I’ve branched off into the new thread (from Should Database Manage The Meaning? thread ) in order to start from a clean slate. The previous thread still has a number of unanswered questions lingering, and I didn’t want to introduce new ones.
What the lively debate in the ‘database and meaning’ thread revealed to me is that a number of people appear steeped in the shared data model/architecture. They’re all talking about multiple applications hitting a single database, and how that peculiar situation dictates stringent demands on what the database must be and how it must behave.
I come from a different world. In my world, the data is not sedentary, it is mobile. It travels places. As such, it is not shared, it gets to be exchanged.
Now, as you will no doubt have no problem imagining, if two or more apps are exchanging data, they don’t care where is that data coming from. Let’s say they all exchange the data using some sort of a schema (XML schema, most likely). What ends up happening is that data starts travelling back and forth (mobile data). The receiving apps have no way of ’sniffing’, or figuring out whether the data that had just arrived is coming from a fuly normalized RDBMS, or from a flat file, or from an email server, or from a legacy data store (Domino), or from some hairy brained hierarchical mainframe database, or what have you.
So, this is the reason why I’m so befuddled upon learning that so many people regard RDBMS as a holly grail. What difference does it make, once the mobile data hit the street?