Relations Database Management Essay

Abstract

Any database is the means to structure the interrelated data in a way that would make it possible to store in a specific physical location and would allow users manage and use this data for various technological purposes. In case of Relational Databases, these are created to eliminate redundancy and to facilitate processing and using the data. Relational databases are well-known for the effective storage and organization opportunities they provide to IT developers and end users. Nevertheless, relational databases are gradually being replaced by key/value databases which still cannot expand the boundaries of their technological performance. In his article, Bain (2009) weighs the benefits and drawbacks of relational databases versus key/value databases, giving readers another chance to reconsider the relevance of using relational databases for specific purposes of IT development.

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Relations Database Management

            Any database is the means to structure the interrelated data in a way that would make it possible to store in a specific physical location and would allow users manage and use this data for various technological purposes. In case of Relational Databases, these are created to eliminate redundancy and to facilitate processing and using the data. Relational databases are well-known for the effective storage and organization opportunities they provide to IT developers and end users. Nevertheless, relational databases are gradually being replaced by key/value databases which still cannot expand the boundaries of their technological performance. In his article, Bain (2009) weighs the benefits and drawbacks of relational databases versus key/value databases, giving readers another chance to reconsider the relevance of using relational databases for specific purposes of IT development.

            True, relational databases are just some out of many database management systems that are currently available to IT developers and users. Simultaneously, these are relational databases that have been actively used for more than 30 years to shape the basis for the most effective IT solutions. Bain (2009) suggests that none of the recent technological revolutions has been able to deny or change the relevance of relational databases, and “none even made a dent in the dominance of relational databases”. Does that mean that relational databases are the most effective instruments of IT development and construction, and that we can hardly expect the emergence and availability of a new database system in the nearest future? There is no clear answer to this question, but Bain (2009) seeks to create a better understanding of the way relational databases can be dominated by other types of database management systems, including key/value databases. Despite the fact that relational databases remain the leading tool of IT design and analysis, the growing scalability of IT solutions may change their role and make their application at least problematic. These problems grow from the definition of a relational database as such, as well as the scope of relational databases’ usability in IT circles. To begin with, and Bain (2009) emphasizes this fact, relational databases are designed in the form of multiple tables that are linked by predetermined relationships and are usually accessed in a single query. The criterion that defines the relationship between the tables also links the data into one single well-integrated system of information management. Bain (2009) asserts that “the reasons for the dominance of relational databases are not trivial. They have continually offered the best mix of simplicity, robustness, flexibility, performance, scalability, and compatibility in managing generic data”.  Unfortunately, and the author of the article cannot conceal this, with the growing amount of information, relational databases become increasingly complex and are no longer effective. The growing number of alternative solutions suggests that relational databases are not the only tools of IT development. The fact is that the benefits of Relational Database Management Systems have turned out to make us too lazy to seek more effective alternatives. Bain (2009) suggests that even in the light of the continuous relational databases’ dominance, other alternatives have always been at hand, and we were simply unwilling to discover their hidden potential. Relational databases and scalability are rather well associated, but Bain (2009) supposes that this is possible only as scaling takes place on a single server node; multiple server nodes still remain a challenge for the majority of relational databases, and this is where key/value databases may come into place.

            Bain (2009) tries to be objective in his judgments; in his article, neither relational databases nor key/value stores look like perfectly beneficial instruments of IT management. Objectively, these should either be combined or should be used for different purposes. What seems surprising is that for many years key/value databases have been used where relational databases were ill-suited, and we still lack a clear and comprehensive understanding of what a key/value database is and how it could enhance the quality of relational database management. “Now the challenge is to recognize whether it or a relational database would be better suited to a particular situation” (Bain, 2009). When it comes to clouds, it appears that both relational and key/value databases have limitations and drawbacks and thus can no longer be considered a universal tool of technological design. Bain (2009) suggests that key/value databases are more suitable for scalability; they are an excellent choice for the systems with multiple users and platform data stores. Key/value databases are better designed to fit with the codes that map data to their object classes and make these connections less complicated. Simultaneously, it is a relational database that can provide us with a unique chance to go through the process of data modeling and create more logical structures. That also means that the same data can be used by multiple users without distorting the stability of the database and without changing its logic (Bain, 2009).

            Obviously, relational databases are not as simple as someone might want them to look. When trying to investigate the hidden facets of relational database management, it appears that a whole set of constraints needs to be overcome in order to make a relational database an effective tool of design. For some unknown reason we use different popular forms of relational databases, while there is a variety of alternatives that could help us resolve the major technological complexities. I do not think that relational databases would lose their relevance, but I would be more willing to investigate the features of other database management solutions. I believe that the time has come when we should expand the boundaries of our technological performance. With the advent of the new technological age, relational databases may still remain effective instruments of designing logical data structures, but this very technological advancement also drives the scalability of data systems, making the use of relational databases problematic. Finding a reasonable combination of relational databases with other databases may produce another technological revolution, and the effectiveness of all future data models will also depend on how prepared are we to explore the characteristics of other data solutions.

References

Bain, T. (2009). Is the relational database doomed? ReadWriteWeb. Retrieved May 24, 2009

from http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/is_the_relational_database_doomed.php

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