The Database Design Resource Center

Object Relational Overkill

by {name changed to protect the innocents}
(USA)

Perhaps you recognize the architect who thinks everything java is fantastically wonderful, but databases are a lot of trouble.

The java architect reduced the db design down to an "objects" table which could hold any kind of data and a "relationships" table that could describe any relationship between objects.

Implementing that in a top-drawer Rdbms was a mistake because inserting, updating or searching anything in that kind of structure was very dependent on the kind of object being manipulated. All the details (methods) were in java objects with multiple layers of inheritance and none of the business logic was in the db.

Though it performed badly, there was no convincing the architect to finess the details into multiple tables. He was busy redesigning, redeploying the java code whenever a new object type came along. "Besides," he said, "we can always deploy a new database" on another blade to overcome lagging database performance.

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