A data retrieval system in which a plurality of objects having a multi-level hierarchical relationship are stored is disclosed. Thus, each object has a respective parent and a set of children. The system includes an index table comprising a respective name and associated identifier for each object, and a data table comprising a respective set of attributes and a position key associated with each object in the system. Each position key comprises a series of components, each component corresponding to a level of the hierarchy. A first component of said key stores the identifier of an associated object, and each successive component stores the identifier of the parent of the object stored in the previous component.