Use-Case: Query a CIM Repository
Author: Phil Bentley
Date: 25 April 2008
Associated Work Packages: WP4, WP5, WP6
Purpose: Describes the scenario whereby an end-user performs a custom query of the records in a CIM repository.
Actors: All actors.
This high-level use-case represents the scenario whereby an end-user wishes to perform a custom (i.e. user-defined) search through the set of CIM records contained in a CIM repository. This contrasts with the Browse a CIM Repository use-case in which the end-user browses the repository using pre-determined categories (faceted search). It is noted, however, that these two generic search mechanisms typically might be used in tandem. For instance, the end-user may use a faceted search in order to identify a subset of CIM records, and then perform a more specific search against one or more metadata fields that are not covered by the faceted search (almost certainly it will not be feasible for the METADATA solution to offer a faceted search across all CIM metadata elements).
Typical Course of Events
- The end-user navigates to the desired on-line CIM repository, possibly via the mechanism outlined in the Find a CIM Repository use-case.
- Optionally the end-user may perform a preliminary faceted search in order to narrow down the set of CIM records to query.
- The end-user uses the provided web interface controls (text fields, drop-down menus) to specify particular values for individual metadata fields (note: which metadata fields will be made available for direct query will need to be agreed).
- The CIM web site displays all or, if there are many matches, a subset of the CIM records that match the end-user's query. In the case of a subset of records, the web page includes familiar controls (e.g. << < > >>) for navigating through the full set.
- The end-user may then repeat step 3 as many times as required to progressively refine the records that match the combination of search constraints.
Alternative Course of Events
- If the CIM repository is unavailable a warning message should be displayed. If this is because of scheduled downtime then some indication should be given as to the expected time of resumption of service.
Clearly it is not going to be feasible to implement a METAFOR web interface that allows end-users to specify search criteria directly against each and every metadata element comprising the CIM. The underlying metadata schemas are simply too large and complex to do that. Consequently, we'll need to agree on the most popular metadata elements that end-users are likely to want to search against.
The keyword search use-case covers the simple scenario of performing a google-style keyword search of the CIM repository. This could be used to match against all metadata fields if desired.