Active files: a mechanism for integrating legacy applications into distributed systems

Partha Dasgupta, Ayal Itzkovitz, Vijay Karamcheti

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite increasingly distributed internet information sources with diverse storage formats and access-control constraints, most of the end applications (e.g., filters and media players) that view and manipulate data from these sources operate against a traditional file-based interface. These legacy applications need to be rewritten to access remote sources, or need to rely upon ad hoc intermediary applications that aggregate the data into a passive file before executing the legacy application. This paper presents a simple, elegant, programmable method for allowing natural integration of legacy applications into distributed system infrastructures. The approach called active files, enables multiple information sources to be encapsulated as a local file that serves as their logical proxyw. This local file is accessed though a sentinel process, which automatically starts when the file is opened, aggregates data from multiple sources, and filters all access to and from the file. More importantly, the integration of active files into client applications is transparent: an active file is virtually indistinguishable from a regular file. Active files find a variety of applications in both distributed and non-distributed systems. We discuss active files, their semantics, their usage and their implementations in Windows NT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems
Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ, United States
PublisherIEEE
Pages680-690
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Event20th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems (ICDCS 2000) - Taipei, Taiwan
Duration: Apr 10 2000Apr 13 2000

Other

Other20th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems (ICDCS 2000)
CityTaipei, Taiwan
Period4/10/004/13/00

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture

Cite this

Dasgupta, P., Itzkovitz, A., & Karamcheti, V. (2000). Active files: a mechanism for integrating legacy applications into distributed systems. In Proceedings - International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems (pp. 680-690). Piscataway, NJ, United States: IEEE.