Object/relational database management systems (ORDBMSs) add new object storage capabilities to the relational systems at the core of modern information systems. These new facilities integrate management of traditional fielded data, complex objects such as time-series and geospatial data and diverse binary media such as audio, video, images, and applets. By encapsulating methods with data structures, an ORDBMS server can execute comple x analytical and data manipulation operations to search and transform multimedia and other complex objects.
As an evolutionary technology, the object/relational (OR) approach has inherited the robust transaction- and performance-management features of it s relational ancestor and the flexibility of its object-oriented cousin. Database designers can work with familiar tabular structures and data definition languages (DDLs) while assimilating new object-management possibi lities. Query and procedural languages and call interfaces in ORDBMSs are familiar: SQL3, vendor procedural languages, and ODBC, JDBC, and proprie tary call interfaces are all extensions of RDBMS languages and interfaces. And the leading vendors are, of course, quite well known: IBM, Inform ix, and Oracle.
Object DBMSs add database functionality to object programming languages. They bring much more than persistent storage of programming language objects. Object DBMSs extend the semantics of the C++, Smalltalk and Java object programming languages to provide full-featured database programming capability, while retaining native language compatibility. A major benefit of this approach is the unification of the application and database development into a seamless data model and language environment. As a result, applications require less code, use more natural data modeling, and code bases are easier to maintain. Object developers can write complete database applications with a modest amount of additional effort.
According to Rao (1994), "The object-oriented database (OODB) paradigm is the combination of object-oriented programming language (OOPL) systems and persistent systems. The power of the OODB comes from the seamless treatment of both persistent data, as found in databases, and transient data, as found in executing programs."
In contrast to a relational DBMS where a complex data structure must be flattened out to fit into tables or joined together from those tables to form the in-memory structure, object DBMSs have no performance overhead to store or retrieve a web or hierarchy of interrelated objects. This one-to-one mapping of object programming language objects to database objects has two benefits over other storage approaches: it provides higher performance management of objects, and it enables better management of the complex interrelationships between objects. This makes object DBMSs better suited to support applications such as financial portfolio risk analysis systems, telecommunications service applications, world wide web document structures, design and manufacturing systems, and hospital patient record systems, which have complex relationships between data.
In semistructured data model, the information that is normally associated with a schema is contained within the data, which is sometimes called ``self-describing''. In such database there is no clear separation between the data and the schema, and the degree to which it is structured depends on the application. In some forms of semistructured data there is no separate schema, in others it exists but only places loose constraints on the data. Semi-structured data is naturally modelled in terms of graphs which contain labels which give semantics to its underlying structure. Such databases subsume the modelling power of recent extensions of flat relational databases, to nested databases which allow the nesting (or encapsulation) of entities, and to object databases which, in addition, allow cyclic references between objects.
Semistructured data has recently emerged as an important topic of study for a variety of reasons. First, there are data sources such as the Web, which we would like to treat as databases but which cannot be constrained by a schema. Second, it may be desirable to have an extremely flexible format for data exchange between disparate databases. Third, even when dealing with structured data, it may be helpful to view it as semistructured for the purposes of browsing.
The associative model divides the real-world things about which data is to be recorded into two sorts:
Entities are things that have discrete, independent existence. An entity’s existence does not depend on any other thing. Associations are things whose existence depends on one or more other things, such that if any of those things ceases to exist, then the thing itself ceases to exist or becomes meaningless.
An associative database comprises two data structures:
1. A set of items, each of which has a unique identifier, a name and a type.
2. A set of links, each of which has a unique identifier, together with the unique identifiers of three other things, that represent the source source, verb and target of a fact that is recorded about the source in the database. Each of the three things identified by the source, verb and target may be either a link or an item.
Entity-Attribute-Value (EAV) data model
The best way to understand the rationale of EAV design is to understand row modeling (of which EAV is a generalized form). Consider a supermarket database that must manage thousands of products and brands, many of which have a transitory existence. Here, it is intuitively obvious that product names should not be hard-coded as names of columns in tables. Instead, one stores product descriptions in a Products table: purchases/sales of individual items are recorded in other tables as separate rows with a product ID referencing this table. Conceptually an EAV design involves a single table with three columns, an entity (such as an olfactory receptor ID), an attribute (such as species, which is actually a pointer into the metadata table) and a value for the attribute (e.g., rat). In EAV design, one row stores a single fact. In a conventional table that has one column per attribute, by contrast, one row stores a set of facts. EAV design is appropriate when the number of parameters that potentially apply to an entity is vastly more than those that actually apply to an individual entity.
For more information see: The EAV/CR Model of Data
Ruchika Mandore [ MCA ]
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