Browse Prior Art Database

Template Management Using Relational Database Constraints

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000032975D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Nov-19
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Nov-19
Document File: 2 page(s) / 65K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

A template may be used to store and manage commonalities among data definitions. These templates can be useful in defining standards to which data must conform in order to be used properly. The core idea of this invention is to manage the linkage of data instantiations and their parent templates using a relational database management system's constraint management mechanisms.

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 53% of the total text.

Page 1 of 2

Template Management Using Relational Database Constraints

Once a template has been defined and saved it can be leveraged to create n number of data instantiations. Currently, managing templates and the relationships to data instantiations that leverage them is problematic. Updating templates requires a mechanism to update the data instantiations that leverage them as well. Without the ability to update the data instance, you lose the reference to the template when you make even the most minor change, thus rendering the data instance irrelevant.

Alternative solutions would be to not allow updates of a template or to create new template "versions" for each modification of the template.

Using a relational database to store the templates allows for a single definition and a single storage allocation of the template data. Thus, all data instantiations of the template refer to a single instance of the template instead of containing the template and allocating storage for each duplicate containment of the template. With a relational database implementation, templates can be added but not updated or deleted.

This publication assumes that data templates are to be defined and stored in a relational database. The actual storage method may be determined according to the user's preference. For the sake of this publication, the relational database storage method will be referred to as the template 'table'. Templates can be added through standard DBMS insert facilities.

Using a relational database system, an association may be created that links the data template to the data instantiation. The primary benefit of this method is the ability to update the data instantiation dynamically when the template is changed. By allowing the data instance to be updated each time the template is altered, you are allowing the data instance to maintain its integrity and continue its relevance.

Additionally, a database trigger may be defined to tally a count of the number of instantiations created on a specific template. Every time a new data instantiation is created, the count in the template would be incremented.

To achieve this, our invention specifies that as data instantiations of the template are created, database references to the parent template are built via foreign key constraints. The template 'table' will contain an ID field as the primary key....