I was wondering if anyone has done any work on checking the speed of database queries over parsing XML. I would normally write a website that uses a database and nothing else but a recent project I have been working on means I am using an XML file to generate the site menu and another one for the stock items.
Everything is working really fast but it leaves me wondering if it would be faster using a database or not.
As far as amount of data goes, there isn't much to the XML files really and when the user has selected a menu option, it's just the case of finding that in the XML and looping through it's children to display the information.
For small datasets (and a menu for a UI is never going to get big enough to qualify as "large" in computing terms) it doesn't really matter. Even if one approach is 100 times faster than another, the difference is still likely to be measured in milliseconds.
Until there are noticable performance issues, the best approach is the on that is easiest to implement and maintain.