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STDB - The Science-Tools Database
STDB is the central component of our products, and is required. STDB provides the framework for all of the features and benefits of The BigSur System. STDB is implemented as a relational database schema and may be installed in any modern RDBMS. Extra capabilities are added to this core schema through use of our extensions, including GeoDb for Geographic applications and MedDb for medical applications, and we have several new ones in development. We can write one for your unique needs, or you can add one yourself, if you wish.
The Science-Tools Database is designed to manage Science computing, not just Earth Science data. The premise is that Science-Tools Science, as an activity, is immersed in the challenge of data-management, and database technology can be brought to bear on all its myriad problems, especially management of the meta-data -- the data about the data. Our view holds that in the main this meta-data is held in the brains of researchers and graduate students and it needs to be recorded and available in a common repository.
We believe that a Science-Tools System needs to be flexible and learn the paradigms, data-types and functions (processes) of researchers, rather than the other way around. And we believe that the system must be as 'light weight' and trim as is possible - the less there is to learn and mess with the better, so long as it is functional. The functionality domain is literally from data source (sensor) to end-users desk-top - the furthest "end to end" possible. Of course, many, maybe most users won't want or need to reach all the way to each end, but we feel it is imperative to handle such breadth so as to provide a true Science-Tools System.
These perspectives shape the design of STDB, along with some other modest requisites: STDB conforms to the FGDC meta-data standard, and uses constructs from the SAIF (Canadian) standard to fill in some areas where FGDC is weak. And finally, we feel that STDB should be able to be implemented on top of any modern Relational DataBase Management System (RDBMS). Therefore, its design must not make use of any constructs which are not available on most all RDBMS platforms.
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