I have been given an xml file and it's pretty obvious in looking at the contents that it contains an inherent schema. What I'd like to do is run a program against it that outputs the schema represented by the contents, then create said schema in / as a database (in Postgres), and then populate said database so I can run SQL queries against the data.

I figured that this has to be a commonly desired capability, but I've never needed to do this before and am not sure what already exists.

I work in Postgres, and it has many XML related tools, so I figure that's a good place to look but so far haven't found it.

Added information:

Doing some digging, I found that the people who gave us the xml file also have an "xml schema file" that matches, and I've gotten a copy. It's on the web here for those that care.)

OK, so step one was satisfied; get to an "xml schema."

Now I need to convert that into an SQL schema...

  • You might like to look here - possibly Oracle specific (mentions PL/SQL) - but, hey, that's F/LOSS for you :-)
    – Vérace
    Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 19:34
  • You will need to write a XSLT transformation that changes the XML (that you did not show us) to a SQL script that creates the tables
    – user1822
    Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 22:48

1 Answer 1


have a look at liquibase - it's a great tool, and sounds like what you are looking for. You could use it to create SQL statements using the updateSQL command or apply changes directly to the DB.

for example:

java -jar liquibase.jar \
    --driver=oracle.jdbc.OracleDriver \
    --classpath=jdbcdriver.jar \
    --url=jdbc:oracle:thin:@localhost:1521:oracle \
    --username=scott \
    --password=tiger \
    updateSQL > /tmp/script.sql

will output the required changes to the scripts.sql file.

It supports many db servers including Postgres, and you can model your schema in XML, JSON or any way you like.
See: XML changeset

<changeSet id="1" author="nvoxland">
    <createTable tableName="person">
        <column name="id" type="int" autoIncrement="true">
            <constraints primaryKey="true" nullable="false"/>
        <column name="firstname" type="varchar(50)"/>
        <column name="lastname" type="varchar(50)">
            <constraints nullable="false"/>
        <column name="state" type="char(2)"/>

It's open source and actively maintained.

We've been using it on multiple projects and dbs - highly recommended :)

  • Thanks for the tip. ...I've been scratching my head with this for some time... I don't see any commands to do this; can you please be more specific? This looks like it's a source code management tool for database schemas - didn't see anything about XML in there!
    – Richard T
    Commented Nov 19, 2016 at 23:30
  • You can run it directly against your db - skipping SQL. Or use the updateSQL command - I'll update with a sample when I'm near a Computer... see: liquibase.org/documentation/maven/maven_updatesql.html
    – cohenjo
    Commented Nov 20, 2016 at 4:33

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