Oracle XML Help

I usually don’t like to use this forum for help with my work, but in this case I’m under a little pressure. Our lead programmer is out, and may not be coming back due to internal politics. So my two coworkers and myself are left at a loss on how to go about finishing a project.

We have around 20,000 text messages that have been parsed into XML format. So that for each data element that we’re interested in, there is an appropriat XML tag. We have the schema’s for these messages registered in Oracle, and the messages read into the database. What we’re trying to do now, is figure out the best way to access that data. Our initial thought, was to write an Xpath statement, that would take the messages, break them up, and insert the data into existing tables, and create all the parent and child tables that are required. However, this process seems to be taking around 8 hours for one message. We thought about leaving the data in the XML format, and writing queries to gather the data we require from the individual messages, however, we’re not familiar enough with the types of queries that we’d need to get it from XML. SQL we can handle, both of us are database administrators with several years behind us, but we’re new to XML, and can’t see how to get the data from XML, to a relational data structure. Any help would be appriciated.