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An MDBMS can be characterized by its objectives when handling multimedia data: 1.

Corresponding Storage Media Multimedia data must be stored and managed according to the specific characteristics of the available storage media. Here, the storage media can be both computer integrated components and external devices. Additionally, readonly (such as a CD-ROM), write-once and write-many storage media can be used. 2. Descriptive Search Methods During a search in a database, an entry, given in the form of text or a graphical image, is found using different queries and the corresponding search methods. A query of multimedia data should be based on a descriptive, content oriented search in the form, for example, of The picture of the woman with a red scarf. This kind search of relates to all media, including video and audio. 3. Device-independent Interface The interface to a database application should be device-independent. For example, a parameter could specify that the following audio and video data will not change in the future. 4. Format-independent Interface Database queries should be independent from the underlying media format, meaning that the interfaces should be format-independent. The programming itself should also be format-independent, although in some cases, it should be possible to access details of the concrete formats. 5. View-specific and Simultaneous Data Access The same multimedia data can be accessed (even simultaneously) through different queries by several applications. Hence, consistent access to shared data (e.g., shared editing of a multimedia document among several users) can be implemented. 6. Management of Large Amounts of Data The DBMS must be capable of handling and managing large amounts of data and satisfying queries for individual relations among data or attributes of relations. 7. Relational Consistency of Data Management Relations among data of one or different media must stay consistent corresponding to their specification. The MDBMS manages these relations and can use them for queries and data output. Therefore, for example, navigation through a document is supported by managing relations among individual parts of a document. 8. Real-time Data Transfer The read and write operations of continuous data must be done in real-time. The data transfer of continuous data has a higher priority than other database management actions. Hence, the primitives of a multimedia

operating system should be used to support the real-time transfer of continuous data. 9. Long Transactions The performance of a transaction in a MDBMS means that transfer of a large amount of data will take a long time and must be done in a reliable fashion. An example of a long transaction is the retrieval of a movie. In the architecture model, the system components around MDBMS and MDBMS itself have the following functions:

The operating system provides the management interface for MDBMS to all local devices. The MDBMS provides an abstraction of the stored data and their equivalent devices, as is the case in DBMS without multimedia. The communication system provides for MDBMS abstractions for communication with entities at remote computers. These communication abstractions are specified through interfaces according to, for example, the Open System Interconnection (OSI) architecture. A layer above the DBMS, operating system and communication system can unify all these different abstractions and offer them, for example, in an object-oriented environment such as a toolkit. Thus, an application should have access to each abstraction at different levels.