Browse Prior Art Database

Data-Base Systems

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131235D
Original Publication Date: 1978-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-10
Document File: 24 page(s) / 76K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

S.B.Yao: AUTHOR [+8]

Abstract

Data-base management is already a mature technology. The 80's will see improvements in DBMS usability, integrity, and efficiency. Early in the history of computer systems, business recognized that computers could lower the cost and improve the accuracy of business data processing. The first attempts at computerized data processing used sequential files stored on magnetic tapes. But to fully exploit the potential of computers in data processing, it became necessary to access data directly, without following a predefined sequence. This was partly achieved by hardware advances -- in particular, the development of disk technology -- and partly by software advances, such as the development of indexing and other content-based access methods. In the 50's and 60's these software methods were incorporated into packages called file systems. File systems serve as an interface between application programs and stored data, permitting data to be accessed without concern for device-related details. File systems were a major step forward in data processing technology, but as their use expanded in the 60's, several limitations surfaced. File systems encourage a close dependency between data and the programs that use the data. This is fine as long as few programs use each file: but as the number of applications increases, serious problems result:

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

This record contains textual material that is copyright ©; 1978 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact the IEEE Computer Society http://www.computer.org/ (714-821-8380) for copies of the complete work that was the source of this textual material and for all use beyond that as a record from the SPI Database.

Data-Base Systems

S.B.Yao

Purdue University

Philip A. Bernstein

Harvard University

Nathan Goodman

Harvard University

Stewart A. Schuster

Intel Corporation

David W. Shipman

Computer Corporation of America

Diane C.P. Smith

University of Utah

Data-base management is already a mature technology. The 80's will see improvements in DBMS usability, integrity, and efficiency.

Early in the history of computer systems, business recognized that computers could lower the cost and improve the accuracy of business data processing. The first attempts at computerized data processing used sequential files stored on magnetic tapes. But to fully exploit the potential of computers in data processing, it became necessary to access data directly, without following a predefined sequence. This was partly achieved by hardware advances -- in particular, the development of disk technology -- and partly by software advances, such as the development of indexing and other content-based access methods.

In the 50's and 60's these software methods were incorporated into packages called file systems. File systems serve as an interface between application programs and stored data, permitting data to be accessed without concern for device-related details. File systems were a major step forward in data processing technology, but as their use expanded in the 60's, several limitations surfaced. File systems encourage a close dependency between data and the programs that use the data. This is fine as long as few programs use each file: but as the number of applications increases, serious problems result:

(1) The way data is structured tends to be appropriate for early applications but less appropriate for later ones.

This article represents a consensus of the authors views. hut does not necessarily reflect their individual opinions or those of the organizations they represent.

(2) If the file is restructured to be usable by multiple application programs, all of the programs must be modified.

IEEE Computer Society, Sep 01, 1978 Page 1 IEEE Computer Volume 11 Number 9, Pages 46-60

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Data-Base Systems

(3) If multiple copies of the file are kept, each copy structured to meet the needs of a few applications, the problem arises of maintaining the consistency of the file copies.

Data-base management systems have evolved from file systems to overcome these limitations.50 A DBMS isolates application programs from physical file structures, presenting instead logical data structures. Physical file formats can be changed in response to changing applicat...