A Visual Query System for the Specification and Scientific Analysis of Continual Queries
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The lack of a facility that would allow nonprogrammers to easily formulate temporal ad hoc analyses over a network of heterogeneous, constantly-updated data sources has been a significant impediment to research, particularly in the scientific community. In this paper we describe WebFormulate, an Internet-based system which facilitates the development of analyses using information obtained from databases on the Internet. The main distinction between this system and existing Internet facilities to retrieve information and assimilate it into computations is that WebFormulate provides the necessary facilities to perform continual queries, developing and maintaining dynamic links such that computations and reports automatically maintain themselves. A further distinction is that this system is specifically designed for users of spreadsheet-level ability, rather than professional programmers.