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The XML Family
of Technologies
COVAX (Contemporary Culture Virtual Archive in XML)
The COVAX project aims to demonstrate the feasibility of integrating different
content from different platforms and databases in a common XML structure, and in a
distributed environment with a central engine and interface.The work was naturally split
into two main streams: technical work, including issues such as standards, procedures,
tools, technologies, programming, interfaces, and the search engine; and content work,
including data work, refinements, content validation and translations.
The prototype is based around a common site portal, which permits the redirection of
queries to the distributed databases.The prototype was built using the following utilities:
- An Apache Tomcat server;
- A proprietary underlying metasearch engine with Java components;
- Multilingual interfaces, created directly in XML source and then implemented in the
prototype interface;
- Java servlets and Web scripts created especially for COVAX;
- Graphical Web elements;
- Authentication mechanisms and logging facilities (N.B. these were temporarily dis-
abled during production to allow more reasonable performances);
- Two different XML database management systems: Tamino XML Server from
Software AG
, and TEXTML Server from Ixiasoft both of which may be beyond
the budgets of many cultural heritage organisations.
The decisions on which technologies to use were made by the technical project part-
ners, and the main reasons for their choice were the prior experience the partners had in
using them, and the success with which they had been applied to previous projects.
Other databases were also considered, but the partners felt that the native XML DBMS
used met the project's needs adequately. A complete list of the tools available such as
DTDs, databases, conversion tools, XML editors, XSL processors, parsers and validators,
both free and commercial would be long and not suitable for this type of case study,
but a select list of the main standards considered in the COVAX project follows:
COVAX: case study is based on a questionnaire completed by Luciana
Bordoni of Ente per le Nuove Tecnologie, l'Energia e l'Ambiente (Italy) in March 2003, and on
materials available on the Web.
Covax language selection
The Covax search portal (Italian)
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