Re: Is a RDBMS needed?

From: Robert Freeman <>
Date: Thu, 9 Jun 2011 11:19:09 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <>

It's kind of like my five kids.... they always want to go out and do things 
better than dad. Then later on, they have come back full circle and realized 
that maybe dad wasn't so wrong after all..... 

RDBMS's will stand the test of time, and will evolve as the need requires. Niche 
players will come, and they will go as soon as the standard RDBMS platforms 
catch up to new niche technology and needs. I can think of one particular niche 
player now in the content management field. Their "database" engine is 
specifiably designed for content managment and long ago it out shone Oracle in 
one niche area in terms of performance... but that was all it was good for, 
performance. You could not even do a hot backup on the thing or point-in-time 
recovery, etc...etc....etc... Now Oracle has caught up in this niche, performs 
at least as well as this player if not better and offers significantly more 
overall functionality. In the mean time, suckers shelled out millions of dollars 
for a short term solution that didn't offer the long term advantages of a 
platform with years of solid development and testing behind it. I project that 
within 5 years, this particular vendor will be another has-been or will be 
bought by someone. Just my 2 cents....


 Robert G. Freeman
Master Principal Consultant, Oracle Corporation, Oracle ACE
Author of various books on RMAN, New Features and this shorter signature line.

opinion of one Oracle employee. I can be wrong, have been wrong in the past and 
will be wrong in the future. If your problem is a critical production problem, 
you should always contact Oracle support for assistance. Statements in this 
email in no way represent Oracle Corporation or any subsidiaries and reflect 
only the opinion of the author of this email.

From: "Goulet, Richard" <>
Sent: Thu, June 9, 2011 12:03:40 PM
Subject: RE: Is a RDBMS needed?

Humm,  Another feeble attempt to replace what 20 years+ of rdbms engineering has 
already done.  Sorry to say that it’s not the first and probably will not be the 
last.  This is especially true with the JAVA NOSQL crowd who sooner or later 
have to give in to the RDBMS since they don’t want to tackle the recovery, ACID 
compliance, and other issues that people like Oracle, Microsoft and PostGreSql 
(to name a few) have already fixed.  Would not be the first time that a 
technology appeared to be the next best slice of bread only to die before 
getting off the pad, anyone ever hear of Ada?  Few billions of US tax payer 
dollars went down that black hole to no good end and that was supported by one 
of the largest institutions in the world, the US Pentagon.  So much for who 
supports it.  BTW: If you’ve ever heard of PL/SQL then you’ve heard of Ada, by 
another name.
And no, you are no dinosaur.  The young have to be given their chance to 
explore, but in the end many ideas that looked good at the time don’t withstand 
the test of time and some are just way before their time, like the old Edsel 
(push button transmission where the underlying technologies had not yet matured 
Richard Goulet
Senior Oracle DBA/Na Team Leader [] On 
Behalf Of Blake Wilson
Sent: Thursday, June 09, 2011 11:23 AM
Subject: Is a RDBMS needed?
Here at the University of Western Ontario we are looking at replacing our 
current Learning Management System. The current choices seem to be similar in 
technology and infrastructure - web tier, load balancer, application tier, back 
end RDBMS and some sort of content management system for the course content.

However, the next release of one of our options will not have a RDBMS in the 
solution. It will be replaced by Apache Jackrabbit. The new system will have 
everything treated as content, including grades, test questions and answers, 
discussion threads, syllabi, personal profiles, chat messages, and so on.

This seems like quite a departure from normal RDBMS based solutions. Is this a 
good idea? Am I being a dinosaur by thinking that this is not a good idea? Do I 
need to keep up with the times? Is this the future of databases? This really 
looks to me like a return to design of 20 years ago.

Blake Wilson
Received on Thu Jun 09 2011 - 13:19:09 CDT

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