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<!DOCTYPE html PUBliC "-//W3C//DTD html 4.0//EN">
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  <title>KNB Software Development Guide: Metacat</title>
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<table class="tabledefault" width="100%">
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<tr>
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  <td rowspan="2"><img src="./images/KNBLogo.gif"></td>
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  <td colspan="7"><div class="title">KNB Software Development Guide: Metacat</div></td>
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<p>&nbsp;</p>
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<table class="tabledefault" width="100%">
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  <td class="tablehead" colspan="2"><p class="label">Metacat Development Guide</p></td>
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  <td>
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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.  For a user level
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     overview of Metacat, please visit the 
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     <a href="../user/metacattour.html">Metacat Tour</a> documentation.
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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 back end databases, 
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     but 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="../user/metacat.gif" /></p>
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  </td>
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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 development and architecture subjects involved in Metacat.
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    <ul>
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      <li> Metacat developement hardware requirements </li>
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      <li> Metacat Architecture </li>
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      <li> Setting up a Metacat Eclipse project </li>
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      <li> <a href="./testmetacat.html">Testing Metacat</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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<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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