Generic Hierarchical Database Engine


Welcome to the Generic Hierarchical Database Engine (GHDE) homepage. GHDE is a new way to build online databases where the data to be managed lends itself to an hierarchical structure.

Many bespoke online databases are created using perl or php, and are written in such a way that the code and database structure are inextricably linked, ie the database is designed around your data, and the code references the data structure. GHDE provides a way to escape this method of database design and to create a database that is data driven, and therefore flexible and maintainable without the need for coding skills.

GHDE works by reading a metadata table. In this table you specify your object classes and hierarchy. GHDE will then present you with a web frontend for creating and managing objects of these classes.

System Requirements

GHDE is written in perl. It requires an Apache webserver and MySQL. phpMyAdmin is recommended for managing the database.

The system has been tested on Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 (Sarge). Installing the phpmyadmin and mysql-server packages will install all the dependencies you need.

You will need to configure Apache to execute perl scripts from the directory into which you wish to install GHDE. On Debian 3.1 this can be achieved by adding ExecCGI to the options declaration for the directory in your httpd.conf file and by uncommenting the line "AddHandler cgi-script .cgi .sh .pl". You should also add to the DirectoryIndex declaration.

You should also use Apache's authentication system to protect the GHDE directory. This will enable you not only to keep unauthorised users out, but to enable GHDE's activity log to log activity against individual users.

Further Documentation

A complete guide to configuring GHDE is included in the download bundles. The latest version is available here.

Current Uses

The University of Stirling use GHDE as the basis for their Systems and Network Services equipment management system.

Links and Downloads

Sourceforge Project Page.

Get GHDE Version 0.1.

Email Philip Ward (GHDE's developer).


Object Display

Metadata representing the above object's class (phpMyAdmin screenshot).

Object in Update Mode.