J. Software Engineering & Applications, 2009, 2: 200-205
doi:10.4236/jsea.2009.23027 Published Online October 2009 (http://www.SciRP.org/journal/jsea)
Copyright © 2009 SciRes JSEA
Sharing and Implementation of Heterogeneous
Database for Education Resource Based on XML
Shixi TANG
YanCheng Teachers University College of Science & Te chn ology, Yancheng, China.
Email: tsxlyh@163.com
Received May 11th, 2009; revised July 1st, 2009; accepted July 15th, 2009.
The problem of sharing heterogeneous database for accessing different educational resources has to be con sidered . The
study is carried ou t to realize the heterogeneou s database sharing for ed ucational resources using multi-media educa-
tional resources as the researching object. XML is applied as middleware for the practical requirements of education.
The study has important practical significance for the intellectualization of educational and teaching resource platform.
Keywords: Heterogeneo us Da t abase, XML, Educatio n Resource
1. Introduction
Nowadays, material resource, energy resource and in-
formation resource are three pillar resources during the
development of technology and economics. Educational
information resource, as an important part of information
resource, plays an important role in improving the teach-
ing quality and mining the potential of education. There-
fore, many countries have set up national educational
resources centers, such as the National Educational Re-
sources Information Center of United States, the National
Network for Basic Education Resource held by Basic
Education Curriculum Development Center of Ministry
of Education and Central Audio-Visual Education Center
of China. The construction of educational resources base
with corporations such as Resource of China School,
K12, Clever, ZhongJiaoYuxing, Cisco Tong Fang,
Tuteng, Tinghua Tangfang, becomes more and more
mature. Education resource has already become an im-
portant part of network resource. It plays important role
in solving the problems such as information selection,
information identification, information digestion, and
information individuation when users get amount of in-
formation through education resource base.
It turns out to be the most potential resource for g lobal
information transferring and sharing with the rapid de-
velopment of WWW. The requirements and development
of new fields, such as e-commerce, e-books and distance
education have made Web data more complex and di-
verse. Therefore, it is difficult to store and manage all the
different Web data by traditional database technology.
XML is becoming the data description and exchange
standard on Internet. Meanwhile, XML and a series of
related standards have been widely accepted and used,
including the generation, storage, analysis of XML
documents, which lay the foundation for XML as data-
base, as well as offer the possibility to realize th e sharing
of data in heterogeneous databases. The automatic trans-
forming XML into different relational databases effec-
tively has different ways. Oracle XML SQL Utility mod-
els XML documents element as a group of nesting tables,
through the elemen t that oracle object data type modeled;
IBM DB2 XML Extender saves the XML documents as
BLOB type object, decomposes them to a group of tables,
and defines the XML collection by the XML1.0 grammar.
Microsoft solves the problem through expanding SQL-92
and involving the OPENXML line collection; Sybase
Adaptive Server takes ResultSetXml Java class as the
foundation of processing XML documents in two direc-
tions [1-3].
However, all manufacturers have a general character
that the XML durability establishes in a special founda-
tion, and there is no general facility to save all the XML
documents. If the XML documents use a new grammar,
it needs a special mapping. This is very disadvantageous
for the visiting and sharing the different heterogeneous
education resource. Firstly, education resource’s descrip-
tion is very complex, each education resource’s compre-
hensive description reaches more than 160 terms based
on international standard, which has the internationaliza-
tion request, and needs a standardized description frame.
Secondly, the existing edu cation resource’s description is
not normal, on the one hand we need to preserve its
original description; on the other hand, we need a stan-
Sharing and Implementation of Heterogeneous Database for Education Resource Based on XML201
dardized description mapping. Thirdly, when users use
an education resource, its description must personalize to
meet the users’ especial requirements by cutting out and
transforming its description. Fourthly, education re-
source’s description attribute value is dissimilar from
different understanding aspects based on education re-
source belonging to different disciplines. Fifthly, the
education resource has very wide manifestation, includ-
ing text, image, sound, video, animation and so on. Its
respective description must reflect both the general char-
acter and the difference. Only using existing tools given
by manufacturers can not solve these problems. This ar-
ticle takes the XML documents as the middle data ex-
changing model to study the sharing problem of educa-
tion resource heterogeneous database by taking the mul-
timedia education resource as the study object, embarked
from the actual requirements of education teaching.
2. Sharing Technology Selecting for
Heterogeneous Database of
Education Resource
Heterogeneous database systems [4] are collections of
many related database systems which could achieve
sharing and transparent accessing the data. Each database
system with its own DBMS has already existed before
adding in the heterogeneous database system. All com-
ponents of the heterogeneous database have their own
autonomy; each database system still remains its own
application characteristics, the in tegrity control and secu -
rity control when sharing the data. After carrying out
data conversion, on the one hand, all the information to
be shared is converted from source database to the desti-
nation database; on the other hand, such a conversion can
not contain related redundant information. We use the
interoperability technology and data integrity technology
of heterogeneous database to achieve the tasks of data
sharing in heterogeneous database. Heterogeneous data-
bases interoperability is a pr erequisite for data integration.
The core is data accessing, so as to provide underlying
technology for achieving data integration [5–6].
The methods used to achieve the exchanging of data
among databases are various. Development tools with
data transfer tool, such as data pipeline in the Power-
Builder, can be used, but it relies on the database struc-
ture, and its flexibility is poor. E-mail system can not
meet the data exchange requirement between heteroge-
neous database systems, but you must connect two data-
bases before data transmission, which in turn lower its
flexibility. We solve the referred problems by using
XML as a middleware of heterogeneous databases sys-
tem. First of all, as a middleware, XML makes heteroge-
neous database system independent, and incompatibility
of heterogeneous database systems is solved. If only
front desk application can support XML, it can transfer
the exchange of information among heterogeneous data-
base systems to mapping relationship between XML.
Secondly, XML documents are easy to read and modify.
XML documents could be opened and modified by an
ordinary WordPad, and the structure is relatively simple
which is easy to read, modify and convert. All these in-
crease the flexibility of information exchanging hetero-
geneous database system and the scalability of XML.
Thirdly, XML document format is simple, which reduces
the complexity in the pro cess of programming procedur e,
lowers the workload of programmers, and XML docu-
ments’ code is easy as well. In view of this, we choose
XML as a middleware to achieve data exchange among
heterogeneous database systems [7–9].
In this research, education resource in the database in-
cludes image, text, video, music, flash and so on. Data-
base’s heterogeneities are mainly the DBMS heteroge-
neities including Oracle database, IBM DB2, Sybase
database, Microsoft SQLserver2000 and MySQL. These
already operated database systems display differently in
many aspects, including data type definition, data access
mode, data manifestation and so on. Therefore different
database management systems cannot be connected di-
rectly to exchang e the information. Oracle database, IBM
DB2, Sybase database, Microsoft SQLserver2000 and
MySQL have provided powerful support to XML. We
transform the communication between various business
databases into the data transformation between various
business databases and the XML, and take image, video,
text, music and flash deposited in various business data-
bases into XML documents and import all the data into
the dynamic standard database. Therefore, we adopt the
following technical option. We preserve the normal
primitive tree data by using various manufacturers map-
ping rule. The data processing frame is established. The
database clusters are controlled by code distributing in
the pure application procedure, business process, the da-
tabase level and the app lication log ic between th e storage
process, and the data processing frame guiding layer is
formed by taking the education resource international
standard as the foundation. The dynamic unification
education resource database is established based on edu-
cation resource’s multiplicity and the education resource
description’s multiple perspectives of different discipline.
User’s personalized request is obtained by cutting out
unification education resource database with data proc-
essing frame.
3. Education Resource Database System
Heterogeneous structure
The design of the system structure is divided into three
points: the presentation layer, the database layer and the
logic layer, as shown in Figure 1.
Copyright © 2009 SciRes JSEA
Sharing and Implementation of Heterogeneous Database for Education Resource Based on XML
Copyright © 2009 SciRes JSEA
Figure 1. The design of system structure
imaID Type Major Object Source Author TTimeKey Word FormatsLenght resolution SweepColor
01001 animal
ering Graduate
Students Southeast
University Na Tang2007/05yeast,
bacteria gif 36 640*480 72 002244
01002 figures history Undergraduate
Students Nanjing
University Wei ZHAO2004/06background,
achievements jpeg80 1024*768 300 FF0022
01003 equipment sports Undergraduate
Students Suzhou
University Liang-Qian
Li 2002/06 function,
using methodsjpeg45 320*240 72 000044
01004 board computer Graduate
University Xia Wang2007/06CPU, graphics,
memory jpeg68 1024*768 350 110033
01005 monitor computer
Students Wuhan
University Xiaoli
Wang 2001/06 LCD,
brightness jpeg55 1024*768 300 2244CC
01006 natural geography Graduate
Students Southeast
University Yao Wu2000/06Earthquake,
plate movementgif 38 640*480 72 320C14
01007 plant medicine Graduate
Students Southeast
University Hang SUN2005/02panda, artificial
rearing gif 74 1280*1024 300 05232B
01008 animal computer
Students Peking
University Xia Li 2005/06lily,
photosynthesis jpeg38 750*453 72 204A15
Figure 2. Education resource data
The presentation is the browser . User s view the r esults
and the displaying form through brow ser.
The database layer is composed by Oracle database,
IBM DB2, Sybase database, Microsoft SQLserver2000,
MySQL, dynamic standard database and the XML
documents. We attribute XML document to this layer
although XML itself is not a database, since it can be
seen as a complete database system with some other
Logic layer consists of two modules: data export/im-
port module and the education resource data frame mod-
ule. Data export module’s function is to export various
business databases da ta and produce co rrespond ing XML
documents. Data import module’s function is to analyze
XML documents and import the data to various business
databases. The education resource data frame modular
controls all database clusters, and it is responsible to es-
tablish the dynamic unification education resource data-
4. Implement of Heterogeneous Database of
Education Resource
Oracle XSU draws the XML documents to DOM, and
decomposes the XML documents into a group of
sub-documents by using XSLT. IBM DB2 XML Ex-
tender establishes the mapping through DAD between
the database table and the XML documents’ structure,
storing by DB2 CLOB data type. Microsoft SQLserver
OPENXML uses sp_xml_preparedocument as storing
process, gaining a XML documents handle through
translating XML documents into the internal DOM ex-
pression. Sybase uses XML documents type ResultSet to
describe a XML documents metadata and the actual line
data. The selected data is shown in Figure 2.
Document Object Model is a set of standards set by
W3C, which provides an interface parsing the document.
Various program languages achieve these interfaces in
accordance with the DOM standards, and the parser is
Logic Layer
Database Layer
Presentation Layer
database IBM
DB2 Sybase
database Dynamic
Data export/import m oduleFrame m odule
Sharing and Implementation of Heterogeneous Database for Education Resource Based on XML 203
<?xml version=" 1. 0" encoding="UTF -8" standalone="no"?>
<imaID.> 01001</imaID>
<Type> animal</Type>
<Major> Bio-engineering</Major>
<Object> Graduate Students</Object>
<Source> Southeast University</Source>
<Author> Na Tang</Author>
<Ke y Word>yeast,bacteria</Key Word>
<Formats> gif</Formats>
<Lenght> 36</Lenght>
<Sweep> 72</Sweep>
<Color> 002244</Color>
<Address>..\\DataSharing\src\image\1.gif</ Address >
<imaID.> 01002</imaID>
<Type> figures</Type>
<Major> history</Major>
<Object> Undergraduate Stud ents </Object>
<Source> Nanjing University</Source>
<Author>Wei Zhao</Author>
<TTime> 2004/06</TTime>
<Ke y Word> background, a ch i evements</Key Word>
<Formats> jpeg</Formats>
<Lenght> 80</Lenght>
<Resolution> 1024*768</Resolution>
<Sweep> 300</Sweep>
<Color> FF0022</Color>
<Address> ..\\DataSharing\src\image\2.gpeg</ Address >
Figure 3. Education resource spanning tree
given to parse the documents. The parser establishes a
tree in memory through reading XML documents. The
tags of XML document, tagged text content and entities
correspond to a certain node of the tree in the memory.
It’s easy to deal with XML documents, to read, traverse,
modify, add and delete the documents through operating
the node of tree in memory. We use DOM parser to do
XML programming for an application, which can easily
handle XML documents by operating the node of tree in
memory to obtain the data needed.
DocumentBuilderFactory class is responsible for cre-
ating the instance. DocumentBuilderFactory class calls
its newInstance () method to instantiate a Document-
BuilderFactory object. Factory object calls newDocu-
mentBuilder () method to return a DocumentBuilder ob-
ject. And finally the bu ilder object calls newDocument ()
method to achieve instantiating Document interface.
DocumentBuilderFactory factory =
DocumentBuilder build er =
Document doc = builder.newDocument();
Element root = doc.createElement("image");
The CreateXML.xml documents are produced as fol-
File file = new
if( !file.exists()||!file.isFile()){
new FileOutput-
file = new
StreamResult streamResult = new StreamResult(file);
Source inputSource = new DOMSource(doc);
TransformerFactory transformerFactory =
Transformer transformer =
transformerFactory.newTransformer(); trans-
former.transform(inputSource, streamResult);
The XML documents are produced, and the data is
imported to XML documents, its education resource
spanning tree is shown in Figure 3.
The data processing frame is established to control the
database clusters, and the dynamic uniform education
Copyright © 2009 SciRes JSEA
Sharing and Implementation of Heterogeneous Database for Education Resource Based on XML
WU.dbo.image table
imaID Type Major Object Source Author TTimeKey WordFormatsLenght resolution SweepColor
01001 animal Bio-engineeringGraduate
Students Southeast
University Na Tang2007/05yeast,
bacteria gif 36 640*480 72 002244
01002 figures history Undergraduate
Students Nanjing
University Wei ZHAO2004/06background,
achievements jpeg80 1024*768 300 FF0022
01003 equipment sports Undergraduate
Students Suzhou
University Liang-Qian
Li 2002/06function,
using methodsjpeg45 320*240 72 000044
WU.dbo.text table
TxtID TxtType TxtMajor TxtObject TxtSourceTxtAuthor Txt Time TxtKey Word
02001 Economics Paper Internationa l economic Graduate St u d e nt sEconomicsLi Zhang 2007/05 Bubble economy,
Economic globalization
02002 Economics Paper China's economy Undergraduate Stu-
dents EconomicsKe Ban 2004/06 China imported inflation,
Real estate and living
02003 Management Paper Business Management Undergraduate Stu-
dents ManagementXiao-ming WU2002/06 Enterprise Project Management
WU.dbo.vedio tabl e
VedID VedType VedMajor VedObject VedSource VedAuthor VedTime VedKey Word
05001 Computer An Introductio n to Computer Graduate S t ud entsSouthern Yangtze UniversityKequn Wang 2006/05 computer, chip
05002 Computer Computer Application Graduate StudentsSuzhou University Liang Ke 2004/06 computer,
WU.dbo.flash tab l e
FlaID FlaType FlaMajor FlaObject FlaSource FlaAuthor FlaTime FlaKey Word
03001 Computer Software Eng i neering Graduate Students Shenyang Polyt e c h ni c U ni v e rsityXing Liu 2005/05 computer,
03002 Education Chinese Language &
Literature Underrad uate Stu dent sCentral China Normal UniversityChuan Zhao 2004/06 literature,
WU.dbo.m usic ta ble
MusID MusType MusMajor MusObject MusSource MusAuthor MusTime MusKey Word
04001 Education Chinese Langua ge and Lite rature Graduate Students Southeast UniversityKeyi Zhang 2007/05 literature, education
04002 Education Chinese Language and Li t e rature Undergraduate StudentsNankai UniversityGuosheng
Huang 2003/06 literature, education
Figure 4. Dynamic uniform education resource database
resource database is also established as shown in Figure
4 according to the multiplicity of education resource's
manifestation and the multiple perspective of the educa-
tion resource description of different discipline based on
international standard of education resource.
The personalization description of education resource
is obtained by cutting the dynamic unification education
resource database using the data processing frame ac-
cording to the user's personalized request, as shown in
Figure 5.
Imageinformation 0
imaID 01001
Type animal
Major Bio-engineering
Object Graduate Students
Source Southeast University
Author Na Tang
Ttime 2007/05
Key Word yeast, bacteria
Formats gif
Length 36
Resolution 640*480
Sweep 72
Color 002244
Address ..\\DataSharing\src\image\1.gif
Figure 5. The personalization education resource result in
client after cutting out
5. Conclusions
The paper defines a XML document which describes the
database structure. We fill the information of the educa-
tion resource database into self-explanatory XML docu-
ments in order to let users create database friendly. And a
scheme is made as designing a middleware between the
database and its outside. A data processing frame is ad-
vanced to process each kind of actual problems which are
brought by the complexity, the dynamic and the person-
alization of the education resource data. The exchanging
requests of internal or external education resource data
are submitted to the middleware with XML. The interac-
tion of specific education resource database is realized by
the middleware and the results are fed back to the re-
quester through XML. All the details in the process hav e
been shielded to achieve transparent sharing access of
heteroge neous educat i on resource database.
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Sharing and Implementation of Heterogeneous Database for Education Resource Based on XML205
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Copyright © 2009 SciRes JSEA