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June 6, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:56pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Computer Associates International Inc’s sworn off object- relational databases and is sticking to its object guns. It says the new demands of multimedia based applications ushered in by the web will overwhelm relational technology. Oracle and Informix have been spending millions to evolve their relational products to universal servers that bridge both worlds and handle complex data types (video, audio, user defined functions) in addition to normal table data. They’re also overlaying object-oriented navigation techniques that make relational data look behave like objects to a developer or user. CA’s argument is that this approach is not optimal and simply won’t work and is touting its Jasmine pure object database play. It claims it tried that approach and canceled the project once it saw all of the inefficiencies of the architecture. Since then, CA has argued that the two worlds needed two different products – a relational database for table-based data and an object database for everything else. Morgan Stanley’s software watchers says it’s largely a bet that Oracle and Informix can’t make their approaches work because of design complexities and poor performance. The jury is still out and it won’t matter for a few years since most users wouldn’t know what to do with these advanced functions even if they did work, so the thinking goes. Moreover, the argument assumes that Oracle and Informix won’t deliver the technology they’ve promised. But if these vendors deliver, the brokerage observes, much of the performance advantage disintegrates for Jasmine.

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