1893. The Advantage of Relational Technology in the Engineering Database Environment


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M Moehling, G Molczyk: 1893. The Advantage of Relational Technology in the Engineering Database Environment. 1989.



The traditional approach to designing and implementing a data base for the accounting of engineering information has been to store the data in fields of a record. All of these associated records are maintained in a sequential file. Application software is then written to directly access and manipulate this file of records. Update is often accomplished by loading the entire file into a text editor and making direct changes to the fields and records. This system works well for small or non complex data bases. However, it has little or no capacity for easy upgrade or the integration of emerging technologies. It is generally hardware dependent. The development of the original package is usually tied to a few individuals; and as these engineers or programmers move on to other assignments, the maintenance requirements for these in-house data bases steadily increase. Over the past five years, a large number of highly effective Data Base Management Systems(DBMS) have been offered by commercial software companies. These DBMS software packages serve as an intermediary between the stored data and the application software that accesses it. Use of a DBMS highly increases the ease of use, the adaptability, the portability, and the maintainability of a data base system. This paper exposes the disadvantages of the traditional sequential file approach to data base design and examines the advantages of using a commercial DBMS. Three prominent technologies that are currently available in a commercial DBMS are reviewed: Hierarchical, Network, and Relational. The conceptual method on which each technology is based is explained and the particular advantages of each quantified. The paper concludes with emphasis on the Relational Data Base Management System (RDBMS), which shows marked advantages over the remaining two technologies in consideration of the engineering database environment.


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