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

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Jonathan Robie 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?
> Jonathan

Well one part of the vision won't fly at all as far as I can see.

That is the idea that file systems should be subsumed by databases. The 
trouble with this is
that people *need* to be able to take a disk from one dead machine and 
plug it into a living
machine and access that data, as you can do with file systems.  The more 
difficult this
becomes (e.g. if the binary format for the database is not fixed 
readable between different
versions of the OS) then the less practical it becomes.  (This is a 
different issue to backups:
people use backups when data storage fails, and they use disktransplants 
when motherboards
fail or are superceded.)  So just giving a virtual FAT32 or whatever as 
a compatability mode
doesn't seem sellable: the DBMS stuff needs to be tacked on as a layer 
above the file system,
which isn't very satisfactory.

Rick Jelliffe


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