Big Data

4 Native XML Databases for Big Data

Big Data is an all-inclusive term that refers to data sets so large and complex that they need to be processed by specially designed hardware and software tools. The data sets are typically of the order of tera or exabytes in size. These data sets are created from a diverse range of sources: sensors that gather climate information, publicly available information such as magazines, newspapers, articles. Other examples where big data is generated include purchase transaction records, web logs, medical records, military surveillance, video and image archives, and large-scale e-commerce.

In the past decade, the world of computing has been transformed. Oceans of data are now not only found in large companies; even some small companies accumulate terabytes of data. Organisations of all sizes therefore have an increased need to handle large amounts of data, and relational databases are stretched to their limits in terms of scalability. Where Big Data is concerned, we need a platform that is scalable and optimized for storing, managing, and querying unstructured data.

An XML database allows data to be stored in the Extensible Markup Language (XML) format, a markup language that defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format that is both human-readable and machine-readable. Using a native XML database offers the ability to store data and documents without requiring a database schema. Since XML can be used to describe any type of data, it offers a common format for representing both structured and unstructured data. Further, using XML makes mapping technologies unnecessary. Unlike relational databases, XML databases allow database structures to be modified quickly to meet changing information requirements.

This is the fifth article in our series identifying the finest open source software for Big Data. The previous articles covered Search Engines, Data Analysis tools, File Systems, and Key Value Stores. This feature highlights the finest native XML datbases that are ideal for storing large amounts of textual or binary data and documents.

Here’s the best free and open source software.

Best Free Open Source Native XML Databases

Now, let’s explore the 4 native XML databases at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, together with links to relevant resources.

Native XML Databases
eXist-dbFeature rich native XML database
BaseXXML Database engine and XPath/XQuery 3.0 Processor
Berkeley DBFamily of open source, embeddable databases
SednaProvides a full range of core database services
Return to our complete collection of recommended free and open source software including our latest additions.
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