Browse Prior Art Database

Simplification of a Database Query Through the Use of a Category Window

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000101762D
Original Publication Date: 1990-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-16
Document File: 3 page(s) / 112K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Banning, KR: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Disclosed is a user interface model that removes the need for the average user of database information to know where the information is located or how the information is related in precise detail. The user interface presents related information to the user in windows that allow the user to select what data they wish to see. The system then determines what relationships exist and selects the appropriate tables and columns to return the necessary data. The categories are maintained in the user interface for additional selection or review as needed by the user.

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Simplification of a Database Query Through the Use of a Category Window

       Disclosed is a user interface model that removes the need
for the average user of database information to know where the
information is located or how the information is related in precise
detail.  The user interface presents related information to the user
in windows that allow the user to select what data they wish to see.
The system then determines what relationships exist and selects the
appropriate tables and columns to return the necessary data. The
categories are maintained in the user interface for additional
selection or review as needed by the user.

      The individual who makes requests (queries) of information in a
relational database may not have sufficient knowledge of the database
design to enable them to reliably determine what tables of
information are required, how those tables are related, or where the
tables are located.  A user interface model is proposed that removes
these tasks from the average user while allowing them to benefit from
the database as if they possess this knowledge.

      Human logic is believed to be based on concept formation and
conceptual information processing.  People use categories to organize
the information and to understand relationships within or between
objects.  The Category window proposed in the visual query supports
this type of information processing for the average user.  The
Category window contains the following information:
      1.  All categories defined for the current database.
      2.  All tables within a category by name.

      The categories are presented as secondary windows within the
primary Category window.  The category windows contain the table
objects.  These table objects are only reflections of the real table
objects so that a single table can be contained in more than one
category.  Associated with the categories is descriptive text that
may be displayed to assist the user in determining what that category
may be used for.  Associated with the tables is descriptive text on
their contents, and how they are related to one another. These
attributes of the two classes of objects are determined by the
category creator (an administrative function).  Thus, the user can
simply search for which category contains the information they are
interested in, and select that category.

      The user has one additional option when selecting the category.
Rather than select all the tables in a category, the user has the
option of selecting only those tables need....