database musings (“deep thoughts”)

I have a soft spot for hierarchical databases.  My first database-related job was programming in M/Mumps.  I know the standard history of databases says that hierarchical databases are a relic of the past, and that, thanks to Codd, relational databases solve many of the problems of hierarchical (and other kinds of) databases.  I like relational databases – I was an Oracle DBA, I’ve worked with DB2, Sybase, Postgres, mSQL, others, and now MySQL.  I really like InnoDB.  However, I am occasionally sad that hierachical databases seem a thing of the past.
Or are they?  Yesterday I had a thought that hierarchical databases are much more widely used than relational databases.  In fact, maybe every single computer has a hierarchical database that is used by every computer user, whether they have database software installed or not.  The file system!  Isn’t that a hierarchical database?  The idea made me feel better.  :)

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2 Responses to “database musings (“deep thoughts”)”

  1. Daniël van Eeden Says:

    And Directory Services (LDAP, X.500) are also hierarchical. And there are more types of databases other then relational and hierarchical: the network and graph databases.

    And MUMPS is really a good language… for obfuscation.

    http://thedailywtf.com/Articles/A_Case_of_the_MUMPS.aspx

  2. ben Says:

    Daniël – that’s right; thanks for reminding me! :) How could I forget that!

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