When information is exchanged in XML format, there needs to be an agreement between the sender and receiver about the structure and content of the XML document. An XSD (XML Schema Definition Language) Schema can be used to enforce this contract and validate the XML data being exchanged and, given that a lot of applications exchange information in XML format, the Art of XSD is becoming an increasingly vital technical skill.
To give you some quick background, in SQL Server 2005 Microsoft introduced the new native XML data type, which represents an XML document or fragment. This is a significant enhancement to the limited XML support available in SQL Server 2000. SQL Server 2005 supports a limited subset of XML Schema Definition Language (XSD), and stores XML schemas as 'XML Schema Collections,' which are a SQL Server object like tables, views or stored procedures.
This book is intended to help you learn and use XML Schema collections in SQL Server. Prior knowledge of XSD is not required to start reading this book, although any experience with XSD will make your learning process easier. I'll start with the basics of XML schemas and then walk you through the schema concepts, schema components, examples and labs to make sure that you're thorough with everything needed to build powerful XML schemas in SQL Server.