Collection management application development has been a primary area of MIP support. These collection management applications have been developed in a two-tier client/server framework developed by MIP using the Sybase C language API and the X-Windows toolkit. MIP has developed or collaborated in the development of nine collection management interfaces using this common application development environment. Because the X-Windows toolkit is not truly object-oriented, its extensibility and reusability is limited. After evaluating alternatives to the X-Windows environment, a prototype multi-tier client server architecture and an object-oriented component-based application development environment were developed.
Component-based architectures provide a scalable, flexible, and modular environment that speed development time, facilitate maintenance and modification and minimize deployment problems. The goal is to have applications discoverable at runtime from application servers rather than as static code located on or near all devices that use them.
The MIP prototype object-oriented component application development framework employs:
Using these tools, java class diagrams that provide a high level interface to all MIP databases have been developed. Enterprise java beans have been developed for the MIP thesaurus model, for serving JTIP tiles and for providing an interface to a grammar for date uncertainty. Over the next few years, MIP in collaboration with other IST and campus units will move this application development framework to prototype production services.
Our goal for the coming year is to migrate our X - based applications to this environment and to replace as many of MIP's CGI - based web applications with Java equivalents. We have deferred moving toward implementation because the features of the Java Development Kit (JDK), the Swing API classes, and Sybase's tools have been in a rapid state of evolution. All the necessary tools to accomplish the re-engineering of our current applications are now sufficiently robust for us to proceed.
Technical staff from the University Library, the Earthquake Engineering Research Center and the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology have collaborated with us in the development of our approach and will work with us in component development so that application development can be coordinated. Commercial applications with Java support are being incorporated into this environment including mapping tools such as reporting tools like Business Objects with its Java tool WebIntelligence.
Funding is needed and has been requested to implement the specification document and if successful to license Luna's software for campus use. If funding is provided, Insight can be modified to operate with the image repository and associated catalog databases in approximately two months. The Insight client program will provide a commercially supported general-purpose tool for browsing the image repository and associated catalog databases as well as for the use of the repository for instructional purposes. Luna is discussing with other clients such as Cornell University and Yale University sharing of Insight enhancements requested by each and of image repositories maintained by each. Berkeley and the University of California system could benefit from such collaboration and resource sharing.
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