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A method for reporting structural differences between data models using hyperlinks

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000209235D
Publication Date: 2011-Aug-01
Document File: 4 page(s) / 91K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for reporting structural differences between data models using hyperlinks. The method incorporates a series of tables to represent the tree structures usually applied to difference reports.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 44% of the total text.

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A method for reporting structural differences between data models using hyperlinks

Users of a data modeling tool often use the tool's comparison feature to compare models and find out the differences between them. The comparison result is best represented as a tree-type user interface (UI). Each inner node of the tree represents all differences of a pair of data objects in the entire hierarchy. Each leaf node of the tree describes the actual difference of one property of the containing objects.

The following picture shows an example of such a tree user interface with nine inner nodes at the second level.

Figure 1: A tree user interface with nine inner nodes at the second level

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Using the tree user interface, the user can follow a particular tree path until the leaf nodes are exposed.

The UI allows the user to look at the differences interactively. However, the difference data cannot be transferred to another interested party unless it is formatted in some readable format and exported to a file. Currently, this information can be exported to an Extensible Markup Language (XML)-formatted file which is not easily consumable by a human.

The document needs to be in a more popular format such as Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) or Portable Document Format (PDF). Then the question is: how can a system present in a document the tree that shows the information regarding the differences in such a way that can be easily understood?

The solution disclosed here is to present the information in multiple tables in the document and provide specially created links to allow the user to navigate from one location of the document to another. By following the links, the user has the same experience as if they were following a tree path in the tree user interface.

This solution has the advantage of enabling the user to search for a difference using the

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search facility provided by the document's reader, which is difficult to do in the tree user interface.

The report is structured by the tree level. The system not only places all difference items at the same tree level at that level, but groups them according to their parent in the tree structure.

At the first level, there is only one difference item which corresponds to the root node of the tree. (Figure 2)

Figure 2: First-Level differences

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The second level holds the difference items corresponding to those nodes at the second level of the tree. For each item in the table, if deeper differences are present, the system defines a hyperlink for the string in the Name column. The value of the hyperlink is taken directly from the LABEL element associated with the item in the XML file (to be explained later). The bookmark for the hyperlink is defined in the third -level differences. In Figure 3, for example, the Buffer Pool will have a hyperlink which has the value 6fb185df-6054-4a44...