Generating Database Server-Side Cross Tabulations
Subject:   Crosstabs are the playground for XML
Date:   2003-12-08 14:23:57
From:   gmax
Response to: Crosstabs are the playground for XML

"IMHO, Crosstabs can easily be done by XML"

Are you talking about producing or representing them? Client-side or server-side? (And since we are talking about database servers, don't forget that web servers are database clients.)

Crosstabs are statistical reports. They manipulate data from a database.
The purpose of my article is about doing it server-side rather than client-side.
I don't understand where exactly XML enters the equation.

XML is a markup language. It can represent data, but AFAIK it can't produce it. I hope this is not a case of confusing databases with their media (

Anyway, if Cocoon can send a query to a database, it can also send a crosstab query. The relevant point is how to create the SQL query and then how to transform the result from the database into a hierarchical structure. Notice that, unlike a normal database recordset, a crosstab query has a tree structure at the top and one at its left. Each row is related to both structures at once.
I am not saying that this data can't be represented in XML (because you can see several examples of XML representation at but it is less trivial that it seems.

The bottom line is: XML can represent data, but to extract data from a database you need some help from a major language.