Living Documents

Living Documents was a research project at the University of Tübingen in Germany aimed at designing a lightweight document management system.

Research objectives and approach

Our goals are to design and implement a lightweight document management system based on the concept of Living Documents. In particular we have the following objectives:


Living Document is a document metaphor which embeds active, intelligent and mobile capabilities into the document itself as opposed to traditional document systems. In traditional document systems the business logic (application logic) and the data (documents) are separated from each other: According to a n-tier client-server architecture the business logic is kept at the middle tier managed by an application server whereas the documents are stored in a database system based on a appropriate database schema.

A Living Document is characterized by the following key properties:

Conceptually each Living Document is viewed as a mobile micro server which provides access to and service facilities for documents. The technical basis of Living Documents is an innovative type of document and content management system which deploys mobile code capabilities and knowledge-related processing facilities.

People involved in the project

by Ralf-Dieter Schimkat