Case studies on active database applications
Active databases provide event-condition-action-rules for the implementation of (re)active behaviour in database applications. There exist a lot of proposals for such language extensions as well as some reported implementations. Usually, the suggested features are motivated by application requirements. In contrast, there is a severe lack of reported experiences with applications. Thus, there is no way to judge on the usefulness of the proposals given in the various technical papers up to now. This paper presents first results on the application of active database technology to real-world problems.
In our experimental setting an enhanced active rule language on top of a commercial database management system was used. Three real-world application domains were studied. They encompass the areas of executive information systems (maintaining derived data), cancer clustering (knowledge discovery in databases), and software process management (process management and control). Active capabilities proved to be especially useful for the implementation of the flow of control between various subsystems. Deficiencies of the technology were due to the lack of both modelling and design techniques as well as strong database functionality regarding multi-user mechanisms for the active part of the DBMS.
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