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The World Wide Web has experienced phenomenal growth over the last few years. Although, at its inception, Web technology was primarily used to retrieve information stored in static documents, important current uses of the Web include retrieval of dynamically changing information and the conducting of business transactions. Such uses of the Web result in access to dynamically changing data on or through Web servers, usually stored in a database. Huge volumes of business data exist on mainframes and other mature platforms that cannot be moved to client/server or workstation-based platforms, due to cost or performance issues. Providing Web access to these legacy data, therefore, is of great commercial interest to businesses. In this paper, we survey several solutions that have been developed to access existing business data through the Web. We discuss the details of two solutions developed at IBM: DB2® (DATABASE 2™) World Wide Web Connection and Net.Data™. Each of these is a pure middleware approach as opposed to approaches that are integrated with either the Web server or the database management system, which accounts for their flexibility and power.
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