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DBPrism at SourceForge
Built with Cocoon2
DBPrism Servlet Engine
What is DBPrism?

DBPrism is an open source framework to generate dynamic XML from a database. Unlike other technologies, such as Apache XSP or Oracle XSQL servlet , DBPrism generates the dynamic XML inside the database, transforming it into an active database. An active database means that you use the database engine not only to execute SQL statements, but to directly return a complex XML representation of the data stored inside as well.

NoteOracle XSQL and Apache XSP, can call Stored Procedures with <xsql:include-owa> tag or with the stored procedure taglib, but his primary design suggest to write the application logic in the middle tier. 99% of the applications made with these technologies do not use stored procedures.

How does it work?

DBPrism is a servlet engine that works in two different modes: as a standalone servlet, or plugged into the Cocoon publishing framework. In the first mode, DBPrism works like the PLSQL Cartridge of Oracle Web Server . Plugged into the Cocoon framework , DBPrism works as a DB Generator, generating dynamic XML from a database.

Backward compatibilty for Oracle Applications

The main motivation to work like the PLSQL Cartridge of Oracle Web Server is to allow old technologies to coexist with new ones, helping in the migration path. Using DBPrism it is possible to run applications made to work with Oracle Web Server ( OWS ) in the same box or the latest Oracle Internet Application Server ( IAS ) mod_plsql without any modifications.
This kind of application includes applications designed with Oracle Designer - Web Server Generator or Oracle Web DB , and standalone applications made using the PLSQL HTP toolkit (Html Toolkit Procedures is group of related procedures or functions written in PLSQL to make application for the Oracle Web Server architecture). For further information on how these applications work, refer to the developer's manuals of these products.

Cocoon integration

DBPrism plugged into the Apache Cocoon framework is a new way for making Internet applications with technologies as XML and XSLT. Cocoon is a presentation framework based on servlet technology, so it can run in any web server supporting servlet technology. As a presentation framework it has the responsibility for serving pages requested by the user, applying first styles as the page needs and transforming static or dynamic XML content into HTML. Cocoon is also able to perform more sophisticated formatting, such as XSL:FO rendering on PDF, WML formatting for WAP-enabled devices, or direct XML serving to XML and XSL aware clients. The Cocoon project aims to change the way web information is created, rendered, and served by completely separating document content, style, and logic.
DBPrism is plugged into the Cocoon framework for the XML creation step. It then moves the logic to the database, closely allied to the data itself. The most important characteristic of DBPrism is that unlike in other technologies, the logic of the application resides in the database as a stored procedure. The stored procedure could be written in the proprietary language or in Java. Writing stored procedure in Java with a JDBC or SQLJ call guarantees portability across different database vendors because there is a standard defined for this purpose.

Supported Databases

DBPrism already includes support for Oracle databases, but its design allows developers to write adapters to plug into many other kinds of databases.

Why everyone should use Cocoon with DBPrism for XML Web Development
  • Scalability, a PLSQL or Java stored procedure is scalable up to 1000 or more concurrent sessions without problems of memory leaks, or deadlock.
  • Better separation of concerns, logic in database side, presentation in a middle tier (web server).
  • Security, when the user executes a stored procedure, then s/he passes to the security level of the database. This security assets are declarative not programmatically, and then safer.
  • Development tools, if the programmer writes, for example, a Java stored procedure, s/he could use an integrated development tool to online debug the application.
  • Maintainability, if a programmer makes a change in any table of the application, the integrated dependency manager of the database automatically invalidates the stored procedures depending on this table.
  • Quick deployment, in a big application a deployment stage tends to be difficult, with stored procedures it is very easy. You only have to make an export and import of the application schema.
  • Automatic development tools, like Oracle Designer/Web Server generator. With little work it is possible to make an automated generator that takes logic information from a central repository and generates the stored procedures code.
  • Reuse of developer skills, many companies have developers with a lot of experience in Oracle PLSQL. With little training these people will be able to develop an application using DBPrism and the XTP toolkit (similar to htp toolkit of OWS).

Why everyone should upgrade to DBPrism from OWS, OAS, Web DB or mod_plsql
  • It's free.
  • It's J2EE compliant.
  • Parameters order is not relevant.
  • Supports UTF-8 database encoding.
  • Supports Oracle 7, 8, 8i and Lite.
  • You don't need to change the code of your packages.
  • You can simply set character encoding of html output from PL/SQL procedure.
  • Go to the XML world, with dynamic content generation using DB Generator for the Cocoon Framework of XML Apache Project.
  • Tested with OWS 3.x, OAS 4.x, Web DB and IAS 1.0 toolkits
  • Support for Java Stored Procedures which permits write XML Application with sameless integreation between Oracle 8i and Oracle Lite 4.0.
  • Includes Content Management System, based on Oracle CMS. CMS is the software that built this site.

On the Web

Building Applications with less code , MetaBOX and declarative programing.

This article shows how to build database Web applications using Oracle, two open-source frameworks (DBPrism/Cocoon), and MetaBOX software. Download Full Print Edition


Note".. one of the most astonishing success stories of Java, Oracle and Open Source co-operation. This is DBPrism (or the project formerly known as OWSKiller). Originally created by Marcelo F. Ochoa to ride upon the Apache JServ web server system (before iAS itself got there), DBPrism is a Java servlet system which can be used to emulate the old Oracle Web Application Server PL/SQL Cartridge, as well as now tackling the latest Oracle Internet Application Server products, in conjunction with mod_plsql. DBPrism is also a fully open-sourced project, with Apache style licensing. Primarily interacting with Oracle PL/SQL to drive web output, DBPrism also enables Oracle8i Java Stored Procedures for web output. The most exciting avenue for DBPrism is perhaps the Oracle database support it provides for the XML-based Cocoon CMS (Content Management System). Cocoon is another Open Source project from the Java Apache Project. DBPrism is a triumph..."

Andy Duncan: Chapter 8 of the book Oracle & Open Source by Andy Duncan & Sean Hull at O'Reilly.

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