THE SQL Server Blog Spot on the Web

Welcome to - The SQL Server blog spot on the web Sign in | |
in Search

Denis Gobo

relational databases should be considered legacy technology?

Relational database pioneer says technology is obsolete.

As a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, in the early 1970s, Michael Stonebraker co-created the Ingres and Postgres technology that underlies many leading relational databases today: Microsoft Corp.'s SQL Server, Sybase Inc.'s Adaptive Server Enterprise, Ingres Corp.'s eponymous product, IBM's Informix, and others.

But Stonebraker now argues that relational databases, also known as RDBMSes, are "long in the tooth" and "should be considered legacy technology."  read the whole article here:


So he does say that for OLTP row based (RDMBS) are faster
If you want a Data warehouse you would build cubes and data marts anyway and pre aggregate, a normal person doesn't run a data warehouse from a OLTP DB anyway because it would be to slow.

What do you think? Speculation?

What ever happened to Object Oriented Databases? These vendors have been screaming for the last 5 years that the RDMBS is dead.

Published Thursday, September 6, 2007 3:18 PM by Denis Gobo
Filed under: ,



Chuck Boyce said:

At a conservative insurance where I worked, IT wanted to party like it was 1979 - they still have IMS!  I'm serious...

Scary to hear *US* being referred to as the dinosaurs, though.  I better adopt one of those "book a day" regimens like you propose or something.


Nice post!  Thank you for that.


September 6, 2007 9:36 PM

Denis Gobo said:

I feel sorry for Celko, now he will have to say "Columns are not rows!" instead of "Rows are not columns!"  ;-)

September 7, 2007 6:17 AM

Denis Gobo said:

>>they still have IMS!  I'm serious...

New Jersey Transit had to fax me some accounts that had a problem because their system uses Cobol and they couldn't save it to a file. They only could print the output. So they did that and then they faxed that to us.  Can you imagine that?

September 7, 2007 6:21 AM

Adam Machanic said:

Isn't SSAS effectively a column-based system?

September 7, 2007 7:21 AM

David Markle said:


You think that's bad?!

Our company was once doing some outsourcing work for a mid-sized bank.  Before they shipped us work (in the form of accounts), they required us to digitally sign all of our emails going back to them (for confirmation of receipt, etc.)

So our ops guy (i'm SERIOUS) tells them "OK, can you send me your public key?  Here's ours."  They tell him, "no, we want you to digitally sign these documents".  He asks them how he's supposed to go about doing this if we don't exchange keys.  They tell him it's simple -- just open up MSPaint, use the mouse, and digitally sign your name, and attach it to your emails.  I'm not kidding.  And yes, he did it.  And yes, he did get "in trouble" with them for reusing his "digital signature" instead of going into MSPaint and "digitally signing" each document individually.

As for this whole RDBMS thing being dead, people have been saying this for years.  How many times have you heard that the PC is "dead"?  


Sent from my "Network Computer".


September 7, 2007 8:29 AM

James Luetkehoelter said:

Dobro jutro (at least for me at the moment),

While I enjoy an academic discussion of database technology, the question I would always pose back to a comment like this is - "so what do you use on a daily basis?" It's one thing to talk about what a database, or data storage and retrieval should be, and what it could be - but it is a totally different thing to talk about what it is in the real world.

There are a lot of interesting ideas out there, but no "consumer"-level options. Object-oriented databases (true ones, not OO in a relational storage structure) are a perfect example. There are a handful of them out there, but if OO databases ruled, MySQL and PostgreSQL would have just been more or less an interesting excercise in "I wonder if we can create an RDBMS from scratch that no one would actually use".

Nice find Denis - I love reading these :)

September 7, 2007 9:55 AM

Adam Machanic said:

David: Recently a client of mine didn't want to bother printing out and faxing back the contract we'd negotiated.  She said she would "digitally sign" it -- she opened the Word document, typed her name on the signature line, and sent it back.  She claimed that such a "digital signature" is perfectly legal.  After some time I convinced her to actually sign and fax the thing... I hope she doesn't try to sign my checks the same way :)

September 7, 2007 10:58 AM

James Luetkehoelter said:

Actually Adam in some states that "digital signature" is legal - not in Wisconsin where I'm from, but some do I guess...

September 7, 2007 11:58 AM

Denis Gobo said:

wasn't that part of the digital signature act signed by Clinton (Bill)

September 7, 2007 12:13 PM

Adam Machanic said:

Are you kidding me??!  How much easier could forgery possibly get??

If it's that straightforward, I might as well go ahead and create a "digital check" made out to myself.  $1,000,000 sounds like a nice amount.  And I'll go ahead and sign "William Gates".  He certainly won't miss it <g>

September 7, 2007 7:59 PM

andyleonard said:

  Stonebraker has unquestionable credentials and a questionable motive: he's selling something.

  The claim that RDBMS's are outdated and outmoded is roughly equivalent to a claim about OS's being outdated and outmoded - not any particular OS, but Operating Systems in general.

  And if you showed up in the blogosphere telling me Operating Systems were obsolete and (in the same post) described the replacement you were selling, I'd snicker and snort "Nice try pal" and scroll on to the next entry in my aggregator.

:{> Andy

(...scrolling now...)

September 8, 2007 9:29 PM
New Comments to this post are disabled

About Denis Gobo

I was born in Croatia in 1970, when I was one I moved to Amsterdam (and yes Ajax is THE team in Holland) and finally in 1993 I came to the US. I have lived in New York City for a bunch of years and currently live in Princeton, New Jersey with my wife and 3 kids. I work for Dow Jones as a Database architect in the indexes department, one drawback: since our data goes back all the way to May 1896 I cannot use smalldates ;-( I have been working with SQL server since version 6.5 and compared to all the other bloggers here I am a n00b. Some of you might know me from or even from some of the newsgroups where I go by the name Denis the SQL Menace If you are a Tek-Tips user then you might know me by the name SQLDenis, I am one of the guys answering SQL Questions in the SQL Programming forum.

This Blog


Privacy Statement