Active Components as a Method for Coupling Data and Services – A Database-Driven Application Development Process

  • Beat Signer
  • Moira C. Norrie
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5936)


In the area of highly interactive systems, the use of object databases has significantly grown in the past few years due to the fact that one can, not only persistently store data in the form of objects, but also provide additional functionality in terms of methods defined on these objects. However, a limitation of such a tight coupling of objects and their methods is that parts of the application logic cannot be reused without also having instances of these objects in the new application database. Based on our experience of designing multiple interactive cross-media applications, we propose an approach where we distinguish between regular database objects containing the data and so-called active components storing metadata about specific services. Active components are first class objects which, at activation time, can perform some operations on the server as well as on the client side. Since active components are standalone lightweight components, they can be dynamically bound to single objects or semantically grouped sets of objects and be automatically invoked by different forms of database interactions. The database-driven development of arbitrary client and server-side application functionality not only simplifies the design of highly interactive systems, but also improves the reuse of existing components across different systems.


Active Component Client Side Database Object Client Device Coupling Data 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Szyperski, C.: Component Software: Beyond Object-Oriented Programming. Addison-Wesley Professional, Reading (2002)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Papazoglou, M.: Web Services: Principles and Technology. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs (2007)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Krafzig, D., Banke, K., Slama, D.: Enterprise SOA: Service-Oriented Architecture Best Practices. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs (2004)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Subasu, I.E., Ziegler, P., Dittrich, K.R., Gall, H.: Architectural Concerns for Flexible Data Management. In: Proc. of SETMDM 2008, EDBT Workshop on Software Engineering for Tailor-made Data Management, Nantes, France (March 2008)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Rellermeyer, J.S., Duller, M., Gilmer, K., Maragkos, D., Papageorgiou, D., Alonso, G.: The Software Fabric for the Internet of Things. In: Floerkemeier, C., Langheinrich, M., Fleisch, E., Mattern, F., Sarma, S.E. (eds.) IOT 2008. LNCS, vol. 4952, pp. 87–104. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    de Deugd, S., Carroll, R., Kelly, K., Millett, B., Ricker, J.: SODA: Service Oriented Device Architecture. IEEE Pervasive Computing 5(3), 94–96 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Tok, W.H., Bressan, S.: DBNet: A Service-Oriented Database Architecture. In: Proc. of DEXA 2006, 17th Intl. Conference on Database and Expert Systems Applications, Krakow, Poland, September 2006, pp. 727–731 (2006)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Eisenberg, A.: New Standard for Stored Procedures in SQL. ACM SIGMOD Record 25(4), 81–88 (1996)CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Paton, N.W., Díaz, O.: Active Database Systems. ACM Computing Surveys (CSUR) 31(1), 63–103 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kappel, G., Retschitzegger, W.: The TriGS Active Object-Oriented Database System – An Overview. ACM SIGMOD Record 27(3), 36–41 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Bretl, R., Maier, D., Otis, A., Penney, J., Schuchardt, B., Stein, J., Williams, E.H., Williams, M.: The Gem–Stone Data Management System. In: Object Oriented Concepts, Databases and Applications. ACM Press, New York (1989)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Signer, B., Norrie, M.C.: As We May Link: A General Metamodel for Hypermedia Systems. In: Parent, C., Schewe, K.-D., Storey, V.C., Thalheim, B. (eds.) ER 2007. LNCS, vol. 4801, pp. 359–374. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Norrie, M.C.: Distinguishing Typing and Classification in Object Data Models. Information Modelling and Knowledge Bases VI 26, 399–412 (1995)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kobler, A., Norrie, M.C.: OMS Java: A Persistent Object Management Framework. In: Java and Databases. Hermes Penton Science, May 2002, pp. 46–62 (2002)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Norrie, M.C., Signer, B., Weibel, N.: General Framework for the Rapid Development of Interactive Paper Applications. In: Proc. of CoPADD 2006, 1st Intl. Workshop on Collaborating over Paper and Digital Documents, Banff, Canada, November 2006, pp. 9–12 (2006)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Signer, B.: Fundamental Concepts for Interactive Paper and Cross-Media Information Spaces. PhD thesis, ETH Zurich, Dissertation ETH No. 16218 (May 2006)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Signer, B., Grossniklaus, M., Norrie, M.C.: Interactive Paper as a Mobile Client for a Multi-Channel Web Information System. World Wide Web Journal 10(4), 529–556 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Vogelsang, A., Signer, B.: The Lost Cosmonaut: An Interactive Narrative Environment on Basis of Digitally Enhanced Paper. In: Subsol, G. (ed.) ICVS-VirtStory 2005. LNCS, vol. 3805, pp. 270–279. Springer, Heidelberg (2005)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Signer, B., Norrie, M.C.: PaperPoint: A Paper-Based Presentation and Interactive Paper Prototyping Tool. In: Proc. of TEI 2007, First Intl. Conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction, Baton Rouge, USA, February 2007, pp. 57–64 (2007)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beat Signer
    • 1
  • Moira C. Norrie
    • 2
  1. 1.Vrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Institute for Information SystemsETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations