An Introduction to Object Databases


These object database information pages are intended to give an analysis of the usage of object database technology, particularly on the internet, as opposed to relational database technology. In short, the mathematics of a relational database is contradictory to the object-type black-box nature of the internet. Many companies spend fortunes employing large numbers of people to maintain web-sites. The costs of web site maintenance can be reduced by the use of object rather than relational database technology. Object database technology is catching-up fast with relational database technology. Relational databases have a commercial record-based purpose. Adding binary objects such as images into the existing structure of a relational database is like glueing small protusions onto a perfect sphere. Eventually the quality of the formulae for maintaining the structure of that perfect sphere will be degraded to the point of uselessness.

Since many software applications are moving into browser rather than GUI front-ends it is possible that eventually object databases will replace relational databases. This is because an object database is more appropriate to the object-like nature of the internet. However, and more importantly, the usage on the internet is expanding at such a rapid rate that relational databases will not simply not be able to cope with demands on scaleability and throughput of information requirements.

In simple terms, a database is a repository for information. Additionally, a database can provide structure and rapid access to information by use of indexing and server based processing. Server based processing speeds up database access for a number of reasons.

  1. Decreased network traffic. Server based processing involves client or browser requesting and receiving responses from the server on a transaction basis, not continual server requests and responses within a transaction.

  2. The server is doing the bulk of the work, not the client.

  3. Thus the client is able to do other things.

Relational database stored or database procedures are the equivalent of object database methods. Relational databases allow limited server functionality using stored or database procedures. Relational database stored or database procedures are intentionally very limited in functionality and are restricted to purely database data access only. Object database methods, on the contrary, are capable of any functionality that an application envorinment such as web pages and browser or GUI SDK is capable of.

Therefore it is only a matter of time before object database technology replaces relational database technology, atleast with respect to the internet. Jasmine is an object database specifically written for the purpose of web development. Jasmine is a very capable object database and has seem very powerful multimedia capabilities.