IFS Unifies File, E-Mail Storage

 
 
By Timothy Dyck  |  Posted 2001-01-01 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Depending on which industry analyst or database executive eWeek Labs asks, we hear estimates that between 70 percent and 95 percent of the world's data is stored only in unstructured formats such as word processing documents, HTML files and e-mail.

Depending on which industry analyst or database executive eWeek Labs asks, we hear estimates that between 70 percent and 95 percent of the worlds data is stored only in unstructured formats such as word processing documents, HTML files and e-mail. This information is found outside of the cozy, well-managed confines of a database server and is hard to access, search and use—as well as to locate in the first place.

Database companies are keen on driving this number down, but Oracle Corp.s IFS (Internet File System), the key enhancement to its Oracle8i Release 3 database, has more of a chance than anything weve seen in years to turn rhetoric into reality.

IFS 1.1 has two HTTP protocols, its own built-in HTTP file browser interface for browser users, and WebDAV (Distributed Authoring and Versioning) for WebDAV-enabled applications. For example, we were able to save and load Microsoft Corp. Word 2000 files using WebDAV into IFS.

For file sharing, IFS supports Windows native file-sharing protocol SMB and FTP.

On the mail side, IFS contains a SMTP server and an Internet Messaging Access Protocol server.

This grand unification strategy really pays off: Every one of these protocols manipulates data in the same storage pool and uses the same authentication scheme and access control lists.

In addition, all data is searched using the same interface and consistent metadata such as the author of the information and the date the information was last modified. We were able to upload files using SMB, download them using HTTP, and search for content in both e-mail and documents in the same search.

 
 
 
 
Timothy Dyck is a Senior Analyst with eWEEK Labs. He has been testing and reviewing application server, database and middleware products and technologies for eWEEK since 1996. Prior to joining eWEEK, he worked at the LAN and WAN network operations center for a large telecommunications firm, in operating systems and development tools technical marketing for a large software company and in the IT department at a government agency. He has an honors bachelors degree of mathematics in computer science from the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, and a masters of arts degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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