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What Is Data Binding?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 18 July 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Data binding is a procedure that makes it possible for an end user to manipulate the information displayed on a web page, without the need to utilize any type of complicated programming or scripting processes. While the exact protocols will vary depending on the type of browser used to reach the web page, the benefit of data binding is that it makes it possible for users to interact with the elements already in place on the page. One drawback to this type of activity is that hackers can sometimes take advantage of this process to manipulate page data without the authorization of the web site owner or the hosting company.

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The basic process of data binding is to allow for the mapping of data from some type of document, often an XML document to Java. This is often managed with the use of applications that are designed to function with the type of source document used to create the elements on the web page. This mapping process makes it possible to focus more on extracting and using the data contained in the document, without necessarily going through all the steps required to work with that same data within the document format. This can be important for businesses that want to work with data such as customers' names and addresses, phone numbers, or email addresses. By using the data binding to associate the information with a specific Java class, the information can be accessed from different fields on the web page, or even updated by an authorized user visiting that web page.

With data binding, the process of pulling information from configuration files is much simpler, making it easier to translate the data from one format to another when and as needed. For example, converting from an XML format to a Java format would require much less scripting of new code, and still create access to the data in the file with greater ease. This process of transferring information from the database to the user interface then back again, also known as UI data binding, makes the matching of events with some type of editor much easier, since it improves the ability to relate what users type into a field on a web page with what is saved on servers associated with that web page.

While there are a number of benefits to data binding, especially in terms of saving time and translating data to different formats with relative ease, care must be taken to prevent hackers from utilizing this tool to make changes to data while the change in format is taking place. For example, the hacker could manipulate data saved in an XML format as it is being translated into a PDF format, resulting in the distribution of a document that contains false information. For companies that rely on this approach to supply data to employees in various locations, this could seriously hamper the business operation. In order to avoid this type of hacking, a security protocol to ensure that the ability to manipulate data is limited is essential.

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