[Pycon2005-attendees] The Database Divide

Patrick K. O'Brien pobrien at orbtech.com
Fri Mar 25 14:02:15 CET 2005

john.m.camara at comcast.net wrote:
> I know this is a bit long for a post but I’m hoping someone will benefit from this.  I’m also interested in hearing your comments.
> The questions and comments that were made in today’s database sessions indicate that there are many developers who have a one track mind vision when it comes to database types.  There are those who swear by relational and then there are those who swear by object oriented ones.
> So who is right?  Well that all depends on the application.  Relational databases work great for some applications and object orient ones are great for others.  On the other hand using both types are sometimes the most appropriate approach.

As one of those presenters, I guess I feel somewhat obligated to respond
to this.  In short, I'm right and everyone else is wrong.  ;-)

Okay, seriously, I'm not sure I agree with your premise that it depends
on the application.  The situation that you describe is one most people
would agree with because it is historically true.  But I don't think
there is anything fundamental to object databases that make them
inherently worse for business apps.  In fact, business applications are
the target market for Schevo.  In my opinion what has been lacking in
most object databases is a structure for representing "relational-like"
collections of instances (tables),  bi-directional relationships between
instances (foreign keys), relationship enforcement (referential
integrity), etc.  Those are the things that Schevo brings to Python
object databases.

As far as performance and scalability, that's a red herring.  When
Oracle first declared that they intended to create a commercial database
based on the Relational model, they were laughed at.  Nobody thought it
could be done.  The critics all said that Relational databases wouldn't
be able to perform efficiently or scale in size.  Good thing Larry
Ellison didn't listen to the critics.  ;-)

Patrick K. O'Brien
Orbtech    http://www.orbtech.com
Schevo     http://www.schevo.org
Pypersyst  http://www.pypersyst.org

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