Epicentre - A Shrink-Wrapped Relational Projection at last? (October 1997)

The debate continues as to whether POSC should continue with the high level abstraction of Epicentre, or go for a quick fix with a ‘shrink-wrapped’ relational projection of Epicentre.

In the POSC meeting in Oslo last month questions were asked as to progress in the development of a "definitive" relational projection of Epicentre. Readers of this month's lead and other articles in this edition will appreciate that this is not exactly a politically correct question. Nevertheless it has been asked, by the POSC board of the POSC management and was the subject of quite enthusiastic debate between members. There has for a long time been a push from on high -starting with the ill-fated Discovery project, to have a relational projection of Epicentre that could be supplied to the world as THE physical implementation of Epicentre. POSC members who have invested in the DAE type of solution are not over enthusiastic about this potential climb-down. Nor are the major vendors who have already done the work and are pushing their physical implementation as the true path.


But at the heart of this issue is the future direction of POSC, the extent to which such a standard could be developed without infringing US anti-trust regulations and what exactly are the member's requirements. Possibilities other than a relational projection are LightSIP, or a non-relational database. But the former is perhaps a bit youthful while the latter has already been tried in the UniSQL implementation of Epicentre without producing much in the way of product. One of POSC's problems in this area is that it has to keep to the open systems high ground and cannot be seen to be underwriting one database management system at the expense of another. The move to a shrink-wrapped Epicentre would almost certainly involve opting for one vendor - almost certainly Oracle and perhaps involve a migration to Oracle CASE tools from Express. Oracle 8 must look like a tempting platform in this respect. POSC is currently involved in some serious soul searching in this area.

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