Browse Prior Art Database

XML Element Forms: Building Blocks of XML-Based Applications

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000013789D
Original Publication Date: 1999-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-18
Document File: 4 page(s) / 119K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

John Mourra: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Disclosed below is the concept of XML Element Forms as reusable, self-contained building blocks of XML-based applications. These forms encapsulate not only the graphical user interface to display and modify specific XML elements, but furthermore encapsulate basic XML validation, verification, and order maintenance as required by the Document Type Definition (DTD). Complete applications and/or aggregate forms can be composed from a combination of pre-existing forms, with the option to do so visually by simply adding forms in a visual composition editor since forms are graphical beans. A form framework provides built-in event handling, modification events, status events, and form interaction mechanisms, allowing for ease of development and application scalability. By employing such forms to build applications, developers are shielded from the implementation and maintenance details of traversing an XML tree to find, read, and modify data, and hence development and software maintenance time, resources, and cost are drastically reduced. Extensible Markup Language (XML), a data description language, is used to describe the structure of data as well as the information contained within. This emerging technology promises to allow developers to structure data in a consistent manner, allowing ease of transfer and processing over a network. Since the data structure is predefined and maintained by a D ocument Type Definition (DTD) , all processors or tools that are aware of this DTD can seamlessly deal with any data that conforms to it. The building blocks of an XML document are referred to as elements, which specify the keywords or markup tags used in the body of the document. At a basic level, data objects are represented by such elements. The attributes of the element are defined by the DTD, which also describes the children (other elements) that this element can have. This tree approach allows the DTD to describe the entire structure of data. For instance, consider a customer object which has two attributes, name and age. Furthermore, a customer will have an address. To represent this in XML/DOM[1], an address element (which maps to an address object) is added as a child to the customer element. This address element itself will also have attributes (e.g. street name, postal code, etc.), and may also have its own children. Although it is expected that XML will be exploited as a means of maintaining the consistent structure of data that is transferred over networks, an innovative approach is to exploit the consistency of XML structured data in the integration of applications. Common XML data representation would allow different tools and applications to act on the same data. In this sense, the power of XML can be leveraged to unify the data representation of entire applications and sets of tools, facilitating and easing the integration and scaling process. XML is a document-based (text-based) language; hence, building applications that read and manipulate XML documents requires the manual modification of the XML text or the programmatic modification of the Document Object Model (DOM) [1], which is the runtime state of an XML document. In attempting to 1

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
At least one non-text object (such as an image or picture) has been suppressed.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 34% of the total text.

Page 1 of 4

XML Element Forms: Building Blocks of XML-Based Applications

     Disclosed below is the concept of XML Element Forms as reusable, self-contained building blocks of XML-based applications. These forms encapsulate not only the graphical user interface to display and modify specific XML elements, but furthermore encapsulate basic XML validation, verification, and order maintenance as required by the Document Type Definition (DTD). Complete applications and/or aggregate forms can be composed from a combination of pre-existing forms, with the option to do so visually by simply adding forms in a visual composition editor since forms are graphical beans. A form framework provides built-in event handling, modification events, status events, and form interaction mechanisms, allowing for ease of development and application scalability. By employing such forms to build applications, developers are shielded from the implementation and maintenance details of traversing an XML tree to find, read, and modify data, and hence development and software maintenance time, resources, and cost are drastically reduced.

     Extensible Markup Language (XML), a data description language, is used to describe the structure of data as well as the information contained within. This emerging technology promises to allow developers to structure data in a consistent manner, allowing ease of transfer and processing over a network. Since the data structure is predefined and maintained by a Document Type Definition (DTD), all processors or tools that are aware of this DTD can seamlessly deal with any data that conforms to it. The building blocks of an XML document are referred to as elements, which specify the keywords or markup tags used in the body of the document. At a basic level, data objects are represented by such elements. The attributes of the element are defined by the DTD, which also describes the children (other elements) that this element can have. This tree approach allows the DTD to describe the entire structure of data. For instance, consider a customer object which has two attributes, name and age. Furthermore, a customer will have an address. To represent this in XML/DOM[1], an address element (which maps to an address object) is added as a child to the customer element. This address element itself will also have attributes (e.g. street name, postal code, etc.), and may also have its own children. Although it is expected that XML will be exploited as a means of maintaining the consistent structure of data that is transferred over networks, an innovative approach is to exploit the consistency of XML structured data in the integration of applications. Common XML data representation would allow different tools and applications to act on the same data. In this sense, the power of XML can be leveraged to unify the data representation of entire applications and sets of tools, facilitating and easing the integration and scaling process.

     XML is a document-based (te...