Using Data Encapsulated Programs to Instantiate Data
Original Publication Date: 2001-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
Object oriented programing has for years described the use of data encapsulation within programs which only allows access to data through the use of programs (methods). This invention describes program encapsulation within data and defines the Data E ncapsulated Program (DEP) data object which provides access to the DEP and its associated data. The following is the definition of a DEP data object: The DEP data object is comprised of the DEP, the DEP data, the DEP data interface and the instantiated DEP data. The DEP is the program imbedded in the raw data. The DEP data is comprised of the raw data with a DEP. The DEP data interface is the program that loads the DEP data, prepares the DEP for execution, executes the DEP and returns requested data to its invoker (e.g. a data access method). The DEP instantiated data is the data resulting from the execution of the DEP. Through the use of the DEP data object, programs can retrieve DEP instantiated data. These data retrieval programs do not need to be changed and therefore do not need to be aware of any data transformation performed by the DEP. This invention only provides the ability to instantiate and retrieve DEP data. The instantiated DEP data is presented to the retrieving program as if it were raw data (i.e. unprocessed/unmodified). The DEP data, which could be character or binary in nature, is by definition raw data initially recorded with a DEP. When the DEP data is to be retrieved the retrieving program invokes the data access method which invokes a DEP data interface which loads the DEP data and executes the DEP. The DEP modifies the data by performing variable substitution on the data using local and/or global environment data. It also includes or excludes pieces of data or sets of record(s) based on the environment data or lack thereof and/or it may generate data (e.g. mathematical tables or sequences). The program retrieving the DEP instantiated data need not be aware of this data transformation except possibly to indicate to the data access method that this transformation is to be performed. The perception of the retrieving program is that the data retrieved (the instantiation of the DEP data) is what was recorded (i.e. unmodified).