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what i want to know is, is there any benefit of spitting xml out then transforming it in this way as opposed to generating a styled php page straight away (cutting out the xml step) from the data in mysql database?
thanks in advance
All the database form submission stuff is handled through XML creating updategrams fired straight into sql server - this is a definite benefit for me. It's very rare that i need to play around with creating db insert/update scripts.
The main benefit of this approach for me is that if i want to create a new site - i copy the database, XSL, c# and all i need to do to restyle is to change the base xsl stylesheets. i can knock out a full cms integrated site and just change the xsl to restyle as the new client desires. Saves me lots of time, hence more money :-)
Not looked into trying this approach with MySql yet, its gotta be worth it - SQL Server is too expensive to run
They could have an automated process parsing the XML themselves and extract the data they wanted without worying about any layout changes you made breaking their extract process.
I can forsee search engines eventually parsing XML data as well and being able to give better targeted results.