DataDirect XQuery Speeds Data Integration and Car Crash Information Lookup for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and its Constituents
DataDirect XQuery Offers Unmatched Efficiency for Both the Relational to XML and Later XML to XML Data Integration - Saving Development Time and Effort
January 25, 2008 — DataDirect Technologies, today announced that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center (Volpe Center), both part of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), are using the DataDirect XQuery
product to provide automotive manufacturers, industry researchers, and the general public access to highway crash information housed in their Electronic Data System (EDS).
To make data more accessible to its user community and easier to analyze, the Volpe Center – a federal, fee-for-service organization within DOT – sought to update the data distribution from flat files and various proprietary formats to XML. Since 1997 the system had collected data from 24 sites around the country and consolidated the information on more than 4,000 crashes annually into a large Oracle database of 500 gigabytes.
XML and Database Mapping
To update the system, the Volpe Center and the Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) Transportation Information Project Support (TRIPS) team initially explored using a conventional data integration approach – SQL queries driven by Java code. This proved to be a huge undertaking, requiring approximately 50 Java classes and 150 SQL statements for one study type. Recognizing a project of such magnitude would be complex to design and debug, and would require considerable maintenance of code, the Volpe Center opted to store the data in a repository of XML files and use the DataDirect XQuery product to handle XML and relational tasks.
"The DataDirect XQuery product was the most efficient solution for both the relational to XML and later XML to XML data integration," said Juan Alfonso, senior software engineer at Core Computer Group, a TRIPS project contractor. "DataDirect XQuery worked, and it worked with excellent performance. With DataDirect XQuery we were able to reduce code complexity, simplify code maintenance and improve performance and scalability – helping the Volpe Center deliver a powerful and reliable solution to its key constituents."
The DataDirect XQuery product is an enterprise–grade XQuery processor that supports the W3C XQuery standard and enables software developers to access and query XML, relational data, SOAP messages and legacy data formats. The DataDirect XQuery product vastly simplifies and enhances the performance of combining and processing different types of data in heterogeneous environments. DataDirect XQuery allowed data to be moved directly into XML files validated against the specific car crash XML-schema design. The XQueries for processing data features such as search and dataset construction are performed directly against the XML files.
The new XQuery architecture
enabled by the DataDirect XQuery product required just a single Java class and seven XQueries, compared to the 50 java classes and 150 SQL statements that would be required by traditional methods. Further, each XQuery encapsulates the transformation rules clean of any other type of code, considerably reducing maintenance efforts and simplifying code.
"Building the XML repository from the Oracle relational database and later executing XQueries on the XML to traverse the data resulted in amazing performance," continued Alfonso. "A large extraction from 500 megabytes of XML data building datasets intended for SAS analysis took significantly less time compared to using different methods. Simple XQueries with XPath expressions pointing to the XML repository locations performed easily using the DataDirect XQuery engine."
By moving away from more conventional approaches to data integration, DataDirect Technologies has enabled the NHTSA and the Volpe Center
to more efficiently handle high–volume XML data and allow its customers to access important information quickly, efficiently and reliably.
"The DataDirect XQuery product is ideal for data integration projects that require information to be processed from both XML documents and relational databases – integrating information from multiple data sources in one XML query result," said John Goodson, vice president of project operations at DataDirect Technologies. "The result was a robust research tool where researchers can access car crash information quickly and efficiently while saving development time and effort."