A discussion server creates a kind of document database, or docbase, that can store a wealth of semistructured information. But Internet messaging tools—mailreaders and newsreaders—use fixed-function message templates. In this part we explore how to build web docbases that aren’t bound by fixed templates. We’ll see how to activate the groupware features latent in web docbases, and we’ll develop a complete system to create, publish, and search them.

Principles of Internet software; definition of a docbase; varieties of docbases; translating a repository format into a delivery format; expressing groupware bindings through docbases.

The Docbase system; data-collection strategies; templatized data entry; dynamically configured forms; input validation; previewing records; storing records; managing metadata; message-based assignment forms.

Sequential indexes; HTML tabbed indexes; docbase maintenance strategies; building a metadata-driven navigational system; dynamic and static versions of the navigational system.

Docbase web Application Program Interfaces (APIs); Uniform Resource Locator (URL) namespace engineering; search-engine web APIs; multiple search engines and multiple docbases; using URL namespaces and doctitles; an abstract search-results structure; SWISH-E and Microsoft Index Server; field indexing with metadata; Mappers and Classifiers.

Get Practical Internet Groupware now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.