Database Vendors as Service Vendors Rather Than Thing Vendors

Thinking about databases, again, I began to wonder if they wouldn’t work better if they were completely restructured. What if, instead of subscribing to access to a thing, a database, what if we could subscribed to XMLified information that could get fed into our own, separate user interface, de-duped, and accompanied full text attached whenever possible.

“The” problem (as if there’s only one) would be the metadata. Wouldn’t it be cool if the system could figure out from your searches, clicks, and other behavior what discipline you’re looking for and choose to foreground the metadata that would best suit you and your project?