Software Architecture

Combining the various parts of the patented QuestFields technology, the QuestFields product provides an "end-to-end" solution that links individual fields on web pages to content residing in your own content sources, as depicted in the drawing below.

Supported content sources include:

  • SQL Databases
  • LDAP Directories
  • Search Engines
  • Static Files
  • Web Services
  • Legacy Systems
  • etc.

QuestFields act as a "black box": No custom programming or development is needed. Each QuestField acts as a highly efficient, independent mini client/server environment between an entry field and your database. The QuestFields architecture was designed for maximum performance and scalability, serving large numbers of simultaneous users who access huge remote databases while offering 24 by 7 availability and requiring virtually no maintenance.

The various parts of the QuestFields technology are explained below.

Architectural Overview

The following drawing shows the various parts of the QuestFields system architecture:

A QuestField consists of three integrated and highly optimized parts: QuestFields clients, the QuestFields Server, and the QuestObjects Protocol.

  1. QuestFields Clients
    QuestFields clients (usually referred to as "QuestFields") are revolutionary user interface objects that can be quickly and easily integrated into any web browser and handheld wireless device application. The QuestFields client is commonly referred to as a QuestField because it is the most visible component of the QuestFields client/server product and because the client looks and behaves very much like the data input fields used in sophisticated software applications. Using QuestFields can quickly and dramatically improve the performance and usability of any HTML web page because the QuestFields technology blends easily and transparently into the web browser environment. There is no need to change the original application’s source code or page layout when replacing existing input elements with QuestFields. Major features of QuestFields include:
    • Amazingly easy integration into existing and new web applications
    • Fully reusable standardized components
    • Simple configuration
    • CSS styling
    • Light weight
    • Automatic field dependencies
    • Ubiquitous (compatible with the vast majority of browsers)
    • Interchangeable (client technology independent, e.g. AJAX or Flash)
  2. The QuestFields Server
    Custom designed to work hand-in-hand with QuestFields, the QuestFields Server is a powerful, standards-compliant “black box” enterprise server application that provides up to millions of simultaneous users with highly efficient, virtually instantaneous access to data from large remote databases, directories or content sources. Each type of data is provided through a secure “content channel” that accesses one or more underlying databases, files, or directories using standard protocols (such as SQL and LDAP) or custom “Content Access Modules” for your search engine, web services, or legacy data. The QuestFields Server has many powerful built-in features, such as:
    • Advanced request management
    • User session management
    • Unified query cache
    • Sub query merging
    • Content channel dependencies
    • Load balancing
    • Content Access Modules for any content source
    • Automatic database fail-over
    • Powerful indexer with blazingly fast retrieval engine
    • QuestFields Server runs in any enterprise server environment
    • Compatible with any server application platform (J2EE, ASP.NET, LAMP, ColdFusion, etc.)
    • Low application footprint (runs alongside other server processes)
  3. The QuestObjects Protocol
    A robust and highly efficient new protocol, called the QuestObjects Protocol ("QOP"), has been developed to enable client-side QuestFields to communicate over the Internet with the QuestFields Server. The protocol manages the interaction between very large numbers of simultaneous QuestField users and any number of QuestFields Servers. By only transmitting over the network what the user needs to see, the QOP ensures high responsiveness while reducing network load significantly. Because the QOP uses the same network infrastructure that is used by standard web pages and because its client-server messaging is based entirely on web standards, the protocol is virtually transparent to users and network administrators alike and is compliant with all existing Internet and security standards. Major features include:
    • Standards-based XML over HTTP
    • Support SSL
    • Works on any port (including port 80)
    • Supports cross-domain communications through Flash
    • Works with any web server
    • Supports software and hardware load balancers
    • Does not require Cookies

The QuestFields technology is protected by U.S. patent No. 7,752,326. Additional U.S. and international patents are pending on the QuestFields technology, product, and protocol, the first of which date back to 2001. For a more detailed description of the QuestFields technology, please download a copy of the Introductory White Paper.

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