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Technique to prevent application metadata corruption in a relational database management system Disclosure Number: IPCOM000235051D
Publication Date: 2014-Feb-26
Document File: 5 page(s) / 137K

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Disclosed is a technique to safeguard the minimal set of data and/or objects stored in a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS), and is identified as critical for an application software’s operational needs. Corruption of such important data (hereinafter referred as "application metadata") often leads to either complete or partial failure of the application software. Hence, it is crucial for an application software vendor to shield these application metadata in a proactive manner, such that the application layer built on top of an RDBMS do not essentially undergo any operational sufferings due to any anomaly caused by intentional or unintentional human hazards at the database level.

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Technique to prevent application metadata corruption in a relational database management system


RDBMS form the most important layer of the enterprise software suite, since they sit at the bottom of the stack providing various data storage and management services to the higher layers that can comprise of middleware and application layer.

Most of the applications of this kind will create and maintain their own metadata which is critical to keep the application software up and running. The application relies upon the underlying RDBMS for safe maintenance of its metadata. This essentially means that the metadata created by the applications need to be secured from any kind of tampering attempt.

Typically, this type of critical data gets either ported to the user premise during the application software shipment or they get created during initial deployment (e.g. installation) of it. An RDBMS user privileged with highest level of database administrative, maintenance and/or access rights can get indulged into mishandling of application metadata, either intentionally or unintentionally. A typical work around available in such a situation is to recover the data using RDBMS' data recovery mechanisms such as physical or logical backup & restore.


A common way of protecting the application metadata is by means of establishing various access control mechanisms. This approach however can only be brought to a granular level where at least one user has modification privileges that could translate into tampering threats, meaning even the most carefully designed security policies do not prevent the highest privileged user from accidentally (or otherwise) altering these critical metadata.

An embodiment of this disclosure secures the integrity of application metadata by means of a freezing technique, wherein even the most privileged user of the RDBMS is not allowed to do any kind of modification activity that may compromise the health of the application software.

Mentioned below are a few advantages of the disclosed technique

1. The primary advantage of this disclosure is that it pro-actively safeguards the application from getting corrupted.

2. With the traditional RDBMS' recovery approaches, the system is bound to encounter certain amount of downtime translating into business impacts.

3. Even with the RDBMS' recovery strategies the database may not be brought back to the


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exact state prior to the corruption in cases of lost and/or corrupted logs.

4. Manual intervention is a must with the traditional RDBMS' recovery approach.

5. In a deeply coupled system, such outages may incur additional overhead from necessary debugging effort and cost perspectives.


Figure 1 depicts a high level representation of a Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) . As highlighted in the diagram, the entire process is divided into four distinct phases to anticipate further explanations. Phase 1 includes the "plannin...