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<!DOCTYPE html PUBliC "-//W3C//DTD html 4.0//EN">
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<html>
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<head>
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  <title>KNB Software: Metacat</title>
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  <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="@docrooturl@default.css">
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<body>
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<table class="tabledefault" width="100%">
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<tr>
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  <td rowspan="2"><img src="@docrooturl@images/KNBLogo.gif"></td>
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  <td colspan="7"><div class="title">Metacat: the flexible XML database</div></td>
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<tr>
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  <td><a href="@server@/" class="toollink"> KNB Home </a></td>
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  <td><a href="@server@/data.html" class="toollink"> Data </a></td>
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  <td><a href="@server@/people.html" class="toollink"> People </a></td>
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  <td><a href="@server@/informatics" class="toollink"> Informatics </a></td>
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  <td><a href="@server@/biodiversity" class="toollink"> Biocomplexity </a></td>
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  <td><a href="@server@/education" class="toollink"> Education </a></td>
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  <td><a href="@server@/software" class="toollink"> Software </a></td>
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<hr>
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<p>&nbsp;</p>
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<table class="tabledefault" width="100%">
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<tr>
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  <td class="tablehead" colspan="2"><p class="label">Metacat: the flexible 
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      XML Database</p></td>
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</tr>
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<tr>
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  <td>
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  <p><a href="@server@/software/download.html">Download Metacat</a></p>
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  <p><a href="./metacatinstall.html">Metacat Installation Instructions</a></p>
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  <p>Metacat is a flexible metadata database. It utilizes 
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     <a href="http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-xml" target="offline">XML</a> as a 
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     common syntax for representing the large number of metadata content
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     standards that are relevant to ecology.  Thus, Metacat is a generic XML
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     database that allows storage, query, and retrieval of arbitrary XML 
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     documents without prior knowledge of the XML schema.
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  </p>
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  <p>
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     The Metacat database models XML documents as a DOM tree, basically 
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     decomposing the nodes of the XML document and storing the node data
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     as a series of records in a relational database via a JDBC connection.
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     At this point, only Oracle and PostgreSQL have been tested as a backend databases, but
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     we have avoided RDBMS specific features in order to maintain portability
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     to other relational databases.
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  </p>
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  <p>
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     Metacat is implemented as a Java Servlet, and so communicates using basic
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     HTTP protocol semantics.  The figure below shows the basic structure of
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     the Metacat architecture. A well defined interface for inserting, 
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     updating, deleting, querying, and transforming (using XSL) XML documents
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     is presented.  We would like to add the DOM API as an alternative 
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     supported mechanism for interacting with Metacat, but have not yet
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     implemented this functionality.
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  </p>
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  <p><img src="./metacat.gif" /></p>
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  </td>
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</tr>
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<tr><td>&nbsp;</td></tr>
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<tr>
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  <td>The pages below provide more detailed descriptions of the 
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      various components of the Metacat Servlet. Take the Metacat Tour for 
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      a detailed look at the algorithms and implementation of Metacat.
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    <ul>
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      <li> <a href="./metacattour.html">A Tour of Metacat</a></li>
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      <li> <a href="./dev/api/index.html" target="offline">Javadoc API 
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           Documentation</a></li>
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    </ul>
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  </td>
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</tr>
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<tr><td>&nbsp;</td></tr>
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</table>
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<p class="contact">
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Web Contact: <a href="mailto:jones@nceas.ucsb.edu">jones@nceas.ucsb.edu</A>
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</p>
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</body>
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</html>