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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1812/324

Authors: Rohiza Ahmad
Keywords: Generic database querying system
Issue Date: May-2009
Abstract: The introduction of mobile phones into the market has opened up a new platform for database access. With the ever increasing number of mobile phone users and mobile workers, the potential of providing such capability to mobile phones would be invaluable. However, at the moment, very few reported works which specifically addressed mobile phones as clients for remote database querying can be found in the literature. Thus, currently, the majority of mobile, database-related querying application systems are for “thicker” clients such as the notebooks and the PDAs; and, even for these devices, the systems are mostly application-specific. Furthermore, these applications are only capable of supporting limited numbers and types of possible queries which are mostly being predetermined by the application developers. Hence, in this thesis, the researcher advocates that the method used for formulat ing database queries on mobile phones, in particular, for querying relational databases, should be generic. In other words, the querying method is not designed for one specific database application in mind, but, the same method can also be applied to query other database applications as well. For achieving so, the method should cater for a complete range of query types and also handle unplanned queries. Therefore, a method that involves the construction of a novel query language was developed. This language is free-formed. It adopts the concept used by the universal relation in which query terms are treated as if they are a part of one big relation. Using this concept, there will be no requirement for specifying any intermediate joins. Moreover, the language also conforms to the relational completeness theory. Thus, it supports projection, selection, Cartesian product (including join), union, and set difference operations. Using multiple v research methodologies, several qualitative types of data collection activities were conducted throughout the research. The results from these data collections were used for defining as well as constructing the query formulation method. In order to evaluate the method, a prototype of a generic database querying system, named as MobileQ, which implements the method, was developed. This prototype which was developed in J2ME is for usage on WAP-enabled mobile phones. The prototype was tested for functionality and usability. Hence, after the completion of functionality tests, the prototype was verified to be performing as expected and therefore, ready for real user evaluation. Usability evaluation by users, on the other hand, produced results which show that the query formulation method introduced, is indeed effective, efficient and user satisfying for performing queries on mobile phones. Thus, this research is able to successfully achieve the stated objectives and contributes the following: (i) a generic database querying method that includes a novel database querying language, i.e., MobileQ language, along with the process involved in developing it, (ii) a generic database querying system prototype, i.e., MobileQ, along with the process involved in developing it, (iii) a method for conducting functionality tests for generic database querying systems on mobile phones, and (iv) a method as well as the results of conducting usability tests for generic database querying systems on mobile phones.
Description: Doctor of Philosophy
URI: http://dspace.fsktm.um.edu.my/handle/1812/324
Appears in Collections:PhD Theses : Computer Science

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