Country: Australia


Kevin was a Senior Lecturer at the Dept of Statistics and Computer Science, University of Colombo for 14 years. He abandoned academia after migrating to Melbourne Australia in 1995. He is currently an Oracle DBA for a leading retailer in Australia and has over 18 years experience working with Oracle Database Technologies. He has been the technical lead on a number of large scale Data Warehouse projects and a key technical resource on Database Security. His current interests include Neural Networks and Cloud Services.

Relational Database Technology - Does it have a future or is it just history?

Date: 27th September 2018
Time: 2.15 PM

The relational database model has served us well. Invented by E. F. Codd in 1970, made commercially available as a SQL database by Oracle in 1979, it is going strong 48 years later!  It is still being taught at universities around the world and is very much a key part of the IT industry.

To stay relevant over time the offerings have morphed into various forms. Database Appliances such as Exadata/Teradata and Cloud-based options like Redshift are still providing the backbone for most petabyte-scale data warehouses.

However, the technology is under siege from many directions. On the data warehousing front, it is, for example, being very effectively challenged by Hadoop/Spark clusters. In-Memory and Data Grid offerings are challenging it in the area of transactional applications. Offerings such as Google Spanner and Microsoft’s Cosmos DB are threatening to make distributed transactional processing almost trivial.

Most of these challengers are not built the same way as the traditional relational database systems. However most of them do provide a SQL like interface and can in some cases masquerade very effectively as a relational database system.

The first part of this lecture will look at the recent past of Relational Databases, how they have evolved, and where their greatest challenges are going to come from in the future.

The second part will look at the impact of Serverless technologies and AI on the future of database technology as a whole. It will also take a look at a few interesting edge cases.