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Java Object Persistence: State of the Union PART II Published

by Roberto V. Zicari on May 15, 2008

More on the topic of Java Object Persistence …
I have this time interviewed the following ODBMS.ORG experts Jose Blakeley (Microsoft), Rick Cattell (Sun Microsystems), William Cook (University of Texas at Austin), Robert Green (Versant) , and Alan Santos (Progress).

The panel addressed the ever open issue of the impedance mismatch, a problem which has existed ever since computers were used to persistently store data – in file systems or database management systems -, and where no fully satisfactory solutions have been found as of yet.

The complete panel transcript is available for free download (PDF)

“Today, I see two types of impedance mismatch problems,” says Jose Blakeley, a Partner Architect in the SQL Server Division at Microsoft. “(1) the application’s impedance mismatch problem, and (2) the impedance mismatch in data services.”

Alan Santos from data integration specialist Progress Software takes a different view: “Historically impedance mismatch has referred to the issues encountered when mapping data from a relational store into an object oriented data model. For some people, in some very practical ways, impedance mismatch is not an issue and has been solved with improvements in O/R mapping libraries and performance improvements in the runtime environments, as well as hardware itself.”

Rick Cattell, formerly Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems who has been instrumental in the foundation of J2EE, SQL Access/ODBC and JDBC, sees three solutions to overcome the mismatch: “The top three options for Java are JDBC, O/R mapping, and an ODBMS.”

But panelists differed when asked about their views on whether object-relational mappers, relational databases and object databases were a suitable solution to the “object persistence” problem.

The panel also attempted to define new areas of research and development in object persistence.

Microsoft’s Blakeley: “I would like to see technologies like the EDM, EntitySQL, and EF be absorbed natively by relational database systems.”

UT Austin’s William Cook, a father of Apple Script, Safe and Native Queries agreed and wished that “major database vendors implement OQL (or some variant, like HQL) as a native database interface to their databases.”

I reccomend it, it is a very informative readings!

Here are the questions at a glance:

Question 1: Do we still have an “impedance mismatch problem”?

Question 2: In terms of what you’re seeing used in the industry, how would you position the various options available for persistence for new projects?

Question 3: What are in your opinion the pros and cons of these existing solutions?

Question 4: Do you believe that Object Relational Mappers are a suitable solution to the “object persistence” problem? If yes why? If not, why?

Question 5: Do you believe that Relational Database systems are a suitable solution to the “object persistence” problem? If yes why? If not, why?

Question 6: Do you believe that Object Database systems are a suitable solution to the “object persistence” problem? If yes why? If not, why?

Question 7: What would you wish as a new research/development in the area of Object Persistence in the next 12 months?

Question 8: If you were all powerful and could have influenced technology adoption in the last 10 years, what would today’s typical project use as a persistence mechanism and why?

Question 9: Any parting words about this topic?


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