of various U.S.-based users.

The ability of the STAR organization to develop open standards that bridge the gap between industries as well as regions is a testament to its commitment to the efficient and interoperable exchange of business communications.

STAR is technology dedicated to business efficiency.


Posted in STAR, XML, bods, community, open standards | No Comments »

A Call to Testify

Written by admin on February 12, 2009 – 1:09 pm

I’ve been an employee with STAR since it’s inception in 2001. Throughout my time with the STAR, I have been asked to preach the gospel of open standards and their value to an industry that is all too often heavily vested in its proprietary ways of doing business. If asked for my open standards elevator pitch (30 seconds or less) I could recite it in my sleep: “Open standards:
* Reduce the cost and time to develop
* Increase efficiency for all parties involved
* Increase interoperability (my personal favorite as an XML Architect)

As good of an evangelist as I may be, there comes a time where the rubber meets the road and people say, “That’s all fine and dandy, motherhood and apple pie, and all the like; now, show me some real world examples. Show me one case where someone has actually saved time and money, or increased efficiency, or increased interoperability implementing STAR standards”.

So in response to the age-old question, “Got any examples?” STAR is calling its members to testify. Now let’s not get carried away. These testimonials will not be given under oath, in a court of law or at a podium in a pulpit. These testimonials will be member implementers answering a few short questions regarding the value they derived through the use of STAR standards in their implementations.

These testimonials will be made available on the STAR website in the coming weeks. Here’s a brief excerpt from one recently received member testimonial:

“Our implementation benefited by having a rigorous process for definition, design and construction of our data interfaces which was enforced by outside resources, ensuring completeness and effectiveness.”

We look forward to the opportunity to share this and more member testimonials with the STAR community.


Posted in STAR, XML, community, efficiency, interoperability, open standards | No Comments »

Carver in ‘09!

Written by admin on February 11, 2009 – 10:56 am

For those of you who have spent any time working with STAR, the Eclipse community, or maybe you’re just a die hard XML fanatic (yes, they do exist, I work with one of them), you have no doubt come across the name, Dave Carver.

Dave has been with STAR as an XML Data Architect since 2005, but he is really much more than just an XML Data Architect. Dave is a self-professed “Jack of all Trades” and as his co-worker, I can attest to that. Whenever there is a programming need, whether it be to fix, re-factor, automate, etc., Dave has never backed down from the challenge. Dave can very often be quoted as saying, “You’ve just laid down the gauntlet!” And to his credit, Dave works tirelessly until he finds the solution.

So it was only a matter of time before someone else stumbled upon our XML Guru. In addition to the time Dave puts into his day job with STAR, he also manages to be an active contributor to the Eclipse community, in his own words, to “[help] improve and promote the use of XML, as well as [advocate] for Agile development practices and Clean Code practices.” Apparently his contributions have not gone unnoticed.

Members of the Eclipse community have nominated Dave for their “Top Contributor” award. According to the Eclipse website this award is given to the individual who, “best exemplifies support for the community through submission of patches & comments on bugs, posts to newsgroups, creation of white papers, presentations at conferences, blogs, IRC and other forums. Top contributors make their contributions due to their passion for making Eclipse a better community. In general, no one is paying them for the time they spend on making their Eclipse contributions.”

As his colleague, I can think of no better way to thank him for his hard work than to promote his candidacy for Top Contributor. The voting is open for anyone who would like to participate. To cast your vote go to: http://www.eclipse.org/org/press-release/20090202_awards.php. Be sure to vote before February 27th.

As part of the nomination process, each nominee is interviewed by DZone. Check out Dave’s interview and learn more about his efforts in the Eclipse community as well as his obsession with soccer: http://eclipse.dzone.com/articles/meet-years-top-contributor.

Carver in 09!!


Posted in Eclipse, STAR, XML, agile, community, standards | No Comments »