Title: Organic databases

Authors: H.V. Jagadish; Li Qian; Arnab Nandi

Addresses: Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Michigan, 4601 BBB Building, 2260 Hayward Ave., Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, USA ' Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Michigan, 4957 BBB Building, 2260 Hayward Ave., Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, USA ' Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Ohio State University, DL 689, Building 279, 2015 Neil Ave., Columbus, OH, 43210, USA

Abstract: Databases today are carefully engineered: there is an expensive and deliberate design process, after which a database schema is defined; during this design process, various possible instance examples and use cases are hypothesised and carefully analysed; finally, the schema is ready and then can be populated with data. All of this effort is a major barrier to database adoption. In this paper, we explore the possibility of organic database creation instead of the traditional engineered approach. The idea is to let the user start storing data in a database with a schema that is just enough to cove the instances at hand. We then support efficient schema evolution as new data instances arrive. By designing the database to evolve, we can sidestep the expensive front-end cost of carefully engineering the design of the database. Indeed, the deliberate design model complicates not only database creation, but also database transformation (i.e., schema mapping) because traditional schema mapping tasks are carefully engineered with declarative specification hidden beneath complex user interface. In this paper, we also study the issue of organic database transformation, which automatically induces schema mappings from sample target database instances.

Keywords: database usability; schema design; schema evolution; schema mapping; information integration; organic databases; database creation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCSE.2015.072651

International Journal of Computational Science and Engineering, 2015 Vol.11 No.3, pp.270 - 283

Available online: 23 Oct 2015 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article