A Framework for Managing Schema Versioning in Object-Oriented Databases

  • Erik Odberg


An approach to schema modification management is presented which also takes into concern that alternative schema perspectives seems to be needed, in addition to revision-like changes. The primary goal is to support change transparency when the schema is modified, such that existing application programs and objects need not be affected by changes to the schema.

The approach is based on explicitly distinguishing Type (external interface of objects) and Class (object implementation and representation) — a Type is implemented by one or more Classes. Structural (representation) changes are accomplished by introducing new Classes (or Class versions), which does not require recompilation. Behavioral (Type) changes affect applications, as there may be incompatibilities between the Type version of the database object, and the application. The approach is based on automatically maintaining the totality of all versions’ interface for each Type, and provide mechanisms for defining new Class revisions to also implement this interface. In this way Type version incompatibilities are externally invisible. The paper presents the general mechanisms for managing schema changes, and identifies how the mechanisms are utilized.


Schema Version Type Version Class Version Abstract Class Creation Class 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erik Odberg
    • 1
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Computer ScienceNorwegian Institute of Technology (NTH)Trondheim-NTHNorway

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