Object-relational Databases Extend relational databases with OO features 1

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  • Object-relational DatabasesExtend relational databases with OO features*

  • Recently seen (Meijer, Bierman: CACM 4/11)*A great deal of confusion: expect huge changes100M programmers, cloud, new HW, big data, globalizationYou must understand the basic concepts and recompose!

    SQLcoSQL (noSQL)Children point to parentsParents point to childrenClosed worldOpen worldEntities have identity (extensional)Environment determines identiy (intensional)Necessarily strongly typedPotentially dynamically typedACID transactionsBASE updates (eventual, single value)Environment coordinates changesEntities responsible to react to changesValue-based, strong referenceComputation-based, weak referenceNot compositionalCompositionalAutomatic query optimizationManual optimization / patterns

  • OO 101Object IdentityEvery object can be uniquely identifiedIndependent of state of the objectDifferent comparison operators (value, id)Substitutability in Type HiearchySet inclusion relationship between sub and super-typeEnables reuse via inheritance and polymorphismInformation HidingCouple behavior to data structureHow would you rank importance? Orthogonal?


  • Why Objects and DatabasesNew kinds of applications, new kinds of datatext, audio, video, mapsHierarchies (Region, Country, City)Time seriesComplex FunctionsRouting, FFT, ...Use different kinds of data within a single queryFind all maps that contain routes from Zurich to Cologne! Possible future: Merge DB and App layer (?)


  • Problems of relational databasesEach polyhedron is composed of at least four surfacesEach surface has at least three edgesEach vertex belongs to at least three edgesHow do you rotate a cube?SurfaceEdgeVertex*




  • Problems of relational databasesStructure of polyeder is only implicit in RDBMakes it difficult to implement operations like rotateDifficult to reuse implementations of rotate (view?)Inefficient to execute operations like rotateJoin between three tablesEight different updatesSolutionSupport the definition of complex objects in databaseSupport the definition of complex operations in database


  • Object-oriented DatabasesResearch since 1984; many nice resultsSome products in the late 80s, early 90s (Versant, GemStone, ObjectStore, O2, Poet)ODMG Standard 2.0: Cattell 1997Applications: CAD and some other nichesOverall failure: did not scale, were not robustToo much focus on navigation and C++Not really a DB (poor query optimization & TAs)Revival lately: Object caches (e.g., SAP) Literature: Kemper, Moerkotte 1994


  • Object-relational DatabasesLaguna Beach Report 1990 (Stonebraker et al.)Products since ca. 1997 Informix Universal Server, Oracle 8i, IBM UDBEvolutionary ApproachTake RDBMS as a starting pointAdd OO functionality to RDBMSDo not sacrifice any RDBMS featuresStandards: SQL 99, SQL-3Not really a success either. But, reality!Literature: Chamberlin, Using the New DB2*

  • Features of ORDBMSLarge ObjectsUser-defined types (UDT)Object Identity, Object ReferencesInheritanceNested tablesUser-defined functions (UDF)ADTs (Data Blades, Extenders, Cartridges)Warning: We mix SQL99, IBM, and Oracle syntax. Might be outdated. Please, consult manual!!! *

  • Features of ORDBMSLarge ObjectsUser-defined types (UDT)Object Identity, Object ReferencesInheritanceNested tablesUser-defined functions (UDF)ADTs (Data Blades, Extenders, Cartridges)How to look at these extensions? Compare with features of Java what & why different? How can these extensions be implemented? Disruptive?*

  • Large Objectsvarchars are limited to 4096 BytesLarger objects (e.g., videos) stored in blobsBlob = Binary Large OBjectClob = Character Large OBjectConfiguration: Compression and TA propertiesCREATE TABLE personalWebPage(url varchar(100),picture blob(100K) NOT LOGGED COMPACT,html clob(20K) NOT LOGGED COMPACT);*

  • Processing BlobsRestrictionsNo indexesNo comparisons such as like,
  • Distinct TypesSimplest kind of user-defined type (UDT)Supports strong typingExplicit casts to base types allowedCREATE DISTINCT TYPE dollar AS DECIMAL(9,2);CREATE DISTINCT TYPE euro AS DECIMAL(9,2);

    CREATE TABLE product( name varchar(100),USAsales dollar, Esales euro);*

  • Distinct TypesStrong typing: Helps to avoid following bugsSELECT *FROM productWHERE Esales > USAsales;SELECT name, sum(Esales + USAsales)FROM productGROUP BY name;*

  • Complex UDTsWork like struct in C There is no magic here: implementation straightforwardCan be used as column and row typesCREATE TYPE emp(name varchar(30),salary euro,picture blob(100K))CREATE TYPE manager(name varchar(30),history clob(100K),salary dollar)CREATE TABLE project(leader manager, // UDT as column typesecretary emp)*

  • Implementation of UDTsCREATE TABLE project(leader manager, secretary emp);is the same asCREATE TABLE project(leader.name varchar(30),leader.salary euro,leader.picture blob(100K),emp.name varchar(30), );


  • Queries with Complex TypesConstructors, Observers, Mutators provided implicitly by ORDBMS.INSERT INTO project(leader, secretary) VALUES( manager(Lisa, [], dollar(30000)), emp(Heini, euro(20000), [])) );

    SELECT *FROM project pWHERE p.leader.name like %isa%; *

  • Row TypesUse complex UDT for a whole rowSupport references on rowsCREATE ROW TYPE manager(name varchar(100));CREATE ROW TYPE emp(name varchar(100),boss REF(manager));

    CREATE TABLE manTable OF manager;CREATE TABLE empTable OF emp( PRIMARY KEY name, // keys belong to tabs!SCOPE FOR boss IS manTable);*

  • Object Identity, ReferencesOnly top-level tuples (i.e., rows) have an identityIdentity is independent of value of tupleVery different concept than key/foreign key!!!Identifiers are defined by ORDBMS

    References can be typed and scopedYou should do both. Why?

    Usage of references using path expressionsBe careful with . vs. -> notation*

  • Path ExpressionsSecurity: How do you do authorization?Can only be done statically for scoped references.Java does not differentiate between object and reference to object. Why do SQL and C do that?Implications on life time of object, syntax (. vs. ->)SELECT e.boss->address.cityFROM empTable eWHERE e.boss->name like %isa%; *

  • InheritanceA row type can be derived from other row type(s)Row types: Inheritance of attributes of super-typeTables: Substitutability for referencesSeparates inheritance and substituabilty!!!Inseparable in Java. What is better: SQL3 or Java?

    CREATE ROW TYPE emp(name, salary);CREATE ROW TYPE manager UNDER emp(bonus);

    CREATE TABLE empTable OF emp;CREATE TABLE manTable OF manager UNDER emptable;*

  • Row Types vs. ClassesRow Types (SQL 3)separate inheritance and substituabilityseparate definition of type and extensionClasses (Java)all concepts are lumped togetherthere is only one extension to a typeor user-defined using Collection typesbut, then you lose strong typing in JavaNot clear what is better!Why did SQL go that route?*

  • Nested Tables (Oracle)Table Types. Constructor for table.Non-first normal form relations (NF2) [Schek et al.]CREATE TYPE empSet AS TABLE OF emp;

    CREATE TABLE dept(no varchar(100),emps empSet);

    SELECT * FROM deptTable; *

  • Nested Tables (Oracle)Using a nested table in a from clauseExample: find manager of Dept 4711

    SELECT m.nameFROM THE( SELECT empsFROM deptWHERE no = 4711) d,manTable mWHERE m.name = d.name;*

  • Nested Tables (Oracle)Inserting a new tableCast a regular SQL table into a nested table

    INSERT INTO dept (name, emps)VALUES(007,CAST(MULTISET(SELECT *FROM empTableWHEREsalary > 100000)));*

  • FunctionsA database has three kinds of functionsBuilt-in (defined in SQL standard) e.g., +,
  • Sourced FunctionsUsed for distinct typesBased on the definition of another functionCREATE DISTINCT TYPE money as DECIMAL(9,2);


  • Sourced Functions: ExampleCREATE TABLE manager(name varchar(100),salary money,bonus money);SELECT sum(salary + bonus)FROM emp;*

  • External Scalar FunctionsUsed if SQL is to not expressive enoughTypical programming languages: C, Java, PL/SQLReturn a scalar value or instance of a UDTIntegrated into database serverImpacts security, robustness, and performanceA great deal of fineprintCan be used in any kind of query*

  • External Scalar FunctionsCREATE FUNCTION deltaDays(date, date) RETURNS integerEXTERNAL NAME /home/kossmann/deltaDays.oLANGUAGE CDETERMINISTICFENCED ... PARAMETER STYLE DB2SQLNO SQL; Find all orders with more than 10 days of delaysSELECT * FROM order oWHERE deltaDays(o.promisedShipDate, CURRENTDATE) > 10;*

  • Some of the fineprintDeterministic or External Action Impacts optimizer: exactly once execution?Fenced / Unfenced runs in the same process as DB serverImpacts security and performanceNULL call Defines behavior if NULL is passed as a parameterType compatibility and promotion E.g., smallint -> intScratchpad preserve state between two callsImpacts parallelization*

  • Implementation of the C FunctionSQL_API_FN deltaDays(char * date1In, /* IN: first date */char * date2In, /* IN: second date */int * out, /* OUT: result */short * nullDate1In, /* IN: date1In = null? */short * nullDate2In, /* IN: date2In = null? */short * nullOut, /* OUT: result = null? */char * sqlState, /* OUT: error code */char * mess