XML Project Specification and Design Document Research Proposal

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XML Project Specification and Design Document

Project Specification and Design Report


XML has emerged as the globally adopted standard for Internet-based integration of systems and processes and has made the development of knowledge-sharing networks possible (Choi, Wong, 2009)(Ives, Halevy, Weld, 2009). As the amount of transactions, both commercial and knowledge-based continues to exponentially increase, XML performance is hitting a plateau however. Governed by Web browsers and applications that in effect throttle back the bandwidth potential of XML, page-based browser technologies including HTML and its many variants are significantly reducing the performance of XML (Yang, Liao, Fang, 2007). The AJAX programming standard however has shown significantly potential for increasing the performance of applications delivered via XML integration (Yang, Liao, Fang, 2007) due to XML's ability to selectively replicate content based on user requests within applications (Smullen, Smullen, 2009).

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Optimizing XML network performance through the use of structural recursion of query languages (Robertson, Saxton, Van Gucht, Vansummeren, 2009), the development of AJAX server optimization predominantly of open source Web Application Servers (Smullen, Smullen, 2009) and the development of data harmonization (Wusteman, O'hlceadha, 2006) and advanced data query models (Niemi, Nappila, Jarvelin, 2009) show the wide spectrum of approaches being investigated to increase application performance. Optimizing XML network performance specifically for AJAX application optimization is in its nascent stages (Yang, Liao, Fang, 2007) and more robust research is required to better define XML optimization for data- and query intensive AJAX applications (Wusteman, O'hlceadha, 2006).

Research Proposal on XML Project Specification and Design Document Project Assignment

The performance variations between XML-based integration and TCP/IP-configured networks specifically using DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) and static IP address definitions to measure the performance of AJAX applications is the focus on this research project. Performance increases or degradation based on the configuration of TCP/IP vs. XML networks attributable to AJAX programming constraints including the use of XSLT style sheets, database queries using SQL-based command launched within an AJAX application, and the selective refresh of data elements in the browser need to be measured to define with greater precision how XML can be optimized to increase AJAX application performance. Variations in programming interpretations of AJAX through the use of Ruby on Rails development has been treated as a standardized variable in AJAX performance analysis (Bachle, Kirchberg, 2007). That assumption will also be used in this analysis as well. Optimizing XML performance will also be predicated on AJAX application development incorporating search optimization (Wusteman, O'hlceadha, 2006) and AJAX framework validation (Serrano, Aroztegi, 2007).

The following are the deliverables for this research project.

Development and execution of test methodology to evaluate cached vs. non-cached performance of the XMLHTTPObject over TCP/IP and XML-based networks. This methodology will define the series of constraints and then seek to measure performance of the XMLHTTPObject as a metric of cached vs. non-cached SQL-based transaction traffic over a range of resource loads on the network.

Creation and testing of XML-based network of four Web Application Servers replicating traffic comparable to a distributed order management system running SQL queries over a randomized set of load conditions. The intent of this step in the analysis is to replicate the randomized constraints SQL-based queries running on XML networks would encounter in a typical distributed order management system configuration. AJAX constraint-based programming using Ruby on Rails Rapid Application Development (RAD) will be used for standardizing the AJAX smaller applications or Widgets produced (Viswanathan, 2008).

Prototype of the AJAX Application Widgets. The development of an AJAX-based application widget that has sufficient levels of functionality to replicate database queries is in the evaluation stages and will be an objective of the study. These Widgets will specifically designed to replicate the performance of distributed order management, order capture and order entry applications found in multichannel management environments.

XSLT Normalization. As XSLT Style Sheets are predominantly used for the customization of XML-based applications. They can significantly reduce the performance of XML-based queries over networks. Normalization of XSLT effects on XML application performance is required to evaluate the effects of XML network and AJAX application optimization.

Constraint-based modeling of XML network performance varying configuration options. The use of a constraint-based logic configurator to define XML network performance options will be attempted, relying on rules-based configuration logic to attain constraint-based optimization outcomes which will be used as recommendations.

Literature survey

XML is now the de facto communications protocol used globally for integrating Web-based applications and in conjunction with the AJAX programming language, been credited with the adoption of Web 2.0 design principles (O'Reilly, 2006). Optimization strategies for XML have centered on network performance, specifically in managing search and queries (Niemi, Nappila, Jarvelin, 2009) and the development of optimized tree structures to support heuristic and simulation modeling of optimal XML network branding and performance (Robertson, Saxton, Van Gucht, Vansummeren, 2009). All of these factors however have not specifically addressed the issue of network-bound data optimization (Ives, Halevy, Weld, 2009) and more importantly the quantification of AJAX performance over XML relative to HTML and DHTML-based query platforms and applications (Yang, Liao, Fang, 2007).

Give the performance gains to this point with AJAX programming over XML networks (Ives, Halevy, Weld, 2009) and the combining of Web 2.0 design criteria being integrated into applications (O'Reilly, 2006) there has been a resulting groundswell of interest in social networking applications and the rapid global adoption of social networks including Facebook, Friendfeed, LinkedIn, Twitter, MySpace and others. This dynamic of Web 2.0-based application growth most visible in social networks is being fueled by the combination of increasing AJAX programming framework stability and extensibility and optimization of XML and XSLT style sheets for rapid development and customization. Where Web 1.0 applications were created in HTML and often treated the page as the programming construct, AJAX isolates specific attributes and components on a page, only refreshing or updating the changed elements.

The use of caching has become pervasive in AJAX-based applications as this approach to programming concentrates on anticipating data the user will need and delivering it to the browsing session in the background. The most prevalent form of caching used in AJAX programming is the XMLHTTPObject which is often used in image-based and data rich applications including graphics and imagery. Caching has also been used in the context of anticipating search engine results, a technique Google uses often to anticipate search queries by users who have logged in and have history captured for their accounts. This approach to caching is also used in push-based AJAX-based programming models to further increase efficiency and performance. AJAX's continual improvements in caching, transport performance over XML when compared to HTML in search-based and push-based application models has not included transaction-based analysis. The intent of this proposal is to address this area of AJAX performance over XML not discussed in previous research. Inherent in collaborative, workflow-based applications is also the need for managing structural recursion of data sets and the ability to navigate open source libraries, ontologies and databases as well. In short, XML has enabled the developed of enterprise-wide collaborative, workflow-based applications that need to replicate the use of SQL-derived data to fully model order capture systems online. Extrapolating the results of this study also has implications for how e-commerce systems' performance will be impacted by the performance of AJAX-based applications on XML networks. The scalability aspects of XML and the role of XSLT style styles as enabler or detractors of overall application performance is also evaluated from the standpoint of advanced query management in terms of nested, more complex queries that traverse ontologies through the use of XSLT style sheet front-ends.

A significant gap exists in this area of research however. While structural recursion of query languages has yielded insights into how to optimized XML performance in distributed application scenarios (Robertson, Saxton, Van Gucht, Vansummeren, 2009) there is a dearth of research on how the combined optimization of XML network performance and AJAX application development can significantly streamline performance of the latter. As AJAX applications are still considered a bottleneck even when open source Web Application Servers are optimized (Smullen, Smullen, 2009) there still exists significant opportunity for improvement of the results obtained thus far on optimization.

A second approach of seeking to optimize data harmonization (Wusteman, O'hlceadha, 2006) provides statistically significant results over queries launched in randomized sizes and time frames, yet does not provide a basis for evaluating the development of optimized XML and AJAX programming and configuration standards. This study and others like it that focus on query optimization (Niemi, Nappila, Jarvelin, 2009) fails to provide insights into the broader aspects of XML optimization for AJAX applications.

The field of study regarding XML network optimization for AJAX performance, and the reciprocal research of AJAX optimization in conjunction with XML performance evaluations and improvement is nascent. There have been studies comparing HTML vs. AJAX optimization over XML (Yang, Liao, Fang, 2007) and more robust research is required to better define XML optimization for data- and query intensive AJAX applications. It is the intent of this study to make significant contributions to this area of knowledge regarding XML network optimization for AJAX performance increases.

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