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   Re: [xml-dev] Jim Gray article on Next Generation Databases

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On 5/4/05, Jonathan Robie <jonathan.robie@datadirect.com> wrote:

> Perhaps I'm reading too much into this, but in Gray's article, the
> vision does not seem to include a middle tier. The database becomes the
> center of the universe, and pretty much everything we associate with the
> middle tier becomes part of the database. The database also takes on
> some of the functionality traditionally associated with an operating system.
> How likely is this? Do users want that level of centralization?

I don't think such a beast is necessarily centralized, it's just
highly integrated.  I doubt that the users (whomever they may be)
understand what they are asking for in direct terms. But as the
article and this thread points out, the market seems to be building
this whether the users want it or not.  Oracles vision of the DB as an
OS is well known. MS is adding some form of DB into the middle of its
next OS (some time real soon now, well maybe sort of). IBM continues
to integrate everything into one massive WebSphere/DB2 conglomerate.

Does all that mean no middle layer? My guess is, not as we know it
today: you've got a general purpose data manager and a "client" and a
general purpose network.  The only value add a separate and distinct
middle layer can add is transformation.  (I'm assuming reliable
delivery etc. is now part of the "network").  This sort of suggests
that the middle layer as we often think about it today (transaction
management) is actually an orthogonal concern to the DB/client
relationship; no one building applications should be worrying about it
in the long term.

If all this is true, one interesting result is that one can expect the
companies building "Enterprise Service Buses" to be acquired and
disappear... Oh, and XSLT, or it it's next incarnation, will be even
more valuable than ever ;-)

Peter Hunsberger


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