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                   Ever since Postgres released the first object-relational database system (ORDBMS) in 1986, ORDBMSs have been seen as the next generation database system. Currently the three leading database management systems —Oracle, Microsoft, and IBM —have extended their database systems to support the SQL:2003 standard which includes object-relational features. Some analysts predict that because of support for ORDMBSs from all three database management vendors, in the near future ORDBMSs will have a 50% larger share of the market than the RDBMS market. Since an ORDBMS is an extension of RDBMSs with object-oriented programming concepts, using an ORDBMS is appealing to many users because the concepts involved are already known from relational database systems and object-oriented programming languages.

According to Stonebraker the world of database systems and uses for these systems are broken into four quadrants —shown in Figure 1.1. The first lowerleft quadrant represents applications that have simple data and do not require any query capability such as word processing applications. These types of applications do not need a database system. The lower-right quadrant represents applications that have complex data and do not need query capabilities such as computeraided design applications (CAD). These applications are best suited using an object-oriented database system (OODBMS). The upper-left quadrant represents applications that have simple data and need query capabilities such as traditional banking applications. Finally, the upper-right quadrant represents applications that have complex data, but also need query capabilities. Stonebraker proposes that applications of this type can benefit most from using ORDMBSs.

Figure 1.1. Stonebraker’s four-quadrants

This thesis presents an overview of ORDBMSs comparing OOPL features to OR features and also gives performance comparisons between using object tables and relational tables for SQL insert, select, update, delete, and table joins operations. The remaining chapters are organized as follows. Chapter two gives background information for OOPLs and relational database systems. Chapter three gives an overview of features available in an ORDBMS. Chapter four provides performance testing for Data Manipulation Language (DML) statements for object-relational tables and relational tables. Chapter five gives an overview of future work. Finally, Chapter six provides a conclusion for this work.

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