Academia Sinica Department of Information Technology Services

Academic Database Application

Overview

The mission of this service is focused on three aspects. The first is developing software tools, represented by the database application framework DORE and the text retrieval tool Handy (瀚典全文檢索系統) for creating Scripta Sinica (漢籍電子文獻) – the text databases of ancient Chinese literature. The second is using DORE to develop academic database applications, such as Native Plants in Taiwan and the Taiwan Sotokufu Archive (台灣總督府檔案). The third is to build special applications for the needs of humanity and sociology research without applying tools, such as the Mapping of Chinese and Western Calendars (兩千年中西曆轉換) and the Household Registers during the Japanese Period (日治時期戶籍資料庫) for the Institute of Ethnology. The major strategy is to develop DORE to fulfill the requirements of most applications, and reduce long-term maintenance cost.

  • Scripta Sinica and Handy

    In 1984, in order to establish Scripta Sinica, the Department of Information Technology Services began working on Chinese text retrieval technology. Handy became one of the earliest text retrieval engines in Taiwan, and has been continuously used and improved until today. It counts on a simple markup to construct text databases for Chinese books. Such database contains a hierarchical catalog and page numbers of the original book. Users can locate text according to the catalog or page numbers; they can also browse by paragraph or by page. A search conditions may be a single keyword or consist of multiple keywords. The search scope may be limited to certain parts via the catalog. The size of a search result is unlimited in hopes of satisfying professional users.

    The Scripta Sinica has been set up by a few institutes in Academia Sinica. The Institute of History and Philology is the earliest one and perhaps the most well-known one. The Scripta Sinica includes the whole Twenty-five Histories (廿五史 ), the whole Thirteen Classics (阮刻十三經), nearly 39 million words on Taiwan histories, 10 million words on Taisho Tripitaka. (大正藏) and other ancient books. Accumulating nearly 370 million words, it is by far one of the most important resources of ancient Chinese literature on the internet.

  • DORE

    DORE is an application framework to produce database applications fast. It is web based, generic database schema driven and DBMS neutral. It provides rich facilities on a highly integrated level. Programmers can code more briefly, clearly, intuitively and conceptually. It handles up to tens of tables at the same time, ensuring security, data integrity and efficiency. DORE has high flexibility for schema and interface variations, so the maintainability of applications is outstanding.

    Four common used types of web pages are supported.

    • Management (CRUD) page: Create, retrieve, update and delete records from various tables by filling in forms.
    • Query page: Set search conditions and proceed with “Query by example”.
    • List page: List query results page by page.
    • Report page: Show detailed information of each query result.

DORE started in 2001 and is quite matured now. In recent years, nearly all new database applications done by the Department of Information Technology Services were made with DORE. It has been used to create at least fourteen sophisticated applications in the National Digital Archive Project. It also fits MIS and other database applications. A few examples in academic research and digital archives are listed below:

  • Native Plants in Taiwan
  • Taiwan Sotokufu Archive
  • Digital Archives of Formosan Aborigines
    The Institute of Ethnology in Academia Sinica preserves lots of cultural relics, documents, and video and audio data on Taiwan's aborigines. Such objects have been divided into fourteen categories and digitalized. The database applications have been made to create and search metadata and digitalized forms of these objects.
  • Digital Archives of Academia Historica and Taiwan Historica
    An integrated retrieval system for archives of the National Government and Resource Committee and historical relics of Presidents Chiang Kai-shek and Chiang Ching-kuo was constructed, and also the metadata creation systems for these objects.
  • Digital Archives of Taiwan Historica
    Since the archives of Taiwan Sotokufu, Monopoly Bureau (專賣局), Taiwan Province Government and the Department of Land have been digitalized, therefore, the metadata creation systems and integrated retrieval system were established.
  • Chinese Corpora
    The Institute of Philology and Institute of Information Science created the corpora. Collection of lexicon aimed for different subjects and structures, and has significant samples taken from various Chinese documents. The Department of Information Technology Services developed the programs for language analysis.
  • Mapping of Chinese and Western Calendars
    Covering a range from A.D. 1 (Western Han, Ping Di, the 1 st year of Yuanshi) to A.D. 2000 (Min Guo 89), it is a Chinese Western calendar conversion program that provides the most comprehensive information. This system can convert dates to information such as Chinese dynasties, emperors, era names, year, month and day of the Ten Celestial Stems and Twelve Branches, and vice versa. It has an additional “monthly calendar function” for Chinese Western comparison.
  • Household Registers during the Japanese Period
    The databases constructed by the Institute of Ethnology have existed over 15 years. The Department of Information Technology Services developed the applications for them. Variations, discrepancies and occasional missing pieces of the registers put both parties through many difficulties. Well-proved databases for tens of regions have been established.

Application Procedures

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Contact Information

  • Team: Development Division
  • Location: Rm. 4109
  • Phone: 2789-9251
  • E-mail: peiyi at gate.sinica.edu.tw
  • Contact: Ms. PeiYi Chang

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