Re: Is a RDBMS needed?

From: Stephane Faroult <>
Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2011 16:45:47 +0200
Message-ID: <>

On 06/29/2011 04:13 PM, Guillermo Alan Bort wrote:
> hey, I want to get paid 500$ a day... where do I sign up? is that for
> consulting or for regular dba job? I can code pretty decent pl/sql as
> well :-P
> anyway, slightly moving this farther off topic, does anyone here know
> anything about object oriented databases? I'm interesting in Gemstone
> in particular. What are they, what are the differences and what are
> they used for? How do they store data? what are the differences with
> multidimensional databases?
> I had a java developer who hates rdbms telling me that RDBMS were dead
> (what a surprise) and that the future of persitence was in nosql and
> that nonsense.
> cheers
> Alan.-


   Concerning OO databases, I'm going to be anecdotal - back in 1993, I was travelling in California with my wife and we met some of her former colleagues (she had worked a couple of years in Silicon Valley). One of them was then working with an OO database vendor. He was pretty gloomy, saying that he company had been around for about 5 years and wasn't giving any sign of taking off - yet it was then one of the main players in the field.

   I don't think the situation, 18 years later, is any better (the company still exists, and they now have "NoSQL" on their home page). In my view, it's a case of survival of the fittest. I have no doubt that these products have their use in some niches (like you might say it's hard to beat sequential files for logs).

When Codd designed the relational model, it was partly to get rid of the pointer-based navigation that was plaguing the so called "Codasyl" (network) model. There was a legendary debate back in 1974 between Codd and Bachman (the Codasyl champion) - you may be interested by this (long) interview of Bachman, he refers to the OO "model" page 105/106: - which he still seems to favor.
Pointers are fine as long as you don't need to change things and maintain the application. By the way, as according to Joel Spolsky only 40% of developers understand pointers, my guess is that today's Java-trained developers probably have a harder-time really understanding how all this works than their counterparts of the 60s and 70s, who generally were of another caliber.


Received on Wed Jun 29 2011 - 09:45:47 CDT

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