Monday, November 28, 2005

Rocket Man

Most PHI fits nicely into a traditional structured database, but some things, like x-ray images, and other graphical PHI, sometimes do not. XML is a general-purpose markup language for creating special-purpose markup languages, capable of describing many different kinds of data. One of the DB products mentioned below is Windows SQL Server 2005. I will be attending a product launch for this tomorrow--- I'll let you know what Uncle Bill's minions have to say.

"Databases have done a very good job of storing structured data -- but with unstructured data they have not," said Noel Yuhanna, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc., in Cambridge, Mass.
Reaching into that unstructured data to extract information is one pressing integration issue. The other is interoperability -- being able to get information using data from different applications, which may run on different operating systems.
With IBM's DB2 Viper, Microsoft's SQL Server 2005 and Oracle's XML DB feature in 9i and 10g, all three major database vendors are now offering XML capability, which allows a database to query the content of files that are not in relational database form. Bernie Spang, director of databases at IBM, estimated that 35% of business information is already in XML, compared with only 15% in traditional relational databases.

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