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Re: Total Cost of Ownership

From: Jerry Gitomer <jgitomer_at_erols.com>
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 2004 12:44:01 -0400
Message-Id: <pan.2004.04.12.16.44.01.66798@erols.com>


On Mon, 12 Apr 2004 10:30:41 -0500, Dawn M. Wolthuis wrote:

> "Laconic2" <laconic2_at_comcast.net> wrote in message
> news:192dnaBpHOqHruTdRVn-jg_at_comcast.com...

>> How about this:
>>
>> The purpose of a database is to preserve the value and the availability
>> of the data it contains.

>
> We have had several discussions about an abstract definition of a
> database. Looking at my verbose definition now, I would trim it back, but
> I would still want it to be less abstract than what you propose. If we
> are talking about products, such as MS SQL Server or IBM UniVerse, then
> what is the common purpose (other than dollars)? I think you have some
> part of it, but I think that it is also tied into the development of
> software applications that use the data in some way. So, there is not
> just the end-end-user of the database software, but also end-users. In
> the case of a lot of the database software, there are end-end-end-users,
> application software developers who are end-end-users, and dba's as
> end-users.
>
> Should we take another stab at it or do you think you have it nailed in
> the purpose statement above? --dawn

Dawn,

        The API, be it GUI or programatic, should not be considered as being part of the DBMS. (Note that this is true on non-relational as well as relational database management systems.) The only thing that might be added to Laconic2's statement, "The purpose of a database is to preserve the value and the availability of the data it contains." is the obvious statement that the database is to accept and store valid data. These statements encompass the integrity checks that are built into the database engine, the facilities to backup and recover the database, the transaction logging that assures that transactions will not be lost in the event of a system failure, the concurrency management that relieves the developers of the need to be concerned about what happens when 300 users simultaneously attempt to update the same row in a table at the same time, and so on. In essence the DBMS is responsible for providing the infrastructure and for managing that infrastructure.

        One major advantage of this is that the same API can be used, with little if any modification, to access RDBMS from different vendors running on different and incompatible hardware. (I have Unix shell scripts that I first used to access Oracle 5.x databases running on DEC VAX hardware that I also used for Oracle 8.x and Informix running on IBM RS 6000 and MS-SQL running on Windows NT and Interbase and Oracle on Sun Solaris.)

Jerry Received on Mon Apr 12 2004 - 11:44:01 CDT

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