Databases are an integral part of many businesses around the world. Through the Internet or an Intranet, it is possible for these databases to be made accessible to whomever the company wishes. The problem is that interested parties wish to view the data, without the need for installation of extra software every time they want to access a different database.

There are various solutions to this, but in general, they all suffer from similar drawbacks, including problems of navigation, security and viewing of complex data structures.

Another problem, separate from the functionality of the solution, is that the data is to be accessed through the Internet, or an Intranet. Thus, it needs to be useable on many different machine architectures and operating systems, working in a similar way in all cases.

Written in JavaTM, to be platform independent, the Abstract Database Viewer (ADBV) has been developed as a solution to these problems. It presents an API, which allows database administrators to link the meta-data that is contained in all commercial databases to separate viewer applications. This allows any data structures contained in the database, simple or complex, to be accessed through a standard interface by any user.

The following document describes the processes that were involved in analysing, designing, implementing and testing the ADBV solution, and the future development that could enhance the current system.