Welcome to the Web site for Infosys 290A / Section 2: XML and Databases!

Course Description

XML has entered the database world both as a format for exchanging data between existing databases and as a new, semi-structured data model. The former, in which existing databases are "XML-enabled," has dominated the use of XML in the marketplace. The latter has introduced native XML databases, which are bringing database functionality to human-readable documentation and semi-structured data, as well as providing new tools for integrating data from heterogenous sources.

This is a survey course designed to introduce students to how XML and databases are used together and to familiarize them with the basic standards in the area. It covers the following topics:

  • The difference between XML-enabled and native XML databases
  • How to map relational schemas to XML schemas and vice versa
  • Basic SQL/XML and XQuery
  • What native XML databases are and when to use them
  • How modern relational databases combine relational and XML data


INFOSYS 290A / Section 1: XML Foundations, or practical XML experience (with instructor approval)

Class meetings

The class meets Tuesdays from 7:00-9:00pm in 202 South Hall. There will be two hours of lecture per week for first four weeks of the semester, with a one week break, followed by two hours of student presentations for two or three weeks. Click here for a detailed schedule.

Homework and final project

There will be weekly homework assignments for the first four weeks. Each assignment will be due two weeks after it is assigned; this will allow students to attend the instructor's office hours before completing the assignment. Because the homework is technical in nature and requires varying amounts of programming, non-technical students may petition the instructor for alternate assignments. For example, they might write a detailed description of a system rather than implementing it.

Students must also complete a project on a subject relating to XML and databases and present their findings to the class. The choice of subject is left to the student, but must be approved by the instructor.


Grades are based on homework (50%) and the final project (50%).


This is a one-unit course.


Ronald Bourret (Web site, email)
Office hours: Tuesdays, 6:00pm-7:00pm, South Hall, Room 314 (No office hours Feb. 14, send email if you want office hours on Feb. 21)

Ronald Bourret is a consultant, writer, and researcher. His work includes XML-DBMS, a set of Java packages for transferring data between XML documents and relational databases, an XML schema language (DDML), several widely read papers on XML and databases, and the XML Namespaces FAQ. He has lectured widely on XML and databases in commercial and academic settings.

Copyright (c) 2006, Ronald Bourret