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New England Database Society

Friday, March 11, 2011

sponsored by Netezza Corporation

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   Rapid development of data-driven Web 2.0 applications

 Yannis Papakonstantinou 
University of California at San Diego

Friday, March 11, 2011, 4PM
Volen 101, Brandeis University

(preceded by a wine and cheese reception at 3:00 pm, and followed by dinner at 6:00 pm)


Web and mobile application development is plagued by frictions in the applications' architecture. Developers write fundamentally unnecessary "plumbing" code to integrate and coordinate application state that resides on multiple sub-systems of the architecture, and is accessed using different languages (very typically SQL at the database server, HTML & Javascript at the browser, Java or other programming languages at the application server). The emergence of Ajax, Flash and Silverlight application pages has further complicated the coordination of the server state with the page state, which now also includes powerful stateful Javascript components such as maps and calendars.

Towards the solution of these problems FORWARD is a declarative, data-centric web application rapid development framework and app2you is a Do-It-Yourself application-building environment. The underlying philosophy is that (very) easy things should be (very) easy, while difficult things should be possible.

FORWARD's cornerstones are (i) the unified application state virtual database, which enables modeling the entire application state in an extension of SQL, named SQL++, (ii) specification of Ajax pages as essentially rendered views over the unified application state, which are automatically incrementally maintained in response to application state changes. Based on these two cornerstones, the developer easily creates location-transparent, declarative page and program specifications, that are optimized and evaluated by the FORWARD interpreter.

app2you goes a step further that FORWARD: It empowers both programmers and non-programmer business process owners to rapidly and cheaply specify the page and program configurations by manipulating visible aspects of it or by responding to straightforward configuration questions.

A first version of app2you and FORWARD has been commercialized by and has delivered on its premise in forms-based applications and analytics/reports-based applications.

Speaker's Bio:

Yannis Papakonstantinou is a professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California, San Diego and the founder of His research is in the intersection of database and web technologies. Yannis has published over eighty research articles in scientific conferences and journals, given tutorials at major conferences, and served on journal editorial boards and program committees for numerous international conferences and symposiums. In 1998, Yannis received the NSF CAREER award. In 2000 Yannis founded Enosys Software, which built one of the first generally available distributed XQuery processors, along with software for XML-based integration of distributed sources, and was sold in 2003 to BEA Systems. Yannis holds a Diploma of Electrical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens and MS and Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University  (1997).

Maintained by Olga Papaemmanouil olga AT