Is an Entity-Relationship DBMS a replacement for an RDMBS?

Yes and No. It is No for the big volume business applications. In the presentation Jose Blakely discussed the performance aspects and necessity to be compatible with the existing eco-system of relational databases. It is Yes, if you have a demand for high flexibility, high complexity but lower volumes.

There are thousands of applications of this kind in the low end of volume (n GB) and high end of complexity. This concerns frameworks (like COBIT, ITIL-CMDB, SPICE), general metadata repositories, it concerns tools for modeling or documentation of models of large software systems (SAP with nearly 10.000 Tables) and it concerns also small business applications. Well-known examples are “business applications” like reporting and auditing systems. They are complex they require a high degree of flexibility and suffer from frequent changes. Today the majority of these applications are “written in Excel”. An “executable conceptual model” is by far the better solution for this kind of applications.

The question is not "Relational Yes or No" but rather how to resolve existing problems. Both models have their merits. We use a RDBMS for the persistence layer of Metasafe. We could easily combine both systems: The ECM approach would be used to develop and test a first cut solution of a system which is then converted to the classical relational model as soon as it has been stabilized.

Last update on 10.11.2011 by Reinhold Thurner.

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