CM391 - Project Brief

Name: Theo Gray [email protected]


Flavio Bergamaschi [email protected]

Second Supervisor:

Stephen O'Connell [email protected]

Project Title:

Abstract Database Viewer: An API for Automatic Database Information Retrieval Through the Internet


Databases are an integral part of many businesses around the world. Through the Internet or a local Intranet, it is possible for these databases to be made accessible to whomever the company wishes. The problem with this is that the data contained in a database is made up of a fixed number of standard types and any database viewer will only allow viewing of these fields in a standard way. In some cases, such as the data being a picture, or an audio clip, this will mean that garbage is shown to the user , which is of no use whatsoever.

I propose to create an API for database programmers, which allows them to make these databases, and any others, accessible and readable, by adding semantic information and applets for viewing the data, to the database. I also propose to create a tool t o allow them to add this information as easily as possible.

For interacting with these databases, I propose to create a two-tier [2] Java application [1]. The client application will consist of minimal code to reduce download time. It will be able to connect to, retrieve and display information from the server application, which, in turn, will make the connections and retrieve the actual data from the database to pass back to the clie nt.

The API and its related applications should be able to run on any platform, across the Internet or an Intranet. These will be programmed in Java [1], which makes that possible, and s hould connect to any database that supports the ODBC or JDBC protocols [2]. Many large companies may well have distributed databases [3], and so the system will be able to work across these using a Java IDL and CORBA [4].



  1. Gary Cornell and Cay S. Horstmann, Core Java, Second Edition, Prentice Hall, 1997.

  2. Prashant Sridharan, Advanced Java Networking, Prentice Hall, 1997.

  3. S. Ceri and G. Pelgatti, Distributed Databases: Principles and Systems, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1984.

  4. Andreas Vogel and Keith Duddy, Java Programming with CORBA, Wiley Computer Publishing, 1997.

Theo Gray: contact me