The Strudel system applies concepts from database management systems to the process of building Web sites. Strudel's key idea is separating the management of the site's data, the creation and management of the site's structure, and the visual presentation of the site's pages. First, the site builder creates a uniform model of all data available at the site. Second, the builder uses this model to declaratively define the Web site's structure by applying a "site-definition query" to the underlying data. The result of evaluating this query is a "site graph", which represents both the site's content and structure. Third, the builder specifies the visual presentation of pages in Strudel's HTML-template language. The data model underlying Strudel is a semi-structured model of labeled directed graphs. We describe Strudel's key characteristics, report on our experiences using Strudel, and present the technical problems that arose from our experience. We describe our experience constructing several Web sites with Strudel and discuss the impact of potential users' requirements on Strudel's design. We address two main questions: (1) when does a declarative specification of site structure provide significant benefits, and (2) what are the main advantages provided by the semi-structured data model.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Information Systems