Feeds

Time to rewrite DBMS, says Ingres founder

Abandon SQL

The essential guide to IT transformation

Database management systems (DBMS) are 20 years out of date and should be completely rewritten to reflect modern use of computers.

That's according to a group of academics including DBMS pioneer Mike Stonebraker, Ingres founder and a Postgres architect taking his second controversial outing so far this year. Stonebraker upset many last month for his criticism of Google's MapReduce.

In a paper entitled The end of an architectural era (It's time for a complete rewrite), the group - drawn from DBMS specialists at MIT and in industry - have said that modern use of computers renders many features of mainstream DBMS obsolete.

They have argued that DBMS designs such as Oracle and SQL Server come from an age when online transaction processing (OLTP) dominated and required techniques such as multi threading and transaction locking. They said that modern transactions - entered via web pages - do not need these expensive processing overheads and DBMS should, therefore, be re-designed without them. Persistent storage such as disks are also seen as unnecessary and could be replaced by geographically dispersed RAM storage.

Stonebraker and his group also advocate abandoning SQL because they see no need for a separate data manipulation language. Data manipulation, they said, can be performed with other tasks using languages such as Ruby. They describe a prototype DBMS called H-Store that embodies these ideas.

While there is certainly a point to be made about the way OLTP works in modern computer environments and the group has some persuasive arguments, it seems unlikely that mainstream DBMS builders will move away from tried-and-tested TP technologies in the near future. Banks and financial institutions in particular will want to hang on to the comfort and security provided by DBMS, which fully implement ACID properties.®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.