Is there a "third generation" DB yet?

From: Scottie Swenson <>
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2004 11:50:17 -0700
Message-ID: <>


The paper "The Third-Generation Database System Manifesto" written by The Committee for Advanced DBMS Function (1990) a set of specifications were documented as being required for a DBS to be considered truly 3rd generation.

Specifically a 3rd generation DBS had to:

  1. Support object and relational operations including inheritance and "Multiple inheritances are essential" thus the constructed DBs inheritance hierarchy would be directed graphs
  2. Provide additional type constructors e.g.:
  3. an abstract data type system to construct new base types
  4. an array type constructor
  5. a sequence type constructor
  6. a record type constructor
  7. a set type constructor
  8. functions as a type
  9. a union type constructor
  10. recursive composition of the above constructors
  11. Allow rules, functions and operations to be implement in a 4GL
  12. Must subsume second generation DBS abilities:
  13. Non procedural query language with query optimizer
  14. Provide a rules system
  15. Full SQL client/server support
  16. Support for views
  17. Must undo any hard coded requirement for UIDs and discourage navigation
  18. Must provide support for 4GLs
  19. Must support distributed databases, and
  20. Must (essentially) automatically tune the system to perform efficient data management

The questions are:

  1. Do you agree that the above list accurately describes the requirements for a true 3rd generation database? (if not what is missing or what is incorrect?)
  2. Is there a current database system that meets these requirements?

I am aware of the Hugh Darwen & Chris Date's 1995 paper "The Third Manifesto" which argues a number of the points above. But, I wanted to center the discussion on the original paper and move forward from there. Feel free to counter with your views between the two papers.

Scottie Received on Thu Apr 15 2004 - 20:50:17 CEST

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