Browse Prior Art Database

System and interface for assisting a user to build an XPath expression

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000021975D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Feb-18
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Feb-18
Document File: 3 page(s) / 73K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a system with a graphical user interface to assist a user with zero or very limited technical skill to easily create XPath expressions without requiring the user to know the XPath language.

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System and interface for assisting a user to build an XPath expression

Disclosed is a system with a graphical user interface to assist a user with very limited technical skill to easily create XPath expressions without requiring him/her to know the XPath language. The current consumption of XPath is mostly within the context of XSLT. Therefore it is fair to assume that a user who wants to construct an XPath expression has a technical background and a fair amount of knowledge already in XPath. However, as XML technologies start gaining popularity in the business domain, it will not be a surprise to see more and more usage of XPath. For example, business process modelling requires a business analyst (who is assumed to have no XPath knowledge) to be able to specify business predicates and conditions to control the flow of the business process. Therefore this invention becomes extremely useful in the context of assisting users with building XPath expressions within the business domain.

A graphical user interface GUI is introduced to assist the user in creating an XPath expression. The GUI has two modes: Business and Technical mode. Business mode is targeted for a non-technical user like a Business Analyst. With the help of the GUI, a business analyst can create business predicates without requiring knowledge of the underlying expression language (XPath). The technical mode is targeted for technical people who know XPath and allows them to type in the XPath expression directly. In Business mode, the graphical user interface helps the user to visually construct an expression without having to write the expression directly. An expression is constructed by creating simple expressions in a high level expression language. These simple expressions can be joined together to form a more complex expression. During the process of constructing the expression through the GUI, the underlying engine dynamically translates the expression expressed in a high-level expression language into an XPath expression.

The GUI in the business mode is a dialog made up of different functional areas as shown in the following diagram:

1

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Create Business Rule

Define the Rule

Each rule is made up of a first operand, an operator, and a second operand.

(TripReservationRequest.cost x 1.5) is less than TripReservationRequest.tax

Expression:

Rule

Area 1

Area 2

Rule Numeric Expression 1

Operator: Second Operand:

Business Item

First Operand Details Second Operand Details

Numeric Expression 1

is less than TripReservationRequest.t

TripReservationReques x

1.5

First Operand: Numeric Expression

Is less than

(TripReservationRequest.cost x 1.5)

Business Items

HotelReservationRequest TripReservationRequest flightLegs
status
cost
tax

Area 3 Area 4

Area 1: Hint...