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Method for the creation of data schema

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000201865D
Publication Date: 2010-Nov-29
Document File: 2 page(s) / 55K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Anyone who has had to automate a paper driven process has probably had to create a data schema in which to collect and process the resulting information. The creation of such schemas can be a time-consuming and costly process. Clearly anything that could be done to speed schema creation could lower development costs and speed the time-to-value for such systems. The usual methods for creating a data schema are to create it manually as text or to use schema editor software that allows them to visually edit it. While these approaches do create valid data schemas, they have three significant shortcomings: 1. They are very time consuming. A single data schema can be very large. Creating such a schema manually requires a vast amount of human labor. 2. They require a vast amount of technical ability and skill. 3. In addition, this great use of human labor introduces many opportunities for costly errors. These errors require even more human labor to fix. This article describes a method for automatically determining data structures by examining the structure of the paper forms we traditionally use to gather the information.

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Method for the creation of data schema

Disclosed is a process for user interface to schema inferencing. Using the disclosed process called "UI to Schema Inferencing", a schema is automatically created from the physical layout of a paper form used to collect a given data set.

Examination of paper documents to collect information revealed the structure of the documents is reflective of a logical structure that could reasonably be used to store data. Analysis of the

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 hysical documents traditionally used to gather a set of data, resulted in a possibility to automatically create a schema for that data through the use of intelligent heuristic analysis. Automatically creating schema from the data collection processes typically saves a great deal of time and expense in creation of any automated data collection system.

Using the disclosed process enables automatic creation of a schema from the physical layout of a

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 rocess a physical document is examined to determine logical groupings in the process. For example, 'street' and 'city' could be in a logical group called 'address'. This example is a grouping typical of many data collection processes. The groupings are formatted into the data schema format in another step. For example, groups would become the grouping construct of the schema such as a complex type in an extensible markup language XML schema or a table in a database. In another step of the disclosed process additional restraints are added to the schema when possible. For example, an age field could translate to an integer representation in the schema instead of a string representation.

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Figure 1

While the disclosed process could apply to virtually any data collection process and any schema, consider a further example of creating an XML Schema (XSD) from an eForm extensible forms definit...