Related Topics: Industrial IoT, Microservices Expo

Industrial IoT: Article

Index XML Documents with VTD-XML

How to turn the indexing capability on in your application

Applications Scenarios
There are at least two different views to make sense of VTD+XML as a practical solution to real problems. The first is a traditional view of native XML indexing. Alternatively, you can think of VTD+XML as a binary data format backwards-compatible with XML.

Native XML Indexing
In this view, you simply use VTD+XML as the basis for native XML data stores that serve the backend data needs of XML/SOA applications. By saving it as a BLOB (Binary Large OBject) in a more traditional database table, you obtain the additional capabilities such as concurrency and data integrity and replication. Being vastly superior to the awkward shredding-based XML to relational data mapping, VTD+XML fits exceptionally well in a pure XML/SOA environment. Have a lot of XBRL (Extensible Business Reporting Language) documents, or those big GML (Geography Markup Language) files? VTD+XML should equip you with horsepower never before available.

Binary Enhanced XML
VTD+XML also naturally extends the core capabilities of XML by boosting its processing efficiency to a whole new level. In other words, as a wire format, XML now has it all: not only is it easy to learn, human-readable, interoperable, and loosely encoded by design, performance-wise it also leads CORBA, DCOM, and RMI by a mile. When applied to XML pipelining, VTD+XML can potentially eliminate the repetitive parsing at each stage of the pipeline - an issue none of the existing XML pipeline specs (e.g., XProc and the XML pipeline definition language) address.

If it takes too long for you to push large documents over your DOM-based ESB (Enterprise Services Bus), how does 100MB around a single second sound?

This section shows you quantitatively the performance gain achievable using VTD+XML. The benchmark code measures the combined latency of VTD+XML index-loading (as in VTD-XML 2.0) and XPath evaluation of a specified number of nodes (the first five nodes in the set) in the result nodeset. The same code is also rewritten using the Xerces DOM parser and Xalan or Jaxen, both of which are popular XPath engines. The benchmark code used for the test can be downloaded here.

The environment for the benchmark has the following setup:

  • Hardware: A Sony VAIO notebook featuring a 1.7GHz Pentium M processor with 2MB of integrated cache memory, 512MB of DDR2 RAM, and a 400MHz front-side bus.
  • OS/JVM setting: The notebook runs Windows XP, and the test applications are obtained from version of JDK/JVM.
  • XML parsers and XPath engines: The DOM code uses both Xalan (bundled in the JDK) and Jaxen over Xerces DOM (full node expansion). VTD-XML, on the other hand, uses the built-in XPath engine.
To reduce timing variations due to I/O, the benchmark programs first read XML files into the memory buffer prior to the test runs and output XML files into an in-memory byte array output stream. The server JVM is used to get peak performance. All input/output streams are reused whenever possible.

Three XML files of similar structure, but different sizes, are used for the test.

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<purchaseOrder orderDate="1999-10-20">
   <shipTo country="US">
     <name>Alice Smith</name>
     <street>123 Maple Street</street>
     <city>Mill Valley</city>
   <billTo country="US">
     <name> Robert Smith </name>
     <street>8 Oak Avenue</street>
     <city>Old Town</city>
   <comment>Hurry, my lawn is going wild!</comment>
     <item partNum="872-AA">
       <comment>Confirm this is electric</comment>
     <item partNum="926-AA">
       <productName>Baby Monitor</productName>

The respective file sizes are:

  • "po_small.xml" ---- 6780 bytes
  • "po_medium.xml" ---- 112,238 bytes
  • "po_big.xml" ----- 1,219,388 bytes

    The following XPath expressions are used for the test

  • /*/*/*[position() mod 2 = 0]
  • /purchaseOrder/items/item[USPrice<100]
  • /*/*/*/quantity/text()
  • //item/comment
  • //item/comment/../quantity

More Stories By Jimmy Zhang

Jimmy Zhang is a cofounder of XimpleWare, a provider of high performance XML processing solutions. He has working experience in the fields of electronic design automation and Voice over IP for a number of Silicon Valley high-tech companies. He holds both a BS and MS from the department of EECS from U.C. Berkeley.

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