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Former Member

Do we still need relational databases?


will this new in-memory technology reduce the need of a relational database?

There are also rumors about a column-based database... are we talking about the same product?


Federico Biavati

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3 Answers

  • Apr 23, 2010 at 07:49 PM


    I think that BWA technology and similar relational database alternatives will reduce the extent to which we feel forced to use relational databases for workloads that relational databases are not well-suited for. OLAP is one example. Many types of analytics and caching are other examples. Hopefully in these areas we'll see less of the "Oracle is the answer, now what's the question?" syndrome.

    With regard to the "column-based" aspect of the BWA product, yes, BWA is column-based underneath. Unfortunately SAP is having a tendency to group a bunch of basic architectural approaches that are different from a relational model under the term "in memory". Column-based data storage is one of these approaches and it has absolutely nothing to do with in-memory. Compression (and query execution directly against compressed data, which I'm not sure if BWA supports) is another approach, which again is only tangentially related to in-memory in that it helps to facilitate in-memory by reducing total data volume.


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  • May 25, 2010 at 12:42 AM

    i don't think we can call in-memory a product. for now, it's an idea or a concept which starts at the lowest or the most fundamental layer of the architecture - data base. logic and presentation will follow.

    in my mind, we don't need ERs and are throwing away 30+ years of primary/foreign key coding.

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    Former Member
    Sep 30, 2010 at 01:52 PM

    Hi all,

    I think they don't want to sell Oracle databases to the customers (70% of SAP running on it).

    • In-Memory (Oracle Times-ten)

    • column-based data stores (hybrid-column option in Oracle 11g Exadata)

    are features already available for high-end DW or OLTP systems.

    I know BWA - but i would not call it a in-memory database - it's only optimized for read-only accesses.

    They need the underlying RDBMS to handle the writes tranaction-save (database ACID rules).

    They may load the foreign sources data directly into BWA without needing an underlying table - but to be honest:

    A SAP ERP or Businesswarehouse contains a lot more tables.

    SAP isn't a core technology company by heart - so I don't expect that they want to become one in the future.



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