XML databases move to the middle.

It’s true that you can use native XML databases to manage the growing number of business documents created by the new generation of XML-savvy end-user applications. It’s handy, for example, to search an insurance database for incident reports that match some structured pattern of in-line metadata. But hybrid SQL/XML databases can do that too, and they can also join the structured XML content with relational columns — a powerful combination. So XML databases are migrating into a niche that SQL/XML can’t and won’t occupy. They’re becoming the high-performance pumps that push XML traffic around on the emerging services web. [InfoWorld.com]

This short piece is a companion to Sean McCown’s excellent cover story which surveys the XML features of leading relational databases: Oracle, DB2, SQL Server, Sybase. [Jon’s Radio]