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Working with XML in SQL Server

Ed Pollack talks XML:

XML is a common storage format for data, metadata, parameters, or other semi-structured data. Because of this, it often finds its way into SQL Server databases and needs to be managed alongside other data types.

Even though a relational database is not the optimal place to store and manage XML data, it is often needed due to application requirements, convenience, or a need to maintain this information in close proximity to other app data.

This article dives into a variety of common XML challenges and the functionality included in SQL Server to help make managing them as simple as possible.

Ed does a good job of walking through what you can do. My general philosophy on XML and JSON in the database is simple: if you simply want a place to store some JSON or XML outputs and retrieve the results exactly as they are without performing any searches or transformations, write as JSON/XML. If you want to use the database to search through JSON/XML records for particular attributes and values, or if you want to reshape the JSON/XML data within the database, create a proper data model for this input.

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