|- Kris Jensen, VP of R&D, Stone Design Corp.|
Data storage and retrieval is an important part of most computer applications. In some cases, writing a document to a file is sufficient; in others, the information to be stored and retrieved is more complex, and your program may rely on a package of objects that implement data storage and retrieval for you.
What do you do if that set of objects is no longer available?
That happened with DataPhile, Stone Design's database management application. DataPhile was originally built using the Indexing Kit package of data storage and indexing objects, a package that was included with the original NeXTSTEP programming tools. The Indexing Kit was never problem-free at its higher levels, and, at its lower levels, was difficult to port to other platforms. As NeXTStep became OpenStep and migrated to other hardware, the Indexing Kit disappeared.
DataPhile needed a new backend. And, while we were researching the possibilities for replacing or porting the Indexing Kit, we also wanted to show that we could get the front-end up and running under OpenStep and Rhapsody. The solution: a quick and dirty backend built using OpenStep Foundation Kit objects. We did not, at this point, want to change DataPhile's data storage paradigm, nor did we want to build a functional and efficient btree package; we just wanted to "plug in" some quickly built objects that would provide the surface functionality that we had been using in the Indexing Kit. Efficiency, either in space or time, was not an issue; speed in implementing something that would allow us to demo our frontend under Rhapsody was our goal.