ODBMS where did they go?
September 26, 2007–
If we look back at the history of ODBMS. one sees how when the first generation of ODBMS were introduced, expectations did not really meet reality, notwitstanding all the efforts and enthusiams put on it.
So one asks himself a question. What happened to the ODBMS? Where did they go?
And perhaps a more interesting and actual question is what are the realistic chances for the “new wave” of ODBMS products?
As always, part of the answers can be given by trying to understand the past.
The first wave of ODBMS failed partially because the market conditions were not ready.
In particular, object technology (in particular object oriented languages) were not as diffuse as they are now.
So the issue of “impedence mismatch” between programming languages and databases, was mainly an interesting
academic issue, but not really felt by the market.
I visualize it like a sales person who is trying hard to sell a mini sport convertable car to a family with a number of kids who is not really interested in that…
Things have changed in the meanwhile. Object Oriented Programming Languages (OOP) are widely used.
It is estimated that today we have between 3 and 4 million Java developers. Also, very important in my opinion, for the acceptance of the use of OOP, was the decision of Microsoft to develop Csharp. The Microsoft development world has changed with the introduction of the .NET Framework.
Object Modeling is no more fragmented in several different methodologies like in the early days (the first object-oriented modelling languages began to appear between mid-1970 and the late 1980s, and went up to more than 50 during the period 1989-1994. Most notably Booch, OOSE/Jacobson, OMT).
It has now found a de facto standard, UML. UML is not merely an object modeling software methodology. Many companies are incorporating UML as a standard into their development process and products, which cover disciplines such as business modeling, requirements management, analysis and design, programming, and testing.
UML being a standard has helped the acceptance of OO technology, especially in certain domains.
And relational databases are still there… They changed, yes, but they are still there.
Moreover, new marked opportunities arise. For example, with 1.2 billion cell phones in the world, mobile software development has become a lucrative industry.
So what are the *real* chances for the new generation of ODBMS?
I have decided to work on this issue and try to come up with a reasonable answer. I am planning to collect some relevant information and hopefully this will be assembled in a white paper I am planning to write for December.
In the meanwhile, if you have any input, feedback you wish to give me, there are very welcome!
Roberto V. Zicari