Friday, October 19, 2007

Is Your Database Getting Tired?

Is your database getting old and tired? Mike Stonebraker thinks so. Stonebraker is a database guru and long-time researcher, and when I say database guru I mean one of the founders of Ingres, and former CTO of Informix, not just some guy who knows how to debug a stored procedure.

Here is a juicy quote from a recent article published by MIT of which he is one of the authors:

We conclude that the current RDBMS code lines, while attempting to be a "one size fits all" solution, in fact, excel at nothing. Hence, they are 25 year old legacy code lines that should be retired in favor of a collection of "from scratch" specialized engines. The DBMS vendors (and the research community) should start with a clean sheet of paper and design systems for tomorrow's requirements, not continue to push code lines and architectures designed for the yesterday's requirements.

Strong stuff! Especially for a generation of programmers for whom the relational database is just another ubiquitous part of their standard solution architecture. So is SQL the new HTML as some have claimed? Or are we heading to a new generation of database engines that are created individually for each solution space, perhaps created on the fly and defined in a domain specific language.

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