Internet Insight: Pattern to XML Updates

Neocore Inc. has a patented digital pattern-processing approach as its XML query access method for the company's chief product, XML Management System.

Its easier to match a pattern than it is to climb a tree. Thats how Neocore Inc. looks at it. The Colorado Springs, Colo., startup has a patented digital pattern-processing approach as its XML query access method for the companys chief product, XML Management System.

"Rather than navigating a tree, weve built a unique pattern matching index," said Kevin Huck, chief architect for XML Management System at NeoCore.

The key difference between other XML databases and XML Management System is that the latters access method refuses to get bogged down in XMLs favorite structural format, the XML document. It views the document as information and indexes the data in the document and the tagging information that defines the data.

Then, instead of requiring that a path be named to a particular node, or element of the document, XML Management System can find that node by matching a named node with its index and pattern matching capabilities. It extends the capabilities of XPath with the verbs "update" and "delete," in addition to the basic storage verb of "insert" into the database, Huck said.

"Companies like ours will have to use XQuery (which now includes XPath) as a basis to extend XPaths update capabilities," Huck said. NeoCore has added update and delete capabilities to its version of XQuery/XPath ahead of the standard.

In an example of how it works, Huck said, if a business partner adds a second shipping address and your company needs to update 5,000 existing invoices, XML Management System doesnt call up each invoice individually and update it. Rather, it takes an information-centric view of the update and executes it across the 5,000 documents with one command.

"A simple command is sent to the server, and changes are made in place. All 5,000 purchase orders would be updated within seconds," Huck said.

NeoCore Chief Technology Officer Chris Brandin holds four patents, granted between April 21, 1998, and Dec. 26, 2000, on NeoCores digital pattern-processing methods.