Browse Prior Art Database

Database Structure

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000040438D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-02
Document File: 5 page(s) / 59K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Caraballo, JF: AUTHOR [+5]

Abstract

This article describes a technique for updating a database with speed and integrity. In an automatic parts inventory system each terminal station has a complete image of the database stored in its internal RAM memory. This 160K memory is the foundation for the entire system functioning smoothly and accurately. The technical name for this is a distributed database where every system has its own copy of the data. This data is stored in several files (collection of identical entries) which are interrelated according to very strict rules. The system checks the database of the system on an ongoing basis. If something is found to be wrong at a station, first that station and eventually the entire system will be shutdown automatically.

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 48% of the total text.

Page 1 of 5

Database Structure

This article describes a technique for updating a database with speed and integrity. In an automatic parts inventory system each terminal station has a complete image of the database stored in its internal RAM memory. This 160K memory is the foundation for the entire system functioning smoothly and accurately. The technical name for this is a distributed database where every system has its own copy of the data. This data is stored in several files (collection of identical entries) which are interrelated according to very strict rules. The system checks the database of the system on an ongoing basis. If something is found to be wrong at a station, first that station and eventually the entire system will be shutdown automatically. In addition, each station is independent and will continue to run even if the others are not working. There are five different files which make up the database. Their names and purposes are as follows: Name Name on Disk Function Pallets CRAMPAL.DATAÙ Unique entry for each pallet in

the system identifies its part

type, vendor and location.

(Image Omitted)

LOCATIONs CRAMLOC.DTAÙ Unique entry for

each location

in the system. Each

flow rack, static

rack, kitting lane

and crane has a

specific position. PART TYPEs

CRAMPART.DTAÙ Unique entry for each type of

part in the system as well as

which locations contain that

kind of part. IBM PART

CRAMIBM.DTAÙ Allows IBM part numbers to be NUMBERs used to specify a part type for

the system. VENDORS

CRAMVEN.DTAÙ Allows specific vendors and their descriptions to be

tracked in the system. Fig. 1 shows a file collection of identically formatted entries. Each entry in the file is unique and yet each has the same format. There is an index used to make a quick reference to a specific entry in the file.

These indexes are checked periodically, and if there is a problem, the backup database can be used.

(Image Omitted)

Fig. 2 is a general database overview showing how the five files are

1

Page 2 of 5

interrelated. The terminal station is capable of altering all of the types of database records but only some of the fields in a given entry. This facility is provided to allow the operator to add and delete part types and part numbers. In addition, the operator can inhibit the input or output of pallets into specific lanes. Specific pallets can be marked for automatic rejection by the system into the aisle access lanes. Most often the station will be used to change the assignment of kitting lanes to a specific part type needed in the current kitting process. The system will automatically remove any left over pallets from the kitting lanes.

(Image Omitted)

Figs. 3A and 3B illustrate the database structure in detail. The database record formats are as follows: Pallet Record Description 1. Newer Pallet Index

Pallet-Index of next pallet (if any) which is also at this

physical location. 2. Part-Index

Index into the part-array which identifies the type of part

contained on...