Data Management

A Spreadsheet Algebra for a Direct Data Manipulation Query Interface

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Executive Summary

A spreadsheet-like "Direct manipulation" interface is more intuitive for many non-technical database users compared to traditional alternatives, such as visual query builders. The construction of such a direct manipulation interface may appear straightforward, but there are some significant challenges. First, individual direct manipulation operations cannot be too complex, so expressive power has to be achieved through composing (long) sequences of small operations. Second, all intermediate results are visible to the user, so grouping and ordering are material after every small step. Third, users often find the need to modify previously specified queries.

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