CASCADE is a testbed that operates as a functional tool for collaborative authoring. The structural architecture is shown in Figure 1 has been designed to facilitate the incorporation of functions, tools and agents to support authoring and to support research on mechanisms to offload cognitive tasks nonessential to the authoring process.
During 1996, CASCADE was made operational in a client server mode although the client component will still be X based. During 1997, the client server version will have full functionality installed and the clients will be made platform independent. Clients will make a network connection to a server that will mediate access to the document components--located in a variety of different places. The server will provide network-transparent access to the document components and will initiate intelligent retrieval of remote documents so as to insure timely display of the document components that an individual might want to see.
Figure 1: Structural Architecture
The client and server software using RPC will be developed with an eye to CORBA. Ultimately, CORBA-compliant clients will communicate with other CORBA-compliant objects as needed. The server will remain a significant partner in the communication, but CORBA compliance will allow local communication and service as well as direct service from the SQL/CORBA compliant DBMS as needed.