Read through my RSS items, I found a reference to this post about "The Church of XML".  Seems like someone's been burned by this stuff a bit, huh?  While the article is a obviously dripping with sarcasm, I actually thought it was a pretty funny read that, at the center, may actually have a few grains of truth.  Here's what I seemed to get out of it (putting a little more positive spin on things):

  • XML is here to stay and you're probably (eh, definitely) going to have to deal with it
  • Just because XML is here doesn't mean you have to use it; there are times, many of them, when it isn't needed

The first point is something we all need to accept now and move on.  Our group has recently begun our roadmap work for the next version of our products and I have been writing the section on SqlXml.  One of the sections involves messaging to customers as to what benefits the proposed technologies will offer. Right off the bat I start with, "Plain and simple, if a customer is producing an application which transmits or receives data or other information from another system, they will more likely than not have to deal with XML."  Anyone want to argue with me on that?  Feel free to drop me a line, but I'm going to stand by that.  XML has become the defacto standard for communication between systems.  Unless you control the whole system being built and will never need to share with someone out of your control, I'm better that XML will be involved somehow, somewhere. 

This brings me to the second part.  If you do control everything, if you have a small app that doesn't communicate over a network or does so with a restricted set of clients, do you need XML?  Maybe, maybe not.  I have, in the past, recommended folks not use it.  Building a small app to act as a front end to Sql Server that only a couple of folks around the office need access to?  I'm pretty sure Dataset and ADO.NET will satisfy you quite well.  Now am I going to stop folks from using XML if they want to?  Nah, that's just not good for my job security.  But I'll gladly recommend an alternate technology if need be.  I think that's why I love being in the SqlXml group here.  Really, it's all about how to get XML to and from other formats so you don't have to deal with it when it isn't appropriate.  Hopefully going forward we will expand that beyond just to and from the database.

News from the Front

First, congrats to Jean Paoli on his being awarded the IDEAlliance XML Cup Award.

As for the rest of us around here, most of our work now has been focused on Sql Server 2000 Service Pack 4, Sql Server 2005, and Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2.  We're also beginning roadmap planning for the next version of our products after that.  Always an interesting process where we get to review what we've done, where we want to go, and what is going to get us there.  Its still early in the process, but I'll try and keep everyone up to date on thought as I can.

Ooooh, good segue here...if you want to learn a lot more about this and want to help us out, we're hiring!  Click here to check the career center for jobs available in the group.  There's a place up there for you to submit your resume if you're interested.  I'll even make a special deal for my loyal readers of one week, if you contact me with a link to your resume on-line, I'll forward it along for you.  Please indicate preference for a position.

That's it for this week folks. Thanks to everyone who's already sent in questions and comments on the site, I've enjoyed speaking to you all.  There will probably not be a post next week due to Thanksgiving, but I should be back the week after that.  Happy Turkey Day to all!