MIRIS has been designed as a multi-tier architecture. The basic structure of the database is that of four modules, a database, a knowledge base, a user module and an authoring module. The database itself contains not only all documents that we gather from all States, but also any extra information and data that we compile at the European Academy. Such an extensive knowledge base is essential for an appropriate structuring and organisation of the information contained within the database and is a pre-requisite for the complex document retrieval process. The user module controls end-user interaction with the system in terms of browsing, search and report generation. Finally, the author module permits our own lawyers and experts ease of editing, adding or deletion of documents and meta-information within the data and knowledge base.
The database system is required to support XML, since we plan to handle most documents and related information using XML. The knowledge base will be implemented using a knowledge representation system, for example that of ONTOLINGUA. Both user and authoring modules are developed - as far as the programmable logic is concerned - through the use of Java(TM). In order to achieve a complete separation of logic, content and style, thus permitting the three layers to be independently designed, created and managed, we will use an XML compatible template framework that will be 100% pure Java(TM) and rely upon new W3C technologies (such as DOM, XML, XSL).