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July 2, 1990

RELATIONAL VENDORS OBJECT TO OBJECTS, STANDARD SQL

By CBR Staff Writer

A group of leading relational database vendors is threatening to derail the move towards vendor-independent computing standards by rejecting the standard definitions of SQL and declaring war on emerging vendors of object-oriented databases. The so-called senior statesmen of database management systems including Bruce Lindsay (architect of IBM’s DB2), Phil Bernstein, director of DEC’s database lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Oracle’s David Beech, and Michael Stonebraker, who developed Ingres, have drawn up the Third-Generation Data Base System Manifesto as a challenge to vendors of object-oriented databases. Speaking in London, Stonebraker claimed that vendors such as Ontologic and Versant Technology do not address data management, object management or rule management in the sophisticated manner in which the next generation of relational databases will do via the development of proprietary SQL extensions. He added that sticking to SQL standards as endorsed by ANSI and ISO was technically unviable and that no large database company that wished to win the race for the third generation database system could afford to conform to standards. Such a move by the likes of IBM, DEC, Ingres and Oracle would effectively shut the back door on object database vendors that claim compatibility with relational databases for their products via SQL – they will remain compatible with today’s relational databases, but won’t be able to access third generation relational technology.

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