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Technique for Expressing a Query for Related Items Within a Distributed Directory

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000120533D
Original Publication Date: 1991-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-02
Document File: 5 page(s) / 207K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Austin, JH: AUTHOR [+5]

Abstract

Disclosed is a technique for expressing a query for related data items in a distributed directory.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 33% of the total text.

Technique for Expressing a Query for Related Items Within a Distributed
Directory

      Disclosed is a technique for expressing a query for
related data items in a distributed directory.

      This technique, which allows the user to retrieve information
from related directory entries with a single query, is applicable to
a general distributed query environment when there are related data
items.

      Related data items (or related directory entries) are data
items within a distributed directory that have some type of
relationship.  Fig. 1 shows that a relationship is achieved by
replicating some information in each directory data item.  Each data
item contains information (attributes) about a person, such as name,
phone number, address, department name, location, manager or not,
secretary or not, etc.

      To illustrate how a user would obtain the desired information,
we have the following scenario:
      A user wants to talk to "Person 2," but no one answers his
phone.  Since the user needs information immediately from "Person 2,"
the user wants to talk to either the manager or secretary of "Person
2" to find out if "Person 2" will return soon or to find the name
of some other person that may be able to help him.  To obtain the
phone numbers of the department manager and secretary, the user will
have to perform several queries:

      1.   First, the user will perform a query for name='Person 2'
and indicate via the results descriptor that the department name be
returned. Note that the results descriptor defines what information
contained in the data item is to be returned.

      2.   After the first query completes, the user will use the
returned information (department name) and perform a second query for
department name='Department A' and manager='Yes' and indicate via the
results descriptor the name and phone number of the department
manager be returned.

      3.   After the second query completes, the user will use the
returned information (department name) from the first query and
perform a third query for department name='Department A'
secretary='Yes' and indicate via the results descriptor the name and
phone number of the department secretary be returned.
      Now the user has the desired information enabling him to call
the manager and secretary of 'Person 2'.

      The net is that without a way of expressing a query for related
data items, the user must perform several queries and manually
determine and use the relationship between data items.

      This article describes a technique for representing a complex
query as a single expression that can be serviced in a distributed
directory environment, so that the original requestor is relieved of
the burden of making successive queries to obtain each piece of
related information.

      Related data items (or related directory entries) are data
items within a distributed directory that have some type of
relationshi...