Browse Prior Art Database

Hierarchical Key Access Method

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000079702D
Original Publication Date: 1973-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-26
Document File: 2 page(s) / 33K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Daetwyler, DW: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

This access method uses a technique for data storage and retrieval, in which an identifying hierarchical key is associated with each unit of data. The key is external to the data and is not derived from the content of the data or the hardware location of the data.

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Hierarchical Key Access Method

This access method uses a technique for data storage and retrieval, in which an identifying hierarchical key is associated with each unit of data. The key is external to the data and is not derived from the content of the data or the hardware location of the data.

A basic capability of the method is the update process, which permits storage of changes to data separate from the data with historical visibility and reversibility. The update process identifies parts of one or more related data units that have changed.

The changes are encoded and written, sequentially by "time of arrival", at the end of the data collection. The data stored by hierarchical key is left unchanged. A pointer to the changes is stored in an expandable directory record, which has its own hierarchical key. Retrieval of the basic data unit also obtains the pointer record, selects the historically applicable pointer, and edits the changes into the basic data. This is a significant capability, for example, when financial data is subject to frequent change but there are legal obligations to report "as of" a fixed date. It also permits testing to proceed independently of live processing, which the test mode pointers used in some processing, not in others. The pointer is retrieved in the same single access as the hierarchical key data, and a concentration of pointers in an active key causes minimal disruption to other data units. The collection of changes is termed as...