Hans-Jörg Schek, Klemens Böhm, Torsten Grabs, Uwe Röhm, Heiko Schuldt, Roger Weber
Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Web Information Systems Engineering (WISE'2000)
Hong Kong, China
When relational database systems have been introduced twenty years ago, they were an infrastructure and main platform for application development. With today's information systems, the database system is a storage manager, far away from the applications. Our vision is that hyperdatabases become available that move up and extend database concepts to a higher level, closer to the applications. A hyperdatabase manages distributed objects and software components as well as workflows, in analogy to a database system that manages data and transactions. In short, hyperdatabases, also called higher order databases, will provide higher order data independence, e.g., immunity of applications against changes in the implementation of components and workload transparency. They will be the infrastructure for distributed information systems engineering of the future, and they are an abstraction from the host of current infrastructures and middleware technology. This article will elaborate on this vision. We will outline concrete projects at ETHZ such as PowerDB, a database cluster project. We show how an efficient document engine can be built on top of a database cluster. A further project studies transactional process management as a layer on top of database transactions. Image similarity and multimedia components is another project where a hyperdatabase coordinates specialized components such as feature extraction and indexing services in a distributed environment.