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Netmark applications



An Advanced XML Database Integration Technique for Managing Unstructured Documents

NASA’s Ames Research Center offers for license its NETMARK software, a unique innovation designed to seamlessly integrate structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data and documents across enterprise organizations. Originally developed to integrate the vast quantities of complex, heterogeneous documents existing within NASA, this schema-less integration technique and framework offers a highly scalable, open enterprise database architecture that eliminates or reduces the need for database design and administration, and converts information from a wide range of data types into a single, universal data type for storage, retrieval, and content- and context-sensitive query and search. A production-ready, enterprise-level application, NETMARK rapidly assimilates and retrieves gigabytes of disparate information and can be easily integrated with existing applications as well as accommodate new data formats—fitting into the legacy data network while growing with evolving technologies and business practices.

For more information about this licensing/development opportunity, please contact:

Technology Partnerships Office
NASA's Ames Research Center


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  • Economical: Eliminates the need to design, develop, and maintain expensive, highly structured relational databases, lowering both software and administrative costs
  • Flexible: Combines information from heterogeneous structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data sources, and enables easy and unstructured data queries
  • Adaptable: Enables query-based composition of Microsoft¨ Office documents, Macromedia¨ Flash¨ applications, HTML Web pages, and others, and runs queries on Flash, Perl, C, C++, Java, Visual Basic, and other environments that support http and https protocols
  • Secure: Limits query results to the information that users and groups have permission to access
  • Custom: Includes configurable databanks for tailored query workflows in diverse applications
  • User-friendly: Offers toolbars for Microsoft Internet Explorer and HTML, and is built on W3C international standards, including HTTP, WebDAV, XML, XSL, and XSLT

Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.
Macromedia and Flash are registered trademarks of Macromedia, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries.

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  • Enterprise knowledge management applications
  • Document and content management systems
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Technology Details

How it works

NETMARK integration technique flowchart

NETMARK's schema-less integration technique converts information from many different data types into a universal data type for unprecedented information assimilation and retrieval across the enterprise.

NETMARK takes advantage of an object-relational model and the eXtensible Markup Language (XML) standard, along with an open, extensible database framework to dynamically generate arbitrary schema stored within relational databases and an object-relational database management system (DBMS). NETMARK maps XML-encoded information into a true data model by employing a customizable data type definition structure, defined by an SGML parser to model the hierarchical structure of XML data regardless of any particular XML document schema representation.

By achieving a true XML data model, NEMARK can help enterprise organizations make better use of the information they need to make business decisions by converting Web pages, text documents, PDF files, spreadsheets, presentations, and other document types into a single, universal data type, then storing it in an object-relational database. Users can query this database with searches that are based on content or contextual associations. Query results then can be composed into different data types, including presentations, spreadsheets, and text documents, enabling rapid reuse of information and broadening the scope of data from which users can gain knowledge and make decisions.

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Why it is better

Most traditional document management systems do not provide an easy and efficient mechanism to store, manage, and query relevant information from heterogeneous and complex data types. To do so, DBMSs need a standard for common data and exchange, to take advantage of the object-relational (OR) model defined within an object-relational database management system (ORDBMS). The industry standard, XML, places structure within documents. However, traditional OR mapping from XML to relational database schema models the data within XML documents as a tree of objects that are specific to the data in the documents. This traditional mapping model is limited because the object tree structure is different for each set of XML documents. In contrast, NETMARK’s SGML parser models the documents themselves, and its object tree structure is the same for all XML documents, providing independence of any particular XML document schemas.

In addition, NETMARK handles more than just XML, also offering an SGML-enabled, open enterprise database framework, enabling dynamic schema representation and generation without requiring tedious and cumbersome SQL scripts or experienced database administrators, saving time, administrative costs, and resources.

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System requirements

NETMARK is simple to install and uses the standard Apache HTTD modules, and command-line indexing commands. Its WebDAV and query interfaces are standard HTTP, and it integrates cleanly with SSL, access control, and authentication modules in Apache.

  • Apache HTTPD 2.0 or 2.2 with mod_dav and mod_dav_fs modules enabled.
  • MySQL 5.1
  • GCC/Autoconf/Make

Frequently Asked Questions

How does NETMARK manage its data?

Data is managed via the WebDAV protocol, a standardized set of HTTP methods. NETMARK leverages a simple, two-table MySQL or Oracle database. No RDBMS knowledge or DBA skills are required to sustain NETMARK.

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How do you query a NETMARK database?

Connections to the NETMARK database can be made using JavaScript, C, Java, or any other HTTP-capable client, or you can drag-and-drop from your desktop environment for automatic indexing and immediate retrieval and queries.

Queries are made using a REST interface (HTTP GET request/response) for retrieval and contextual re-composition of data. The NETMARK query grammar is human-readable.

Complex and compound queries can be made by typing into your Location box of your browser. Results are human-readable and programmer-friendly, using either XML or tab-delimited text formats. 

You can utilize the full-text indexing capabilities included with MySQL database for powerful full-text queries.

NETMARK enables you to mix full text, equality, and relational operators in high-performance queries.

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What language(s) is NETMARK written in?

NETMARK is written in high-performance, simple C code for scalability and configurability.

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What does the NETMARK architecture look like?

NETMARK architecture

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NASA has secured a patent for its NETMARK software: U.S. Patent No. 6,968,338(link opens new browser window) .

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Publications and Awards


Press Releases

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Commercial Opportunity

This technology is part of NASA’s Innovative Partnerships Program, which seeks to transfer technology into and out of NASA to benefit the space program and U.S. industry. NASA invites companies to inquire about the licensing possibilities for the NETMARK technology (ARC-14662-1, ARC-15098-1, ARC-15089-1, and ARC-15370-1) for commercial applications.

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For More Information

For more information about this licensing/development opportunity, please contact:

Technology Partnerships Office
NASA's Ames Research Center

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This technology is owned by NASA's Ames Research Center
ARC-14662 (AR-0017)