Aiming for Advances in IT from Three Viewpoints

At Keio University, the Toyama Laboratory, in the Department of Information and Computer Science (Faculty of Science and Technology), researches how to operate database technology to support IT simply and efficiently. The Toyama Lab takes a threefold approach to this research, aiming to construct and implement new systems from the three viewpoints of extension, combination, and application.

"Firstly, as an extension of SQL, we’ve developed a language called SuperSQL. SQL has the function of extracting information from a database and synthesizing it. But in order to use the extracted information on the Web, for example, you have to write a program and convert the information to Web format. SuperSQL doesn’t just extract information from a database; it enables everything to be done with a single language, right up to processing the information into a form that can be ultimately used. That’s the purpose of the language SuperSQL."

Super SQL, being developed by the Toyama Lab, has a long history compared with similar projects, and many students have been involved in this research. Recently, Super SQL has become increasingly practical, making it possible to generate Web apps for a variety of devices using less code than current HTML generators. By combining database with other technologies increases the range of new possibilities even further.

"Our idea is that, by combining database technology with various technologies from other IT fields, we can greatly enhance technologies in those fields. Using this idea, so far, we’ve created a system called RMX. RMX combines databases and e-mail, which everyone uses a lot, into a single technology. When an e-mail arrives, RMX does a database search depending on the address in the e-mail, and the e-mail is sent out, based on the search results."

By presetting various rules in SQL, it’s possible to define some groups and complicated addresses that combine groups.

The Toyama Lab also does research on applications for the database technology it’s been developing for many years.

This technology is called Web indexing. By combining words displayed in a browser and freely specifiable Web site data, it enables easy access to that Web site information.

In this way, the Toyama Lab continually aims at highly unique research, leading to ongoing R&D.

"When we choose research themes, our basic approach is to make things as simple as possible. But rather than just enabling any number of those simple components to be freely combined, to create a single application, we aim to create the seeds for technologies, so they can be combined and used for a range of applications."