This patent application is assigned to
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates generally to the management of a remote application connection to a data source. More particularly, the present invention relates to automatically re-establishing a connection to a data source accessible by a plurality of remote applications.
"Databases are computerized information storage and retrieval systems. A Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) is a database system which uses relational techniques for storing and retrieving data. Relational databases are organized into tables consisting of rows and columns of data. A database typically includes many tables, and each table includes multiple rows and columns. The tables are conventionally stored in direct access storage devices (DASD), such as magnetic or optical disk drives, for semi-permanent storage.
"Generally, users communicate with an RDBMS using a Structured Query Language (SQL) interface. The SQL interface allows users to create, manipulate, and query a database by formulating relational operations on the tables, either interactively, in batch files, or embedded in host languages such as C and COBOL. SQL has evolved into a standard language for RDBMS software and has been adopted as such by both the
"A common application for databases relates to their interaction with Internet web browsers. A remote application such as a web browser may be used to query data from a data base. The data may then be used to create a table or other display of information on the web browser. This requires the transfer of data files and the formatting of data on the web browser. As the database is responsive to SQL and a web browser requires an HTML format, an interface module is required to enable interaction between the web browser and the database. One example of such an interface module is Net.Data available from
"Net.Data enables Internet and Intranet access to relational data on a variety of platforms. Net.Data incorporates a macrolanguage which supports both HTML and SQL and allows for interaction with universal web browsers and relational database systems. Net.Data operates in conjunction with a web server interface and supports client-side processing as well as server-side processing with languages such as Java, REXX,
"Net.Data may support a variety of operating systems, including OS/2, AIX, Windows NT, HP-UX,
"The interface module, which may be resident on a server, receives a query from a web browser, formats the query into SQL, and interacts with the database to receive data and create the table or other display of information. The interface module then uses its macrolanguage to present the data to the web browser in HTML format. The web browser, in turn, displays the data to a user of the remote application. In this manner, the interface module serves as an Internet gateway for accessing a database. However, every time the interface module connects to the database, requests a connection set up for the database, or sends a query to get data results from the data base, the interface must perform a set of time-consuming processes such as initialization; authorization, password confirmation, and the like. These processes can be time consuming, slowing down the entire system and process.
"One attempt to overcome the problem of slower connections was to create a database manager to assist in synchronizing the connection of the interface modules with various ports of the database. However, in order to accommodate numerous web browsers, multiple applications of an interface module may be running, which may complicate the system. With increased use and complication, the system may be difficult to debug when a problem arises. Additionally, because everything runs through a connection manager, there are often miscommunications, synchronization problems, and bottlenecks between the user applications and the database.
"If other databases were static and the data source became inactive or went down for whatever reason, the data manager would not be able to tell when the data source became active again. Thus, subsequent queries would still detect an inactive data source. In order to establish another connection with the data source, the whole system would have to be reinitialized. In situations where the data manager managed multiple users, this reinitialization would affect remote users whose connection to a data base was functioning normally.
"Thus, it would be an advancement in the art to provide a system and method for connecting a plurality of remote applications with a data source in a simplified way.
"It would be a further advancement in the art to provide such a system and method which would remove the likelihood of bottleneck by removing the necessity of routing every communication between the interface module and data source through the connection manager.
"It would be a further advancement in the art to provide such a system and method that was dynamic and reliable and did not have to reinitialize if the data source became inactive or 'went down.'
"Such an apparatus and method in accordance with the present invention is disclosed and claimed herein."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "The present invention solves many or all of the foregoing problems by introducing a system and method by which a plurality of remote applications can connect with a data source without having all communication pass through a simple connection manager.
"In one aspect of the invention, a system includes an interface module configured to interface with a remote application, a port module to interface between the interface module and the data source, and a connection manager module to facilitate the direct interface between the interface module and the port module. The connection manager may establish a connection between the connection manager and the port module. In one preferred embodiment, the port module reports its availability to the connection manager through this connection. This may be done by the connection manager retrieving a port module identifier, which identifies an available port module for connecting to the data source from a data structure. The port module identifier may then be passed to the interface module so that the interface module may connect directly to the port module, and thus, the data source.
"The system in one preferred embodiment is configured to support HTML and provide interfacing between the requesting application and the data source. The interface module may be configured to convert the command from the remote application to a structured query language format to support interfacing with the data source.
"In another aspect of the invention, a method for connecting a plurality of remote applications with a data source includes the steps of providing at least one interface module configured to interface with a remote application, providing at least one port module to interface between the interface module and the data source, and providing a connection manager to facilitate the interface between the interface module and the port module. In a preferred embodiment, the method further includes establishing a direct connection between the interface module and the port module. A port module identifier for an available port module may be returned to the interface module for direct connection between the interface module and the port module.
"Thus, it is an object of the invention to provide for the management of the connection between remote applications and a data source which alleviates bottlenecks in the data flow. It is another object of the invention to simplify the connection process by reducing the steps in the connection process. It is yet another object of the invention to reduce the need to synchronize each module used in the connection process.
"These and other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims, or may be learned by the practice of the invention as set forth hereinafter.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"These and other more detailed and specific objects and features of the present invention are more fully disclosed in the following specification, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
"FIG. 1 is a schematic block diagram of a computer system suitable for implementing one embodiment of the invention;
"FIG. 2 is a schematic block diagram of one embodiment of a system in accordance with the present invention;
"FIG. 3 is a schematic block diagram illustrating the components of one embodiment of a system for connecting a plurality of remote applications with a data source;
"FIG. 4 is a schematic block diagram illustrating more details of the embodiment of FIG. 2;
"FIG. 5 is a schematic block diagram of a data structure for use in the system for connecting a plurality of remote applications with a data source.
"FIG. 6 is a schematic block diagram of a data structure for use in the system for connecting a plurality of remote applications with a data source;
"FIG. 7 is a schematic block diagram illustrating the components of an alternative embodiment for a system for connecting a plurality of remote applications with a data source; and
"FIG. 8 is a flow diagram illustrating steps performed in one embodiment of a method in accordance with the present invention."
URL and more information on this patent application, see: NGUYEN, Lynh. Live Connection Enhancement for Data Source Interface. Filed
Keywords for this news article include: Information Technology, Information and Data Architecture,
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