Self-Maintaining Web Pages

M. Schrefl, M. Bernauer, E. Kapsammer, W. Retschitzegger, B. Pröll, T. Thalhammer
Schr03a (2003)
Information Systems - Databases: Their Creation, Management and Utilization, Vol. 28, No. 8, Dez. 2003, Elsevier Science B.V., ISSN 0306-4379, pp. 1005-1036, 2003.
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Data-intensive web-based information systems usually employ database systems to store the contents forming the basis for web page construction. Generating web pages on the fly, especially in peak times, can lead to severe performance problems. Thus, pre-generation of web pages has been suggested to be ready for prime time, allowing to reliably deliver several hundred pre-generated pages per second. Maintaining the consistency of these web pages with respect to changes within the database in an efficient way, however, represents a major challenge. This paper presents a novel approach for "self maintaining" web pages that is, different to previous approaches, characterized by a simple (and thus, easy to maintain) database-to-web page mapping and very low page re-generation costs. This is achieved by utilizing fragmentation techniques from distributed databases, by allocating parameterized fragments to web page classes (rather than individual fragments to single web pages), and using the Extensible Markup Language (XML) as an intermediate layer between the database and the final web pages.