University of Twente Student Theses


Spatial Database Consistency in Web Application Frameworks: Case Study Django

Kipkemei, Adam (2010) Spatial Database Consistency in Web Application Frameworks: Case Study Django.

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Abstract:Web application frameworks promote the building of dynamic web applications based on the model-view-controller (MVC) architecture. The MVC architectural principle ensures that, a created web application complies with the ‘Don’t Repeat Yourself’ (DRY) principle, is loosely coupled, is reusable, and is created in a rapid and clean manner. Web applications maintain implicit and explicit constraints either, fully in the application layer or partly in the database and application layer. Therefore, most web application frameworks compromise spatial database consistency because they lack sufficient capability to define explicit validation constraints in the application layer. Moreover, when constraints are maintained in the application layer, then a database shared by multiple applications is not exposed to the same validation standards. This is because different applications define the validation rules differently in their respective application layers, hence allowing flawed data to enter into the database. We investigated how web application frameworks are designed with regard to the extent at which spatial database consistency is maintained. After identifying the factors that influence spatial database consistency, we developed a constraint design method which was implemented using Django web application framework with GeoDjango. The constraints design method took into consideration the philosophy of maintaining constraints within the database layer and calling them into the web application using a Remote Procedure Call API, and observing taxonomic granularity of constraints during the design of integrity-preserving functions and data validation process. The design method also provide for the creation of update functions that call and perform the integrity-preserving functions. In addition, smart functions that do pre-processing can be embedded inside the update functions to add meaning to the stored data. We tested the design method and prototype design architecture using the Amazonian avian distribution data. Therefore, the prototype and constraint design method aims at maintaining spatial database consistency in web application frameworks. Keywords Django, spatial web application frameworks, spatial database consistency, constraints, GeoDjango, triggers, validation
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
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