Document Type

Other

Publication Date

2-1999

Abstract

In our emerging digital paper-less society, massive amounts of information being maintained in on-line repositories and diverse web site representations of this information muse be served over the internet to different user groups. E-commerce and digital libraries are two representative sample applications with such needs. In this paper we have presented a database-centric approach called Re-WEB that addresses this need for flexible web site generation, restructuring, and maintenance simply by embracing object-oriented database technology. Namely, by associating web semantics with the modeling constructs of the ODMG object model, view schemata map to web site layouts and database objects map to actual web pages. By generating and restructuring objects views, a large class of web site structures (web views) can thus be supported using this Re-WEB approach. And, the DBMS in Re-WEB, having full knowledge of the logical structure of web views defined over the database can thus bring standard database techniques to bear for efficiently maintaining the web views. To ease the process of web site specification and construction, we also propose the notion of generic web view transformations that can be encapsulated into reusable templates. Genericity and reusability of the templates is achieved due to the parameterization of the transformations on the one hand, and the query-based access to the system dictionary on the other hand, allowing the transformation to both inquire about as well as manipulate classes at the schema level at run time. We demonstrate in this paper that these generic web view transformations, if collected in a template library, have the potential to represent a valuable resource for simplifying the web generation and restructuring process. To the best of our knowledge, Re-WEB is the first web site management system focussing on the issue of reusable view generation templates at the content and not at the presentation style level of abstraction.

DOI

WPI-CS-TR-99-32

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