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Tip of the Day
Language:
Expertise: Beginner
May 11, 2000

XML Schemas

Question:

What is the difference between SOX schemas and XDR schemas?

Answer:

SOX schemas are more object-oriented (the name in fact means Schemas for Object-Oriented XML), allowing you to assign archetypes, restrict data types, and perform inheritance on such schemas. XDR (XML Data Reduced) is Microsoft's early schema language implementation, and was designed primarily to associated data types with XML, as well as to make element and attribute associations possible.

Both SOX and XDR have contributed heavily to the current working draft of the W3C XML Schema Definition Language (XSD), which includes both most of the data associates that made up XDR (in slighly altered form) and the notion of complex data types, inheritance, polymorphism, and other characteristics that are familiar to most OOP programmers. XSD will make it possible to create libaries of sub-schemas, which should have a positive impact on the problem of schema incompatibility. XSD also lets you create virtual schemas that can be inherited by other schemas, making it possible to create a schema inwhich subordinate characteristics can change but the underlying architecture remains pretty uniform.
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