The Database Is Dead – Gartner

Very amusing story in zdNet about how since individual devices will eventually all have RFID on them, a database is no longer required – just realtime access to where things are – right?

Well, if you read further into the article, it’s not that it’s about databases themselves (hopefully Feinberg isn’t so naive as to think that tracking numbers isn’t a job for a database- but then who knows) – but rather it’s the DBAs.

The quote:

a point made by the Gartner analysts is that there’s a bit of urban myth to the idea that data must always be stored — or cached — in a database. Sometimes when you really think about the business processes that the data must support and then the degree to which the data must persist to support that process, you may realize that you don’t need a database after all. As data is moved closer to its source and only kept in one place, not only is the quality is better, according to Friedman, “the data is where you need it, when you need it and only lasts for as long as you need it.”

Well – except when you need to track where it went, etc.

However, for that, I do agree that

” The result is that structured data and SQL will take a back seat to XML and XQuery. “

It’s an interesting idea and one that especially holds true after Steve Black’s session on how to sell VFP.

Forget about talking about databases – and talk about information flow. I have always maintained that a database is simply the repository of information and those who like to make the arguments for and against specific formats are primarily guardians trying to protect their own little “kingdoms”. Best part about FoxPro is that it works with all of those formats.

But it’s also a valuable time to think about the LINQ project – because if I can grab all of my data from its various sources with a single object declaration (better examples here)- then I should be VERY happy about that.