To enable a client access to metadata attributes, a system and method on handling certain request need to be identified and established. The process may be done either through a single or multiple file systems. Normally, there would be a format agent that manages a particular file system. Hence, a client’s request is received by a dispatcher through a developed and designed interface.

So, once the dispatcher forwards the request to the format agent. The client’s request is accomplished by the format agent regarding the metadata attributes contained in the associated format of specific file system. In case the client’s request includes metadata not included in the respective format of file system, the format agent tries then to access a metadata attribute archive or storage to comply to client’s request accordingly and satisfactorily. Soon as the requested metadata attribute data is retrieved, these are then sent back to the client requestor.

Evidently, almost all file systems store metadata files out-of-band. So, while there are systems that maintain metadata directory entries; there are also those designed in a specialized structure, such as inodes or in filenames even. Also, the type of metadata essentially ranges from simple timestamps, more bits, through specially-purposed data or information mainly by the sole implementation (e.g., from icons through arbitrary attribute-value pairs, icons and/or free text comments. Lastly, file systems also include extended file attributes. These extended features enable the association of computer files containing metadata, which are initially unreadable by the file system.


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