Alan Cranfield on the SSWUG list alerted me to a paper by Mike Stonebraker and folks, proclaiming the end of the current relational database architecture that is generally embraced by all the major commercial relational DBMS and annoucing that a far better paradigm would be based on specialized engines. You can find the paper here:
If anybody can make this type of bold prediction, Stonebraker certainly can, given that he is a pioneer and authority of the relational DBMS and such a fixture in the relational DBMS filed. That of course doesn't necessarily give him exclusive ownership to predicting the future. But whether or not you believe Mike Stonebraker has the crystal ball into the DBMS furture, the paper is an interesting read from a general DBMS architectural perspective.
To some extent, one can argue that DB2 v9 is moving in the direction of specialized engines when it has two separate engines, one relational and the other XML, in one system, albeit as a commercial system DB2 is nowhere near the radical proposal Stonebraker is advocating.
Now when it comes to this blog site, the Stonebraker paper is relevant to the discussions regarding 'beyond relational'. To some, this would be adding salt to the wound :-) For those who would like to continue that thread of discussions, take a look at http://www.dbms2.com/2008/02/15/non-relational-database-management/.