Mechanism for investigation and traversal of data, through a combined view of meta-model definitions, model definitions and instance data.
Publication Date: 2010-Sep-10
The IP.com Prior Art Database
Many current software development systems are model driven. This means that a model of the data is defined which describes the properties and relationships between objects in the system. A number of tools are available that can be used to create and view the data model definitions, but these do not show actual object instances. Conversely, databases have ways to view object instance data but do not include model definition information. Disclosed is a device for a tool mechanism that will allow a user to view both model definitions and instance data together in a single view. This tool will allow the user to investigate details of both model data through its meta-model definition and instance data through its model definition. Being able to combine these in one view together with additional features gives a mechanism for easy traversal and detailed examination of instance data through the model definitions.
Mechanism for investigation and traversal of data , through a combined view of meta-model definitions, model definitions and instance data.
A mechanism is disclosed that allows a tool to display both model definitions and instance data in a single view. This allows a user to investigate details of both model data through its meta-model definition, and instance data through its model definition, in that combined view.
On start-up, the tool allows the user to choose from a selection of registered models and to specify the physical database which contains the instance data for that model.
Initially the tool shows the classes of the model definition in a tree view. When a class is selected, a separate pane shows all the model definition information for this class, including its attributes, its references and its operations, including all the meta-model properties for each. An example of how it might look is shown in Figure
The user could drill down into any of these class definitions to view instance data for this class. This would be done by opening the model class tree node to
show all instances of that class. Any of these instance nodes can then subsequently be opened to show all referenced objects (contained and optionally non-contained) within that object instance. When any instance object in this expanded node is selected, the other pane would be changed to show the instance attributes of this selected object. An example of an instance object and several levels of its contained objects would be as shown in Figure 2.
The tool would have a number of features and configurable parameters to allow traversal of the instance data:
- The value shown in the tree as an object instance's identifier (e.g. name) value may be different in different types of object. This would be configurable to allow the identifier property for any class to be specifically defined.
- It is possible for an instance of an object to be viewed through more than one model. From the identifying property of any object instance, a context menu option would allow the user to view that object through any other model.
- There would be a search utility which could find an object instance from its identifier. The search can be performed through a single specified model, or across all models. If the instance is found, then the view is reopened on that model and the object instance is highlighted.
- The tool would allow an object instance to be exported to a file in an external format, such as XML. This would include all the instance's contained objects allowing the content of an object to also be examined off-line.
Many current software development systems are model driven. This means that a model of the data is defined which describes the properties and relationships between objects in the system. Data structures can...