Extensible Markup Language or XML is widely-used as a platform-independent data representation format. Through XML, making data and delivering it to various other users become easy and hassle-free. There is no need to adapt the same platform since this data format does not depend on any platforms. XML is useful for exchanging different information within separate and loosely distant systems. But can this data-sharing format be used for a relational database like the Microsoft SQL Server?

Many experts believe that using XML data for relational database will provide a lot of benefits especially in query processing and data management. Although it is known that SQL Server is already a powerful data and query processing application, it becomes even more powerful with the use of XML data format. The basic functionalities of the SQL Server can be extended and enhanced for the XML data modification and querying. For example, indexing in SQL Server is a known feature for better application performance. But when indexing is done for the XML data, the indexing feature becomes more effective since it becomes optimized and more cost-efficient.

Moreover, the XML data has the ability to work with other data in the relational database system as well as in the SQL application. Therefore, XML can be used for data modeling without affecting the application. The XML data can be simply introduced into the system and be used freely for that purpose.

There are also features in the SQL Server that allows easy usage of the XML data. One is the administrative functionality used for XML data management, which can be used for backing up, recovering, and replicating data.