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Passing Indexes for Access Cached Data on Application Programming Interface

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000119091D
Original Publication Date: 1997-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-01
Document File: 2 page(s) / 28K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Malcolm, JW: AUTHOR

Abstract

In certain Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), the data exists in their API's environment but identifying the particular instance of data is required. For example, structure A contains an array of structure Bs. Each structure B contains an array of structure C. The API knows that the data in question exists inside the nested chain of A - B - C. But it needs to know which instance of B to go to, then which instance of C inside that instance of B.

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Passing Indexes for Access Cached Data on Application Programming
Interface

      In certain Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), the data
exists in their API's environment but identifying the particular
instance of data is required.  For example, structure A contains an
array of structure Bs.  Each structure B contains an array of
structure C. The  API knows that the data in question exists inside
the nested chain of A - B - C.  But it needs to know which instance
of B to go to, then which instance of C inside that instance of B.

      Instead of passing the actual data, arguments are defined that
contain indexes for the API to use to locate the desired data in its
internal environment cache.  One index will tell the API which
instance of B to use.  Another index will tell the API which instance
of C to use.

      Granted, if only one data element is being retrieved, it would
be more efficient to pass that data element rather than two index
parameters.  But in many situations, C represents a structure that
may contain many data elements that the API would need.  In this
case, the  same two parameters will be used to access all of the
required data elements in C instead of passing them individually on
parameters.