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Another alternative is to store the data in XML format. This is a lot more complicated alternative because there are no ready tools available to parse arbitrary Java class. Or is there? Yes, there is a standard API for serializing Java objects into XML. However, this is not what you want either, because searches into the database are probably even more complicated (parsing XML is not trivial and fast, and it wastes space).

JanneJalkanen: I found an interesting link to Castor, a way to marshal/unmarshal Java Beans into XML. There's a good article explaining what Castor is at

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« This particular version was published on 26-Oct-2001 12:31 by unknown.