View Full Version : The process of database research

07-14-2008, 08:30 PM
Jennifer Widom just received the <a href="http://www.sigmod.org/sigmodinfo/awards/#innovations">ACM SIGMOD Edgar F. Codd Innovations Award</a>, and spoke about the <a href="http://infoblog.stanford.edu/2008/07/database-research-principles-revealed.html">process of database research</a>:<br /><blockquote>"[I]t's imperative to think about all three of the critical components -- <i>data model</i>, <i>query language</i>, and<i> system</i> -- and in that order! We in research have a rare luxury, compared to those in industry, that we can mull over a data model for a long time before we move on to think about how we'll query it, and we can nail down a solid syntax and semantics for a query language before we implement it."</blockquote>I've designed languages before, and I know how hard it is to do it right, so when I was designing <a href="http://www.sqlstream.com/Products/SQLstream_RAMMS_White_Paper.pdf">SQLstream's extensions to SQL</a> I looked at the research, and <a href="http://dbpubs.stanford.edu:8090/pub/2003-67">Jennifer's team's work</a> was easily the best in the field.<br /><br />Some of my colleagues balked at the paper's formal approach, but it was just what we needed to build a language for combining streaming and stored relational data, and the optimizer rules and execution objects to implement it.<br /><br />She is correct that it is a rare luxury for industry to have a sound foundation to build next-generation technology on. Congratulations on the award, Jennifer, and thanks for helping to build that foundation.

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