The Global Data Server (patent pending) is a web server enhanced by specific modules to handle publishing of real-time data. GDS provides access to information stored in “data cells.” Data cells behave similarly to a directory or link in a file system, or similarly to data.
Data cells are accessible via the Actual Data Image (ADI) module. All requests (e.g., read/write/create/delete) are initiated through a very simple, unified URL interface. Using ADI, data can be presented in a hierarchy: Directories group items together; variables hold the information; links can be used to tailor physical structures to specific needs. A “variable” type of data cell has several attributes, and each attribute has a specific “basic type.” Basic types include int, float, double, text and mime-encoded binary data (of various formats, including images, audio and video data).
GDS creates synergy between ADI and the HISTO module, so that archived data is easy to access. ADI maintains the data cell history: Every time a variable (i.e., one of its attributes) is modified, a time-stamped indicator is written to the archive. The HISTO module allows you to access the archived data within a specified time interval, and delivers the value to the caller. Through HISTO, the data gains a new dimension: History. As a result, the user can scroll through the most current value information - or access the history of value information. It also offers a built-in mailbox functionality.
The combination of HISTO with ADI offers a wide range of application – from general mailbox functionality, to blogging and online chat capabilities - and more.
The ALARM module provides management and interface functions to alarm and event lists. The lists may be maintained by the GDS itself or can be retrieved from external systems on demand.
GDS also offers a modular extension function for integration of legacy modules that require a special functionality, such as search capability based on geographic parameters.
To control access to data cells, GDS ties access rights to users and groups. For every cell, GDS maintains access rights for the owning user, the owning group and others, and supports access control lists as well. Every user accessing GDS needs to authenticate himself or herself with a user ID and a password. Access control is performed for each of the client’s operations.
All administrative operations are performed via the administration interface to GDS.
A consumer or end-user can access data on GDS from any IP(Internet Protocol)-capable desktop or mobile device, using MS Office or other applications to access and display data:
MS Office applications, for example, make it easy to copy a URL into a spreadsheet and thereby display the most current value in the system.
Every data cell used to publish data can be reached via a URL. Usually, complete data structures are published or mirrored on the GDS.
Using an Adaptor
An adaptor is a utility program, in any language, that reads data available in a specific structure (e.g. XML, CSV) and writes the specific values into data cells on the GDS. To update data cells, an adaptor may operate on an event-driven basis, or it can run 24/7 on a given schedule.
The interface for data published via GDS is simple: a URL for each data cell and its attributes. For corporate applications, this means live data can be accessed via GDS, which enhances company performance. Interesting opportunities for new applications arise by combining viewer capabilities with adaptor capabilities (e.g. chat applications).