Despite the volume of research carried out into the design of database systems and the design of user interfaces, there is little cross-fertilization between the two areas. The control of user interfaces to database systems is, therefore, significantly less advanced than other aspects of DBMS design. As database functionality is used in a wider range of areas, such as design applications, the suitability of the user interface is becoming increasingly important. It is, therefore, necessary to begin applying the knowledge developed by HCI researchers to the specialised domain of database systems. This volume contains revised papers from the International Workshop on Interfaces to Database Systems, held in Glasgow, 1-3 July 1992. The workshop aimed to develop an interaction between the design of database systems and user interfaces. It discussed both the production of interfaces tailored to particular applications, and also more general systems within which interfaces can be developed. Some of the papers concentrate on usability aspects, some discuss different interface metaphors, whilst others tackle the question of designing a general conceptual model. The latter topic is of particular importance, as it is only by achieving an abstract model of what the user understands to be in the database that the data can be associated with appropriate interface facilities. Among the contents of the volume are: integrated interfaces to publicly available databases; database query interface for medical information systems; an integrated approach to task oriented database retrieval interfaces; GRADI: a graphical database interface for a multimedia DBMS; cognitive view mechanism for multimedia information systems; a graphical schema representation for object oriented databases; a conceptual framework for error analysis in SQL interfaces; a browser for a version entity relationship database. Interfaces to Database Systems (IDS92) is unique in that it brings together a variety of approaches from the database and HCI research communities. It will provide essential reading for researchers of database systems and also industrial developers of DBMS.
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