Information = Context + Data
For more than four decades, computer analysts and programmers have been creating systems to manage every kind of
information. Millions of man hours have been invested in constructing these information collections, but most of them can be used only by applications specifically designed for that purpose. ZONAR’s intelligent information interchange (I3) technology addresses the general characteristics of information housed in computer systems and the methods available to facilitate the sharing of that information among all applications that may have a need for it.
I3 is based on the equation: Information = Context + Data. Data (for example, the number 45) cannot convey information without context (SpeedLimit in MPH). Traditionally, information has been split into context and data during the design and programming of computer systems. The context is embedded in the program and database structure while data is stored elsewhere. The context and data are brought back together in the displays, forms and reports the users see as information.
Exchange of information among diverse application systems is hampered by context and data separation, since each component must be managed separately. In order for a traditional “data only” exchange to succeed, the context must be identical in the communicating systems, or programs must be written to convert the data to fit alternate contexts. I3 solves these problems by combining context and data into a single object which can be processed as an information package. Each Information Object contains not only data, but also all the properties and relationships which describe the meaning of that data. This allows precise interpretation and true semantic processing of the object even if the originating system is unknown.
Utilization of I3 technology for integration and development projects provides a number of far-reaching benefits: