Re: Which Oracle book was this?

From: DA Morgan <>
Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2008 07:13:39 -0700
Message-ID: <>

hpuxrac wrote:

> On Oct 25, 12:29 am, Michael Austin <>
> wrote:
>> wrote:

>>> Years ago, I skimmed an Oracle book at the bookstore.
>>> I'm sure it was written by Tom Kyte.
>>> In it, he critiqued a system that would store data in
>>> rows, instead of simple columns!
>>> One criticism being that it performed very badly.
>>> So, instead of a typical table structure:
>>> field1
>>> field2
>>> field3
>>> field4
>>> There was a lookup table with field codes, and what they meant.
>>> Fieldcode_id
>>> Fieldcode_name
>>> The "data" table would be structured:
>>> Fieldcode_id
>>> value
>>> etc.
>>> Doing simple queries was of course much more complex.
>>> I remember reading words to the effect:
>>> "How did it perform? Horribly, pathetically, awfully!"
>>> I'm unfortunately dealing with such a system now,
>>> and would like to show this critique to the brass.
>>> Which book can I find this in please?
>>> Thanks a lot!
>> I was aware of at least one system - for a name-brand pharmaceutical
>> company that used this design.  How did this one perform?  It was
>> running DEC now Oracle/Rdb (OpenVMS) and when tuned properly really
>> screamed.  Yes, the queries were very ugly, but when properly configured
>>   - did very well.
> This just doesn't sound right.
>> One benefit was it flexibility in self-describing the contents.  When I
>> first arrived at the site and saw this design, I was very skeptical as
>> to how it would perform.  Using MIXED Storage areas (loosely analogous
>> to a IOT where index and the data for that index reside in the same data
>> page (extent in Oracle terms)) performance was more than adequate.
> Reasonable designs for a relational database are done using ERD's and
> 3nf.

Flat files are fast.
Relational designs promote data integrity. There's a reason no one uses 5NF.
We compromise in the middle where we obtain adequate data integrity with adequate performance.

Daniel A. Morgan
Oracle Ace Director & Instructor
University of Washington (replace x with u to respond)
Puget Sound Oracle Users Group
Received on Sun Oct 26 2008 - 09:13:39 CDT

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