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Emerging Database Technologies

and Applications
Progression of Database Technology
1960s to Mid- 1970s to Mid-1980s 1980s to Early 1990s Future
Data Model Network Relational Semantic Merging data models with
Hierarchical Object-oriented knowledge representation
Logic Hybrid models
Database Mainframes Mainframes Faster PCs Client-server configuration
Hardware Minis Workstations Parallel processing
PCs Database machines Optical memories
Back ends
User Interface None Query languages Graphics Multimedia
Forms Menus Natural languages
Query-by-forms Speech input
Freehand text
Program Procedural Embedded query Standardized SQL Integrated database and
Interface languages 4GL programming languages
Logic programming

Presentation Reports Report generators Business graphics Generalized presentation

and Display Image output managers
Distributed, heterogeneous
data and knowledge
processing with multimedia
Processing Processing Information and Transaction processing Parallel database
data transaction processing Knowledge processing management
Current Trends in Technology

• Distributed, heterogeneous environments

• Open systems
• More functionality
• Parallel database management
Next Generation of DBMSs

• Active databases
– Applications such as process control, power
distribution/generation, workflow control, program
trading, battle management, patient monitoring are not
well served by passive DBMSs
– conditions defined on states of the database must be
monitored and actions taken
– active databases support condition monitoring
Active Databases

Specification of events and

conditions to be monitored

Actions Queries and updates

Active DBMS External events

• No changes to applications
• DBMS optimizes rules
• Enhances DBMS functionality
• Meet the time-constrained
requirements of applications
Issues in Active Databases

• Efficiency
– a large set of rules need to be managed and evaluated
• Modes of rule execution
– rules can be fired in an immediate, deferred, or detached
mode in regard to the original transaction
• Data model extension
– specifying events, conditions, and actions
• events:
– database operations (insert, delete, modify)
– temporal events (5 p.m. every day)
– user- or application-generated events (hardware failure)
Issues in Active Databases

• Management of rules
– ability to manipulate rules (add/delete/modify)
– mechanisms for enabling and disabling rules or rule sets
• Supporting DBMS functions
– examples: constraint management, maintenance of
derived data, rule-based inferencing
• Interaction with parts of DBMS
– optimization of rules requires interaction with transaction
manager, object manager, and scheduler
State of the Art in Active
• HiPAC (High Performance ACtive database system)
research project at Xerox
• PROBE for battle management application (Computer
Corporation of America)
• Event/Trigger Mechanism (Univ. of Karlsruhe)
• POSTGRES (Stonebraker, UC Berkeley)
• Starburst project at IBM
• Sybase supports simple triggers
• InterBase does not impose most of the restrictions seen in
• ORACLE v. 7, INGRES, INFORMIX, etc. provide some degree
of rule and trigger support
Multimedia Databases

• Applications:
– documents and records management
– knowledge dissemination
– education and training
– marketing, advertising, retailing, travel
– real-time control and monitoring
Multimedia Databases

• Multimedia IS are very complex; issues:

– modeling, dealing with complex objects
– design (conceptual, logical, physical) not researched yet
– storage on standard devices presents problems
– retrieval opens up many issues
– performance problem solving efforts are experimental
• Databases (fixed data structure) versus
information retrieval (text) perspectives
• Requirements of multimedia/hypermedia data
modeling and retrieval
– query mechanism should have access to the links (?)
Multimedia Databases

• Indexing of images
– automatic object identification
– manual indexing
• Open problems in text retrieval

Multimedia information systems promise to bring

about a marriage of the disciplines of information
retrieval and database management
Spatial Database Management

• The spatial semantics can be captured by three

common representations:
– solid representation
• the space is divided into pieces
– boundary representation
• the spatial characteristics are represented by line
segments or boundaries
– abstract representation
• relationships with spatial semantics, such as ABOVE,
NEAR, IS NEXT TO, BEHIND, are used to associate entities
• The PROBE project provided support for spatial
Temporal Database Management

• An one-dimensional case of spatial information

• Includes three types of support for time:
– time points
– time intervals
– abstract relationships (before, after, during,
simultaneously, concurrently, ...)
• The history aspect of databases is important for
project management, patient histories,
maintenance histories, etc.
Temporal Database Management

• A range of businesses (ex. finance, medical, legal,

manufacturing) can benefit from quick access to
historical and current data
• Limitations of current databases:
– data become valid at the time they are recorded; no
provision for distinguishing between transaction time
and valid time
– no capability to preserve historical information
• Until recently, inefficient storage capabilities made
the temporal database concept not practical
• WORM and compression technology made it
Tuple Time Stamping
One proposed model is the Temporal Relational
– Attributes, relations are divided into time-varying and
– For time-varying relations, two timestamp attributes are
– SQL is extended into Temporal SQL (TSQL)

EmpNo Salary Position Start time End time

33 20K Typist 12 24
33 25K Secretary 25 35
45 27K Jr. Engineer 28 37
45 30K Sr. Engineer 38 42
Open Problems

• Reasoning with temporal information

• Processing information over valid-time and
transaction-time databases
• Mixing temporal processing with active and
deductive databases
• Integrating temporal information over
heterogeneous environments
Update on Temporal DB Research
Recent Advances in Temporal Databases, J. Clifford and A. Tuzhilin,
(Eds.), Proceedings of the International Workshop on Temporal
Databases, Zurich, Switzerland, 17-18 September 1995, Springer, 1995.
X, 362 pp. 80 figs. Softcover $79.00 ISBN 3-540-19945-4

• Papers cover a wide range of topics from the highly theoretical

through to reports on how temporal data bases can be used to solve
real problems
• In addition to the technical papers, there are also summaries of two
panel discussions which assess the recently-completed TSQL2
Language Design, and examine the need for additional research into
the development of TSQL3
• Together these papers provide a comprehensive overview of the latest
research work into the area of temporal databases

Also see URL: http://www.jcc.com/sql_tmpr.html

Extensible Database Management

• Building DBMSs out of “DBMS parts”

• Assembling prewritten modules has advantages:
– rapid and economical development
– technological improvements can quickly be
– proposed new algorithms can first be evaluated
• Project GENESIS at the University of Texas
– components of DBMS and interfaces among them are
– new DBMS can be configured within minutes
– plug-compatible modules are defined for access
methods, query optimization, concurrency control,
recovery, ...
Extensible Database Management
Project EXODUS at University of Wisconsin provides certain kernel
facilities including storage manager and type manager
– type manager permits definition of hierarchies with multiple
– the storage object is a byte sequence of arbitrary size
– buffer management, concurrency control, recovery mechanisms
are provided and can be modified
– type-independent index structures can be selected
– the language E, an C extension, adds the notion of persistent
– query processing includes query optimization and evaluation
– the DBI supplies the description of operators and methods to
implement them
– the rule-based optimizer generates C source code
– the EXODUS storage manager was used by several vendors (incl.
O2 )
Full-Functionality Approach

• Building DBMS with extensive functionality

• Providing a wide set of features
• Projects PROBE and Starburst
– active databases
– PROBE provides spatial query processing
• POSTGRES also combines OO and active
database capabilities with the relational model
Unified Database Management

Example of systems in this category is UniSQL

– combines
• power and ease of popular development tools
• OO development
• multimedia database integration
– organization:
• UniSQL/X provides C/S DBMS platform
• UniSQL/M allows access to relational and prerelational DBs
• UniSQL/4GE Tools for dynamically generating applications
• Visual Editor and Media Master allow for viewing and editing
of schemas and for sophisticated report generation
– the next generation of DBMSs is likely to be patterned
after the UniSQL