Part 2 of our article “Data normalization reconsidered” is now available at
The second part discusses alternative to a traditional normalized relation representation of data. Such alternatives include for example XML, JSON, and RDF because they can often help you overcome normalization issues or improve schema flexibility, or both. In the 21st century, digitized business records are often created in XML to begin with, which makes XML an attractive choice as the database level storage format.
This article also contains a performance comparison between XML and relational data that was conducted for a real-world application scenario at a major international logistics company.
At the end of the article you find comparison tables that summarize the pros and cons of different data representations.