ANQL -- an active networks query language. This paper discusses parallels between network communication packets, when processed in bulk, and relational database records. It introduces a new application-specific language, ANQL (Active Networks Query Language), that exploits a database metaphor for packet processing. ANQL has been demonstrated in Active Network control and management plane activities, although it may also be used in many other networking applications. In active networks, ANQL is primarilly intended as a tool or adjunct for use by Active Applications, and by control and management code. Environments are discussed in which ANQL or related languages might be utilized as full-fledged active packet languages in themselves. ANQL is applicable to both event-driven and background processing activities, and may be used in a single, centralized data collection and analysis process, or, with little change, in distributed implementations of packet analysis activities.

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