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ActiveTM - A Topic Maps - Object Mapper

By murray - Posted on 18 October 2008

Currently, the most common way to programmatically access Topic Maps data is the use of a Topic Maps API, like TMAPI. Another approach, besides the use of a query language like TMQL, is the encapsulation of the Topic Maps related code in domain-specific model classes. This concept is similar to object-relational mapping (ORM) which encapsulates access to a relational database inside the model classes. These techniques decouple the data store specific code from the business logic. For ORM, there are several prevalent design patterns, most notable the Active Record pattern by Fowler. For Topic Maps, no such pattern is established. This paper introduces Active Topic Maps, a pattern for topic maps -- object mapping, the domain-specific language ActiveTMML to define such a mapping and a prototypical implementation, called ActiveTM. ActiveTM is based on Ruby Topic Maps and also supports the generation of web-formulars based on ActiveTMML definitions. This full-featured software stack greatly improves the development productivity of Topic Maps based portals compared to other solutions.