. German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence GmbH
This paper proposes ``... that a database can often be organized as a large collection of small text files, each containing the structured information that relates to a particular object. This means that the basic idea of WWW pages - small text files that are cross-linked by symbolic addresses - is generalized to become a database technique as well. The database pages are expressed in HORL notation (HyperObject Representation Language). Just like a WWW browser accesses and reads HTML pages dynamically as it needs them, our WWDB database system accesses and reads HORL pages as it needs them in the course of its data processing operations. When an HORL page is read by the database system, its contents are converted to an internal representation, and it does not have to be read again during the same session.
The WWDB technique can easily be combined with WWW usage. It was developed as a tool for generating WWW pages with structured contents, for example annotated publication lists, directories of authors, journals, and conferences, etc. It has also been put to a second usage in a mail management system. Our experience suggests that it may be an attractive and viable technique for many kinds of low-to-medium duty database applications, in particular, those where the database is a source of information rather than e.g. the basis of a transaction processing system.
In this paper, we first describe the application within which the WWDB concepts were developed, and then proceed to a description of the essential technical characteristics of the existing, experimental implementation. Finally we discuss what conclusions can be drawn from the project so far, and the perspectives for continued use of this technique.''