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An XML to RDF and RDF to XML Mapping System with Applications to Document Generation and Reporting

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000240399D
Publication Date: 2015-Jan-29
Document File: 7 page(s) / 279K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a system for bidirectional conversion between natural hierarchical Extensible Markup Language (XML) and Resource Description Framework (RDF), two high-level mapping languages and corresponding processes that can be assembled into a variety of useful configurations. This has the benefit of improving performance, increasing productivity, and lowering maintenance costs for applications such as document generation.

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An XML to RDF and RDF to XML Mapping System with Applications to Document Generation and Reporting

Users of web applications often need to generate documents and reports from the data hosted in those applications . Users might have to combine data from multiple web applications in order to generate the desired documents and complete the task . The need to combine and report on information stored in multiple applications is especially true in the domain of software and systems development.

Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a prevalent format for data interchange. Most web applications provide XML representations of data. Furthermore, most document generation technologies can read XML data as input and merge that data into document templates. However, there are several serious problems with this approach. The run-time performance is often too slow if the document structure does not match the XML data structure. This is caused by both the high volume of Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) traffic and the need for the document template engine to reshape the data to match the desired output document structure . Concerning productivity, it is often difficult for document template authors to understand the physical XML data formats ; if the XML structure does not match the output document structure, then the document template author must write a lot of scripting to reshape and reorder the data. Maintenance is also a problem because the physical XML data formats often change over time and break the document templates. It is common for many document templates to refer to the same XML data source . If the data source changes the XML format, then all of the document templates break.

These problems are caused by the tight coupling between the document template and the data source XML format and access method. The document template typically contains XPath expressions that refer directly to the element and attribute names in the source XML data. The document template engine makes direct HTTP calls to the XML data source . If the data is not what is required, then the document template typically uses a scripting language to reshape the data. For example, the document template engine may make several passes over the data, storing it in a temporary structure on the first pass, then sorting it, then inserting it into the document on the next pass while making further calls to other data sources .

An approach is needed to improve performance, increase productivity, and reduce the maintenance costs associated with document generation and reporting from web-based XML data sources.

The solution to the problem is to introduce an intermediate layer that splits the processing into two parts . At a high level, the novel method consists of introducing a high-performance intermediate data cache. The data as exposed by the web applications is in some physical form. The physical form is read from the data sources, converted into an intermediate form, and st...