• Subject: Re: Design shift of view
  • From: "James W. Kilgore" <qappdsn@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 27 Jul 1998 09:16:36 -0700
  • Organization: Progressive Data Systems, Inc.


In a round about way I was bringing up the shackles we wear with file structures
emulating paper forms.

As far as changing a record structure on the fly, I was hoping that the logical
conclusion would be to get away from the "record" concept altogether and that
would bring us to the point of Rob Dixon's original post.

There were some soundings about the acceptance of "radical" changes in how we do
things.  IMO, radical can be brought to acceptance through logical conclusion 
the demonstaration that nothing gets lost and plenty gets gained.

James W. Kilgore

Tim McCarthy wrote:

> James,
> It's interesting that a debate on DDS and display files turns to database
> modelling. However I don't think the "design shift of view" has really
> shifted too far from our current modelling practices. Why should "changing
> a record structure" on the fly be an issue. If we want a real design shift
> we need to stop thinking in terms of files and record formats and more in
> terms of the relationships that exist between individual data components.
> And yes James you're right - the way we store information has to change.
> We've based our database structure on the physical appearance of business
> documents as they were printed on paper. Now that we've replicated this
> "paper" document into an electronic form and stored it in our database, we
> create a slew of programs to query this information in a 100 different
> ways. What we need to recognize is that a business document means different
> things to different people in an organization - what the CFO and the
> assembly line supervisor need to see from a purchase order are two
> different things. The separation between business documents as implemented
> in most databases tends to be reflected in most workflow processes. Why do
> we separate "invoices" from "P.O's"? In reality it's just the
> "representation" of the same data that changes. The presentation of
> information (call it the GUI) on my screen should reflect my needs and my
> role within an organization - it should not be a basis for how the data is
> stored.
> Rob Dixon's earlier thread attempted to fire up a debate on the subject of
> new database models. Given such an "encapsulated" business database we
> could focus on providing tools that would allow people to access
> information through more intuitive methods (such as function) than having
> to specify fields in records in files. We could all be looking the same set
> of data in entirely different ways - there would be no purpose or need in
> having fixed screen presentations and the DDS debate would be moot.

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