XMLBeans is available in the Apache Incubator Project as an open source data binding solution. You can try it out at XmlBeans Project Incubation status. To get you started, you may want to take a look back at these recent BEA-sponsored articles from ONJava.com.
Steve Hanson's recent article examined "Returning XMLBeans from a Database Control." Hanson wrestled with what data types should be returned from a database control. His answer to the question, "What sort of data types are universally consumable by both Web services, page flows, and other Workshop components?" was custom Java Arrays and XMLBeans. His article used XMLBeans because "(1) XMLBeans are consumable by all Workshop components, and (2) data in XMLBean form is very flexible and easy to work with." Returning XMLBeans from a Database Control
In November, Steve Traut discussed "Handling Mixed Content in a Strongly Typed World". There are times when XML is used to persist data and other times when it is applied to represent narrative text. Traut argues that it is generally difficult to bend one programming model to fit the other case. This article introduces "a way to keep the strongly typed access that's best suited for data while also handling the mixed content that comes with narrative text." Handling Mixed Content in a Strongly Typed World
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