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Objects and Databases: State of the Union 2006

Derek Henninger, Progress Software: Hello I'm Derek Henninger from Progress Software, and one of the things I've noticed looking into the introduction of this was that the last objects in database panel was quite a while ago. Someone looked at the one that occurred about 10 years ago. Everybody on the panel came from an object database vendor. Now I look up here and roughly half are talking about object relational mapping solutions and I think that is one of the trends that clearly has manifested itself since the last time this occurred and I think we'll continue to see that.

Progress is one of the vendors that has both an object database and an object relational mapping and caching solution. And I think we're going to continue to have progress and I think in the industry we'll continue to see the need for a interoperability between the object world and the relational world as well as other database formats. People are building their new applications in object orientated languages yet there is still a wealth of data in other structures beyond object databases. That said there are significant benefits that customers, that our customers get and other customers and people on this panel get from utilizing the power of an object database and not having that impedance mismatch.

Nonetheless though we see that interoperability is necessary. So even our customers who have standardized on ObjectStore for major parts of their applications still need to get data out of a relational database. They need that interoperability. So I give a kind of an anecdote in terms of the benefits of a ODB: A recent customer of ours, Starwood Hotels, had an application built on Oracle. What they were getting for this very sophisticated query they were doing in order to measure room availability and stays and pricing and all that kind of that in one fell swoop. They were getting hundreds of transactions per minute. As they moved to an object database, they were getting hundreds of transactions per second -- so roughly two orders of magnitude improvement.

For many of the applications out there I do believe that object representation can provide that kind of performance, particularly where performance and scalability and memory access is really critical.

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