Last month, we touched on the HTML meta data component called the metatag, and it seems logical to take a look at the XML meta data world this month. However, there is a huge difference between these two technologies. In the HTML world metatags are optional while in the XML world they are the required foundational components of the technology itself. Unfortunately, we don’t have to look to far back to get a clear picture of where we are going.

The relational database model got its start in a series of IBM technical reports and then in a landmark paper, "A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks," Edgar Codd laid out a new way to organize and access data. What Codd called the "relational model" rested on two key points: It provides a means of describing data with its natural structure only – that is, without superimposing any additional structure for machine representation purposes. Accordingly, it provides a basis for a high-level data language which will yield maximal independence between programs on the one hand and machine representation on the other. (Codd, 1970).

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