• Subject: RE: What About Price vs. Perform
  • From: Jim Damato <jdamato@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2001 19:18:28 -0500

To really help understand the AS/400 database as a DATABASE it's beneficial
to start calling physical files "tables" and logical files "indexes" (or
perhaps "views"), though it's not strictly the case.  On Unix and PC systems
a file is a file is a file, whether that file is a stream of data or a dll
or a program or a device driver.  A container of database records in the
(other) relational databases is a table.  Within the traditional AS/400
library structure we don't have files -- we have "objects".  The files that
Unix administrators, programmers, and DBA's mess with on a daily basis are
buried deep with OS/400 so that we don't have to know about the files
supporting each RPG program object, device description, access path, not to
mention the internal files/tables defining user profiles, message queues,
etc. ... 

I started a job five years ago working with a VMS shop that was trying to
get to the AS/400.  The VMS folks had such contempt for the AS/400 because
everything was supposedly so complicated.  For example, it was so easy to
copy a file from VMS to NT, but it was an ordeal to copy that file to the
AS/400.  If I truly understood the difference back then I could have made
more sense explaining that copying the file from VMS to the AS/400 was like
trying to import the file into one of their Ingres database tables.  Of
course, if the IFS was worth half a damn back then I could have said, "Go
ahead, copy the file into this IFS directory, then we'll import it into the
database."

Maybe we should refer to our machines as both "object servers" and database
servers.  So many people think the AS/400 database is not a database
because:

1)  You don't have to pay a DBA a small fortune to install, configure, and
maintain it.
2)  We often barely use it beyond its indexed, formatted, flat file roots.
3)  We use archaic terminology.
4)  It doesn't crash all the time.

Try to work on #3.


-----Original Message-----
From: D.BALE@handleman.com [mailto:D.BALE@handleman.com]
Sent: Thursday, April 05, 2001 11:23 AM
To: MIDRANGE-L@midrange.com
Subject: RE: What About Price vs. Perform


At the high risk of jumping into this volatile thread and of potentially
embarrasing myself, could someone please distinguish how a file server is
different than a database server?

Spending the bulk of my career on the IBM midrange, I have used "database"
and
"file" interchangably.  Only more recently have I come to understand
(correct
me if I'm wrong) that the AS/400 has one "database", DB2/400 or whatever IBM
has renamed it to, and that we have thousands of data "files" of the
physical
and logical variety.

Dan Bale
IT - AS/400
Handleman Company
248-362-4400  Ext. 4952
D.Bale@Handleman.com
  Quiquid latine dictum sit altum viditur.
  (Whatever is said in Latin seems profound.)
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