Chapter 17. The Future of SQL
SQL has been around for more than 20 years, and its age has begun to show — especially in the face of other developments. The object-oriented programming paradigm introduced at about the same time as SQL became mainstream at the beginning of the 1990s. The Internet has created a seemingly insatiable demand for structured data and opened new ways of using and creating information. As computers have become more powerful, new uses have emerged — for example, analyzing vast amounts of data for uncovering hidden trends in real time, replication over the Internet, storing data in new data formats such as video, MP3, and more.
These developments have all placed pressure on SQL to transform and adapt. The new SQL:2003 standard has introduced new data types, bridging gaps between text-oriented SQL and object-oriented software. RDBMS vendors have added capabilities to utilize objects within the standard relational framework (e.g. .Net and Java-stored procedures, ActiveX (OLE) Automation, XML, and so on). New object-oriented database systems (OODBS) and object relational database systems (ORDBMS) have sprouted.
This chapter covers some major new technologies that relate to SQL. Some of the emerging (and established) technologies — for instance EJB (Enterprise Java Beans) or Web services (exposing functionality over the Internet) — will be touched on only briefly. Readers interested in using these technologies in conjunction with SQL, are encouraged to read books ...