The development of a web-based database of rate of heat release measurements using a mark-up language
The application of most computer-based fire models is dependent on the user supplying the rate of heat release data that describes the design fire for a chosen scenario. Having access to a database of rate of heat release measurements assists the user in making their selection. The ability to use that data in a wide variety of general and specialised computer tools enables effective use of the data. This paper examines the current developments in database implementation using mark-up languages and how they can be applied to engineered fire protection design. In particular, the increased use of XML technology as a method of information storage, retrieval and manipulation in several engineering related fields are discussed since these developments are very likely to have an impact on fire engineering. An XML-based schema for the implementation of a database of single and multiple item rate of heat release measurements is presented and an online database has been created using the schema. The database and its underlying schema can be viewed in a web browser. The database can also be queried via a client program using broad search criteria; the relevant matches can be viewed graphically and a selected dataset can be extracted in a format suitable for further processing. A number of transformations have been developed that allow a selected dataset to be converted from XML to an alternate format suitable for commonly used fire models or more general computer software tools. Although the database currently operates as a stand-alone entity, the work is also aimed towards integration with the developments taking place in interoperability between a wide range of engineering-related software tools. This paper shows where this web-based database fits in with these developments.