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The One True Relational Database Model

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Aug. 12th, 2004 | 07:47 pm
mood: amusedamused
music: Tom "T-Bone" Stankus - Existential Blues

Microsoft has a relational database on the front burner for a future version of Windows. Personally, I think they're barking up the wrong tree. If they spent more time building websites they'd know that hierarchical models with very tight scripting connections offer more performance and a higher level application model. Relational databases are good for factories and stores. Object databases map the model of the Web. Just change the slashes to dots and off you go. - scripting.com

Heirarchical databases and Object databases are arguably subsets of Relational databases. If you think your programming effort needs a 'higher level application model', you should go ahead and use one -- built on top of a relational database. If you have some data that you need to manage professionally, you need the structure and reinforcement that only the relational model can provide. If that means you need to pay me to build you one, then so be it.

If there's a better model than the Relational one out there, I want it caught and shot now to hear about it. Maybe what I mean isn't better model, it's better formalism. Sure, use a flat text file to manage your data. That's better for some projects, some purposes. But it will catch up with you (or better yet, someone else) as the project ages. (For your own sake, recognize when that starts to happen, and re-engineer the project.)

If you go through the excercise of designing a relational database for your data, the nicest thing is, your data will stay that way! almost self-organizing, and it's easy to discover new uses (new ways to use your old data)!

Heirarchical databases collapse under their own inflexibility.

Object databases look pretty but tempt you into omitting some relations that you later have to back-fill using "business rules".

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Comments {26}


Re: the pure thingness of the things

from: deeptape
date: Aug. 13th, 2004 11:07 am (UTC)

Sounds like you guys are talking apples and oranges.

Trip, where did you get the idea troyworks didn't do any design work up front?

Sounds like Troy is complaining about the evil of SQL, the poor match of data types in the object space to data types in the traditional relational space, and the effort required to hack them together.

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Triple Entendre

the pure appleness of the oranges

from: triple_entendre
date: Aug. 13th, 2004 12:00 pm (UTC)

That's just me not editing. When I'm talking like this and I say "you", I mostly mean "that straw man standing next to you".

I did say that it was a rant, which is asking forgiveness in advance, but even then I'm usually better at editing out my rhetorical abuses of fallacy. I apologize for any confusion to the readers and to troyworks.

Troyworks is very experienced and, I am sure, talented at application development using oranges. But he was dissin' on them apples!

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