Nature and type of the database
In principle database is an organized collection of related data in today’s world typically in digital form. The data are typically organized to model relevant aspects of reality (for example the forest cover of a region) in a way that supports processes requiring this information.The term database is correctly applied to the data and their supporting data structures, and not to the relational database management system (RDBMS). Whereas, the term database system implies that the data is managed to some level of quality (measured in terms of accuracy, availability, usability, and resilience) and this in turn often implies the use of a general purpose relational database management system (RDBMS).
The utilization of databases is now so widespread that virtually every technology and product relies on databases and RDBMSs for its development and commercialization,or even may have such software embedded in it. Well known DBMSs include Oracle , IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Access, PostgreSQL, MySQL, and SQLite.The database and information system developed under WLRC is a multipurpose, user-friendly –wherever possible, online – that allows users to access reliable data, information, and knowledge of the available data on water, land, and socioeconomic conditions in the country and in the region at large.
The database is aimed at satisfying as many applications as possible, which typically makes it even more attractive than special-purpose databases developed one-time. As a result the developed database intended to meet various requirements, standards and principles of enterprise database that allows storing spatial and non-spatial data in the same container. Nevertheless, as the main objective of the resource centre is to collect, store, analyses and disseminate water and land related information, so the majority of the data stored in the database are more of water and land related information.
The database technology
In selecting the technologies, the current database and information system took in to consideration the following criteria:
- Free and Open Source Software
- Platform Independent State of the Art technology
- Have most of the features required
- Excellent community support
- Easy to use and strong security system
To meet the above criteria care was taken during the technology selection that are used to store the data, write the script and disseminate the information to the end users.
The database at the backend is organized with
- It is an object-relational database management system (ORDBMS) available for many platforms including Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X
- It is free and open source software.
- It Supports Spatial Data and non-spatial data in the same container
- Is an extension to the PostgreSQL Database system which allows GIS (Geographic Information Systems) objects to be stored in the database
- In effect PostGIS “spatially enables” the PostgreSQL server allowing it to be used as a backend spatial database for geographic information systems (GIS) much like ESRI’s SDE or Oracle’s Spatial extension
c) PgAdmin III
- It is the most popular and feature rich open source administration and development platform for PostgreSQL
- It is platform independent so it may be used on Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris and Windows platforms to manage PostgreSQL
- Designed to answer the needs of all users, from writing simple SQL queries to developing complex databases
- Supports all PostgreSQL features and makes administration easy.
- Used for administrating the database process.
a) Server Side Scripting Language
The server side script is written using Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP). It is a general-purpose scripting language that can be applied for various applications. The following shows specificity of PHP.
- Popular and widely used scripting language for web application
- Open Source
- Platform and web server independent (PHP scripts can run on many different operating systems and Web servers)
b) Front Side Scripting Language
jQuery is the library used to develop the web application. The reason to select this library includes among others
- It is free open source software
Apache and Apache Tomcat web servers are selected to run the web application and geoserver respectively. These servers are most popular, widely used, open source and platform independent.
The software architecture is based on Model-View-Control (MVC) which is to date, considered as an architectural pattern, used in software engineering. To implement MVC Architectural pattern in the database Zend Framework is employed. It is an open Source, object Oriented web application framework for PHP that provides an advanced MVC implementation.