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Presented on Advanced Visual Interfaces (AVI?2006), ACM Press, 23-26 May, 2006, Venezia, Italy.
We present Mavigator, a prototype of a graphical user interface to databases. The system is dedicated to naive users (computer non-professionals) and allows them to retrieve information from any data source, including object-oriented and XML-oriented databases. The system extends its core functionalities by the Active Extensions (AE) module, which assumes a trade-off between simplicity of user retrieval interfaces and complexity of output formatting functions. In AE the latter are to be done by a programmer using a fully-fledged programming language (currently C#). Thus the retrieved data can be post-processed or presented in any conceivable visual form. Another novel feature of the Mavigator is the Virtual Schemas module, which allows customization of a database schema, in particular, changing some names, adding new associations or hiding some classes.