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Re: Pizza Example

From: Dawn M. Wolthuis <>
Date: Fri, 9 Apr 2004 16:18:37 -0500
Message-ID: <c57407$qn6$>

"Jan Hidders" <> wrote in message news:oIBdc.65756$
> Dawn M. Wolthuis wrote:
> > "Jan Hidders" <> wrote in message
> > news:KGmdc.65126$
> >>[...] Could you, just to indulge me, sketch for me what you think
> >>the trade-offs are and under what circumstances you would prefer one
> >>type of system over the other?
> >
> > That is really the big question I'm trying to answer -- why, after
> > Oracle and other RDBMS software, would I choose to go wtih a database
> > doesn't follow the rules for being a database? I'm still trying to
> > that myself.
> So, since you have thought so very deeply about this you surely know the
> textbook answer to that question. Is your experience in agreement with
> that answer or does it contradict it?
> -- Jan Hidders

Well, I know several text book answers -- for example, using an RDBMS makes changes to software database applications less expensive and less risky. My experience tells me the opposite.

Then there is the text book answer that says that "relational theory" is based on mathematics and logic and a relation is the simplest form of construct that fully addresses data modeling, therefore, it must be right. I have pointed out that a mathematical model is simply a metaphor and that there is nothing mathematical about the statement that the simplest model is the best.

The text book might indicate that using a DBMS provides us with constraint logic that protects the integrity of the database not just from end-user data, but from the mistakes of application software developers, thus helping us have a DBMS that is not specific to a single application. I have personal experience with several instances where this is true, but a lot more where it either didn't matter or where having such constraints specified made software developers "code around" the constraints.

So, there are some things that are accurate with the text book answers, but when it comes to the overall cost of ownership for a set of software applications over the course of, say, 10-20 years, the TCO for Oracle compared to UniData is just no contest. There is a reason so many .edu places use "PICK" (whether they know it or not) -- they are non-profit organization and don't have the dollars for the SAP-like solutions.

Do you have more to add to that? Thanks. --dawn Received on Fri Apr 09 2004 - 16:18:37 CDT

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