Date of Award

Spring 1996

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Mathematics

First Advisor

Harris, Douglas

Second Advisor

Barnard, Mark

Third Advisor

Slattery, Michael C.

Abstract

The meteoric rise of the World Wide Web (WWW) will be recorded in history as one of the defining technology-related events of the mid-1990's. The Web enables almost anyone to make available, on a real time basis, information to a world wide audience. By common consent, one of the most obvious shortcomings of the Web as a client-server platform is the difficulty of interfacing browsing tools with non-text data in relational or other kinds of databases. The currently accepted popular tool for achieving Web database integration is the "Common Gateway Interface" (CGI), this consists of a specification for interfacing Web browsers and executable programs running on a Web server. Consider the steps a CGI program currently effects to process a database query: • Read the query parameters from the user's form. • Construct a SQL query and send it to the database. • Retrieve the results of the query and format them into Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). • Send the resulting HTML page back to the client. The currently available basic Web architecture can at this time handle the first and last of these steps, but provides no support for the middle two steps. The major database vendors are providing public domain CGI scripts and tools to handle the middle two functions for text only data. There are currently no available products or tools for processing other types of data such as images, audio, animation, and video. Java is an object-oriented language that supports classes, inheritance, methods, polymorphism, dynamic binding, and other object-oriented features. Java also includes the first mechanism to allow inline sound and animation in a Web page. All these features will allow a fairly seamless integration with current relational database technology. For the purpose of this project we can assume that a client will send a request to download an image or other multimedia events from the Database server. Steps two and three can be handled by a CGI script written in C, Pro*C, or Perl, and will be able to take care of accessing the database and returning the query result to a Java program. The Java "applet", which will be defined and discussed later, will then display the results on the client machine. The more difficult obstacle to overcome is how to let the client send "raw" data (i.e.: images, audio, video) to the database server. This study is going to present a solution to this "upload" dilemma.

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