Integrating XML with legacy relational data for publishing on handheld devices

Track: Case Studies, Storing XML

Audience Level: High Level view

Time: Cancelled

Author: David Lee, Epocrates, Inc.

Keywords: Case Studies, XML, Legacy Data Conversion, Mobile, Handheld Device, XML Publishing, Integration, Database, Data Representation, Conversion, Deployment


Epocrates is the industry leader in providing clinical references on handheld devices. Much of the clinical content resides in "legacy" relational databases which are the backbone of the infrastructure for managing the lifecycle of content publishing. A key constraint of publishing content to handheld devices is that the IO channel can be very slow and the content can only be pushed during synchronization; a period where the user is often in a hurry.

Recognizing modified data since the last sync requires support at the database level for aggregating data at the device 'record' level managing deltas and change dates for the aggregated data.

Because XML data may reference relational data, it is not sufficient to manage changes to the XML data in order to determine if the final content is changed, therefore managing changes to the final (binary) content is required in addition to changes to the XML.

This presentation is a case study and high level discussion of the architecture and work flow used by Epocrates for publishing heterogeneous content to handheld devices.